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Boots for Grand Canyon

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Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby jthomas » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:54 pm

As mentioned previously, doing the Grand Canyon R2R in October. ( R2R, not R2R2R in one day). This will be fast hiking, not trail running. I have some high top hikers, but I am thinking low tops would be a better bet. I am hesitant to go with ultralight trail runners, but I am open to suggestions. Any ideas?

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Re: Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby MoapaPk » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:51 pm

Just regular trail runners or athletic shoes-- whatever is comfortable. Your regular boots if you like them. Some lugs on soles. It's a well-graded trail. Your biggest danger is slipping in mule poop.
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Re: Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby Dow Williams » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:23 pm

you will be better served with trail runners or comfortable multi sport shoes..boots would be heinous...but yes, most will have them on though
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Re: Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby Andrew Rankine » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:32 pm

I'd go in the winter, because it gets so hot at the bottom any other time of year...Super Bowl Sunday is awesome because the trail is empty.
But, anyway... I've done that many miles in boots, and in approach shoes. I would probably do it in lightweight hiking boots. I did the Canyon three times in a pair of the Lowa Jannu Mid and they were great.
Either way will work, I think it mostly depends on how comfortable the particular pair is. It's a clear trail, so you can get away with most footwear. I mean, I saw a lady in Ugg Boots going down the Bright Angel trail in the snow, but otherwise you should be fine.
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Re: Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:59 am

Andrew Rankine wrote:I'd go in the winter, because it gets so hot at the bottom any other time of year...Super Bowl Sunday is awesome because the trail is empty.


It's tough to do R2R in winter-- north rim is closed.
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Re: Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby Andrew Rankine » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:28 am

MoapaPk wrote:
Andrew Rankine wrote:I'd go in the winter, because it gets so hot at the bottom any other time of year...Super Bowl Sunday is awesome because the trail is empty.


It's tough to do R2R in winter-- north rim is closed.


Yes, I have been up there in winter and it is abandoned. But it makes a nice, but long, dayhike to go from Phantom Ranch to the North Rim and back. The North Rim is closed in October I believe (not certain), but the road is plowed until November ~22 (again, not certain). So if you can get there before the first snow it is great!
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Re: Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby jthomas » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:47 pm

Andrew Rankine wrote:
MoapaPk wrote:
Andrew Rankine wrote:I'd go in the winter, because it gets so hot at the bottom any other time of year...Super Bowl Sunday is awesome because the trail is empty.


It's tough to do R2R in winter-- north rim is closed.


Yes, I have been up there in winter and it is abandoned. But it makes a nice, but long, dayhike to go from Phantom Ranch to the North Rim and back. The North Rim is closed in October I believe (not certain), but the road is plowed until November ~22 (again, not certain). So if you can get there before the first snow it is great!


Yes, our timing is dictated by the North Rim Closure. We are going the last week in October that the NR lodge is open. Otherwise, I would love to go in the winter.
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Re: Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby dman » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:48 pm

Make sure that whatever footwear you use to hike down the GC there is plenty of toe box room. I guided a couple down the canyon this past year, and even though one of them had only a half size larger shoe size then what fit comfortable, he still lost toe nails. If you already have a pair of hiking boots, make sure they are about one shoe size larger and that you have them laced up well. If they are heavy hiking boots though, I would suggest against it. However, the biggest factor in what shoe to wear is fit, followed by weight, followed by style. Make sure the fit is good or you will be suffering on the way back up. And bring duck tape and mole skin. With long hikes like this you will want some additional protection in case blisters form.
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Re: Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby BigMitch » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:04 pm

I have done the R2R2R five times.

I would never think of wearing anything but trail runners or AR shoes there.

I threw out my hiking boots about 15 years ago.

If you are concerned about twisting your ankles, use trekking poles for extra stability.

I second dman's suggestion regarding size of shoe. I start out with a shoe one size up and wear bulky socks. When my feet swell up, I switch to a thin pair of socks. Also helps to coat feet with anti-perspirant to prevent sweating, and therefore blisters.

BTW: IMHO, the R2R2R is best done in winter. Nothing like combination of white snow, dark green ponderosa pine, red sandstone, and blue sky on the Roaring Springs Trail.
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Re: Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby jthomas » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:29 pm

BigMitch wrote:I have done the R2R2R five times.

I would never think of wearing anything but trail runners or AR shoes there.

I threw out my hiking boots about 15 years ago.

If you are concerned about twisting your ankles, use trekking poles for extra stability.

I second dman's suggestion regarding size of shoe. I start out with a shoe one size up and wear bulky socks. When my feet swell up, I switch to a thin pair of socks. Also helps to coat feet with anti-perspirant to prevent sweating, and therefore blisters.

BTW: IMHO, the R2R2R is best done in winter. Nothing like combination of white snow, dark green ponderosa pine, red sandstone, and blue sky on the Roaring Springs Trail.


I am leaning toward trail runners. What are AR shoes?

Would love to do it in winter. I have been at the GC then, and it is beautiful, but the North Rim lodge is closed.

How long did it take you R2R? I will be fast hiking, not running. Thanks!
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Re: Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby BigMitch » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:34 pm

AR shoes = adventure race shoes. Think trail runners with slight less padding but more mesh on the top.

From South Rim to North Rim, we have fast hiked it in about 8-9 hours, including stops.

We generally left the South Rim at 3:30 am, arrive Phantom about 6:45 am (via either Bright Angel or South Kiabab), arrive Cottonwood about 9:30 am, and arrive North Rim about 11:30 am -12:00 pm. We were in good shape carrying about 10 lb packs.

The trails (Bright Angel and South Kiabab) are smooth and well maintained.

Some of my friends do a "Gentlemen's Double" just before the North Rim closes in early October. They hike South Rim to North Rim, get a room at the North Rim, take a shower, eat a nice dinner with a few beers or wine, then return the next day.
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Re: Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby jthomas » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:10 pm

BigMitch wrote:AR shoes = adventure race shoes. Think trail runners with slight less padding but more mesh on the top.

From South Rim to North Rim, we have fast hiked it in about 8-9 hours, including stops.

We generally left the South Rim at 3:30 am, arrive Phantom about 6:45 am (via either Bright Angel or South Kiabab), arrive Cottonwood about 9:30 am, and arrive North Rim about 11:30 am -12:00 pm. We were in good shape carrying about 10 lb packs.

The trails (Bright Angel and South Kiabab) are smooth and well maintained.

Some of my friends do a "Gentlemen's Double" just before the North Rim closes in early October. They hike South Rim to North Rim, get a room at the North Rim, take a shower, eat a nice dinner with a few beers or wine, then return the next day.


So, given my age (69), does S. Rim to N. Rim in 10-11 hours sound reasonable? We will be carrying light packs, only essentials. The "Gentlemen's Double" is exactly what we are doing. Have a cabin at the N. Rim. This year, we are taking a rest day to sight see on the N. Rim before returning. If things go well, we may do it without the rest day in subsequent years.

Any suggestions on nutrition? I am taking lots of electrolyte tablets (critical IMO) and considering going with gels most of the way. Taking real food for the longer stop at Phantom Ranch.

From reading, it appears that water is available between Phantom Ranch and the N. Rim. Is this accurate? We are going in mid October.

Thanks for your help!
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Re: Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby splattski » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:34 pm

Your mileage may vary, but I'd say 10 hours is moving pretty quick. We did S. Kaibab to N. Kaibab, and it took us 9.5 hours. My info says it's 21 miles and 5800' gain. You can look through my website and perhaps find something we've both done to compare, but I'd say we are fast (but not runners)....

http://www.splattski.com/2010/grand_canyon/index.html

Incidentally, we all wore low-cut approach shoes or running shoes. My feet got pretty beat up. I think if I did it again I'd wear some light hikers with more underfoot protection. Although we did run into someone wearing just flip-flops.
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Re: Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:11 pm

USUALLY water is available between Phantom and N Rim; but check the Park service (1st their web site)
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Re: Boots for Grand Canyon

Postby dman » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:46 pm

Water is a valuable asset in the Grand Canyon. Twice several group members ran out of water, and consequently into dehydration problems including muscle cramps. In order to keep the group moving and prevent further problems, I was forced to share my water, which is never something that you want to do. Eventually we made it out, but the reason for this problem even starting was because several group members decided not to fill up with water all the way because we were expecting water on the way up from Phantom Ranch to the South Rim. DON'T ever assume anything about water in the middle of the Grand Canyon. You can get caught in a bad situation fast.

I am not saying bring ridiculous amounts of water, because that will do the exact same thing and slow you down, but speed and comfort should never be substituted for a life threatening situation of low water.

And for food, don't forget to bring the GORP!
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