Peering over the ledge into the Grand Canyon is a transcendental experience that satisfies the bucket list of about five million humans every year. A small percentage of people, however, gaze into its depths and an aberration of normal neurological function causes a misfire in the self-preservation lobe of the brain. An obsession takes shape and the girl blurts, “I’m going to hike across that canyon”. Great minds think alike and in no time there is a group of life-loving women setting a date to hike the 24 mile “Rim To Rim” of the Grand Canyon — in one day! A few also plan hike all the way back again (you know, because its there) and at least one resolves on a firm plan to hike rim-to-rim-to-rim on the same day. I mean there’s more than one way to save money on hotel rates and next-day shuttle fees.
Video of our trip:
Welcome to the hard core can-do ethos of women with excess energy and a zeal for experiencing nature and challenging their bodies. These are the women of Outdoor Women’s Alliance who organized this Rim To Rim hiking adventure. Sierra Lawe, Los Angeles based adventurer, was the brain child of this trip. She coordinates a hiking Meetup group called “Her Own Trail” and is the Grassroots Team Leader for Outdoor Women’s Alliance – Southern California (https://www.facebook.com/groups/OWASouthernCalifornia/). Of the fifteen members of this adventure, Sierra was the one hiker who attempted this hike as a one-day Rim2Rim2Rim challenge and she succeeded by taking a short 4 hour nap to overcome a severe allergy attack mid-hike.
Fifteen women set out at 4:00am to hike the Rim 2 Rim day-hike and fifteen women completed the challenge. It involved a pre-hike campout at the North Rim Campground, setting foot on trail between 4-5:00am, hiking approx. 6000 ft down into the canyon, braving 110 degree temperatures, then hiking 4000 ft back out of the canyon. Three of these monster hikers turned around and did it all again the next day!
Here is where things get really wild. As if completing the physical challenge wasn’t enough for these incredible women, several of our crew stopped along the way to help other people in crisis. One woman came upon a 14 year old girl who started hiking Rim To Rim with her parents, but using 14-yr-old poor judgement hiked too far and too fast downhill ahead of her parents and got hopelessly separated from them in the hottest part of the canyon, during the hottest part of the day, going uphill, far from water. As a mother of teenagers herself, our team member took sympathy and adopted this young hiker, looked after her safety, and SLOWLY inched this girl 10 miles uphill to the South Rim to meet her cousins. Others of our group came upon a person beginning to have heat stroke so retraced their steps through the hottest part of the canyon to fetch a Ranger from Phantom Ranch who ran to this person’s rescue carrying a backpack full of ice. I don’t hesitate to call these women heroes as well as badass athletes.
Enough about us, lets talk about you. If you are an outdoor woman who likes body-powered adventure you are already an “Outdoor Woman”. The Outdoor Women’s Alliance is a nonprofit media and adventure collective that encourages, educates, and engages females in adventure sports worldwide. They work with professional and aspiring athletes, individuals, like-minded organizations, and brands to promote active participation in adventure, build individual confidence and healthy communities, and grow recognition for women in adventure sports worldwide. Basically, they celebrate you and all you do. You can “Like” a Grassroots Team near you on Facebook, be tapped in to events in your area, and connect with other women who share your interest. Our Southern California group is at this link and you can find others worldwide at www.outdoorwomensalliance.com.
I was very privileged to be in such inspiring company. This post is all about the amazing women who completed this challenge. In my next post I write about and share a more comprehensive video account of my trek through the inner gorge of the Grand Canyon. It includes much more scenery and my impressions of the canyon and the hike route. See this link: http://dustyhouseadventures.com/2015/06/11/grand-steampunk-canyon/