Death by Sun

A Northern Arizona University student from Virginia died this week hiking in Grand Canyon. He was hiking alone on the south-facing slope of the North Rim. This area is extremely remote, especially in July, due to daytime temperatures well over 110 degrees, and the fact that there is no shade and little water out there deters most hikers. The trailhead access is over 200 miles away from the Grand Canyon Visitors Center. The loop hike the student appeared to be taking was 24 miles long with over 10,000 feet of elevation change. I’ve hiked a little in the inner canyon in 120+ degree heat, just to feel what it’s like. I couldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Here’s the trail map outlined by Backpacker May 2009: http://bp2.trimbleoutdoors.com/viewTrip.aspx?tripID=50076&mode=TripMap From news reports it sounds like the hiker was found south of where the trail crosses Surprise Valley, in the Bonita Creek wash area.

Here’s the news report: http://azdailysun.com/articles/2009/07/26/news/20090726front200605.txt

And, here’s a forum with some additional comments: http://hikearizona.com/dex2/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4288&start=

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