Phantom Canyon 2008 – Day 8

Synopsis: Return to rim via South Kaibab Trail (7.1 miles). March 14.

Everyone was a little sad today, knowing that we were saying goodbye.

We would be hiking out the South Kaibab Trail. This had been the plan all along, but Reid had neglected to tell anyone, so it came as a surprise. We got to see new views, and it was slightly shorter, but Charles couldn’t get the before-and-after river shots he’d wanted (the high-flow experiment was now over, and the river was down again.


Leaving Bright Angel Campground.

Photo by Erin Tatge.
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The Black Bridge.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Even at this early juncture, we were already seeing people coming down the trail – folks who had started their day at the rim and were at the bottom by the time we were breaking camp.

It was a bit of an adjustment to see so many people after days of solitude, and by the time we were halfway up, there were crowds.

The other rude awakening was the return of winter and snow as we neared the rim.


Bumps on a log: our shadows crossing the Black Bridge.

Photo by Erin Tatge.
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The south side of the Black Bridge ends in this tunnel blasted through the rock.

Photo by Sara Tatge McCarty.
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The beginning of the long upward slope.

Photo by Erin Tatge.
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Phantom Ranch, the Black Bridge, and the bottom of the South Kaibab Trail.

Photo by Sara Tatge McCarty.
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Route from Phantom up to Utah Flats. The heavy scarring from use is pretty clearly visible if you zoom in.

Photo by Sara Tatge McCarty.
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View westward from the South Kaibab Trail as it passes through the red Hakatai Shale.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Kev and Sara plodding upward through the shale.

Photo by Erin Tatge.
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A mountain goat near the the Tipoff, where the South Kaibab Trail reaches the Tonto Platform 1200 feet above the river.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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The Tipoff pit toilet building, and Utah Flats and Phantom Canyon beyond.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Reid slowly ascending.

Photo by Erin Tatge.
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Near the top of the Redwall, there are a number of views to the west through clefts like these.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Eastward view from Skeleton Point, atop the Redwall.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Westward view from Skeleton Point.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Pretty much the whole Utah Flats route as far as Knoll 4414 is visible in this frame.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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O’Neill Butte and the South Rim.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Photo by Charles Yeamans.
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A mule train ascending the switchbacks below Skeleton Point.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Continuing to trudge upward. (The trail follows the ridgeline that forms the skyline.)

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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A raven at Cedar Ridge.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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This last traverse is very long. The last few switchbacks go up to the rim in the shadowed bay just right of center.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Kev topping out.

Photo by Erin Tatge.
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We did it! L-R: Chris, Reid, Erin, Charles, Kev, Sara.

Reid sustained his only injury of the trip immediately before this photo was taken, by smacking himself in the face with his walking stick.

Photo by Erin Tatge.
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Chris making a super-secret phone call.

Photo by Erin Tatge.
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In the shuttle bus on our way back to the car. If the folks at Phantom Ranch seemed clean, these people were sparkling! We all sat in the back and watched people try to ignore us and not look like they were holding their noses.

Photo by Erin Tatge.
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Chris and Reid underneath their heaping gear.

Photo by Erin Tatge.
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The End.

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Copyright © 1999-2013 Reid Priedhorsky and Erin Tatge. Last modified: 2010-01-24 19:08 CST. Disclaimer.