On Kaibab switchbacks, one false step and — Kaput. The far west border of Iran. Here, minutes below The Trailhead, it’s four-hundred feet to the slope which feeds you toward a free-fall of a few hundred more. It can take days or weeks to spot victims through binoculars. Grand Canyon is subjected to the same phenomena as other National Parks where the number of disappearances have swollen to over a thousand since the NPS was created (1916). Most disappearances occur within 30-50 yards of friends or family and most bodies are never found. Statistics reveal a disproportionate number of victims between the ages of fifty-four and seventy-four. Jeff and I were sixty-going-on-sixty-one when we started down The Kaibab that morning of January 28th 2014.
In the book, this is where I… well… it wasn’t a pretty sight.
Vertigo is not acrophobia, as I found out in THE CANYON CRAWL.
Endless, treacherous, dispiriting, switchbacks, six-point-nine miles to perdition on the South Kaibab. Here, we’re transitioning from limestone to sandstone indicating the proximity to The Plateau.
Jim and Kate had passed us up long ago and were hoofing it down the switchbacks on South Kaibab to The Plateau and on down to The Colorado. We wouldn’t see them again until dinner at the Ranch… which we missed. Sort of.
You’ll have to read the book to learn what happened.