01-Sep-2006 -- The pictures here document our second attempt to reach N36 W112, the second CP we tried to reach during our 2 week holiday in the US. Our first CP attempt had been a half-hearted try at N38 W119 near Mono Lake on 27th August. Unfortunately I had not read or printed out any reports of CPs we could visit on our holiday mainly because I hadn't had the time but also because I didn't have a planned route, just a vague idea where we wanted to go. All I had was the overview printout for the CPs in California, Utah, Arizona and Colorado, the 4 states we would visit. The small overview picture was all we had to go on when making a decision at an attempt or not.
For N36 W112 we basically visited the lake on the side reached coming from the direction of Yosemite/Tioga Pass. We
went to look at the Tufas and found we were 6.7 Kilometres from the CP. Not quite the 100m required. I did go for a swim and got to within about 6.6 Km but it wasn't good enough. For anyone visiting Mono Lake I would recommend a swim - very similar to swimming in the Dead Sea and at the end of August quite warm. Lacking the time and a detailed
map we abandoned any further attempts.
So on Friday 1st September we had made it to the Grand Canyon National Park. We entered at the East entrance
coming from Cameron and drove towards Grand Canyon Village stopping at the various lookout points and the
Tusayan ruin and museum. The GPS was turned on and I knew we were getting closer as we drove west. Having stopped
at Grandview Point we realized we were only 1.2 km from the CP. It was late in the afternoon, we could see
dark clouds and hear thunder in the distance so a serious attempt seemed out of the question. We decided to head
towards the CP and get closer than one kilometre and get at least a feeble attempt documented in case the weather
turned bad making a serious attempt the next day impossible. So this is what we did. We returned to the car with
the sound of thunder getting closer.
The plan was to head to Grand Canyon Village, find a place to stay, and next day try to reach the CP again. However
on driving further we got closer to the CP, so that at one point it was about 630 metres to the CP, much closer than our feeble attempt. Also the direction was what looked like easy going into a wood. The rain had not materialised so
we parked the car in the ditch by the side of the road, donned walking boots, packed the waterproofs and headed
for the CP. So it was 600, 500, 450, 400, 350, 300, too good to be true. 250 , 240 , 230, 220. There the ground
disappeared and at 212 metres further progress would have meant having to abseil down into the Grand Canyon. A
brief look at the terrain showed no safe way down so we took the usual photos - an incomplete attempt better than
none - and headed back to the car, arriving there just as the raindrops started. Intoxitated by our near success
we decided to go back to Grandview Point the next day and take the trail down into the Grand Canyon hoping it would
be possible to get to the CP. Even Michael was keen; those of you who have read my other reports will know this is
not aways the case!
Having spent the previous evening taking the shuttle bus along the Southern Rim as far as Hermit's Rest and watching a sunset from Hopi Point we were ready for another attempt at N36 W112. Having read the following about the Grandview Trail - 'Unmaintained steep trail requires caution, for exerienced desert hikers. Hiking boots recommended' - we
had hiking boots, lots of water and waterproofs in case the thunderstorms arrived. On starting the walk we noticed
quite a few small children going down too so maybe it wasn't too steep after all. The distance to the CP was
was about 1.1, 1.2 kilometres. Because the trail swapped back and forth we would get closer and then further away
again. The views were stunning and the heat intense. We probably walked about 20 minutes (can't remember exactly)
when the trail took a sharp right turn to traverse along a ridge. No switchbacks and worst of all directly away from the CP. At the right turn there was a outcrop of rocks which we climbed down to. Down below somewhere was the CP and
although it looked like it was possible to climb down at this point we considered it too risky. Also we had to push
on towards Joshua Tree National Park and fit a flight over the Grand Canyon in as well. So this is what we did;
headed back up and drove to the airport, had our flight and drove on to Joshua Tree to attempt
Having read up on this CP in the mean time I see that the Grandview Trail is the one to take. Had we know this
perhaps we would have carried on. Next time maybe.