Photo Journal: Grand Canyon Village, Arizona - January 2019

Why would anyone get up at 4:30am to stumble to the edge of the Grand Canyon in the middle of Winter? Here are a few reasons. These images would have been impossible any other time of day AND without crampons (and cameras).  The canyon edge was thick with ice these mornings.  Perfect with inch-long ice spikes.  Maybe deadly without.

Not wearing spikes: the park's mule deer.  This one photographed inches from the canyon rim.

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Dark Bright Angel

Two hundred people per year are rescued on the Bright Angel Trail leading from the south rim's Grand Canyon Village nine miles to the Colorado River; mostly from dehydration, fatigue and heat exhaustion. The park service strongly discourages people from even attempting the round trip in the same day. Our favorite way to avoid heat sickness and twisted ankles: don't go.

Five million people visit the Grand Canyon annually and probably every one of them has shot this photo (near Yavapai Point) on their cellphones. Precious few were on hand this cold morning in March owing to inches-thick clear ice covering the trails of the rim trail. Crampons and Winter temperature would have helped make short work of the Bright Angel Trail hike but hot coffee and laziness prevailed and we stood still in the pre-dawn darkness on the canyon's edge waiting for the perfect light. And there it was...

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