This is Ray’s second Xtreme Hike for the Cure in 2022. To read about his spring hike in the Appalachian Mountains, check out this recap.
A message from FiltersFast.com’s Founder & CEO, Ray Scardigno:
Wow! What an amazing weekend! It is very difficult to put into words the experience of the Xtreme Hike in the Grand Canyon! First and foremost is the fact that with a small group of only 25 hikers, we have raised close to $150,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation! Thank you all for donating to help find a cure for CF! There is still time to donate to this amazing cause, donate by clicking the button below.
The Xtreme Hike in the Grand Canyon starts at the CF office in Phoenix early on Saturday morning where we hop on the bus and take the very long drive to the North Rim. The North Rim is truly a magical place with views that simply cannot be beaten.
Once we arrived, we had dinner where we could take in the view and shared our connections to Cystic Fibrosis and the reason why we hike. The personal connections and stories of life with CF bring many tears and reaffirm why we do this crazy hike. I have been to many CF events over the years, but this one really hit home as there were many in our group who have lost brothers, sisters, children, and friends to CF. The funds that we have raised over the years have made amazing progress with new drugs like Trikafta that have done so much to improve the lives and lifespan of those with CF, but there is still a long way to go until we can say, CURE FOUND! After dinner, we all head to our rooms to get a couple hours of sleep before our 4 AM start of the hike.
The hike started in the dark and in very cool weather in the 40s with a brisk wind. I decided to skip any extra layers knowing the heat in the canyon would be brutal, so I started to move quickly to warm up. My primary focus on the first half of the hike was to get through the “box” before you get to Phantom Ranch prior to the sun heating up the area. The “box” is known to be dangerously brutal for its high heat due to the canyon walls being close into the trail and heating up to create oven-like conditions.
I only stopped once at Cottonwood campground to resupply my water at a water station and then got right back to full speed. Thankfully, I made it to Phantom Ranch just as the sun was hitting the area, so I was able to avoid the worst of the heat through the box. Once there I caught up with a couple of other Charlotte hikers that were also doing the Xtreme Hike and bribed a hiker with an uncrustable sandwich to take our picture. 14 miles were done and 10 were ahead of us.
The last ten miles are uphill with the final 4 being known as when the real hike begins. On the way up, you pass sights that are truly awe-inspiring like devil’s corkscrew. This area of switchbacks gains a lot of elevation quickly but is a beautiful site once you have climbed past and look back!
The views throughout the entire hike are truly beautiful and you never want them to end. As I continued on to Indian Gardens campground the heat was getting very difficult to deal with. I am not sure exactly the temperature that I was in, but hikers that came through a little later in the day have a picture at Phantom Ranch where the temperature hit 120!
After loading up on electrolytes and water, I started the most difficult part of the day where I worked up switchbacks thousands of feet on the canyon wall to get to the top of the South Rim. As my energy levels sank, I thought of those with CF that face challenges every day and push through to face them again the next day. This was all I needed to keep pushing without stopping or taking a break. I managed to reach the top of the South Rim in under 9 hours from when I started! That is where I stayed to celebrate with the other hikers as they came across the finish line as the day progressed. We all pushed through and raised money to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis!
Thank you again for your support of the Xtreme Hike and for helping to fund the science that will find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis!
The post A Message from Ray: 2022 Fall Grand Canyon Xtreme Hike for the Cure Recap appeared first on The Filtered Files – Filters Fast – Your #1 Resource for Air and Water Filtration Related Information.
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