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  1. #1
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    Default Into the Grand Canyon

    Found this documentary on Disney+ this weekend... not really a true "trail", but the documentary covers two guys trying to hike the length of Grand Canyon National Park. From the looks of things, they hike the north side, sometimes at river level, and other times having to climb more than 3,000'. Pretty much the entire trip is 'off trail', and at times takes them to some truly dangerously exposed walks along, along with side canyons that requires repelling gear.

    While there are a few political commentaries along the way (such as the controversial Grand Canyon Tramway/Escalade, which at the time of filming had not yet been voted down by the Navajo), there's much more "thru-hiking" like stuff in the documentary. They even compare the trip to trying to thru hike the AT or PCT (the distance they hike is only about 1/3 the length of these popular thru trails, but make up for it in the difficulties faced).

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    This isn't exactly a new idea. The late great backpacking writer Colin Fletcher did it back in 1963 and wrote about it in The Man Who Walked Through Time. He did some things that make what more modern Grand Canyon thru-hikers do look mild in comparison, like multiple fords/swims of the Colorado using only an air mattress for flotation. I grew up as a teenage backpacker in the 70s reading The Complete Walker, which has inspired me ever since.
    Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
    Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

  3. #3
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    They also don't do it as a thru-hike. They do it as a section hike.

    It seems like they start their story with an attempt to thru-hike it that quickly fails.

    For their 2nd attempt, they break it into 4 section hikes to do thru the year. But I don't recall if they ever indicate they decided to do it in sections to make it easier to accomplish, or if it wasn't a coincidence they broke it into 4 sections and decided to do one section for each season (their section map shows they planned to hike the 1st leg in the fall, 2nd leg in winter, the 3rd in spring, and the 4th in summer).

  4. #4

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    Not a documentary at all; a "hit" piece by leftist preservationists. Against tourism, against mining, pretty much against America.

    Not about hiking... It's about an agenda.

    FWIW the National Parks are already well protected, as they should be. Just try dropping a banana peel along the Bright Angel Trail, if you want' to know what a felony is...

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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    Not a documentary at all; a "hit" piece by leftist preservationists. Against tourism, against mining, pretty much against America.

    Not about hiking... It's about an agenda.

    FWIW the National Parks are already well protected, as they should be. Just try dropping a banana peel along the Bright Angel Trail, if you want' to know what a felony is...
    It's a National Geographic documentary... so yeah, you're going to get some preservationists propaganda. But the only subject matters I recall them spending any time on were:
    1. The proposed Tram on Navajo land (right against National Park Service Land).
    3. Tourism... specifically the helicopter tours.
    2. Uranium mines (including and existing mine near by that and old mines that have left a few water sources in GCNP unsuitable to drink)

    But that's about it... perhaps 20 minutes of an 80 minute documentary is devoted to these subjects...

    And even then, these are generally subjects most hikers would be directly opposed to anyway...
    Can't think of any hiker that wants MORE noise from helicopters (be it Grand Canyon, Great Smokey Mountains, or any national park).
    Most back country hikers aren't going to be interested in national park views being cluttered with new tourism structures.
    And while most of the commentary on uranium mines potentially polluting ground water for near-by native's land doesn't directly affect Grand Canyon hikers.
    But even that subject does directly affect some Grand Canyon hikers as there are a few creeks in GCNP that have warning signs not to drink the water from certain creeks because they are tainted from old up-stream uranium mines.

    If I had any complaint about the documentary, it would be that it seemed to be more about THEM rather than the canyon or the hike itself... things such as their past documentary work that had no direct link to this story, or the troubles they encountered, some of which was just whining at some of the difficulties faced by anyone doing a back country hike.

    But over all, I considered it worth watching.

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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    ...FWIW the National Parks are already well protected, as they should be...
    There have always been those seeking to exploit NP resources and economically "develop" them, the wheel of so called progress. Those threats may never be greater PARTICULARLY UNDER THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION! This is also an obvious agenda.

    NPS budgets are so highly strained it impacts the quality of NP's. The NPS budget is NOT a Federal priority. Disagree? Look around NPS sites. Not the concession stands, housing, and other economically developed areas, but the untouched/lightly touched by man areas. The natural environment areas are being encroached upon and continually face harder and harder pressures from the "developers."

  8. #8

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    Thanks for your opinion, Dogwood. Just an opinion... with no real evidence IMO. Parks are protected by Federal Law.

    Why don't you tell us about global warming now?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    ... with no real evidence IMO. Parks are protected by Federal Law.
    https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/03-11-...t-proposal.htm

    https://www.nationalparkstraveler.or...ior-14-percent

    https://www.npca.org/advocacy/21-sup...l-park-funding

    https://therevelator.org/budget-crunch-national-parks/

    https://www.outsideonline.com/239192...national-parks

    The NPS is accountable to the Federal Gov't. Is the NPS being deceptive when it says it has that large of a backlog? Why do you suppose that significant of a backlog has been accumulating? Are these watchdog conservation groups being deceptive...or respectfully, perhaps is it more accurate some of us need to do more brief research on the history of the NPS budget? Are you going to ignore doing any research with rote opinions?

    Consider the significantly historically increased amount of sites and acres the NPS oversees and the increasing NPS visitation. Now, consider if the NPS budget has paralleled this growth to meet the demand in infrastructure maintenance, construction, and staffing?

    It's mining, logging, fossil fuel exploration and extraction, water rights, the admin prioritizes as has other administrations. The administration has openly said this and ran on this platform... and backed it up with cabinet positions and slashing budgets of groups like the EPA! Maybe you're aware the current admin and the U.S. culture in general has fostered a deeper connection to the economy/economic development - MONEY than to the natural environment.


    Where do you suspect this connection's consequences are headed?
    Last edited by Dogwood; 01-08-2020 at 22:14.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    FWIW the National Parks are already well protected, as they should be. Just try dropping a banana peel along the Bright Angel Trail, if you want' to know what a felony is...
    Have you actually spent any time in our national parks?
    Sure, a few extremely popular spots are protected. But that's the exception, not the rule.
    While our national parks have laws to protect them, with little to no budget to enforce these laws, they are often meaningless.
    I've hiked about 2,000 miles in the GSMNP back country over 20 years. In that time, I've encountered rangers in the back country about 3 times, and trail runners about 3 times. Yet I routinely witness people breaking these laws making our "protections" meaningless.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/03-11-...t-proposal.htm

    https://www.nationalparkstraveler.or...ior-14-percent

    https://www.npca.org/advocacy/21-sup...l-park-funding

    https://therevelator.org/budget-crunch-national-parks/

    https://www.outsideonline.com/239192...national-parks

    The NPS is accountable to the Federal Gov't. Is the NPS being deceptive? Are these watchdog conservation groups being deceptive...or respectfully, perhaps is it more accurate some of us need to do more brief research on the history of the NPS budget? Are you going to ignore doing any research with rote opinions?

    Consider the significantly historically increased amount of sites and acres the NPS oversees and the increasing NPS visitation. Now, consider if the NPS budget has paralleled this growth to meet the demand in infrastructure maintenance, construction, and staffing?

    It's mining, logging, fossil fuel exploration and extraction, water rights, the admin prioritizes as has other administrations. The administration has openly said this and ran on this platform... and backed it up with cabinet positions and slashing budgets of groups like the EPA! Maybe you've aware the current admin and the U.S. culture in general has fostered a deeper connection to the economy/economic development - MONEY than to the natural environment.
    Well said!


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Found this documentary on Disney+ this weekend... not really a true "trail", but the documentary covers two guys trying to hike the length of Grand Canyon National Park. From the looks of things, they hike the north side, sometimes at river level, and other times having to climb more than 3,000'. Pretty much the entire trip is 'off trail', and at times takes them to some truly dangerously exposed walks along, along with side canyons that requires repelling gear.

    While there are a few political commentaries along the way (such as the controversial Grand Canyon Tramway/Escalade, which at the time of filming had not yet been voted down by the Navajo), there's much more "thru-hiking" like stuff in the documentary. They even compare the trip to trying to thru hike the AT or PCT (the distance they hike is only about 1/3 the length of these popular thru trails, but make up for it in the difficulties faced).
    Thx for sharing, just watched it. Really enjoyed it....


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