I'm getting ready to backpack in the Grand Canyon for five days, and here is the fear I am carrying:
|Look like a burglar, or be cold? You decide..|
It's not that I haven't camped in cold weather since, but a bad experience tends to stick with you. This is what makes you pack multiple toe tubes if you had debilitating blisters on one hike, even if you never got them again. Or buy several books for your Kindle if it broke during your last GC trip and you were left with a book you borrowed from your hiking buddy on how to be effective in the workplace for several 13 hour nights in the tent.
The current forecast for the Phantom Ranch area (we will camp above that on all of the nights but two) isn't too bad: high 40s for the day, low 30s for nights. This is a little bit warmer than last time. Still, I fear the cold. My duffel is stuffed with "maybes". There will be a Packing Palooza on the night of the 26th at the Maswik Lodge! Balaclava or hat? Both?! Mittens and gloves?! Or just mittens, which will quickly get too warm for hiking, but would be good at camp, while thin gloves are great for hiking? Heavy down jacket or light one? Fleece pants?! You can quickly fall down a well of indecision in winter.
We are sticking to the main corridors this time, South Kaibab--North Kaibab--Bright Angel. I know there are people who run this route in a few hours, but I have no interest in that. I need five days in the canyon, to breathe it in, to become peaceful after a really stressful season. No internet, no phone, just time. And a ton of warm clothes.