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Photographer's Note

This is part two of my "Dangerous Hiking Series". As I watched this man scramble over rocks and boulders to get to the spot you see now, I thought to myself, is it really worth your life to get a good view or to get that perfect picture? My heart was pounding watching this guy scramble over what I thought was going to be his last steps, and his wife was egging him on so that she could get a good photo of him. As much as I like this photo, there is no way in hell I would go through what this man went through, I mean, just one miss step or a loose pebble would have sent this man to his death. So what I trying to say here is, HIKE SAFE, use your common sense, and if you don't have any common sense, take up another hobby!!

Below is some information on safely hiking the Grand Canyon I found from the following website: http://www.grand.canyon.national-park.com/safety.htm

Have a wonderful and safe Tuesday everyone........Buddy

Grand Canyon hiking is very different from most other backpacking experiences. You will be going downhill at the beginning of your trip when your pack is heaviest; this contributes to blisters and knee and ankle injuries. Even without injury, hikers often develop the "Kaibab Shuffle," an awkward gait that results from sore, inflamed muscles and tendons. Be prepared. Carry a first aid kit that includes materials for blister prevention and treatment, a supportive elastic wrap and, with your doctor's consent, prescription or over the counter medication to reduce inflammation and pain. Pack as light as is reasonable and consider using a hiking stick (cross-country ski poles work well for this purpose).

If you can talk while you are walking, you are walking the perfect speed.

When you huff and puff, your legs, your digestive system, your whole body does not get enough oxygen to function efficiently. Your energy reserves get used up very quickly with this type of metabolism (anaerobic - without enough oxygen), and it creates a lot of waste products. These waste products make your legs feel heavy and make you feel sick. Walking uphill at a pace that allows you to be able to walk and talk will help guarantee that your legs and your body are getting the oxygen that they need to function efficiently (aerobically - with enough oxygen). Because your body will generate fewer of these metabolic waste products, you will be better able to enjoy your hike, and you will feel much better when you reach its end. It may seem like you are walking too slow, but at an aerobic pace (sometimes baby sized steps when the trail is steep) your energy reserves will last many times longer, and you will get there feeling well.

While many hikers have experience in the mountains, the inner canyon is a desert. The hot, dry environment and the hiker's exertion combine to complicate the effects of fatigue. During the summer season when inner canyon temperatures routinely exceed 100 F / 40C, dehydration is common and can lead to heat exhaustion.

Early symptoms of heat exhaustion are minimal or no urination, loss of appetite, and loss of thirst. These symptoms can quickly progress to extreme fatigue, headache, fainting, nausea, and vomiting. While this condition is best prevented by resting, eating, and drinking during one's hike, a hiker can slowly recover by following this same advice once symptoms develop. Full recovery, however, can take days. It is not advisable to hike during mid-day heat. Always carry a flashlight so that hiking after dark is a reasonable alternative.

More serious illnesses associated with desert hiking are water intoxication and heat stroke. Water intoxication (hypernatremia) is an illness that mimics the early symptoms of heat exhaustion, except that urination is frequent, a higher volume than normal, and clear. If left untreated, advanced symptoms include behavioral changes, diarrhea, and unconsciousness; these symptoms often require hospitalization. Water intoxication can occur when a person drinks excessive amounts of water and eats very little or not at all, creating an electrolyte imbalance. To prevent and treat early stages of water intoxication, eat! Consider using one of the many electrolyte drink mixes, such as Gatorade to supplement your water supply.

Heat stroke is a life threatening emergency which can occur when a person hikes through the mid-day heat of an inner canyon summer without taking the time to rest and cool their body. Early symptoms include unusual or illogical behavior, elevated temperature, flushed appearance, and weak, rapid pulse. The condition can rapidly progress to unconsciousness, seizures, and death.

The heat stroke victim must be cooled immediately! Continuously pour water on victim's head and torso, fan to create an evaporative cooling effect, move victim to shade, and remove excessive clothing. The victim needs evacuation to a hospital. Someone should go for help while attempts to cool the victim continue.

It is far better to prevent this situation: avoid the mid-day sun and cool off in shade and inner canyon creeks.

NOTE: Due to extreme cold water temperatures and swift currents, DO NOT attempt to swim in the Colorado River.

Use your water supply to wet your hat and shirt during your hike. Avoid direct exposure of your head and torso to the sun.

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Additional Photos by Buddy Denmark (PecoBud) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 408 W: 0 N: 912] (3824)
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