Putting the Kibosh on Kaibab Risks


Dawn had hardly broken and two hikers had broken their wrists on icy South Kaibab Trail at Grand Canyon NP. At the same time, the one-time parking lot SCA’s Alternative Spring Break team was to reveg was still covered in snow, so: activate Plan B. The crew would remove some 18″ of ice and snow from the popular South Rim trail — but not until the afternoon.

The crew started their first full day in the park with an orientation. Restoration Biologist and SCA alumna Kassy Theobald briefed the 29 volunteers on the invasive threat and efforts to salvage and propagate native species at Grand Canyon.

SCA alumna Kassy Theobald (right) addresses the ASB team

SCA intern Emily Douglas, a rare plant specialist, then lead the team on a tour of the park’s greenhouses, and from there it was on to the South Kaibab Trail head.  In a previous post, I mentioned my own harrowing experience with this icy route; if only I’d waited.

SCA crew removes ice and snow from Kaibab Trail

Hikers who’d descended while uttering prayers to their Maker effusively thanked the SCA volunteers for making their return trek safer.  Those who only began their explorations in the afternoon had no idea what they’d been spared.  Other ASBers removed graffiti (what are these inscribers thinking?) from nearby overlooks.  See the latest pix at http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-sca.

Also, the Phoenix NBC affiliate broadcast a nice report.