Thanks for the reply trailrunner. I didn't really ask any specific questions because I'm sure most my questions will be answered as I read thru these forums. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

You asked which way - Trip details:
Day one Down brightAngel to Bright Angel campground. (I've been down as far as Indian Gardens on a day hike a few years ago). That was on September 11, 2001 - yes, it was *that* day....
Day two - Up North Kiabob to Cottonwood
Day three - Up North Kiabob to North Rim

To combat heat, we will take advantage of our internal body clocks being programed to the 3 hr time difference and start our days at 4am so we can do the bulk of our hiking with packs before the heat of the day. Also, being from southern Florida we are no strangers to heat (with humidity, and I realize how dry GC is, so that will make a difference but by May we will be training in 90+ temps with high humidity and "feels like" temp over 100). If we can be to camp by noon-ish we can pitch some shade and relax in the heat. I am not trying to dismiss the heat, but high temps are something I deal with for upwards of 6 months a year and trained in for the 60 mile walk last fall. I am well aware of the dangers of the heat and sun in GC and we are taking precautions to make sure none of us are victoms of heat stroke.

We just received our backcountry permit. I was hoping for the first week of June, but they gave us the 3 week of June... I wasn't real happy about that - but given we got permits on our first try, it will have to do. Taking two teen boys we had to work around school schedules, so we were limited to doing this during school breaks.

Pack Weight - I'm going to do my damdest to get the weight as low as possible. I'm going to train for 40lbs so I'm ready for anything. But I'm going to try for less. If we can get into the lodge for our final night then sleeping bags won't even be necessary, as the night temps in the canyon are going to be warm so fleece might be the only thing necessary. Although if we do end up camping at the north rim before catching the bus back to the south rim, then we would need something heavier.

We are contemplating just a Bivy and not tents - but that will depend on the weather. And as long as we can find water on the North Kiabob at regular intervals, that will save having to carry alot at one time. We are also on the list to get dinner at Phantom Ranch on Day one as well as Day two lunch from them. That is less food to carry for each of us.

Hiking poles are a definate MUST for all of us.

I'd love to find a way to train for the decline. The closest thing we might be able to do is find a public parking garage to practice hike in. Within the next month I plan to get all 6 of us doing some back to back training hikes on Sat and Sun, working around the boy's lacrosse games.

I fully admit to being a novice taking on a big challenge, but being up to the challenge. I'll be around here for a while, researching, learning and asking questions as they come up.