A Virginia hiker collapsed and died Saturday while trying to hike more than 20 miles in a day at the Grand Canyon, officials said.
Emergency crews received a call about a hiker in distress on the North Kaibab Trail around 2 p.m. while trying to travel from the South Rim to the North Rim in the Arizona portion of the vast national park. , 55-year-old Ranjith Varma died soon after.
After receiving an emergency call, Varma, Manassas, became unresponsive about a mile south of Cottonwood Campground and bystanders began administering CPR, the National Park Service said in a news release. technique.
The agency said rescuers arrived in Varma by helicopter, requiring specialized drills so rangers could provide advance life support.
“Attempts to resuscitate the hiker were unsuccessful,” the NPS said.
He died near the North Rim, where he hoped to end his hike.
The Rim-to-Rim hike is a strenuous hike, 24 miles one way.
“There’s no question that a rim-to-rim hike in Grand Canyon National Park is a classic bucket-list adventure,” advises the National Park Foundation. “But it’s not a walk in the park, that’s for sure.”
Varma’s cause of death has not been released, but the park service warns that temperatures in the shade on exposed portions of the trail can reach more than 120 degrees in the summer.
Temperatures at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport, a 25-minute drive from the South Rim, did not reach 90 degrees on Saturday.
“Park rangers strongly advise against hiking in the Inner Canyon during the hot weather between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.,” the NPS said.
“Please note that efforts to assist hikers may be delayed during the summer due to limited personnel, volume of rescue calls, employee safety requirements, and limited helicopter flight capabilities during extreme heat or severe weather.”
The investigation into the death is ongoing with the help of the Coconino County Medical Examiner.
Other deaths at the Grand Canyon this summer include a 33-year-old tourist who fell to his death from 4,000 feet in June and a 57-year-old woman who died during a 100-degree heat wave in early July.