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Grand Canyon Trekkers Nominated as National Geographic Adventurers of the Year

Pete McBride

Fewer than three dozen people have ever hiked the entire 800-mile length of the Grand Canyon. Two journalists on assignment for National Geographic completed the journey last month and have now been nominated as the magazine’s 2017 Adventurers of the Year. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

Writer Kevin Fedarko and photographer Pete McBride began the trek in the fall of 2015. They spent more than 70 days hiking below the rim of the Grand Canyon.

Fedarko, who lives in Flagstaff, says it was the most physically challenging feat of his life. The pair took it on because they wanted to bring attention to proposed development projects surrounding the Grand Canyon. 

Credit Pete McBride
Fedarko and McBride hike from South Bass Trail around the Great Thumb Mesa on the esplanade, with a route through Olo and Matkatamiba Canyons, and end in Havasu.

"When you spend time in it you begin to understand how vulnerable it is.  The crown jewel of the national park system stands poised on a really, really disturbing precipice," says Fedarko.

Credit Pete McBride
Aerial view of the Colorado River above Marble Canyon

Fedarko’s article appeared in the September issue of National Geographic. There are 10 nominees for the 2017 Adventurers of the Year. The winner will be announced in January.

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