Virginia man dies while attempting Grand Canyon rim-to-rim hike
Officials at Grand Canyon National Park say a Virginia man died Saturday while hiking in the backcountry.
According to the park, 55-year-old Ranjith Varma of Manassas, Virginia was attempting to hike from the South Rim to the North Rim in one day when he became unresponsive on the North Kaibab Trail about a mile south of Cottonwood Campground.
Bystanders began CPR and called search and rescue personnel who responded via helicopter, which had to perform specialized maneuvers.
Their attempts to resuscitate Varma weren’t successful, however.
Officials say temperatures on the canyon’s inner trails can reach 120 degrees during the summer and they urge people not to hike during the heat of the day.
Assistance can also be delayed because of limited staff, the number of rescue calls, employee safety and curtailed helicopter capability during extreme heat or inclement weather.
The National Park Service and Coconino County Medical Examiner are conducting an investigation.
It’s the second potentially heat-related death this year in the Grand Canyon. In July a 57-year-old woman died while attempting to an eight-mile hike in the remote Tuweep area of the park.