Ultra Lame

South to North to South rim ultra runners tough out the chilly thunderstorms on the North Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon 5/14/2016. If only these guys could yield to uphill hikers, announce “on your left,” and not talk 10 decibels louder than anyone else in the park about their mileage stats or their jock itch, I wouldn’t want to gore them with my hiking poles.


Note I am not necessarily referring to these exact three men, but there was definitely a discouraging trend amongst the ultra runners. Since they are doing something so drastically more difficult than all the other park visitors, I think their hubris goes haywire. Same goes for long distance hikers like me though, it’s a constant battle against the ego.

HIKERS: YIELD TO UPHILL TRAFFIC. I’m surprised how many hikers aren’t aware of this common hiking etiquette. It’s an etiquette that might inconvenience you at times, but at other times it pays off. I’ve argued with many people, mostly ultra runners and mountain biker-types about this etiquette, and they have a really difficult time understanding it. But etiquette is etiquette: it’s there to tell us how to behave in certain situations, to make situations less awkward, and outcomes more reliable. If you know that you’re always supposed to make way for uphill traffic, and always do it, trust me you’ll make instant friends with people huffing and puffing their way uphill – they loathe to lose whatever momentum they can gather.