- Fifty-five-year-old Ranjith Varma of Manassas, Virginia was with a group attempting to hike from the South Rim of the canyon to the north Rim in a single day.
A 55-year-old Indian American man has died while hiking in Grand Canyon National Park this past weekend. Ranjith Varma of Manassas, Virginia was found toward the end of the South Rim to North Rim trek, news reports said. The Hill noted that “a rim-to-rim hike ending on the North Kaibab Trail, where Varma was located, is at least 20 miles with an elevation change of about 5,700 feet.”
Park spokesperson Joelle Baird told the Arizona Daily Sun that Varma had been hiking with a group of about six others on Sept. 9 when the incident occurred. The group had been attempting to hike from the South Rim of the canyon to the canyon’s North Rim in a single day.
After news of Varma being in distress was conveyed to the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center, he became unresponsive and members of the hiking group and bystanders initiated CPR, news reports said. National Park Service (NPS) search and rescue personnel responded to the call via helicopter.
While it is unclear what Varma’s exact cause of death was, Baird told the Arizona Daily Sun that “the rigorous nature of the hike combined with the recent heatwaves makes it a dangerous time to attempt such an undertaking.” On the day of Varma’s hike, the temperature in the inner canyon was over 100F. The cause of his death is being conducted by the NPS in coordination with the Coconino County Medical Examiner.
(Top image, representative photo, courtesy National Park Foundation)