Virginia Man, 55, Dies While Attempting to Hike Grand Canyon from Rim to Rim in 1 Day

Ranjith Varma, 55, "became unresponsive” while on the North Kaibab Trail, according to the National Park Service

<p>RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images</p> The Grand Canyon

RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Grand Canyon

A Virginia man has died after attempting to hike from the South Rim to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in a single day, according to the National Park Service.

NPS search and rescue personnel responded to the scene on the North Kaibab Trail on Saturday after receiving an emergency call about “a hiker in distress,” according to a news release from the agency.

The hiker, identified as 55-year-old Ranjith Varma of Manassas, “became unresponsive” shortly after the call was placed, and “bystanders initiated CPR.”

Varma was midway through walking the inner canyon with six other people at the time, The Guardian reported.

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Crews reached the scene via helicopter, after which they attempted to resuscitate the hiker, according to the park service. However, they were ultimately unsuccessful.

Varma’s exact cause of death has not been released. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

"It definitely is a tragic circumstance," said Joelle Baird, a public affairs specialist for the NPS, per The Guardian. "No one comes to the Grand Canyon thinking something like this would occur to them."

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Park rangers "strongly advise" hikers to avoid the inner canyon between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the heat tends to be the worst, according to the NPS.

The hike spans 21 miles and can take between 12 and 15 hours to complete, the Associated Press reported.

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The temperature in the inner canyon reached 100 degrees the day of the hike, according to The Guardian.

At Grand Canyon Airport, which is about 20 minutes away from the South Rim, the high temperature on Sunday was 87 degrees, according to the AP.

Exposed portions of the trail can reach over 120 degrees in the shade during the summer months, the park service said.

It is not immediately clear if his death was related to the heat, per the AP.

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"Be aware that efforts to assist hikers may be delayed during the summer months due to limited staff, the number of rescue calls, employee safety requirements, and limited helicopter flying capability during periods of extreme heat or inclement weather," the park service said in a statement.

Hikers are also “strongly encouraged” to remain up-to-date on hiking tips and current information on inner canyon conditions.

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