Years of exploring by Ahwatukee Foothills resident Todd Martin are all packed into a handy travel guide for people looking to experience the Grand Canyon in a unique way.
The book, “Grand Canyoneering — Exploring the Rugged Gorges and Secret Slots of the Grand Canyon,” recently won the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award in the Adventure Guidebook Category.
Canyoneering is a relatively young sport in the United States, Martin said. It’s basically exploring canyons but includes aspects of hiking, swimming, climbing and even rafting in the Grand Canyon.
Martin spent almost every other weekend and all of his vacation days for the past five years canyoneering in the Grand Canyon. His book, which contains more than 500 pages, describes 64 trips encompassing 117 canyons. There are route descriptions, needed equipment and any special considerations or possible obstacles listed.
“‘Grand Canyoneering’ is very unique,” Martin said. “It is the only canyoneering book available for the Grand Canyon. It’s really the only book that goes into detail about the Grand Canyon. I don’t think there have been many Grand Canyon books exploring the back country the way we did. Applying these other techniques really allow people to explore areas that have previously been inaccessible.”
Martin says he’s always enjoyed the outdoors. He hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia in 1994. In 1997 he moved to Arizona and fell in love with the desert. He started a website, www.toddshikingguide.com, as an online hiking guide. Once that website started to gain some popularity he decided to print his first book, “Arizona — Technical Canyoneering.”
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