>"Zion has it's fair share of ups and downs (but not nearly as brutal as say the Grand Canyon), my wild guess is when you average the runnable sections and the walking sections- it will be in 3.5-4 mph range"
Mike/Wyatt/Agent K: I only did 28 miles of the R2R2R (I should have HYOH'ed and not run any of it), but have done a lot of hiking in GCNP. By the numbers, a Zion traverse looks to have about as much vertical (10,000 gain, 10,000 loss) as a R2R2R (11,000 gain, 11,000 loss) spread over a slightly longer distance (48 miles OW versus 42 miles RT). So what do you mean by "not nearly as brutal"? It looks like more varied slopes, but almost as much vertical and 14% more horizontal than R2R2R.
I have a theory that Half Dome is consistently easier than South Rim-River-South Rim despite HD being longer horizontal and at a higher elevation because HD is more varied. I find GCNP harder on my legs because I'm taking the same damn step up the same damn slope the whole way up (and down). I feel less sore after hiking a variety of terrain. Your thoughts?
Anyway, it would be great to see you guys again, have a training goal through the long, Alaskan winter, and see some pretty country in April. I'd do it hiking-only which means starting 4 hours earlier or ending 4 hours later, which is fine with me. My only hesitation is a planned family trip to Italy the second half of March, so it's a tougher sales job to propose, "And 4 days after we get back, and you're getting slammed at the office, I'll pop off to Zion." I'll be looking for the right time to ask.