New York, Sep 12 (IANS) A 55-year-old Indian-American died while attempting to hike from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to the North Rim in a single day, according to a media report.
Ranjith Varma from Manassas, Virginia, was hiking with a group of about six others on September 9 when the incident occurred, the Arizona Daily Sun reported, citing Grand Canyon National Park spokesperson on Monday.
Varma had became unresponsive and members of the hiking group and bystanders initiated CPR, according to the report.
The Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received an emergency call at around 1.55 p.m. of a hiker in distress on the North Kaibab Trail.
Park spokesperson Joelle Baird said rescue personnel had to use specialised helicopter maneuvers to reach the terrain, which was steep and rocky.
Attempts to resuscitate Varma were unsuccessful and he was transported to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office in Flagstaff.
Although the precise cause of death is not yet known, Baird said it is likely that heat was a factor as temperatures on exposed parts of the trail can reach over 49 degrees Celsius in the shade during summers.
Park rangers advise against hiking in the in the inner canyon between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. during summers.
On the day of the incident, the temperatures within the inner canyon were over 37 degrees, the report said.
The incident was the third death of a hiker within Grand Canyon National Park this year.
In May, an Indiana woman died while attempting to hike the Bright Angle Trail from the rim to the river and back in a single day.
In July, a woman hiking in the remote Tuweep area also perished.
The Grand Canyon National Park averages between 15 and 20 deaths each year, Baird told Arizona Daily Sun.
“That’s everything from people experiencing medical cardiac arrest here on the rim to these types of incidents in the Inner Canyon,” she said.