92-Year-Old Man Becomes Oldest Person To Hike Across Entire Grand Canyon

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The Grand Canyon has a new senior championThe Grand Canyon has a new senior champion

Defining the Arizona landscape into a sprawling, jagged horizon, the Grand Canyon spans a little over 20 miles from rim to rim, contoured even further by jagged terrain. To traverse it is exhausting – even perilous – for any hiker, but 92-year-old Alfredo Aliaga Burdio just rewrote expectations by becoming the oldest person to hike the Grand Canyon from one end to the other.

This actually isn’t Alfredo’s first foray into the Grand Canyon, having hiked it “many times in my life.” But now, all his adventuring has paid off in getting him recognized by Guinness World Records for moving the goalpost in October 2023. He’d have achieved his feat a bit sooner had it not been for the many fans and supporters he passed along the way eager for a selfie!

92-year-old Alfred Aliaga Burdio becomes the oldest man to hike the Grand Canyon from end to end

Alfredo Aliaga Burdio is now the oldest person to hike the Grand Canyon rim to rimAlfredo Aliaga Burdio is now the oldest person to hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim
Alfredo Aliaga Burdio is now the oldest person to hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim / Wikimedia Commons

Guinness World Records announced on January 2 that Alfred had officially been written into the history books as the oldest person to hike the Grand Canyon. For his autumn excursion, Alfredo was joined by two witnesses who walked with him across over 20 miles in two days and 21 hours, all leading to Alfredo’s world record certification.

It was back in 2022 while hiking with his son – you guessed it, at the Grand Canyon – that Alfredo first thought to put his daring skill to the task of rewriting what people can expect of others in their nineties.

“I had read about the previous record holder, Mr. John Jepkema, whom I admired immensely,” shared Alfredo. “I knew that I was only a few months younger than Mr. Jepkema had been and thought that I had a great shot at setting a new record the following year.”

John Jepkema had been 91 when he made the trek in five days. He passed away this year at 94.

How legends are made

Hiking has long been a tradition of Alfredo’s for decades now, one that his daughter, Anabel, had a front-row seat to. “My dad would say, ‘Oh, how about if we do this?’” she recalled. “And she would say, ‘Yes, let’s go!’ She was always ready to take on the next adventure.”

Indeed, Alfredo and his wife Ingrid would hike well into their retirement until she got sick with ALS. At that point, Alfredo stayed at home to take care of her and be by her side through the difficult days. Only after her passing in 2006 did Alfredo take up traveling again, and even then he always retraced the paths he’d traveled with his late wife. This connection helped him to heal from his grief.

Alfredo has been hiking for yearsAlfredo has been hiking for years
Alfredo has been hiking for years / YouTube screenshot

Jump ahead to October 2023 and Alfredo found himself making arrangements for a historic hike. He initially planned on starting on the South Rim but was unable to find a hotel in the area, and so went to the North Rim instead. From that starting point, he had to contend with a 5,850-foot drop to the Colorado River, then a climb of some 4,000 feet to the opposite rim.

Alfredo has a son in the area, and so is planning on staying in a cabin in October 2024. But this latest hike was probably his last trek of such a scope, though he doesn’t rule anything out, simply saying, “But I have to see how I am doing then. I am getting older.”

Congratulations!

Alfredo says time will tell what his next move isAlfredo says time will tell what his next move is
Alfredo says time will tell what his next move is / YouTube screenshot



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