||Story||Photos / Slideshow||Maps: 1 2||GPX||Profile|
Grandview BM previously climbed Thu, Oct 13, 2022|
later climbed Sun, Oct 16, 2022
Our last day in the Grand Canyon had us visiting two additional summits found in Purcell's Rambles & Scrambles, accessed via a trail we had not used before. It would keep us busy for most of the day. Afterwards there was time for a few easy summits.
We had the trail to ourselves for the first hour, watching Cardenas Butte catch its first rays of sunshine, then Escalante Butte about 30min later. It took us an hour and a quarter to reach the saddle south of Escalante Butte. Tanner Canyon is to the east, the 75 Mile Creek drainage to the west. This is where we would leave the trail, and as we paused for a rest, a group of five fast hikers went by us on their way down to the river. They were the only folks we'd see on the trail all morning.
The climb up the Southeast Slopes of Escalante Butte is mostly class 2 with a few class 3 steps along the way, characterized by a lot of broken sandstone rocks of all sizes. The summit itself is hidden behind a false summit, coming into view as we traversed the SW side of the false point. The rock changes from reddish brown to white in the upper reaches. We found a short tunneling move, probably completely avoidable, and more class 3 before reaching the summit blocks that require consideration and caution. There is a short class 3-4 face with minimal exposure, followed by a step-across with a heart-stopping drop below it. Purcell calls this last move class 4, but it requires no more than a moderate step to get across. The trick, if you could call it that, is to use your momentum to keep going forward after making the step. Eric made the step after much hesitation, describing it as "terrifying" after joining me on the summit. It's a bit more awkward on the way back, so we used my length of webbing to give him a psychological handline for getting back off the summit block. There were two booklets placed in the same custom-made copper box that I'd found on Sinking Ship the previous day, the handiwork of Art Christiansen. One booklet dated to 2013, the other to 2017, both quite busy. Views are as good as one might expect from the Grand Canyon.
After carefully extracting ourselves from the summit block, we reversed much of the route, finding a few easier lines and optimizations. Cardenas Butte lies a mile to the northeast of Escalante Butte, and I figured the easiest way to get there would be to descend the drainage on the east side of Escalante to pick up the trail below. However, Eric wanted to skip Cardenas and would prefer not to descend the rest of Escalante by himself, so we returned together back to the saddle and trail on the southeast side of Escalante. While Eric took a break before starting the climb back up to the rim, I plied the trail downhill around the base of Escalante's East Ridge and then around to the south side of Cardenas Butte. Purcell describes the South Slopes as class 2-3, which I thought was fair. He then describes two class 4-5 moves in a dihedral just below the summit, but I didn't find this difficult at all (or perhaps found a different way?) and would have called it class 3-4. Barely an hour after leaving Eric, I had found my way to the summit where there was an identical copper box with the same two notepads as we had found on Escalante. It seems these two buttes are most popularly done together. I spent the next two and a half hours making my way back down to the trail and then back up to the South Rim and the TH at Lipan Point. Eric had thought I would catch up to him on the way out, but he would have had to have been very slow and take long breaks. As it was, Eric was back almost an hour before me.
This page last updated: Fri Apr 7 12:32:16 2023
For corrections or comments, please send feedback to: email@example.com