South Kaibab's O'Neill Butte

Where: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
When: November 2007
Partners: DB
Route: North Face (5.4)

DB's mother and daughter were joining us for a long weekend around the Grand Canyon and Sedona, but opted to play tourist while DB and I climbed O'Neill Butte.

Cold and a little windy, but beautiful climbing. We encountered 3 or 4 short pitches of 4th and easy 5th class climbing via a meandering north face route. Starting with 4th class slab, we traversed right to a short dihedral, immediately followed by a very tight squeeze chimney. From there, we got into a tunnel, chimneyed-up, then traversed right around a funky ledge with big exposure. Last, a final easy walk/scramble to the summit.

Awesome views and a very rewarding, albeit short, route.

The route is rated class 4 in Tomasi’s book. But I’d call it 5.4 because of the dihedral.