June 19, 2010 (and April 27, 2010)
I set out with Jed Dryer on this summer morning in late June to climb Coronado Butte.
We worked for the concessionaire at the South Rim at the time, so it was easy to make a quick plan to travel out to the New Hance Trailhead.
Coronado Butte foiled me a couple times in the past. First I set out in the dead of winter to try it with my friend Donnie, but it was clear that day before even getting to the rim that there was too much snow.
Then more recently (relative to the time of this hike) in April of this same year (2010) I went out solo to give it a try. Jed and I had climbed The Sinking Ship that morning. He had to return to the village to work that afternoon, but I had the full day free and thought I’d go check out Coronado Butte.
I got out to the east side of the butte and sized up the appropriate ravines. Vague memory of the beta served that the 3rd ravine would be the key to begin. I went partway up but didn’t like the the look of it, or of any of the ravines that day.
I didn’t know that the real trick was to go only part way up the ravine to access a thin and unlikely shelf that works a contour to a place where one can continue up the butte.
Photos from the 1st Attempt
The Successful Climb
Jed had been up Coronado once before, solo. He was still a very daring climber at the time, and told of going directly up the south face. I should not even mention that here, because he said he’d never do it again (even back then) and had some serious trouble. I think he descended via the more common route we took today.
Yep that south face sure looks… uh… interesting.
The rock eroded in such a way along the base of the east cliffs that we got this fun photo.
I didn’t take any pictures on the way up to the summit, though I did get a few on the return trip. We went up the 1st or 2nd gully, I believe, and then contoured to the next gully, where we proceeded up some blocky Kaibab shelves interspersed with steep slopes that yielded the summit.
Some of Jed’s pictures are here too. All of the shots depicting me are by him, of course – some with my camera, some from his.
summit cairn & register
We could see Humphreys Peak from the top, though I failed to get a shot of it.
There was a block with safe landing area below it, where Jed thought it would be fun to get some images that made it look like we was flying off into the abyss. So we made it happen.
Jed grabbed some pictures of me descending the Kaibab blocks on the return.
And there’s Jed (in the shade, above) following the narrow ledge contour between ravines.
And so we returned to the New Hance Trail, and up to the Rim.