January 28, 2011
I went down the Grandview Trail this afternoon to do a Grand Canyon summit, but it was not the one I intended!
The goal for the day was to do Berry Butte, which is sort of a small mesa in the Supai – out and away from the Grandview Trail to the northwest.
There’s a couple of ways to get to it. One of them leads down a chute in the Coconino to the west, which is ultimately the top of a fault that runs all the way into an upper east arm of Grapevine Creek. The other approach is via the Redwall rim from Grandview.
So I went down the Coconino chute, just as I had done recently to access a nearby, unnamed summit that we like to call Proposal Peak. But without any beta for Berry Butte, I made a critical blunder in beginning my contour to the north way too soon.
the Coconino chute
I contoured along the base of the Coconino, all the way out to where I was geographically near to Berry Butte. I thought from here I’d be able to scramble down through the Supai to access the prominent gray saddle on the south side of the butte, but that wasn’t to be the case. I was cliffed out!
I spent a lot of time going back and forth, looking for a safe way down a short (but formidable) wall in the Supai that simply refused to let me through it. It was here that I realized that the best way to approach Berry Butte would have been to stay in the fault below the Coconino chute all the way down the Redwall rim, and to contour from there.
I was running out of daylight (and willpower) by the time I quit trying to find my way down the Supai ledges. So I gave up on Berry Butte for the day, and instead decided to do a repeat tag of Proposal Peak as a consolation prize before heading back up to Grandview Point.
the ridge on Proposal Peak
viewing Horseshoe Mesa from the summit
back in the chute