Spending over a half hour staring across the Grand Canyon from Shoshone Point last weekend really had me pining for something in the Canyon all last week. I had my heart set on a summit, but with the warmer temps, my options were limited. I thought about the long, hard to pronounce H word one from South Bass, I thought about a Coronado repeat, or maybe even a sinking ship, however, nothing really piqued my interests. Then after reading a couple triplogs from the North Rim, the idea of Shiva popped into my head. The summit to Shiva had already been blazed by the usual suspects, so I sent out a PM to @Dave1
to gather some beta. I decided it was the summit for me and made the short drive up Friday night, for what would be my first trip to the North Rim by vehicle.
The morning went pretty smooth, as the few miles I hiked of Tiyo were pleasant and other than the fact that apparently I am incapable of walking a straight line, I was at what I would call the jumping off point (actually jumping off from here not recommended) for Shiva, after only a couple hours of hiking. The first part was a little slow going, as I made the traverse along the ridgeline via a series of brushy cattle trails to the point where you make the steep descent to Shiva's Saddle. I never thought I would be writing about cattle trails and a G.C. summit in the same breath!
From the saddle, I identified and then made the steep, loose climb up Shiva's predominant northwest ridge to the first traverse and class four climb. I could not find the climb at first and probably spent 15 minutes walking back and forth wondering how I could have missed it and where it was. Turns out, I simply did not backtrack far enough and am embarrassed to say I just simply missed the pretty well-cairned route. After finding the climb, I was back in my element and shot right up it, with only a few instance of losing the route and a couple of backtracks. After the climb and a little ridgeline hiking, it was on to the steep traverse and the final steep ascent up through a series of shelves in the kaibab. This is a nasty little traverse by the way and its compounded by deadfall, loose rock, loose soil and a steep slope. However, it does mark the final obstacle and after only a short time, I was finally staring at Shiva's jugs. I signed the register and then made a beeline to the south to check out some of the views, as suggested by @sbkelley
. Great views to the south, great views to the north and overall a cool little area up there, as Shiva's summit has the feel of a forested island in the middle of the desert.
From the summit, it was the same route back. There were a few instances where I had to double check the G.P.S to locate some of the down-climbs, but overall it went pretty smooth and I was naturally a little more efficient in my route selection. Once I hit the rim, I really took my time and just enjoyed the pleasant stroll through the pines back to the TH.
Although not the hardest summit in the canyon, this one was no gimmie. The route is rugged and it's the most "bushwhacking" I have done in my short canyon career. Likewise, the route really beat me up, as I came away dirty, scratched, thirsty and a little bruised. Speaking of thirsty, I consumed 5.5 liters of water, 28 ounces of Gatorade and a 12 oz Kickstart energy drink on this hike/climb! If doing this hike in the warmer months, caching water along the way is a must. I cached my water on Shiva's saddle, in order to insure I had something for the final climb up to the north rim. In regards to the North Rim, it was a great first trip for me. I loved the scenery, lack of people and smaller ranger presence. Probably not in terms of trails, but in terms of everything else, the North Rim may be the best the canyon has to offer in my opinion. I found the drive almost equally as impressive and stopped several times to take pictures along the section to Lee's Ferry. Another amazing summit in the canyon and a big thanks to @Dave1
for helping make it happen.