Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

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Dschur
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Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

Post by Dschur »

Landmark is a high-profile nod to trekker

On July 16, the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names voted to officially designate Butchart Butte in Grand Canyon National Park in honor of pioneering Grand Canyon explorer Harvey Butchart. The new name will appear on state maps made in Arizona, with federal approval to be determined in 2008.

According to Elias Butler, co-author of "Grand Obsession: Harvey Butchart and the Exploration of Grand Canyon," while Butchart did climb nearby Sigfried Pyre, he never scaled the butte that bears his name.

Dedicated Grand Canyon hiker and climber Jim Haggart submitted the proposal for Butchart Butte. Chosen for its rugged beauty, remote location and visibility from both the North and South Rims, Butchart Butte is a fitting tribute that will be seen by millions of visitors each year.


The butte is a 2,317-meter (7,601-foot) summit of Coconino Sandstone in Grand Canyon National Park, on the North Rim, midway between Cochise Butte and Siegfried Pyre, one kilometer (0.6 mi) SSE of Jeffords Point at 36°12'15"N, 111°53'48"W. Butchart Butte rises between Lava and Kwagunt Canyons and may be readily seen from the North Rim's Point Imperial and the South Rim's Desert View.

Nearly 150 such summits have been named in Grand Canyon NP. Few buttes have been named in recent decades, however. The last butte designated in the Canyon was Berry Butte, about 10 years ago.

Harvey Butchart's fame, as detailed in the Puma Press book "Grand Obsession: Harvey Butchart and the Exploration of Grand Canyon," came in part due to his extensive climbing in Grand Canyon.

Butchart holds the record for most first ascents in the park (28) and climbed 83 buttes total between the years 1957-1987. In addition, he covered 12,000 miles on foot below the rim and recorded his findings for the benefit of the public and the National Park Service with the publication of his backcountry guidebooks "Grand Canyon Treks I, II & III. "
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

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Cool!
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

Post by Canyonram »

Has anyone hit the summit of Butchart Butte? I don't think Butchart himself climbed this one??? Don't see any entry in the 'Summit' section on the Hike AZ website.
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

Post by KwaiChang »

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... opters.jpg

Looking at this image it seems like this would be relatively doable IF you were able to conquer Siegfried Pyre. At least thats my thought from this image. Heck no HAZers have done Siegfried so I would say Canyonram no one on this site has done Harvey's butte.

Here is a MUCH better shot by @BiFrost - [ photo ]

Really shows how remote that hike would be. Getting up Sieg would be a tall task!
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

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@KwaiChang
The only record that I could find of anyone summiting Siegfried Pyre was the legendary Bob Packard, who did it in 1971
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

Post by Canyonram »

DixieFlyer wrote:The only record that I could find of anyone hiking Siegfried Pyre was the legendary Bob Packard, who did it in 1971
I think Harvey Butchart climbed Siegfried Pyre (among the 83 in the Canyon). I'll have to do a search of his trip logs to refresh my memory. Butchart was a fanatic about being 'the first to do it' and get his name in the record books.
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

Post by Canyonram »

@KwaiChang

I figured that as soon as this location was named after Harvey, they'd be someone game to make the first ascent. That would be about the only way to 'top' Butchart on the list of ascents. Just as Lincoln never saw the Lincoln Memorial, Harvey never had the chance to climb Butchart Butte. LOL.
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

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One wonders how many "non-fanatics" there were. Humble people who climbed for their own satisfaction without any desire for accolades or recognition. Or how many who may have made ascents long before pioneer settlers arrived or records of such things were ever enshrined on paper.
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

Post by RedRoxx44 »

Given the talents of the cliff dwellers' and where they chose to build, if it was useful as a lookout or a potential astrological/ spiritual site I'll bet most have been scaled.
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

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@RedRoxx44

Good point. The Native Peoples have been in Grand Canyon for 20,000 years + (the age keeps going up). Our appreciation of the Canyon is Anglo-European centric when in reality it was home to Native Peoples for thousand of years. There used to be a NPS placard at Lipan Point showing the Spanish explorers lead by Hopi guides looking down into the Canyon. The Hopi were all drawn with a look of surprise on their faces---they must have walked past the Canyon all those thousands of years and didn't see it until the Spanish pointed it out to them. Of course, the Hopi sent the Spanish scouts on a impossible route to get to the River----even as they knew full well the route to the Salt mines and the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado. Best way to protect the location of the point of emergence of the Human Race. It worked---the Spanish ignored the Canyon for hundreds of years.
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

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chumley wrote:One wonders how many "non-fanatics" there were. Humble people who climbed for their own satisfaction without any desire for accolades or recognition. Or how many who may have made ascents long before pioneer settlers arrived or records of such things were ever enshrined on paper.
Not sure if any 'humble people' were out there in the past who were doing more than looking for food and shelter. The whole idea of strapping a bag of hiking/climbing gear on and heading off into extreme places is a pretty modern behavior. We sit in cubicles and talk on the phone for our income and go off into the Canyon and to the top of inaccessible peaks for fun. What used to be a necessary behavior has become our recreation and vacation. Even the necessary equipment for extreme climbs is a recent innovation:

https://scholarworks.uark.edu/cgi/viewc ... xt=meeguht

I've wandered around off-trail throughout the Canyon and without fail would come across evidence of human habitation from prayer circles to petroglyphs to century plant/agave roasting pits to shelters/granaries. In the past, the entire profile of the Canyon was used for food/shelter. The relatively new outhouse at 3 mile point on the Bright Angel was built on the site of an ancient agave roasting pit. Prickly pear cactus 'stands' on the way out to Plateau Point overlook from Indian Gardens are probably remnants of cultivated fields of cactus. As seasons changed, the different elevations of the Canyon's profile were in turn providing food. When you read Butchart's trip logs, he mentions seeing evidence of human habitation even as he is claiming credit for the first to make an ascent or visit a location within the Canyon. Butchart claims credit and, like Judge Judy says, if it ain't written down it doesn't exist as evidence.

If someone told the early Anglo-European miners that there was a hidden stash of Aztec and Inca gold and jewels from South America/Mexico stashed atop the now named Butchart Butte, I'm sure it would have been ascended. Even if they did it by free soloing. We'd know by the mining claims filed and the miner trash left behind.
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

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Canyonram wrote:I've wandered around off-trail throughout the Canyon and without fail would come across evidence of human habitation from prayer circles to petroglyphs to century plant/agave roasting pits to shelters/granaries.
In 2019 I was hiking the Escalante Route with some buddies and I took a few extra steps off trail at a wide spot on the Tonto Platform to investigate. Right where I stopped, down at my feet, lay a well-worn metate. It was situated for the best view in several miles of trail. I also found a good bit of pottery at many out the way spots further upstream, especially near the Confluence.
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

Post by Canyonram »

DixieFlyer wrote:The only record that I could find of anyone summiting Siegfried Pyre was the legendary Bob Packard, who did it in 1971
Butchart credits Donald Davis and a ‘friend called Babbs’ for the ascent of Siegfried (see page 17 0f 18; actual page 37 of the Journal). Not clear if this was the first ascent as Butchart describes searching out a route before Davis. Also, no mention of date for Davis and Babbs. He lists some other ascents and comments on climbing in the Canyon:

The Journal of Arizona History
Vol. 17, No. 1 (Spring 1976), pp. 21-38 (18 pages)

You might be able to read online if you can come up with a school and create a free account. This link may work:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/41859428?r ... b_contents
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

Post by mazatzal »

@Canyonram
In "Hiking the Grand Canyon" Annerino lists Siegfried Pyre "First Known Ascent" as "Babb & Davis, 6-7-70"
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

Post by Canyonram »

@chumley
chumley wrote:You seem like a pretty smart guy, albeit one who apparently doesn't understand why the material is behind a paywall and the subsequent legalities associated with copyrights.
I went directly to The Journal of Arizona History. The article in question is available there for free download as a PDF. JSTOR.org requires that you provide the name of a school or institution in order to log on and read the content. No paywall involved. I retrieved the article on behalf of those who do not have a connection to one of the JSTOR schools.

Here's the link to using JSTOR for research: https://guides.jstor.org/researchbasics
You seem like a pretty smart guy (with a quick trigger to criticize) who apparently doesn't understand that there is a lot of material that is not behind a paywall and is open access to those who know how to access it. Go ahead and read the Butchart article. If Big Brother comes after you, refer them to me. Harvey speculates (as you did earlier) that the Native Peoples in the Canyon may have climbed and explored for the fun of it---I still think it was for food/shelter. LOL.
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

Post by chumley »

@Canyonram
There is a big difference (legally) between research and republishing on the internet without permission. As a content creator myself, I think it's important to educate others that scholarship doesn't happen in a vacuum, and using it without supporting it doesn't help further the mission of research and education.
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

Post by Canyonram »

For those who are not connected to a school/institution and cannot access JSTOR but who want to read the 1976 Butchart article "Summits Below the Rim: Mountain Climbing in the Grand Canyon" you can go directly to the Journal of Arizona History and either read on line or download a PDF for your library:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/i40087985

Scroll down to the article.

Issues of the Journal of Arizona History from the 1960's to 2017 can be accessed for free view here: https://www.jstor.org/journal/jarizhist
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Re: Butte named for legendary Canyon hiker

Post by Canyonram »

chumley wrote:There is a big difference (legally) between research and republishing on the internet without permission. As a content creator myself, I think it's important to educate others that scholarship doesn't happen in a vacuum, and using it without supporting it doesn't help further the mission of research and education.
Looks like we lost a few posts between us. No matter. The article in question is available for FREE on the Journal of Arizona History archives.
"I shot a werewolf once. But by the time I went to retrieve it, it changed into my neighbor's dog." D. Schruete
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