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Hello Isis, AZ
mini location map2013-05-01
19 by photographer avatarJuanJaimeiii
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Hello Isis, AZ 
Hello Isis, AZ
Hiking avatar May 01 2013
Hiking31.42 Miles 11,000 AEG
Hiking31.42 Miles   19 Hrs      1.75 mph
11,000 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Ahh the allure of something beautiful and out of your league. Something so intriguing that it never leaves your mind from the moment you see it. Something you know will change your life forever if you get the chance to have it, even if only for a moment.

For me that something is Isis.

From the first time I did Cheops with Bob, Dave, and Joe Isis grabbed me and has never let go. Then recently when Joe and I did Cheops Plateau and Pyramid, Isis was there again teasing me and pulling at me.

Joe and I started talking about it and over the last few weeks and have been working out the details of an approach. We had hoped to summit but knew that very few before us had been to the top. Most that do make it did it as a technical climb. However it has been done without rope and gear. With that in mind our hopes were high and expectations were low.

We started out early and left Phoenix, and went up to the Canyon. We gained our permit and headed out. Phantom Creek was nice and the water was fresh and cold. Actually this would make a great day hike by itself. At the moment there is a fantastic swimming hole in the narrows.

Then came Hippie Camp where we turned and headed up to our first and second climb. These are both class four climbs and require caution and careful footing. Joe really impressed me here. Sometimes he gets a little itchy in these situations but midway up the first climb I heard him blurt out "that was exhilarating"! He was doing great and we were well on our way. Once up top we headed over to Shiva/Isis Saddle. The day was drawing to and end and we scouted out a good place to crash for the night. It was chilly and the wind was blowing. Joe had his Tyvek makeshift bedding roll and I had my 16 dollar mylar emergency bivvy. The plan was to have just enough and to be able to travel quick and light. We didn't account for the continuous wind and cold front. I felt like I was going to freeze to death and maybe got a half hour of sleep. All I wanted was for the night to be done and for the sun to come up.

In the morning around 5 Joe said it was getting light out. I had the bivvy pulled up over my head and could barely feel my feet. I wasn't sure how I was going to get out and change socks. I wrestled around for about 40 minutes and finally came out of my tube. We started looking for a break in the first cliff band. The top towered above us with its allure. We kept going making our way around the eastern side. There were no footprints or signs of any previous travel. Then I found a spot that would also be a class four scramble. I went two thirds of the way up. I asked Joe if he could see a way through the next level anywhere. He couldn't. I started to think that this wouldn't be a good place to go up if by chance I was going to get stuck on that next tier. I came back down and we continued on. The travel was slow as we were really examining the structure and looking for an opening. Eventually we decided that we had better turn back and collect more information before making another attempt. Any wrong turns or mistakes could cost the day.

Isis is like a giant puzzle to figure out. A layer cake with only one way through each layer but they aren't in succession. Even if you had the exact code to crack this beauty it would take the better part of a day to reach the top and return to the base. We were disappointed but didn't feel the day was a loss or a waste.

On the way down Joe once again impressed me. He was actually talking about exiting via the north rim the day before to avoid the down climb into outlet canyon. This day however he said he would give it a shot and he did fantastic! Some fears were spoken but his body language said nothing of the sort. He managed it as if he had been climbing rock walls his whole life.

Heading through Utah Flats was hot but manageable. My knee was giving me trouble so I stopped at Phantom Ranch to see if I could get some Ibuprofen. I was already riding a nice stream but didn't have anymore and was anticipating the climb out via South Kaibab.

It was here that a park person shed some light on our journey. He had seen us heading in the day before. Some information was provided that will help us on our return visit. He also gave me his e-mail address and said to hit him up for a hike the next time we were passing through.

Armed with this information Joe and I headed out and started planning our next attempt.

Amazing things in life never seem to come easy nor do they come without a price.

It is also amazing what one will do when they desire something so much.

To be continued....
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