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Cardenas Escalante Loop, AZ
mini location map2013-04-26
21 by photographer avatarHippy
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Cardenas Escalante Loop, AZ 
Cardenas Escalante Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 26 2013
Hiking7.02 Miles 3,649 AEG
Hiking7.02 Miles   7 Hrs   37 Mns   1.25 mph
3,649 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
 no routes
1st trip
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Another awesome hike with my favorite Uncle. Unbeknownst to him these two Buttes were on my "To-Do" List as #5 & #6 respectively...score!!

After a quick and tasty breakfast at El Tovar, we were on our way down Tanner....and oh how I hated that trail :lol:
I must've just been a grumpy Hippy because it's really a very fun trail!! The geology all around it is fascinating and full of history!! I'll have to give it another chance soon!

We hit a low saddle down between the two Buttes and the trail was lined with, what my mind conceived as, Hoodoos! It reminded me so much of the Supes I may have shed a tear.

Chumley and I took a quick break around there and eyed our destinations with a furious lust and we were off again at a quicker trot.
The scramble up to Cardenas was fun, took my breath away, quite literally. It was a rather easy climb, nothing too hard at all, but it was still very fun. There is only one spot where you cross a tiny little rock "bridge" which isn't really a bridge, I think Chums called it a "throat"? And the exposure to the west was worthy of a swoon or two but nothing to cry about. One more quick little scramble up the side and we reached the summit, there was a ridiculously HUGE cairn marking the top but nothing more. We made quick work of that, marking our prize with a summit log and a cartwheel. Done! Next...

The adorable little "butte" in between Cardenas and Escalante was a fun little scramble but miniscule in comparison to it's sister buttes. We named this Hippy Hill.

There is also a little ridge you have to trek down as you head toward Escalante, it consistently ends in little shelves that cliff out, causing you to backtrack.

We fell into a pattern, he'd trek to the end and cliff out while I'd find the right way down, then I'd trek to the end and cliff out was a fun little recess to the usual hiking rhythm!

One we hit the base of Escalante we looked up with childish grins, the white slabs that festooned this Butte were Coconino sandstone, soooo beautiful and such a contrast to the surrounding geology. (Namely the previous two buttes of the day)

The trail up was fairly obvious, well, I followed the game trails set down by big horn sheep tracks and made it up just fine. Then you start seeing the old boot prints of some other maniac. Follow the trail through a neat little cave, then you go around a big rock, an easy climb up the side of a LARGE boulder and BAM!

There you are...staring west into a beautiful oblivion, whereas the east beckons you with a similar sized boulder and a haphazardly created rock cairn, sweet we're here!! Where's this jump everyone mentioned....

:o :sweat: :scared:

The tiniest step across, no more than 3 feet but in your mind it's a mile leap across the canyon, one false move and you're falling what seems three hundred feet... :sk:

Chumley and I backed up to survey the jump and landing spot then we climbed down to "find an easier way" The large eastern boulder has squat for climbing on all sides....ugh, so I climbed around it's North face and chimneyed UP under the "jump". It was roughly a 20 foot climb for me with another 15-20 foot drop below the chockstone I started from. If you fell the 20 feet and survived you'd then slide a slope down that last 15-20 feet then come to a rest on the shelf it ends might live... :sk:

So I climbed up and relayed this information to Chumley then I sat down and stared at this three foot jump of's all mental now, physically it's perfectly possible you just have to get over that gut sinking feeling and DO IT.

1) I am ridiculously afraid of falling from heights. (says the girl who free solo'd 3/4 of Weavers Needle :lol: )
2) I didn't trust my "bad" ankle to push off or land said jump, even if it IS only 3 feet.

I sat back and watched as Uncle Chum told me to video his jump and....oh he's over there already :lol: I swear it's the EASIEST jump in the world watching someone else do it but when your turn comes...You stare at the ledge, you can literally lean forward and touch the other side, then push yourself back and get set to jump then... :sk:

I will gladly admit I could not do it, I am deathly afraid of falling from heights, oh was awesome! So I returned to my little niche on the west boulder and shivered my mind into nothingness and held down some vomit and once composed I snapped a few photos of Uncle Chumley throwing his victory Wendy on the other side. :worthy:

And then he remembered that he had to come back :sl: My favorite part.

Anyway, we then found a fun and exciting route down Escalante on the south side and there were quite a few fun little down climbs and LOTS of scree surfing. Overall, it's a lovely area to play around in, the rock formations make up the perfect playground!

We managed to haul ourselves back up Tanner in time to meet Squatpuke and Grampa Bob for munchies then SP loaded up in the truck, Grampa Bob jumped in the Suby and we were off like dirty shirts for some car camping at Pasture Wash.

Another grand adventure brought to you by HAZ's favorite Uncle and your friendly neighborhood Hippy... :A1:
Canyon Freak Adventures!
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