for free!
show related photosets
O'Neill Butte
5 Photosets

mini location map2013-08-13
13 by photographer avatarHippy
photographer avatar
O'Neill ButteNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 13 2013
Hiking3.50 Miles 1,760 AEG
Hiking3.50 Miles
1,760 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Joe from El Tovar wanted to climb O'Neill Butte without ropes. of course I was interested!

We bolted down SK at 5pm got to O'Neill saddle about 35 minutes later.
I stared at the butte and for a split second wondered if this was doable without ropes...

Joe followed a well traveled "trail" from the saddle straight north toward the southern most tip of the butte.
We clambered up a few boulders to reach a higher layer then contoured along the west side along the base of the butte.

The trail is well worn, no cairns needed.

Once we reached the northern most tip we swung around to the east side to our first upclimb.
This first one is slippery soft at the bottom you really have to muscle up it but once we pass that first soft spot its easy going, lots of hand holds. Maybe a 7 foot sloping climb. Cake!

From there we had another small scramble and we were on the same level as the Sun Rock which faces the NW and has stunning views of the canyon and SK Trail.

We went back the way we came and met our next climb, I think Joe said this was ten feet or so. plenty of holds just shoot right up it. Once up this one we were directly below the "squeeze chimney"

The Squeeze consists of 3 large boulders pressed together creating a triangular pocket... slip yourself into this from the bottom and use your knees and entire body to get up in it entirely.
I was a tad bit too short, I had yo accept a hand to stand on but once my knees were up it was smooth sailing. Chimney right up, it widens at the top.

Once out I faced south and saw the chocktones, two decent sized bad boys leaning slight toward me. We had to climb up from under them just barely then up and over. Not so hard at all again tons of holds, but always test the boulders before trusting them with all your weight!!

After the chock stones we found ourselves in a little hallway type chimney, wide enough for one person to stand, long enough for maybe 6 people shoulder to shoulder, tall, open aired, at least 20 feet to the top boulder above our heads but we only had to chimney up about 8 feet to a flat spot. Here we had to swing around toward a pothole in that rock and scramble up...
The pothole is backed up by....nothing, beyond that boulder is nothing but 70+ drop off the butte.
Joe warned me this was scary but it really wasn't to me, I tossed my pack around to Joe and used rock holds to make my way safely over, there's also intense bouldering options right in this area.

After the pothole we were up and over a few tiny steps walked to another tiny scramble after passing a tree with carabiniers and cordelette attached to it...and we were up.

Pretty much a flat summit, no summit log, I'll be taking a ranger friend up to place one next week.

Neat Surf Rock formation, I know a few HAZzers who might enjoy that :)

Heading down was just as easy and fun for me.
I should point out that I enjoy an adrenaline rush...this trip might scare the poo out of some people, especially the slippery rock, the squeeze and the pothole. Don't attempt this alone it IS dangerous and its best to have a buddy to spot you in most places.

But all that aside I'm happy to say its doable without ropes. And the views are stunning as usual.

**my photoset is all out of order right now and I can't reorder them on my cell! But the pics should still give you a good idea of what to expect**
Canyon Freak Adventures!
HAZ Member
194 Photosets

1 ... 3,  4,  5,  6,  7,  8,  9,  10  

end of page marker