We had three objectives on this trip to climb Isis Temple, Cheops Plateau, and camp on Utah Flats. Four in our group Joel and Belinda Norby and lead climber Nick to round out the crew.
Day 1 - Early start from South Kaibab TH over to Utah Flats route. Fun route past Piano Alley and down into Phantom Canyon were we took a break enjoying the creek. From there we headed up canyon to Hippy Camp which is at the base of Isis route and Shiva Redwall and also reliable water so we camped here two nights.
Day 2 - We woke at 5 am for early start on Isis. Hiking by 6 at first light we progressed up the steep approach reaching the base of Shiva Redwall. Our lead climber Nick placed hand line and we made it through the redwall in about 20 minutes. The rest was straight forward with some easier climbing. Once on top of the redwall it's a fairly easy traverse over to Isis Saddle.
Out of Isis Saddle we climbed to the Northwest bay for the 5.8 climb which is the most difficult of the set. Nick climbed setting protection along the way. Eventually we all made it up while we scoped out the next climb. The next series of climbs through the Supai layer we used combination of hand lines or rope up which are either class 4 and possibly easier 5 in spots. Very cool section but a lot of time setting ropes and navigating the obstacles.
Eventually made the top of Supai layer and good flat area although not for long. At this point we had good look of North face of Isis. Steep climb up north side Isis to the base of the Coconino. Then we traversed around the east side across some nasty Hermit shale...very loose and steep. This traverse took us to the south side and now looking up the 4th class Coconino section. We placed a hand line and made it up quickly. Then it's less than 2 tenths to the summit across the Coconino slope of loose slabs. Finally summit just before 1pm Spent a good 30 minutes on the summit with a fine summit brew and the climbing crew. Fortunately the weather couldn't have been more ideal for this summit. On a negative note we forgot a pen or pencil which had been mentioned in previous trip logs that the register didn't have one....so guess we will just have to go back.
Awesome summit and many thanks to our lead climber Nick! After enjoying the moment we packed up for the long hike back. It was slightly faster and a lot of fun going back with rappelling instead of climbing. Despite that we got back a little after dark to camp.
Day 3 - Hiked back down Phantom Canyon to the Utah Flats route where we tanked up on water. Out of Phantom Canyon we took the route over to the start point for Cheops Plateau and dropped packs. Grabbed our day packs and headed for the north side route across some steep scree slopes to the base of the redwall climb. Joel and Belinda had already done Cheops so we knew what to expect but the route is pretty straight forward. Exposure as advertised and nice some nice gusty wind to make it interesting on the more exposed sections. Once on top we explored the plateau and walked across to see the insane bridge over to Cheops Pyramid. After a break we headed back down to our packs and continued on to the slick rock area in Utah Flats where we found a cool camp for the last night.
Day 4 - Great sunrise on Utah Flats after sleeping under the stars...packed up and headed to Bright Angel Creek and the South Kaibab Trail exit. We made the car by 1pm at the South Kaibab overflow park and happy to have accomplished all the objectives for the trip. Isis was definitely the high light and probably the hardest climb/day hike I've ever done. It's a fun beast!