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Isis Temple - 5 members in 18 triplogs have rated this an average 5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Feb 09 2019
friendofThunde
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 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,737
 Triplogs 718

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Isis TempleNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Feb 09 2019
friendofThundergod
Hike & Climb38.20 Miles 12,000 AEG
Hike & Climb38.20 Miles3 Days         
12,000 ft AEG
IV  • Trad • 5.8 Sandstone Not good
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
DallinW
TheMtsAreCalling
Well this one has a been a long time in the making. I think I have wanted to do Isis as long as I have wanted to do Grand Canyon summits. Isis however, always seemed unattainable due to not being a “real” climber and the general logistics of the climb. But after a fall of gearing up and training up, the summit of Isis finally came to fruition for me.

Day 1:

Missing keys, little sleep, a broken down vehicle and a detour for another rope led to a late start Saturday morning. Consequently, the Overhang won out over Hippie camp for our base camp. The hike in was pretty uneventful, apart from bumping into a "climbing" ranger on the Utah Flats route. Matt the climbing ranger was in the area for an Isis attempt as well. He was guiding a researcher from NAU up who was doing a research project on climbing in the canyon, but she did not give us many details. Their bid for Isis never got off the ground, as they were worried about the relatively significant amount of snow encircling the northwest edges and corners of Isis, just below the Coconino summit. We chatted it up with Matt and the summit enthusiast researcher for several minutes before going our separate ways. Matt warned of ice and snow and urged us to use caution, but also told us good luck and acknowledged we could find the conditions better than what they appeared. Nevertheless, I will admit that our conversation with Matt left me a little spooked and less optimistic about our chances of reaching the summit. After some quick camp chores and dinner, I think we were all in bed by 8 p.m.

Day 2:

Early start day 2. Head lamps hike for at least the first half of the hike up to Hippie Camp. One last gear check and consolidation at Hippie Camp and it was on to the redwall break. The redwall break was pretty tame climbing/scrambling and much easier than what I had feared for so many years. From the break it was the steep climb to begin the tedious traverse to the Isis-Shiva Saddle. Chris used a quick check of the Tomasi picture with route to identify the correct bay and level for the crux climb and we were off. It was your standard off-trail Suapi traverse to the crux. We decided on Chris leading the crux and I am glad we went with that decision. The lead was certainly within my ability level, but the sandstone was something new to me and there was a decent little crux move that I was happy to watch someone else do. Although, it should be noted that this crux move can be protected through clipping an older, but seemingly solid piton. Chris set up an anchor pretty quickly and had me on top belay shortly after. Top roped in the climb was a breeze. Dallin did take a small fall coming up the face of the climb, but he quickly recovered to finish the climb and the anchors held admirably, nice job Chris! From the crux things became a bit of a blur a few class five climbs, the house sized boulder crack and the crawling traverse. We blew through most of these obstacles pretty easily, but did take a couple minutes on two of the climbs to set up a quick body belay for Dallin. The traverse to the Coconino break was tedious, but strangely enough the snow did not seem to make it any more worse, in fact, it may have actually made it a little easier. Locating the break in the Coconino slabs that comprise the summit of Isis took a minute, however, the climb/scramble was not overly difficult. Then it was the Coconino shuffle to the summit. An amazing summit and an amazing feeling to be up there. The accomplishment felt tremendous for me and honestly it may have been the most difficult summit I have ever completed. I think the fact that zero parties/people signed the register in 2018 reaffirms this assertion of mine. It was hard to enjoy the summit too much because we knew we had a long descent ahead of us and it was now just after 2 p.m.

Our descent went pretty smoothly, but we ran out of light quickly and completed the last two raps in total darkness. We placed some new webbing at each of the Supai raps and reused some webbing and a quick link in the redwall. The webbing looked good and our guess was that it was left over from a group’s failed attempt at Isis in October. The final push from Hippie to the Overhang was a bit of a slog and we got back after 9 p.m. But there was no way that we were going to allow the long day and late night to detract from our accomplishment. Dallin and Chris celebrated with a little whiskey, meanwhile I busted out the Reese. High winds, rain and snow throughout the night made us happy to be under the large overhang.

Day 3:

We woke up to snow at camp level and snow all around us. The snow really made the hike out something special. You really can't beat the Utah Flats Route after a nice dusting of snow. Ropes and climbing gear are heavy and the Canyon is steep, but we made it out in a relatively good amount of time. The road was closed because of snow right before the SK Trailhead, but we were able to open the gate to get out.

Final Notes
Big thanks to Chris for providing most of the technical expertise on this one and thank you to Dallin for snagging the permits. For planning purposes it took us 7.5 hours to reach the summit from the Overhang Camp. You do not need much pro and a 60m rope is overkill. 19th Grand Canyon summit.
Named place
Named place
Isis Temple
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4 archives
Oct 24 2014
BiFrost
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 Guides 4
 Routes 338
 Photos 6,903
 Triplogs 803

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Isis Cheops Double, AZ 
Isis Cheops Double, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 24 2014
BiFrost
Backpack37.76 Miles 12,491 AEG
Backpack37.76 Miles4 Days         
12,491 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
GrottoGirl
RedwallNHops
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 :D 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!
Meteorology
Meteorology
Smoke

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Haunted Canyon Light flow Light flow
good flow at the confluence of Haunted Creek and Phantom Creek

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Phantom Canyon Light flow Light flow
Decent flow most of the way up canyon. A few spots went dry for short periods.
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1 archive
Oct 24 2014
RedwallNHops
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 Guides 1
 Routes 7
 Photos 237
 Triplogs 949

44 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Isis Cheops Double, AZ 
Isis Cheops Double, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 24 2014
RedwallNHops
Backpack37.76 Miles 12,491 AEG
Backpack37.76 Miles4 Days         
12,491 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Not much I can add to what Karl said and what Belinda will say. Fantastic trip...i can see the fascination with Isis. Such a great puzzle to get thru all the layers to the summit. I can say I am really glad we decided to bring full climbing gear for this. I was very happy to be on rope for some of the downclimbs...It was great to have an extra day built in to summit Cheops again.
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Oct 24 2014
GrottoGirl
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 Guides 3
 Routes 304
 Photos 10,998
 Triplogs 1,254

44 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Isis Cheops Double, AZ 
Isis Cheops Double, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 24 2014
GrottoGirl
Backpack37.76 Miles 12,491 AEG
Backpack37.76 Miles4 Days         
12,491 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Pano view from the top of Isis!
https://photosynth.net/viewcss.aspx?cid ... 69e641bf97

I know you all already read Karl's triplog which was great, but I promise if you like details you should continue reading. I will tell you about the trials and tribulations and I hope to make you laugh a couple times.

Karl invited us on a Grand Canyon backpack to climb Isis Temple which he had been obsessing over for a while. Over several months of discussions we decided to try the technical route described in Grand Canyon Summits Select. I invited a climber friend from Flagstaff, who has GC technical climbing experience, to help us out. Nick agreed quickly.

After reading everything we could on the route we decided on bringing a 120 dynamic rope and a 60 foot static rope. Nick packed a small trad rack that included a #3 Cam. We also brought about 40 feet of webbing.

On the drive up, Joel and I collected Karl and then proceed to Flagstaff for the night. When we drove into Flag, Karl (funny he didn't mention it in his triplog) realized he forgot his food bag which he had left out of his pack so the dogs would rip up his pack. We dumped Joel to get a table and then Karl and I made a quick run the REI so he could stock up.

At the Lumberyard in Flagstaff, we decided that we would stay at the Hippy Camp at the Outlet Canyon junction with Phantom Creek. This way we could day-hike the route without the heavy packs that we read so much about from other trips.

In the morning, Nick met us and we all piled in our Outback and headed up to the Canyon.

We got down the SK in 3 hours. On the way down I took my turn at carrying the big rope. I was so happy to pass it off to Joel at BACG! I felt like I was floating! Even so the trek up to Utah Flats via Piano Alley about killed me due to the heat. I kept thinking how in the heck did Joe and Karl do this in the middle of the summer?? After a shade break I got some of my pep back and we continued along.

We stopped again once we got to Phantom Creek. It was heavenly cool in the shade next to the clear, flowing water. We dumped out the water we had gotten from the BACG since it tasted like chemicals and got some fresh creek water which some of us drank untreated. Yum!

Last Christmas, Joel and I had taken a leisurely trip in the area and had camped near where the Utah Flats route drops into Phantom. No such luck this trip, onward we went. There was nothing leisurely about this project.

We finally stopped at the Hippy camp. I, personally, was ready to drop. It's hard to imagine how other parties continued after this point. I did remind myself that we had technical gear and food for 4 days. Besides, I'm a girl (more on this later)...

We arose early and started around 6 AM. As we started, Nick asked if we had read the Epilogue in Grand Canyon Summits. We had not so he have us a summary: Know when to turn back. Reasons include: 'it's too far, too scary, too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet, too windy, not enough sun block, not enough pro, too much pro, too many ropes....there's cold beer at the ranch, there's cold beer at the rim, there are women in Flagstaff...' So of course we had to laugh about how only men and lesbians must climb GC temples. Wha??? What am I?!?!?! Maybe the next addition of the book should mention wine and men in Flagstaff!

We had camped in the Muav and so it wasn't long before we hit the Redwall. Anyone who spends time in the Grand Canyon learns that you navigate by layers. And to those in the know, the Redwall is an obstacle, a major one. The climb through the Redwall was scary. But let's face it, if you climb you can focus and control your fear. The fear is still there you just don't let it out of the bag. I certainly wasn't going to.

There were two sections going up that were memorable and I was happy to note that there were anchors to use for rappelling on the way down. One of the sections even had an old hemp rope that I used a little bit as a handline. Finally, we were at the top of the Redwall and it was time to traverse over to the saddle. Nick and I chatted about being slow. He told me I wasn't slow. And that I should consider the general population and the fact that I am faster than ~90% of them especially in this terrain. Sometimes it's hard to remember that when there is no sign of the rest of your party - damn those boys are fast...

We took a nice break on the saddle. That would be our last break together until the peak. With climbing you learn to snack when you are waiting your turn.

We continued into the Supai group to the crux of the climb. We found the old ski pole which the Tomasi group left during their first ascent (and mentioned in the book). We suited up in our harnesses and got ready to climb. After examining the pitch, Nick choose not to put on his climbing shoes for leading it. Instead he took off in his approach shoes. He looked like he was having a lot of fun. He did a hand jam and a number of other techniques. He even placed the #3 cam as described in the book. He got to the top and belayed Joel (who cleaned the route) and Karl as they simu-climbed. Joel tailed the static line for me. Soon it was out of reach so I scrambled up 8 feet to grab it. Joel was yelling down to me and asked if I had the rope. I said no but I was going up to get it. By the time I got there it was gone. He thought I had said I was holding it and he had pulled it over to to anchor. Finally. I was able to communicate that I didn't have the rope any more. Since they learned it was short they tied it to the dynamic rope, anchored it, and tossed it down. I had hoped to climb the same route and then switch to mechanical ascenders when things got too difficult for my shoulder. Well, where the rope ended up I needed my ascending gear out of the gate. I had to start ascending a free hang using a dynamic rope at the anchor. I was happy that I brought my caving gear and I hooked in and started up. My first 10 moves got me nowhere due to the stretch of the rope. Finally, I was off the ground! I had about 30 feet to ascend to get to the boys. Let's just say, jugging up rope isn't fast.

Once I arrived on top, we packed up and headed on. Both Karl and I had the waypoints from HAZ routes so we knew next up was the climb between a wall and a boulder the size of a room. However, due to the deviation of accuracy levels it wasn't right at the waypoint. Who can miss a boulder the size of a room - not us! :) I climbed up the crumbly start using a belay to the narrow passageway. After that the belay really wasn't needed since it's pretty easy to chimney one's way up.

We were still in the Supai group, we had to climb up a fin and then traverse by crawling along a ledge. Nick led and placed the #3 cam to protect the initial climb and move off the fin to the ledge. Joel and Karl choose to go without ropes. I figured, if I fall I will ruin it for EVERYONE. Nick built and anchor with his pro and then I climbed.

From there we went up another narrow passage in which we chimneyed and stemmed. We had a bit more scrambling then we were out of the Supai and on to Hermit shale layer. You see Hermit as the slant right below the Coconino cliff. Anyway, this slant was extremely steep. Perhaps one of the steepest slopes I've ever traversed. And to top it off you have to cross an even steeper gully. The book called it spooky. I agree and up the ante to nightmarish as Karl said. We angled to a tree and then grabbed on for dear life.

From there we were at the base of the Coconino! Everyone who hikes GC knows that Coconino means you are almost at the top!!! We had one more climbing pitch to go. Nick led it easily and set a belay. We all decided to tie in since we were almost to the top and there was no reason to not to be careful. Up we went. From there, we just had a slabby climb to the top. In a way it was like traveling across huge serving dishes or skate boards that at any point could dislodge and take you down quickly. Soon, we were at the top! Karl's dream was realized! We all had a good laugh about how we were Karl's support team to the top of Isis! Haha! We were all elated with the success of realizing our goal yet we knew this really wasn't the time to celebrate.

After a nice break on top it was time to descend. We wanted to try to make it down the Redwall before dark. For safety sake (and for the fun of it) we decided to rappel whenever we could however we realized that we didn't come fully prepared (shame on us!). We had failed to bring quicklinks/rappel rings. We did bring webbing but we failed to grab a knife from our camp. So we improvised as we found others had done in the past.

Our first rappel anchor was already in place. Someone's nice locking biner made me extremely happy. I'm sure the person who left it had been slightly disappointed. The rock chock used as an anchor was also solid.

From there we repeated the spooky gully and traverse through the Supai, which left me feeling relieved to be past it without sliding down the steep slope.

Then we skipped the ledge crawl by doing another rappel. We rigged the rope around a tree but found that we couldn't pull it due to a slight bend in the rope. We didn't have any rappel rings and didn't want to leave a biner behind so we decided that we could improvise and the last person could rappel down with webbing directly on rope (a big no-no). As long as the rope didn't move it *hopefully* wouldn't slice the webbing. Also the pull was short so by pulling slowly we wouldn't have to worry about the webbing heating up and melting. Joel cut webbing using the sharp edges of the rocks and set up an anchor. Anyway, it all worked as Joel arrived safely at the bottom. However, I'm not sure I'd want to try that again.

Whenever we could, we scavenged gear where there were two anchors in the same area. We then used some if it on other anchors.

One of the more interesting anchors we used was where there was a single hollow rappel ring in which someone paired with a non-locking biner that was taped shut! Does the tape make it a locking biner? I am glad someone realized that a single rap ring isn't designed for multiple uses (pet peeve).

We made it down to the Redwall as darkness approached. Luckily we knew we wouldn't have to downclimb as there had been anchors spotted on the way up. We completed the first rappel and I went to set up the second. In this area there were two anchors so I scavenged a non-locking biner from one to pair with another. I didn't like the crunch and abrasion on the existing cordellete so I got webbing from Karl. Again, no knife so I started to try to cut the webbing using rocks available. I had a lot of time, Joel had to reclimb the last rappel as he realized he has forgotten something. However, it wasn't enough time and I was still sawing when they came with the ropes. Nick had a trick he wanted to try. He whipped off his paracord belt and then sliced through the webbing in mere seconds. Moral of that story is you really don't need a knife to cut webbing!

Nick then proceeded to rappel in the dark, trying to avoid laying the rope in any if the prickly pear land minds that covered the cliff. In the end, we all discovered that the cactus was impossible to avoid and ended up with spines in our hands from were the rope had managed to touch the cactus.

After the rope was pulled, we made our way down the slope to the canyon bottom. Feelings of success welled within us! We had successfully completed the day's objective! We were one group of 'badpumpkins'!

The next morning we waited until sunrise to get up and then we retraced our steps to the Utah Flats Route. We loaded our packs up with water for a dry camp and started the climb. Miserable! Nothing like being tired, hot, and loaded down... We found some shade to break in for a few minutes and then we managed to traverse over to where one can access Cheops Plataeu. I wasn't committed to climbing since I already had done it last year so I put my notebook in my daypack just in case. The shade and leaving the heavy pack behind buoyed my spirits giving me the energy to climb! Up we went! The climb was as exposed and scary as I remembered. We walked the length of the plateau to see the Pyramid at the other end. The views all around are outstanding! I was pretty jazzed to spot a section of the river that we plan to packraft over Thanksgiving. Soon, it was time to go. The climb down was as breathtaking and then some. Nothing like looking down at your feet and seeing nothing but air below you. There were some gusts of wind but thankfully we were tucked out of it when climbing down the exposed sections.

After the climb, we found a nice spot on top of Utah Flats for a camp. It was absolutely stunning. Possibly the best spot for viewing sunrises, sunsets, the Milky Way, and shooting stars! It was a great place to camp even though we shared it with at least two black widows.

In the morning, we braced ourselves for seeing humans for the first time in days. We had to remind ourselves what they looked like and what they would smell like (compared to us) so we wouldn't be shocked. Then we dropped down to BACG and then climbed out of the canyon.

Nick got from River to rim in two hours and 15 minutes. While Joel and I topped last in 4 hours which included a delay by a mule jam. I found myself hitting the wall towards the top of the Supai but I was able to reach into my stores and keep moving upwards. I was probably powered by the fact that I could pass tourists even with my pack filled with climbing gear!

We celebrated being part of the small group of people who have climbed Isis Temple. We rejoiced that we had successfully climbed Cheops after a demanding day on Isis. We will always remember our awesome night on the Flats. And most importantly, we all made it back to the car without injury!

Now, I can consider myself a 'temple steeple jack' (phrase coined by Harvey Butchart in his 1972 hiking log)!!!!
Fauna
Fauna
Mule Deer
Culture
Culture
Bridge
Meteorology
Meteorology
Inversion Layer Smoke
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3 archives
Jun 01 2014
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,895
 Triplogs 4,290

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Isis - Blazing Inferno, AZ 
Isis - Blazing Inferno, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jun 01 2014
joebartels
Backpack29.60 Miles 10,100 AEG
Backpack29.60 Miles2 Days         
10,100 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
Dave1
June is easily identifiable by the singing locust somewhere in the 3.8-5.5k range. Riparian areas sport life from damselflies to mosquitoes. Dinosaur sized crows keep the canyons and peaks in surveillance. If you aren't experiencing one of the above you may be hiking in a skillet.

We set out with a feasible game plan. Dave was kind enough to wait for the BCO to open then catch up with the balance of the group. 7:30am from the auxiliary SK parking Karl and I made it to the river almost on time. Up Utah Flats, over to the SE corner and down to Phantom to fetch water. Next, 1.5 hours behind schedule, we would head back up to the SE corner to meet Dave and begin the ascent.

The SE corner of Isis towered above us. We made our way up to the base. I could see and hear Dave up near the first obstacle. By the time we reached Dave we were 2.5 hours behind schedule. It was immediately apparent the game plan needed to change. On the same token Karl and Dave could still have a very memorable experience.

I went up the first obstacle and Karl followed. Dave is really good at calculating safety ratios. He said he was pro-life and decided to do another hike. Which sucked as I enjoy his company. Well at least when he's not making fun of me. Karl and I made fair time heading up. We both lugged near 10 quarts of water. Our packs were in the 30-34 lb range. From the 1st obstacle to the top was 2 hours, 5pm. 1.5 is probably feasible. I'm certain I could clear it in an hour with a pack under ten pounds.

At the base of Isis I gave Karl a couple options. Up 1 tier, around the west in the sun and down the jj shortcut in the morning. Or the shorter and shaded east side. We took the east and got to the north 7:40pm.

Slept well with my new REI FLASH air pad in my Escape Bivvy. The only issue is it's too tight to turn or sleep on your side. It got down to 51 degrees which was borderline comfortable. Compared to tyvek, wind and forty degrees Robin Leach would approve.

Day 2 we headed down the Shiva Exit and slow poked it to the south rim. Despite coming up short it was good exercise and great company!

The inferno title is for the masses. By chance I Chrome Domed this one. While the results are questionable in the high humidity of August it's a home run in June.
Named place
Named place
Phantom Canyon
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Hike Arizona it ROCKS!
Jun 01 2014
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 338
 Photos 6,903
 Triplogs 803

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Isis - Blazing Inferno, AZ 
Isis - Blazing Inferno, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jun 01 2014
BiFrost
Backpack29.60 Miles 10,100 AEG
Backpack29.60 Miles2 Days         
10,100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
Dave1
joebartels
Wasn't sure if Joe was up for another shot at Isis since he had already been there multiple times so was grateful when he put the game plan together. Dave was nice enough to get permits for us at the BCO and met up with him later.

The goal was down the SK from auxiliary lot, across the river, and up Utah Flats. From there we went down to Phantom Creek for water and then hauled up 10 liters each to the base of SE corner where we caught up to Dave. Dave decided on an alternate route while we continued on up SE corner making slow deliberate progress up a series of climbs and ledges.

The SE corner is as advertised...seriously exposed and straight up. Daisy chaining packs up each climb was the only way to go. Unfortunately we fell behind schedule and by the time we made the top of SE corner we made the decision that a summit the following morning was not in the cards. Instead of heading around the west side of Isis we opted for the east and shaded side heading for Isis Saddle on the north side of Isis Temple.

After more than two hours of side contouring around Isis we made to the saddle right at sunset. Great to be in camp after a very tough climb. Enjoyed a restful night under the stars and next morning packed up to head out the Shiva Red Wall Exit. Shiva Exit had it own challenges with some interesting down climbs but not nearly as long as SE corner.

Finally made it down to Phantom Canyon with some water flowing in the upper portion. We made progress downstream passing Hippy Camp and eventually the trail out of Phantom to Utah Flats route. Right before the exit there are some nice pools and we enjoyed a soak before heading across the flats in the heat. Unfortunately we had to start the SK hike out around 2pm so the heat was on full blast.

It was awesome to do the SE corner and get an idea of how difficult it is to summit Isis. Possibly the heat is what slowed the effort but thinking I probably need 3 days for successful summit. Thanks Joe for leading me up SE corner and beyond :)
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May 01 2014
joebartels
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 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,895
 Triplogs 4,290

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Isis V - SE Corner - Grateful to be Alive, AZ 
Isis V - SE Corner - Grateful to be Alive, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 01 2014
joebartels
Hiking28.40 Miles 9,500 AEG
Hiking28.40 Miles   18 Hrs   9 Mns   1.61 mph
9,500 ft AEG      30 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
JuanJaimeiii
The SE corner of Isis had us at hello. Not the summit, just another way to access the temple. We finally made it happen a year later. Once again daisy chaining the lead. This was the same tactic used to summit last year. There is no way I could do this solo.

Perhaps there are multiple routes. It seems unlikely. The route we pieced together was intense. Three areas took time to review, debate and a bit of personal soul searching. It is considerably more complicated than the Phantom-redwall-Shiva ascent. Less secure rock. Less holds. Almost vertical. You will not see a ramp looking down, rather the floor below the bay wall.

We debated the descent. A bit frazzled we took the long safe route out. Shiva to Phantom is still a blast and just plain fun with it's juggy frequent holds on a nice slant. Great hike. Phantom creek must have flooded a week ago Monday. Flowing strong. A few large downed trees. The gap between running water is easier to travel now that vegetation has been wiped out.

7 quarts consumed
1 hour sleep prior
1 elk nicked jeep on highway, jj andretti skills prevailed
Named place
Named place
Phantom Creek
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May 01 2014
JuanJaimeiii
avatar

 Routes 562
 Photos 7,617
 Triplogs 1,599

52 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Isis V - SE Corner - Grateful to be Alive, AZ 
Isis V - SE Corner - Grateful to be Alive, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 01 2014
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking28.40 Miles 9,500 AEG
Hiking28.40 Miles   18 Hrs   9 Mns   1.61 mph
9,500 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
joebartels
It has been reported that the South East Buttress of the Isis Redwall is climbable without technical gear. This was confirmed to me last year after Joe and I summited Isis. I have a friend who did it in a small group of 3. They are Canyon buffs and they had summited Isis as well last year and used it as an exit point.

When I heard they did it, Joe and I took a look at doing it from the top down as well. That was early June 2013 on one of our Isis adventures. I made my way about 20 percent down the Redwall and got spooked. Ever since it has been on our minds as something to try from the bottom up.

Last week we went and started looking for a place to start up the wall. We ran out of time without finding the spot and had to leave. This week we returned after studying some photos and confirming with my friend that the route is on the Phantom Creek side.

We found what looked to be the only feasible spot. Up we went looking for openings, cracks, or anything that looked promising. It was sketchy the whole way up. Joe would go up a section and scout things out. Then I would go up and do the same. The further we went the greater the concern for getting back down became.

Eventually we got to the point that I had been before from the top. This was a moment of joy as we knew we could make it to the top from here for sure. A short bit later we were standing on the corner of the Redwall. Looking over at Cheops and down 91 Mile Canyon. It felt great to have made it up. We had two options now. Return the way we came or take the long safe route out. We contemplated both. Neither were great options so we decided to flip on it. Joe tossed up a rock that was white on one side and red on the other. White for Life I called. White it was so we took the safe route out.

This turned into a long and tiring day however it was rewarding in so many ways. To try and explain the experience of going up that wall could never do it justice. Elation, Terror, and Accomplishment are all words that come to mind. It is another Canyon experience I will never forget.

Will I ever take that route again up or down???? Only time will tell. For now the jury is still out. One thing is for sure, I am Grateful to be Alive!
_____________________
Apr 26 2014
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Isis TempleNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Apr 26 2014
sbkelley
Hike & Climb36.10 Miles 12,000 AEG
Hike & Climb36.10 Miles2 Days         
12,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
neurolizer
To begin, this is, without rival, the most difficult summit I've done in the Lower 48. We started down the South Kaibab at 6:45 a.m., moving through intermittent rain, snow, and patches of sun. We stopped north of Haunted Canyon for lunch, then filtered water (4L each) just before heading up the Redwall. There are two pretty sketchy climbs here, the 2nd of which is among the sketchiest of the 8 we encountered on the whole route, in my personal opinion. Pack hauls helped here. The traverse after is airy, fun, and generally awesome. Then a long, obnoxious stretch of side-hilling brought us to the Sheva-Isis saddle. It was now 4 pm. We had a brief discussion about our next move and decided to press on, knowing that we'd have to bivy somewhere up there.

A steep grunt and traverse across the first bay on the north side of Isis led to the crux pitch. Eric skillfully led this awkward climb, which had a little bit of everything (lie-back moves, face climbing, traversing - you name it!) We all followed, which is fun with a full pack and angled nature. This pitch, however, removed the need for the long traverse that JJ and Joe undertook. I cannot possibly express how impressed I am with those two after now having seen the terrain and knowing the amount of time they spent on it! We stashed the rope and harnesses here, but Richard kept some webbing for possible handlines up higher, which came in handy.

Getting through the room-sized boulder/crack was "fun" with our full packs. By the top of this, snow flurries were upon us, and so was evening . We found an amazing sheltered site on a ledge below the 3rd Supai layer and called it a night. This campsite is one I'll always remember - "nice view" is an understatement. It did rain off and on throughout the night, which added to the adventure.

Up at first light, we negotiated the fun fin/crawl pitch, then found a highly sketchy crack climb after that. Two more somewhat sketchy climbs found us atop the Supai. We drank from the full waterpockets here, then trudged up and across the traverse. Legs burning now, we crossed the "spooky gully," which was actually fine with the recent rains. The Coconino climb went ok (loose rock everywhere!) and after a little route-finding, we spied the summit, and topped out in windy, cold, cloudy conditions around 8 a.m. No pencil/pen in the register still, but we didn't care. A short summit photo shoot ensued, but we didn't linger long, knowing we had to get all the way back to Phoenix tonight. We began to retrace our steps, and I was admittedly nervous about the 5 hair-raising downclimbs before having the ability to rappel the last 3. They actually passed without much issue, and setting up and completing the rappels was a welcome change. There is now a new anchor at the top of Pitch 1 in the Redwall.

Elated to be on safe ground, but dreading the 16.5 mile exit hike, we shifted to summer hiking mode and enjoyed the warm, breezy afternoon as we moved steadily back towards civilization. Upon finishing the heinous descent of the Utah Flats Route, we chatted with a ranger at Phantom Ranch who'd actually climbed Isis before (and was good friends with Richard's uncle!) He even offered us a free night of camping at Phantom! I cannot express how hard it was to pass that up, but life called us home. Up the deserted (yes, you read that correctly) Bright Angel Trail we went at 5:30, and were at the car by 9:30, ready to start the long drive home.
Thanks for the Grand Canyon adventure of a lifetime, guys!
_____________________
Apr 26 2014
neurolizer
avatar

 Routes 4
 Photos 62
 Triplogs 3

33 male
 Joined Sep 26 2006
 Phoenix
Isis TempleNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Apr 26 2014
neurolizer
Hike & Climb36.10 Miles 12,000 AEG
Hike & Climb36.10 Miles2 Days         
12,000 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
sbkelley
We were really lucky to have a storm bring in such cool weather for this time of year. Apparently you should be extra careful with your camera on this trip because it seems to have claimed almost everyone's camera who has posted a triplog here. Check out Scott's triplog and/or the captions in my photos for more details.
Named place
Named place
Phantom Canyon
_____________________
Apr 24 2014
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,895
 Triplogs 4,290

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Isis IV - Knockin' on the Backdoor, AZ 
Isis IV - Knockin' on the Backdoor, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2014
joebartels
Hiking21.85 Miles 7,800 AEG
Hiking21.85 Miles   11 Hrs   28 Mns   1.95 mph
7,800 ft AEG      15 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
JuanJaimeiii
Down to 20 degrees driving to the canyon, 90 degrees in the afternoon. Light from 5am to 7:30pm. Screaming cold to borderline hot, 14.5 hours of light... the perfect window of opportunity!

We know the SE corner is doable without rope. The exact route and whether or not our huevos would cook or spoil was the question at hand. The base of the SE corner came easy. Skirting the sides looked ridiculous. We headed up. JJ started skirting on undesirable terrain. I wasn't sure if I was up for any of it. Once you dig in the scope of doable increases.

West
First we checked out the west. You can see a huge ravine on satellite. Last year we looked down it from the top and swore it off. We needed to check out the bottom angle. There is a shallow living room sized alcove in the lower end. I'm still not crossing it off. There may be a route to either side of the alcove. Hoping it's here too as the sphincter scale notches up on the east side...

East
Next we eased across the unthinkable without issue skirting over to the east side. On the due east tip we may have found cairns above. Tough to say. JJ cast a mini ballet, voted me to check it out and closed the polls before I knew what was going on. Up I went. Sketchy. Doable. Then to the left. Then a four foot gap to cross. I'm done. Apparently the polls opened back up. Noise from below, "step across so you can check out what's around the corner". Um, I'm not sure if I can get back. "All you have to do is step across". Okay I gave it a try. In the end I crossed that sucker a half dozen times. Around the corner it looked like a step up from the "jj shortcut". I'm 60% sure this may be the route. I'm 100% sure I was glad our turnaround time was screaming forget it.

North
jj wanted to check the north. While it didn't net a route up he did score a seldom visited cave.


We returned at a moderate pace and made good time. It sure was nice to familiarize ourselves with the base of the SE corner. It's been sitting in the back of my mind for 11 months!

Carried 4.8 quarts, consumed 4.5
Named place
Named place
Cheops Plateau
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Apr 24 2014
JuanJaimeiii
avatar

 Routes 562
 Photos 7,617
 Triplogs 1,599

52 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Isis IV - Knockin' on the Backdoor, AZ 
Isis IV - Knockin' on the Backdoor, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2014
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking21.85 Miles 7,800 AEG
Hiking21.85 Miles   11 Hrs   28 Mns   1.95 mph
7,800 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
The last time Joe and I were up on Isis above the redwall we attempted to take a short cut by exiting via the south east corner. It has been done before. Not by many but it is doable without rope. I went down a ways and looking over the edge gave me the Elvis leg and we had to abort and exit the standard route. Ever since then we have been talking about going back and checking it out from the bottom.

When we arrived at the park it was a cold start but we quickly warmed up once on the trail. Down near Phantom it was already getting a bit toasty. We made our way across Utah flats and then passed Cheops. The pyramid is calling my name again but next time I want to try a western approach. Then we went up to the southeast corner of Isis that had us wondering for nearly a year. We searched and searched. We came up with some warm leads as to the starting route but nothing definitive. It was getting a bit frustrating as it is a chore just to get here. Coming up empty handed isn't my style but I am not 100% sure this one is in my comfort zone even if we did find it.

I think this one would be best saved for a guide that has already done it. A mistake or a fall here is not something I wish to ever encounter. At the same time it is still pulling at me even today as I write this.

In the process of searching I spotted a cave/cavern in the bottom of the redwall. I went to check it out and I would say it is at least 40 to 50 feet deep. Finding this was pretty cool as I imagine not many have ever seen it.

We didn't find exactly what we were looking for but we did come away with some additional Isis experience and knowledge. We also got a good vantage point on some other monuments in the canyon that may be of future interest.

The hike out was a trudge as always but we made pretty good time. A quick stop in Flag at Oreganos and then it was back to Phoenix. Nice solid day!
_____________________
Jun 01 2013
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,895
 Triplogs 4,290

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Isis III - Humble Pie, AZ 
Isis III - Humble Pie, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 01 2013
joebartels
Hiking37.30 Miles 12,400 AEG
Hiking37.30 Miles
12,400 ft AEG13 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
trip 1 = explore
trip 2 = conquer
trip 3 = enjoy... :sweat:

Prep
Although we summited on our last trip, it was miserable running out of water. My pack was 24lbs and jj had 10lbs for a 3 day trip. For this trip I downsized to an 11oz REI FLASH 18, dirt cheap on sale for $24. With a piggyback 4qt, 2-qt bottles and my 3qt Camelbak bladder I was ready to fill up to 9qts. The next factor got 24lbs down to 13 with the same 3qts to start.

Game Plan
2 days instead of 3, up the "jj shortcut", summit, down the SE corner

Hike
We have a "last supper" ritual before these hikes as neither of us are backpackers. It works since the initial hike is walking down the SK ramp into the canyon. We stopped at BA creek and drank up a bit as the faucets were off. Up UFR and down into Upper Phantom. At the last good flow I pumped to capacity.

Feeling great I made it halfway up pitch 1 on the redwall standard route. I imagine I choked at the same point Steve felt the pressure with his 40lb backpack. It still amazes me he did it solo with all that weight. So off came the pack and out came the rope.

Humble Pie - Bite 1 - up the jj shortcut
We made decent time to the "jj shortcut". For weeks I was excited about going up. Apparently the dehydration on trip 2 gave me super powers. A slanted 6mm rope without gloves ( had to get that pack size down ) seemed ridiculously unsafe. The only good thing was jj wasn't liking it either so we made a quick change of plans. The southern spider leg intrigued both of us and had been planned for Autumn. No biggie, bite the bullet here and move on out to the Autumn plan.

Reality Check
Apparently the jj shortcut baffle destroyed me physically and mentally. The southern leg would have to wait for morning. Instead we opted to camp on the WSW leg. Which had nice soft ground to sleep. After 3 sleepless nights on the prior trips I actually slept an hour or two!

Day 2
Nice start admiring and checking out the southern leg. For reference Isis is surrounded by 7 bays, between each is a wall jutting out like a spider leg. This one is special being nearly a half mile long.

Humble Pie - Bite 2 - SE Corner Exit
On May 14th I sent jj a PM titled "SE Longshot" based on some map work. Later we found others have completed it! Not sure I can translate what happened into words. Just know that had we summited the day before we would have been in possibly serious trouble.

The standard route is a 5 hour drudge. It just seemed best to swallow bite 2 of our humble pie and get out alive.

Super Reality Check
Shouldn't it be enough that we didn't get to summit, didn't conquer the SE corner and drudge through multiple obstacle courses back to SK. After consuming FIVE gallons of water I was under the impression I'd feel better than dehydrated. Typically I fare better than most in heat but oh brother, this was just horrible.


Hate it, hate it, hate it!
Okay I'm better now, let's go back... :scared:
( slightly longer hiatus, like summer though... )
Culture
Culture
Route - finding Labels
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated



water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Outlet Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
trickle in Phantom near Outlet
_____________________
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!
Jun 01 2013
JuanJaimeiii
avatar

 Routes 562
 Photos 7,617
 Triplogs 1,599

52 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Isis III - Humble Pie, AZ 
Isis III - Humble Pie, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 01 2013
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking37.30 Miles 12,400 AEG
Hiking37.30 Miles
12,400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
This trip back to Isis held the promise of sweet enjoyment sitting atop the Mighty Goddess that we had recently visited. Instead it delivered a lot of hard miles with some life lessons along the way.

We thought we had devised a way to short cut some of those difficult miles. In the end we would get slapped down and have to pay the price.

I picked up Joe early Saturday morning after getting 3 hours of sleep. We headed up to the Canyon and were off to a brisk start. Everything was feeling good and we were excited for what lie ahead. Down we went and when we saw the water was off down by Phantom we loaded up from the creek. Then up through piano alley and over Utah Flats. Back up Phantom Creek we went to the standard route up the redwall.

We were in good spirits and had aspirations of making it to the third tier of Isis on day one. Then day two we would summit and head out via a different break in the redwall on the SE corner.

Upon reaching the Shiva Saddle we promptly headed over to the "JJ shortcut" that we had descended a couple weeks prior. This would save us hours if successful. Joe went up the first tier and got a little uncomfortable. I went to give it a try myself. I was 8 feet away from success but the fear of the fall was greater than my desire to save a few hours. It was a real eye opener as to what we had done on the previous trip. If I wasn't so dehydrated on that previous trip there is no way I would have gone down this route with the rope we used.

Our options at this point were to switch gears and go with a plan B or make the Giant traverse and hope to make it to the top the following day. Daylight was running out so we quickly moved to plan B. Camp, and go check out the longest leg of Isis and then head out via the SE corner that Joe had seen on Google earth and that we heard was actually doable.

The sleeping went as well as could be expected given the circumstances. Then in the morning we made our way around the difficult terrain to the long leg. I had really been wanting to go out on this thing and it ended up being one of the highlights of the trip for me. Afterwards we made our way to the south-east corner of Isis. This is where the alternate (shortcut) route goes down. I made my way down about a third of the wall looking for possible routes. If exposure isn't your thing don't even consider this one. Much of the rock was loose and crumbly adding to the fear factor.

I really wanted to figure this out as it would save a solid 5 hours but the fear of the unknown combined with the exposure and loose holds had me turning back after an hour of attempt. I think it would be best to go back on another day and try if from the bottom up.

We then realized we would have to bite the bullet and head out via the standard route. More difficult miles in the heat and eventually we were back to where we started.

On the way out we took a dip in the narrows of Phantom. It took about 10 minutes for our cloths to completely dry afterwards.

The hike up South Kaibab was a difficult one. The heat and lack of victory produced adrenaline took its toll.

This trip took a sharp turn and didn't go exactly as planned however it wasn't a loss. Isis is a Monster and each trip back we learn a little more.

At this point we have:

Traversed the entire base of Isis on Tier one.

Spent the night on three of the 7 spider legs.

Been to the top once.

Traversed the longest leg to its end.

Traversed two thirds of the way around tier two.

And have learned many lessons along the way.
Fauna
Fauna
Teva
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
May 16 2013
JuanJaimeiii
avatar

 Routes 562
 Photos 7,617
 Triplogs 1,599

52 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Isis TempleNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar May 16 2013
JuanJaimeiii
Hike & Climb38.20 Miles 12,000 AEG
Hike & Climb38.20 Miles
12,000 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break11 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Isis Temple Part Two....

Two weeks after our first attempt it was time to go back and give it another shot. The window of opportunity on this beauty is very limited and we knew if we didn't get it done now it could be six months or a year before we could make it back.

Joe had put in countless hours studying a possible route with his tools and with Google earth. I had continued to look for information in books as well as made contact with a couple individuals who had previously been to the top. It had been years since they went up so that information was a bit vague but much appreciated just the same.

We left early Wednesday morning with our plan, our gear, and extra water bottles. The trek started by going down South Kaibab to Phantom Ranch then up thru Utah Flats. We continued on the small use trail up into Phantom Creek just as we had done before. We loaded up with water from the creek and hauled the heavy load up the break in the redwall. Having just done this two weeks ago made the going easier but our packs were much heavier this time.

Once up top we headed out past the Shiva/Isis Saddle and started making our way towards the south east corner. That would be our starting point for Thursday. Just before we reached that corner we found a good spot near a couple large boulders to set up camp. Out went our emergency bivvys and we did our best to get some rest. The weather was great and we gazed upon shooting stars. Sleep was difficult. Maybe it was the environment or maybe it was the anticipation?

In the morning we broke camp around 5:30am. We found our first break in the cliff band which required a class 4 maneuver and then started to look for the second. From here we traversed the western side of Isis on top of that first layer. We were looking for any possibilities to get up to the next level. Eventually we passed a spot where I had attempted to come up to this layer two weeks ago. It looked like it wouldn't have worked out but we made note of its whereabouts. Finally we got all the way around to the side by the Shiva Saddle. It was here with the help of the Tomasi book page I had in my pocket that we were able to go up through the next layer. I had brought a small rope and we found it useful in pulling up the packs and in assisting our climbs from here forward.

From this point we continued working our way up layer by layer. Each having its own set of challenges. I would like to say we found some easy breaks but it really didn't seem that way.

As we continued there were times when Joe felt comfortable going up something and I would follow or vice versa. We worked as a team trying to figure this puzzle out piece by piece. We both wanted it bad but as time went on Isis wore us down. We had consumed most of our water and had a long ways to go.

With each setback we would find a small success and that kept us going. Layer by layer we continued on our quest. Then finally we got past the top (supai) layer and could see the large white (Coconino) top of Isis! There it was sitting at the top of a steep hill. Joe giggled and scurried toward the base of the top layer. I was dead tired and super low on water. I took it slow and upon reaching the base I leaned up against the wall and gave it a kiss. We talked briefly about continuing on to the summit or calling it quits. Time and water were not on our side. Against our better judgment we continued on.

The route to the top is in the middle of the eastern side. Just before reaching it you must cross a hermit shale scree chute. This was quite possibly the scariest part of the hike for me. Once across it I tied the rope to a tree and threw it to Joe. He made his way across and then came the moment of truth. Even after all that we had been thru the smart thing would have been to turn back. We had to give it a shot though. Up I went and Joe soon followed. From the saddle of the top layer you go around a bit to the west and head up to the high point. At 1:18pm we were sitting on top of Isis! We were exhausted and in normal situations the adrenaline would kick in now. This time that wasn't really the case.

Under a stack of rocks we found an old can with a register. One group every other year for the past few years had made it up. This is a coveted place and very few have been here before. Oddly enough there wasn't a pencil or pen in the register. I had one in my pack but I left it down at the base and didn't have the energy to go back down and get it. I started searching my pockets for something to leave behind to signify our visit. I decided to leave my American Express Card. Afterall it is easy enough replaced. Joe searched his wallet and chose to leave his REI Card (seemed fitting).

We took a quick gaze around and then started to make our way back down. The visit up top was brief due to our concern for time and water.

Layer by layer we unraveled the puzzle that we had just put together. Down we went. When we got to the top of the last layer we were in a bind. We had no way down except to traverse all the way around to where we had started. It would be another 4 miles of hiking and we were virtually out of water. As we were making our way around we came to the spot I had previously attempted to go up. Joe calls this the "JJ shortcut" in his previous trip log. The drop was too shear to go down with no hand holds or foot holds. There is a ledge about 8 feet down that could be traversed and then on to a class four downclimb. The problem was getting to that ledge. If we could figure this out it would be a game changer. It would save hours! On the top of the upper ledge was a large boulder. We talked about using the rope to go down to the ledge we needed to be on. This was only a stabilizer rope and is not intended to be used for this kind of thing. With that being said we were getting desperate and it seemed worth a shot. I went first to check it out and it worked! Joe passed the packs down the line and then down he came. Once on the ledge it isn't a problem. We had no choice but to leave the rope there and hope to go back sometime and take it down.

From here we headed to the Isis/Shiva saddle where we had cached a small amount of water. My mouth was so dry that my tongue was sticking to the roof of my mouth. It was 5:30pm and all we needed to do was get to the redwall and down to reach water in the creek. By 7:15 we were there. Joe had a filter and he pumped us several liters of water. I drank and drank. Then he pumped enough to fill our bags and on we went. In a short time I got my strength back. Joe had been doing better than me but I am sure the water helped him as well. We went a few miles down the creek to a place we spotted on the way in. This would be our camp spot for night two. It was nice and you could hear the creek flowing nearby.

In the morning we got up early and headed out around 6am. It was a relatively easy hike compared to what we had just been through. On the way home we stopped in Flag and devoured some salads and a pizza.

* Both of our cameras got destroyed in the hike. Joe’s took a hit when his pack got dropped and mine got so full of sand that it would no longer open. I will post what little pictures I have from the memory card when I can put it in another camera and transfer it to the computer.

* The first recorded ascent of Isis was done in 1970 by Alan Doty. I read that he did it solo and I have the utmost respect and admiration for his accomplishment. In fact it is incredible! Joe and I worked as a team and it was still a monumental task.

* We should have brought more water but I am not sure how we could have lugged it up there.

* The numbers may not look like much on paper but this is by far the most challenging hike/climb I have ever experienced. Half the battle was mental and the other half was physical.

* If we attempt this again it should prove much easier on the mental side of things as we would now know a general route.

* This was certainly the toughest thing I have done in my life. At the end of it I said I would never do it again. The following morning I was already thinking about going back!
Fauna
Fauna
Teva
_____________________
May 15 2013
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,895
 Triplogs 4,290

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Isis TempleNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar May 15 2013
joebartels
Hiking38.20 Miles 12,000 AEG
Hiking38.20 Miles
12,000 ft AEG24 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Two weeks after Hello Isis. Study, study, study. Secure permits. Round II set. 4 days to go I tweaked my ankle at WCC swelling up pretty good. There was mention to jj he might get the solo...
reply Screw that! You are going Damn it!

Day 1 - 17mi to Boulders Camp
- higher temps notched up the drag factor, most notably due to pack weight
- pretend sleep in Escape Bivvy on fantasy Isisland

Day 2 - Game Day
- 200 oz of water from the creek was 70oz in the morning... dear god
- "easier than Shiva Exit" pitches beta... ha ha it's a joke
- 1st tier non-technical route drains simple resources
- 2nd tier revealed more climbs than anticipated for the entire hike
- 3rd tier, sour cherry lure into Hermit Shale scree awaits your fear

Oops I got a little ahead. 40 minutes to noon turnaround... I was out of water and impossible was screaming my name. We daisy chained off each others strengths barely unlocking to tier 3. A true view of the peak had us hooting and hollering.

What should only take 30 minutes took an hour extra to learn up. Walking across the mini ridgeline I should have been in seventh heaven. I lifted my head for a brief moment to indulge. My body was too numb to translate.

1:18 pm - 3 entries in the register. 2008, 2010 and May 25th 2012 was a larger party. Both of our cameras broke earlier in the day and no pencil to jot down our names. It didn't matter, we made it. jj had a clever idea to get our names in the register.

3:30 pm - We made it down to the bottom layer of the 2nd tier. 6 hours was the best case scenario to water. Class four delivered us to the temple but we needed to save skin. We short rappelled with jj's 6mm rope(luckily 40ft was enough) off my dyneema loop, cheated death and saved 3 hours.

5:30 pm - shade
7:00 pm - water
9:12 pm - alcove camp

Day 3 - Go home
Still no sleep, perhaps an hour if you consider dazed. We walked back to the South Rim. A stop in Flag was in order to enjoy the best caesar salad on earth followed by some great pizza.

This was magical for myself. Thanks to all that have helped and encouraged along the way. My ankle just told me 12k on that terrain was a no-no so "Roma" gets a few days...lol
Culture
Culture
Campsite

dry Hippie Spring North Dry Dry
damp, nothing to filter

dry Hippie Spring South Dry Dry
bone dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Outlet Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
just enough to filter in a trickle skim flow
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Hike Arizona it ROCKS!
May 01 2013
joebartels
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 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,895
 Triplogs 4,290

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Hello Isis, AZ 
Hello Isis, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 01 2013
joebartels
Hiking31.42 Miles 11,000 AEG
Hiking31.42 Miles   19 Hrs      1.75 mph
11,000 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break18.5 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
This temple taps into an energy field only associated with the most memorable moments in life.

new territory... heading further on the UFR we dropped down into Phantom. Box Elders typically flourish in the most unique areas Arizona has to offer. Their presence here is fitting with Crimson Monkey Flower on occasion.

Our first task, up to Shiva Saddle was possible due to Steve's generous description.

Pitch 1 is fun. Don't read into that too much. It scared the crap out of me at first. Coming back down you will notice it has several (maybe 3) terraces. Which gives you a chance to collect your thoughts and rest your limbs. At the bottom stay on the light colored rock to the left. I was able to downclimb this on my own without issue.

Pitch 2 is more fun. Albeit shorter in length the sheer verticalness at the top really messed with my mind. I had zero intentions of going back down on the return trip. jj took the time and helped me step by step spotting my blind footholds from a short distance away.... beyond appreciated!

I have a new respect for Steve in doing this with a huge pack, alone and with less specific information. Looking up from Phantom Creek or down from above this route looks impossible. Forget that, it doesn't even look like it exists, even after you have done it. You conquer 900ft in a quarter mile.

With an 11am start on the South Rim it took us 8 hours to reach Isis and night was falling. A simple lollygag pace to get us to camp. My pack was a ridiculous 6 pounds over my standard. Stuffed to 18.5 pounds, my camp set up (a sheet of tyvek) barely fit in.

Research and planning is done on a need to know basis. I thought I was stepping it up Bruce style. I checked for temps and more importantly rain. All looked good and I assured jj we could camp light. An hour after bedding down I hollered over to camp jj that I made a mistake.

Howling repetitive wind gusts at 40 degrees left us swearing we were gonna die. I slept(joke, that never happened) face down into the ground to keep my heater(heart) from blowing a valve. A lot goes through the mind in nine hours of torture. The most reassuring thing I could think of was the movie Titanic. Those that fell in the water died within an hour. Whereas the few that stayed afloat survived much longer. I figured we weren't soaking wet in an ocean and it wasn't freezing.

When I stood up in the morning I couldn't feel anything below my knees. It was like walking on stilts. After a half hour I was good to go.

We said hello to Isis. Then left with 1,200 feet of unfinished business.

There are times in life when you see opportunity. It gets wicked cool when it starts chasing you faster. Walking out of the canyon we were literally invited back...

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hippie Spring North Quart per minute Quart per minute
Just over a trickle. Better options not far up or down canyon.

dry Hippie Spring South Dry Dry
immediate area is all dry
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Hike Arizona it ROCKS!
May 01 2013
JuanJaimeiii
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 Routes 562
 Photos 7,617
 Triplogs 1,599

52 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Hello Isis, AZ 
Hello Isis, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 01 2013
JuanJaimeiii
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....
Flora
Flora
Claret Cup Cactus
Fauna
Fauna
Teva
_____________________
average hiking speed 1.77 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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