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Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder Mtn - 10 members in 36 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Apr 21 2018
BobP
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 Guides 2
 Routes 183
 Photos 3,861
 Triplogs 2,279

57 male
 Joined Feb 26 2008
 Scottsdale, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Apr 21 2018
BobP
Hike & Climb4.60 Miles 2,070 AEG
Hike & Climb4.60 Miles
2,070 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Fun hike. Missed the angled slope and descended to the tower and had to backtrack and regain aeg. I went up the correct chimney this time which was way easier. The correct route is pretty much class 2 but still pretty fun albeit a lot less spicy then last time. All in all it was good to get a hike in that I enjoyed a few years ago. Weather was great and the views were awesome. The SF Peaks were showing the signs of a light snow year. Didn't see any other hikers, but saw 6 mountain bikers in the lower trail section.
_____________________
http://www.blindmotivation.com
http://www.seeitourway.org
Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
If you like this triplog you must be a friend of BrunoP
1 archive
Jan 28 2018
nikorock28
avatar

 Photos 251
 Triplogs 683

36 male
 Joined Nov 16 2010
 Kingman, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Jan 28 2018
nikorock28
Hike & Climb1.80 Miles 1,702 AEG
Hike & Climb1.80 Miles
1,702 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It has been ten months since I have done the South Face, which is too long in my opinion. I met up with Alex and we started off to 63 degrees a little after noon. All went pretty well, just the mistake, once again, of staying too far to the right in the second half and the rather confusing beginning with all the social trails. One of these days I will get it right. I think Alex used every square inch of her body to negotiate the climbs :app: Very nice day and only saw a couple people near the bottom on the descent.
_____________________
Jan 28 2018
extremehikerba
avatar

 Photos 104
 Triplogs 47

26 female
 Joined Oct 17 2016
 Phoenix
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Jan 28 2018
extremehikerbabe
Hike & Climb1.80 Miles 1,702 AEG
Hike & Climb1.80 Miles   5 Hrs      0.36 mph
1,702 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
nikorock28
"Why is this listed as a climb? I thought this was a hike..." Yea... I see why this is a climb now. And a hike. Been getting back into hiking after a long lull in the summer and fall. Not in the best shape yet and not climbing due to a wrist injury but when Nick invited me on this hike I had no idea what I was in for.

I hadn't realized how much I missed being in Northern Arizona until this hike. I had so much fun and it was so cool to see my rock climbing skills being put to use. I have come a long way since I started climbing and the rock faces on this mountain would have scared the crap out of me before. I was still nervous but as soon as I was up them I realized that my body knew exactly what to do.

Absolutely loved this hike. It's an amazing thing looking at a mountain without a trail and realizing that, yup, you can climb up it to the top. The hike was definitely difficult and if I hadn't been with someone who had already done it I probably would have no idea where I was going. But the way down highlighted the path pretty well and so I think I could find it if I were to ever go again. The views from the top were amazing and I absolutely loved being able to see the airport. I hadn't been on the western side of Sedona ever so it was a nice perspective. Sad to catch sight of Humphreys with barely any snow though :(

That being said this hike is definitely not for a novice. It involves serious climbing, steep drop-offs, loose rock, and a very faint trail to follow. So if you want a challenging hike, just hit me up!

Also, if anyone has suggestions of more hikes like this, I would love to hear them! :D
_____________________
1 archive
Oct 06 2017
jladderud
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 Guides 1
 Routes 6
 Photos 17
 Triplogs 38

29 male
 Joined Oct 05 2017
 Tucson, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Oct 06 2017
jladderud
Hike & Climb1.80 Miles 1,702 AEG
Hike & Climb1.80 Miles   2 Hrs      0.90 mph
1,702 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Grateful for the GPX track. Pretty straightforward and enjoyable!
_____________________
1 archive
Mar 27 2017
nikorock28
avatar

 Photos 251
 Triplogs 683

36 male
 Joined Nov 16 2010
 Kingman, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Mar 27 2017
nikorock28
Hike & Climb2.10 Miles 1,800 AEG
Hike & Climb2.10 Miles   2 Hrs   40 Mns   0.90 mph
1,800 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Missed the final chimney on the ascent as I was too far right, but got it on the way down. Aborted a climb or two in favor of other options, which cost some time. Managed to get 58 and change up, which I was pleased with. Three others at the top who had ascended from the west. Went too far and had to doubleback to the saddle... not sure how that happened, but things can go awry quickly up there if you don't pay attention. There was a group coming up the ridge as I was heading down. Finished up on the thunder trail only because I intersected it first. Always steeper than what I anticipate! I should know by now.
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Nov 19 2016
friendofThunde
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 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,737
 Triplogs 718

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Nov 19 2016
friendofThundergod
Hike & Climb2.80 Miles 1,927 AEG
Hike & Climb2.80 Miles   3 Hrs   25 Mns   1.05 mph
1,927 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I thought about doing this one for Veteran's Day, but opted for a hike with the dogs instead. However, I did drive by it and thought it looked like a pretty fun hike/climb. With Saturday mornings being unavailable to me, it also seemed like a perfect short afternoon hike.

I hiked with Jackie and the dogs for the trail portion and the section of trail we started going on until I realized it was the wrong way. After that, I started the steep scramble and Jackie and the pups headed for Chimney Rock. A perfect his, her, hike combo IMO. I did a lot of reading up on this hike and although I did take the wrong way a few times and had to stop and mull over the route on more than one occasion, I handled it pretty well and there were no big surprises. I did a screen shot of all the climbs mentioned in the description and that along with its detailed directions helped a lot. I did not really fly up, but I had already ran a two hour practice that morning and it was a tad warm on the south face, so I was not rushing. There were a few people on the summit, however, they had come up the other way. The hike down is fast and the route is much easier to pick up. Jackie and the pups met me at the bottom of the steep stuff and we finished up together.

A great hike and fun climb, hard to believe so much fun could sit right there in the middle of Sedona. Great views as one would expect too.
_____________________
3 archives
Nov 06 2016
nikorock28
avatar

 Photos 251
 Triplogs 683

36 male
 Joined Nov 16 2010
 Kingman, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Nov 06 2016
nikorock28
Hike & Climb1.80 Miles 1,702 AEG
Hike & Climb1.80 Miles   2 Hrs   43 Mns   0.81 mph
1,702 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
As I was headed up Mingus from Prescott Valley on 89A, I encountered skateboarders coming down. That was certainly a first and was wondering if it is legal or not? In any event, I made it to the trailhead and was off around 1PM to 70 degrees.

Was a touch too right to the first climb; I have to remember next time that you basically stay right below the first climb and head right up to it. Above the viewpoint, I felt like I was kind of all over the place and never encountered the chimney section. I was simply too far right again. It can be confusing as there are a couple options in many sections. Just keep going up wherever you can and you will eventually make it to the saddle.

Three guys were at the top when I arrived. I am thinking they came up from the west as I didn't hear them until I made the top. They were talkers so I am sure I would have heard them if they were above me. Stayed up top about 25 minutes and then headed back down. Always easier to see where to go on the descent and I crossed the chimney section going down. Headed to the road and walked back to the trailhead.

I always forget how steep this is until I am doing it, but will always be a favorite.
_____________________
Mar 27 2016
nikorock28
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 Photos 251
 Triplogs 683

36 male
 Joined Nov 16 2010
 Kingman, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Mar 27 2016
nikorock28
Hike & Climb1.80 Miles 1,702 AEG
Hike & Climb1.80 Miles   2 Hrs   21 Mns   0.85 mph
1,702 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Well, I was meeting my family for Easter eats in sedona, so thought I would get some hiking in before and after. I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do, but north wilson mountain trail was first on the list. I pulled into the parking area to find no spots, so I just continued on down 89a. Passed midgley bridge and that looked like a zoo, so kept driving. Forget this, I am going to the solitude of capitol butte.

I was off at 12:23pm to 68 degrees and sunny. The beginning is still confusing to me with the washes and such. Boy, this is steep! Those were my thoughts for the entire ascent and it totally kicked my butt. Outside of 100 yards of gentle incline just above the viewpoint to turn easternly, this is straight up. I did okay with route finding and made the top in 1:06. Found the new summit register that was placed there yesterday and made an entry. There were two names from today, but must have been earlier as i didnt see anyone else out there. Nice, clear, sunny, much better views than a few weeks ago.

Took it a bit easier on the down than I did last time, as I had dislodged a couple very large rocks that I believed to be stable. Went down differently than I went up in some parts. I could probably do this every day for ten straight and not follow the exact same way each time.

This may sound silly to the Phoenix people, but what made this outing for me was that the rock below the first pitch was warm to the touch. What a great feeling. I also had sweat dripping on my face. I love that. It goes without saying that I greatly miss warmth.
_____________________
Mar 05 2016
nikorock28
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 Photos 251
 Triplogs 683

36 male
 Joined Nov 16 2010
 Kingman, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Mar 05 2016
nikorock28
Hike & Climb1.80 Miles 1,702 AEG
Hike & Climb1.80 Miles   2 Hrs   26 Mns   0.74 mph
1,702 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Only one triplog from BobP for the South Face in all 2015. This is too fun a hike/climb for a single triplog for the entire year. Pam and I completed this 4 years ago and I had a failed attempt in 2011, so back I went to tackle this today. The trails immediately around the trailhead are still confusing to me and they had a fence up around the perimeter of the parking area to protect vegetation or something. I started on the Andante Trail, which quickly met up with the Thunder Mountain trail, which I turned right on. Up and down some washes, trying to spot the use trail to head for the first climbing pitch. I eventually spotted a large cairn with some sort of trail heading north, so took that. In and out of the use trail, some bushwhacking, but I generally just kept going up where I could. I couldn't spot the first climbing area, but eventually figured out I was too far east and contoured back west. I came around the cliff bend and noticed the jagged, shiny rocks directly above the first climbing area notch. The climb seemed easy compared to the other two times. On my first failed attempt five years ago, I went too far west after this climb and eventually gave up and turned around.

I generally just headed up where I could and found myself above the viewpoint area, spotting the trail in front of me and beneath me (down to the viewpoint). More of the same, weaving in and out of the steep, scree trail, just focusing on going up. A couple places I had to investigate for some moments to figure out where to go, but eventually found where I could get up. It seems to me that there are two chimneys to negotiate... the first only about 7 feet and the second, more slotty, longer and angled, which seemed much harder from below. I ended up climbing around to the right of that one, but I could have been off route with an easier way up. Fairly straightforward from that point to the saddle and then to the summit.

It was windy up there and I was kind of cold, so I only stuck around for 8 or 9 minutes, then headed down. It was easier to stay on the trail going down and I definitely was not on the same route that I came up for the majority of the hike back. I spotted cairns I didn't notice on the ascent (but I wasn't really looking for cairns on the way up) and this time made it to the viewpoint above the first pitch of climbing. I also found Climb B that Jim described in the hike description and went down that way.

Below the first pitch, I was able to follow the correct trail down to the flat land. It is mostly dirt, scree and loose rocks, but you sometimes have to traverse over some sheet rock. In any event, I can now recognize what chute I have to go up. However, it is still slightly confusing when you depart from the Thunder Mountain trail to get to this chute, as you do have to go through some brushy areas. I must say, and it may be silly, but perhaps the most challenging aspect of this hike was avoiding all the cactus that always seemed to be in the middle of the trail. A couple times I had to put on the skids while descending, and also had to work around precariously located cactus on the ascent. I didn't see anyone else out there, except for a couple near the Thunder Mountain trail and some folks at the parking area. I'll be back again soon.
_____________________
Jun 01 2015
BobP
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 Guides 2
 Routes 183
 Photos 3,861
 Triplogs 2,279

57 male
 Joined Feb 26 2008
 Scottsdale, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Jun 01 2015
BobP
Hike & Climb3.53 Miles 2,262 AEG
Hike & Climb3.53 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   1.52 mph
2,262 ft AEG   1 Hour   11 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Fun hike...cliffed out a few times with some 5easy and then found a pretty good route up and an easy peasy one down.
_____________________
http://www.blindmotivation.com
http://www.seeitourway.org
Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
If you like this triplog you must be a friend of BrunoP
Jul 24 2014
joebartels
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 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,895
 Triplogs 4,289

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 24 2014
joebartels
Hiking1.85 Miles 1,750 AEG
Hiking1.85 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   0.89 mph
1,750 ft AEG      25 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
JuanJaimeiii
Fell in love with this one 5 years ago when Hodlofski showed JR1 and I the route. Bruce and I bombed out last year getting off trail. This year jj and I got lucky in that a hot day was getting afternoon relief from a monsoon season storm pressing out nearby. Not the typical breaking off the rim, rather busting out over Mingus. Earlier I saw the thunderhead building expecting it would collapse.

The use trails heading up to the notch are getting more defined. Still a steep one, I was sweating buckets. With several c4 hikes to compare now this is definitely c3. The little stretch just after the notch is probably the sketchiest exposure and it's not bad. Not sure where Bruce and I dropped the ball. Just serves as a reminder things can get ugly if you stray from the route.

The chimney further up has a second option. Head half way up then go over to the right and up. I noticed a cairn and it worked out. The trade off verse the chimney is a blitz of exposure ( mainly noticed going down ). It's quicker in you can keep on cruising. If you are skittish I'd recommend staying in the safe chimney slot for heading down.

jj said the glass summit register was busted and found a newish yet weathering-fast notebook. Shout out to a 50 year old guy named Todd. He must live nearby and hike this one often based on the register.

On a cooler day with the route down I think 1.5 hours would be doable at a moderate pace.
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Hike Arizona it ROCKS!
Jul 24 2014
JuanJaimeiii
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 Routes 562
 Photos 7,617
 Triplogs 1,599

52 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 24 2014
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking1.85 Miles 1,750 AEG
Hiking1.85 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   0.89 mph
1,750 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
joebartels
Steep and fun is the name of the game on this one. I really enjoyed it and agree with Joe that it would be a regular climb if I lived in Sedona. Views from up top were SWEET!
_____________________
Apr 05 2014
sbkelley
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 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Apr 05 2014
sbkelley
Hike & Climb4.30 Miles 2,202 AEG
Hike & Climb4.30 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   0.96 mph
2,202 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
desert_boonie
neurolizer
Made a nice little loop today with Ken, Eric, and Richard. Up the South Face - we found the route to be pretty straight-forward and fun. The first move is indeed exposed, and after that, we zig-zagged our way up, generally following the path of least resistance. Well, except for Eric, who found a more, as he said, "exhilarating" route up. Ken, Richard, and I traversed over to find him after his detour, and we stayed on or near a minor ridgeline that met up with the main ridge. We found a couple minor climbs, including a chimney climb for Richard. We did not, however, encounter the chimney featured in the photos, which disappointed Richard. At least he got one in! The final bit was a steep hike and we were on the chilly summit.

Down the Southwest Ridge we went, and when we got to the saddle about halfway down, we made a beeline down the (brushy) drainage heading northwest toward the Dry Creek Road. The route went just fine, but wouldn't really recommend it unless you like thrashing around in thick brush with loose rock underfoot...

Looped back around to the car on the Lizard Head and Chimney Rock trails.
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
Named place
Named place
Chimney Rock
_____________________
Apr 05 2014
neurolizer
avatar

 Routes 4
 Photos 62
 Triplogs 3

33 male
 Joined Sep 26 2006
 Phoenix
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Apr 05 2014
neurolizer
Hike & Climb4.30 Miles 2,202 AEG
Hike & Climb4.30 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   1.23 mph
2,202 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
II  • Boulder • 4th Sandstone
 
1st trip
Partners partners
desert_boonie
sbkelley
Went up the South Face and tried to go down the Southwest Ridge but ended up in a northwest facing gully instead. The south face is fun and the top part of the northwest ridge was pretty neat too, but I recommend avoiding the northwest gully as the ridge would have been much more enjoyable.
Named place
Named place
Capitol Butte
_____________________
Apr 05 2014
desert_boonie
avatar

 Guides 2
 Photos 1,691
 Triplogs 212

39 male
 Joined Aug 05 2004
 Peoria, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Apr 05 2014
desert_boonie
Hike & Climb4.30 Miles 2,202 AEG
Hike & Climb4.30 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   1.23 mph
2,202 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 • Boulder
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
neurolizer
sbkelley
Scott and Richard already put this trip into words and since I didn't bring a camera I guess everyone will have to settle for the ones they posted. Don't you just love when you go on trips you know nothing about, don't look into it at all, just follow everyone else the entire time, and never have a care in the world? Doesn't happen to me too often so I enjoyed it.
_____________________
"Never Satisfied"
Apr 27 2013
joebartels
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 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,895
 Triplogs 4,289

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 27 2013
joebartels
Hiking1.87 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking1.87 Miles   2 Hrs   25 Mns   0.86 mph
900 ft AEG      15 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
The_Eagle
I did a great job of conning Bruce into to doing this instead of completing our planned hike. Then failed miserably delivering the goods. After convincing him the worst part was 1/3 of the way in I taught him how to really be scared for his life. We were just slightly off but there is huge difference in slight on the south face.

Fortunately we did get back on track. Unfortunately daylight was running out. We made the wise choice heading back, ending right about sunset.

Postcard late afternoon views from halfway up still made this one worthy.
_____________________
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!
Apr 27 2013
The_Eagle
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 Guides 5
 Routes 792
 Photos 9,180
 Triplogs 1,081

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 27 2013
The_Eagle
Hiking2.01 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking2.01 Miles   2 Hrs   24 Mns   0.93 mph
1,000 ft AEG      15 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
joebartels
Never Trust Joe's Memory.

This option was built up all day long.
After finishing our 2nd hike and waiting for Bidden and McCain's Armada to pass, Joe pulled up the Stats and Map on the HAZ Mobile site.

With a few hours left in the day we were off.

The First indicator that something could be funky.... He was not sure which direction to start. He pointed, and we made a beeline and started climbing.

After we got to the last bad spot and had clear sailing, there were many more bad spots.

We both got to spots at the same time, but different spots on the mountain, where we could not go up any more, and were concerned about not wanting to go back the way we came. I never thought an Agave would be my friend. This spot had a pucker factor of 7.

With daylight waning, luckily we finally found the "Trail" and made the "Smart" decision to descend.

Another Crappy Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySWP97yoQ_I
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There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Feb 10 2012
nikorock28
avatar

 Photos 251
 Triplogs 683

36 male
 Joined Nov 16 2010
 Kingman, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Feb 10 2012
nikorock28
Hike & Climb2.00 Miles 1,850 AEG
Hike & Climb2.00 Miles   6 Hrs   15 Mns   0.42 mph
1,850 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
HAZ - Event
outdoor_lover
Well, Pam and I successfully completed the ascent (and descent) of Capitol Butte. Jim was sick and couldn't make it, but Pam was quite enthusiastic and psyched for the hike. We figured our intelligent minds would be enough for navigation, albeit perhaps with a little adventure and mishap along the way. Last year when I attempted this, I traversed way too far west after the first pitch area and eventually just turned back. This time, Pam was able to spot the all important cairn and we made it to the viewpoint saddle. Even though the high was only 65 degrees or so, it felt quite warm and the saddle provided the first spot of relief (shade). I continued on ahead and eventually came to an area with a bit of climb, which was not what I recognized as the Chimney. I held up and waited for Pam to discuss our options. It seemed the only way (the trail was actually somewhere to the left, I think), so up we went, withdrawing our packs (and boy does she carry a heavy one! 5L of water Pam? come on! lol). She climbed up and I heaved her pack up to her and luckily she caught it. That saved me any potential embarrassment and I appreciated it. On we continued to the Chimney, where I was instructed as to what steming (sp?) is. Of course, that was after I had climbed up, but I had to try it for myself. Much more stable indeed! We eventually made the summit, where I was able to sign my first summit log and pose for my first ever Wendy. After an hour up there, we finally headed down. It is interesting how completely different the trail feels while hiking down as opposed to up. It didn't feel steep on the ascent, but I knew it was based on the descent. Anyways, we eventually made it to the first pitch and successfully made it down. The sun had already set long ago and, at this point, there was limited light available. Eventually, the flashlights came out. This would be my first time ever hiking via the aid of flashlight. No problem, we were almost to the trailhead, or so we thought. Something went awry somewhere, but we eventually made it back to the cars. That's all I have to say about that. Great hike Pam!
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Feb 10 2012
outdoor_lover
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 Guides 5
 Routes 8
 Photos 11,098
 Triplogs 508

56 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 10 2012
outdoor_lover
Hiking2.00 Miles 1,850 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   6 Hrs   15 Mns   0.42 mph
1,850 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
nikorock28
Get comfortable, this one's a Doozy! :lol: Poor Nick, if he had known this Trail, he could have been up and down in 4 hours and missed my series of Train Wrecks! :D Personally, if I had to rate this trail, I would rate it more difficult than either Flat Iron or Picketpost, by far...But that's me...It may be "shorter", but it pretty much kicked my Pumpkin, both physically and mentally. ;)

I had driven about 10 miles when Jim called and cancelled because he was sick, but I had copied the Description and the GPS Route, so I had most of the information that I would need to go at it anyway. I don't have a GPS, which probably hurt us later, but I use the topo on the Route Map to help guide me. I give Nick a quick call and tell him I'm going for it anyway and Nick agrees to meet me there a little earlier than our "designated" start time. Starting earlier proved invaluable as we were through the worst part before we had to break out the lights...I had been looking forward to this hike all week, so I was going to make the attempt, do or die. I guess I'm just stubborn...

I met Nick at the TH and we got started. There really is very little "warm up" hiking before you really start getting into the steep stuff. After you start getting steep, the Trail starts to take on the appearance of a drainage of sorts. Lots and Lots of loose rock. It felt like it took twice as much energy for every step, plus the "up". Nick is moving faster and I finally tell him to just keep going and not stop and wait for me. He does, but waits for me at all the difficult spots, thanks Nick! Between the facts that I get winded easily anyway, I'm sliding some and possibly the higher altitude, I really felt like a snail today, but I kept going...

Get to the first difficult pitch that really smacks of exposure, but I just didn't look down and was fine. We got it handled and Nick went up the Trail some to scout it out. We found a cairned "shortcut" that bypasses a saddle and up and over we go. I find Nick a short time later, lounging in the first nice spot of shade. It was a little warm today, even up in Sedona. Big View of the Southeast Drainage from here. Take some pics and off we go. The Trail is either scrambling and traversing Sandstone ledges or walking/scrambling over loose and somewhat loose rock, the entire way. No Sticky Rock here, it's all sandstone and slate, very smooth so traction was poor and if you stepped on a loose plate of it, you immediately started "sledding" downhill. It was hard not to step on it in places. :?

Caught up with Nick again :lol: and he is unsure of the best route and not finding any cairns here and it appears that we need to do a little climbing through a slot. So with a little effort, we get it done and keep moving. Still plugging along, I catch up to Nick again, :sweat: and we are at the "Chimney". I look and think that maybe this would be a good place to try my second ever attempt at "stemming". My first, was at Peak 5024 without success, I ran out of rock before I got high enough. This Gap looked absolutely perfect to try it again. Nick had not heard the term before, so I explained it. He decided to go up first, in the traditional way, and did very well. My turn and I'm just hoping I succeed and don't look too stupid as now I have an interested audience. :o I couldn't believe how easy and smooth it went. You'd have thought I'd done it 1000 times. :D I actually impressed myself! It must have had some effect on Nick because he jumps right back down in the slot so he can try it. :lol:

Now that we are done laughing about that, Nick is getting Summit fever as we are now getting close, so he takes off. I continue my slog and finally get to the top, with Nick there to greet me. There are four other people on the Summit and they are camped at the Summit Log so I find another nice area a little ways away and start snapping pictures. The 360 view of Sedona are amAZing! Worth every slip and slide! :D The four people eventually leave and we go over and sign the Summit Log, Nick's first. : app : The Log is full, so I whip out a small notebook that I carry and contribute it to the jar. Guess what Nick, the pack is now 2 oz lighter! :sweat:

It is starting to get late and we head back down, hoping that we can at least get the scrambling and climbing out of the way before dark. If the Trail was loose before, now it's much worse going down. Even the "fixed" rocks are flat and smooth and the least bit of sand or dirt on them makes them incredibly slick. And, of course, I'm still wearing my less than favorite boots. One of the reasons I don't like these boots is that I don't feel that the Tread Pattern is as "gripping" and now I'm really regretting not having my other boots. I fell on my pumpkin at least twice before we hit the last climb with the "nice" exposure. And I certainly will not win any "Grace" awards for those falls either! :) I feel as much like a snail going down as I did going up, and that's unusual, even for me...

And let's add insult to injury!!! :lol: About halfway down, we are on our butts sliding again and I feel my pants rip. I had worn my older, holier pants for this trip anyway, and was not really worried if they got more holes in them, but unfortunately, they decided to go just below my right "cheek" pocket! :oops: And every time I sat, from then on, the rip got bigger and bigger. I officially designated Nick as the "full time" leader at that point, so I wasn't "mooning" him the rest of the way down the hill! :lol: I think we both found it was better for him to dodge a few rocks from me being uphill of him, than for him to have to look at that, all the way down. :o

I finally "slide in" to the last big climb with the exposure issue. I had no problem climbing down the gap area, but suddenly as I'm traversing the ledge, somehow the Exposure hits me and I freeze. Not a good feeling at all. :( I'm usually ok, but I think the combination of going downhill, (you can't help but look down), the total loss of footing and boot confidence, the fast fading light and probably fatigue, just caught up to me all at once, in the worst place possible! I literally froze and was afraid to move. Nick became concerned, but wasn't sure what to do except talk to me. I closed my eyes and had a serious talk with myself and got myself moving again, luckily, in the right direction! Whew! I actually had another issue with even less exposure further down, which is so unlike me! But I persevered and got through it again. Ok, now I'm seriously becoming a basket case!

We get to the bottom of the actual mountain and fairly quickly after that, have to break out the lights. Nick is still leading, there is only one moon he really wants to see and I'm not it. :lol: We are following what we believe is still the Trail, even though it again resembles a drainage, trying to keep an eye out for when a slightly more normal trail appears and takes off to the right. As we continue down the loose rock, my right foot looses grip again and down I go! Only this time, my left leg was still back and stuck, so I fall right on my left leg which is stuck in a pretty awkward position. Instant knee pain hits. :o I am now unloading a series of expletives not suitable for this site when Nick gets back to me. I'm still in pain with my leg stuck behind me and I'm deathly afraid to move it. Nick is firing questions about what I think I may have done and I'm still trying to work through the pain. After a couple of minutes it eases up a tad, and I decide to try to straighten out my leg. I get it out straight and it starts feeling much better.:pray: After a couple of more minutes, I realize that it's going to be ok and with Nick's help, get to my feet and it's ok. (I think I know what caused the pain, but I won't bore you with the details).

We continue on, still not finding where the trail goes right, towards the parking lot. We know pretty much where the lot is, but can't find a clear path to get there. We finally say, WTH, and get out of the drainage and start bushwacking west. This turned into a little more of a bushwack than we would certainly would have liked and we found plenty of catclaw while we were at it! :yuck: After what seemed like an eternity of catclaw and drainage up and downs we finally found a trail that seemed to go the direction we wanted to go and after 200 ft on it, we were back to the cars. Funny how that trail showed up in the parking lot in a different place than the one we left on. :sweat: :lol:

Utter relief on my part that the Train Wreck has finally hit the station. Probably my worst showing on a hike! :roll: I felt like a real wimp. But Nick was fabulous. He was patient and a very good sport about the whole thing. :thanx: :worthy:

If someone asked me to hike that again in the next few weeks, I would have to turn them down. My confidence has been shaken up a little. But someday, I'll come back to this Butte and find a way to kick it in the pumpkin! The views at the top are too noteworthy to never do this hike again. It just doesn't get much better than that. Did I have a good time? Although it may be hard to tell reading this Log, yes, I did, and I loved the challenge of it all, especially the climbing. I just had trouble rising up to the occasion on this day. I'll be back....
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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
Jun 08 2011
nikorock28
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 Photos 251
 Triplogs 683

36 male
 Joined Nov 16 2010
 Kingman, AZ
Capitol Butte South Face aka Thunder MtnSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Jun 08 2011
nikorock28
Hike & Climb1.50 Miles 700 AEG
Hike & Climb1.50 Miles   1 Hour   57 Mns   0.77 mph
700 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
To summarize, this was a failed attempt. When I had to return after hiking for a couple minutes to retrieve the hike description that was left in the car, I saw that as a portend of things to come. Then I veered left early on and found myself at the Thunder Mountain (I think) trail junction. Yeah, this is not right. Not a good way to start off a hike/climb when you are having trouble getting to the approach. Anyways, I eventually knew I was on the right path when it started getting steep and I was clearly heading towards the base of Butte. I got to the first pitch and, since I have never really "climbed" before, it was slightly daunting and made me a little nervous since the small "ledge" steps seemed too high for my short stature. However, with one gusto of courage, I went for it and made it up with no problem. Surprisingly, coming down was exponentially easier. Anyways, so I continued onward and upward for a ways, but I never was able to find either of the two small climbs Jim refers to in the hike description. Looking at the GPS track, I think I might have went too far west and missed them. I turned around and headed back after I climbed up a couple areas but still wasn't able to make out where it was I needed to go. I was just kind of happy to make it back to the first pitch area... lol. The mileage and AEG are a pure guess.
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average hiking speed 0.97 mph
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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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