CLIMB INTO RIGHTHAND CANYON AT END OF OAK CREEK
(UNDER ALTAR OF SACRIFICE)
We began walking about 8:00 a.m. from the water tank by the picnic area in Oak Creek Canyon following the old road up to the long water collecting box. We then went right by the black plastic waterpipe toward Meridian Tower. Then, out of the small valley up onto the ridge on the west.
After skirting under the cliffs through shrub live oak, we reached the mouth of the canyon at about 10:00 a.m. (There is a faster way by going the way we returned).
The climbing in the canyon was interesting. Choke stones and big boulders filled the way. We scrambled up massive rocks and wedged into vertical chimneys and jumped small pools of water trapped in crevices. After two hours of maneuvering and exploring ways around, over and through the sandstone, we decided on lunch.
A short excursion up the east slope offered possibilites should the canyon route become impossible.
After lunch a dark vertical space under a canopy of choke stones was climbed by the first three. A rope was then secured and lowered. It fell free for about twenty-five feet at the bottom. Gibbs ascenders were used. They worked well, however, the twist in the goldline rope caused a bit of twirling.
The steep face now in front of us halted our progress. One attempt with the rope loooped over a rock projection was not fully pursued because of the time. This pitch appeared possible with pitons. We did not have any with us. It was our opinion that the canyon could be negotiated completely to the top permitting access to a remote portion of the rim country and affording a view and a possible avenue down into Coal pits Wash.
We had decided to turn around at 2:00 p.m. which we did. Shortly after two, we were shadowed by the Altar of Sacrifice. Ice was present but not a problem.
Reaching the mouth of the canyon, we angled to our right (south); strolled down the slope to the old road at the upper collection box. Down the trail, we reached the car about 4:30 p.m.
Behunin Canyon - December 28, 1974
All Content on this page in the public domain.