My journey began with a bike ride along the paved South Rim trail from Grand Canyon Village to the South Kaibab trailhead at sunrise. While I did not time the approach to be started in the dark this time, I always recommend an alpine start while attempting anything in the canyon due to the high daytime temps. In the picture below, the top of the ridgline is the start of the S. Kaibab trail. Thor Temple is in the background.
Missing photo ID#361704
On the S. Kaibab trail now. Looking west along the canyon, Ooh - ahh Point can be seen in the bottom right of the picture.
From Ooh - ahh Point, O'Neill Butte (south butt and east side) can now be seen.
Between Ooh - aah Point and Cedar Ridge the trail lit up nicely in the morning sun. With the objective standing tall straight ahead.
Quickly reaching Cedar Ridge, which is a good place to stash water for the return hike out of the canyon.
After Cedar Ridge, descend until the trail meets up with the saddle between the ridge and O'Neill Butte. And the mandatory early morning selfie.
To reach the North Face, you will want to traverse the east side of O'Neill Butte. And cross by several short crack pitches along the way. By the way, the eastern side of O'Neill Butte has some of the better cragging I've seen at Grand Canyon.
You will want to turn the corner to the north side of the Butte and aim for the middle of the North Face. Climbing a tree, traversing layers, following a distinct footpath all the way until the curving crack that starts pitch one is found. The Graffiti and an old pair of underware mark the start of the climb.
Pitch one is fourth class and I solo climbed it to make up some time.
Once at the top of the first pitch, traverse a large ledge to the right, looking for a two tiered corner system. If you round the toe of the northwest side, you have gone too far. This is a picture of pitch two, the hole which begins the second tier will need to be tunnelled up into (5.0). Which is awesome and memorable climbing.
At the top of pitch two, traverse left to a sloping chimney with a chockstone on top of it, blocking the exit. The chimney increases with difficulty and the chockstone is traversed on hand jams out right without much for feet (5.0), and mantled.
Traverse the caprock on the eastern side.
I finished off the ascent with a couple more selfies.
I took one half a set of cams to 4" (one set minus every other piece), no stoppers, some long runners, and one 70m rope.
Rappel from a bush at the top of pitch three to the top of pitch one (100').
I down climbed pitch one.