|Elaine Castle Quite an
interesting non-technical summit, but far from the typical pathways in the
Shinumo Canyon region. The summit route
given by the Tomasi book suggests passing around the Coconino cliff to the
east (which is how we did it), but John Azar recommends the other way as
more secure apparently the east-side slump-ravine is where Robert
Benson fell with a pelvic fracture John calls this place "fragile"
and it's true that the place is steep with poor traction, much loose rock,
and (everywhere here) dense manzanita brush. Even if you don't look very
closely you may see evidence of ancient dwellings, storage, and the log
for the lookout. Although possible to do this from the rim at Lancelot Point
and return, a few open areas provide a place to camp at the saddle near
the slope from the rim, but more interesting to make this part of a trip
through Modred Abyss.
Routes Elaine Saddle is a difficult place to navigate because of the heavy brush, often overhead height. From the main north saddle, the way south is on the east slope of the ridge and then west below the hump in the middle, then directly up the ridge no recommendation of my own to offer which direction from there. Above the Coconino, circle to the east and around northwest of the summit block, pass under a slab, climb the juniper log and up the class-3 ravine. Note there is a lot of cliff over the edge of the slope below.
2005 October - Day 10, starting from Swamp Point climb to the top with Bob Hostetler last day going out.