Rock Garden
  Mount Huethawali — Obscure for how to say the place-name (Wee-the-wah-lee) which is a descriptive Havasupai name meaning "white rock mountain". This makes a favorite day-hike from the South Bass Trailhead without a great challenge for time, but the ascent is definitely not a walkup. This is a moderate Class-3 ascent requiring some route-finding and safe climbing skills. Start with a careful look at the objective from the rim.

The route goes up the apparent best option of a steep slope area to the left (southwest corner) of the peak. To get on the route traverse up the lower slope to reach the base of the cliffs above the cut exposing the red Hermit Shale. Get right up to the base of the bare rock and traverse left as far as it goes. A couple of junipers here give some shade for a brief rest-stop. Go up onto the bare rock to find the first route cairn and keep an eye out for more all the way to the top. There are some variations perhaps easier climbs with more-or-less sense of exposure, but overall quite safe unroped. The places where hands are needed are mostly in a crack or crevice with good holds and steps above a slope area. The southside chimney to the top caprock is the most difficult move but there is an option on the other side worth a check if you prefer. Locate the summit register in a can and record your visit.

A good memory for some key spots will make the descent go well. It helps to look behind sometimes on the way up. Be sure to remind others hiking in your group that if they should bump a loose rock and it starts to roll, they immediately call out 'rock!-rock!-rock!'.

For the approach to the route, I recommend going along the South Bass Trail to the flat area past the head of the canyon that cuts the Esplanade (upper Garnet Canyon). Similarly, to get to the other side, and perhaps search for Mystic Spring, the northside verge of the peak is easier terrain — based on experience, of course.

2019 October - Ascent.


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