FKT: Travis Soares - Buddha Temple (Southeast Face 5.6) - 2022-03-17

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
11h 47m 14s

I stealth camped at a picnic area near the trailhead and in the morning biked over. I started heading down the South Kaibab TH at 6:40. Dropping the trail was exceptionally fun and managed to reach the river in just under 1 hour. From phantom ranch I took the unofficial Utah Flats trail for a few miles to where it drops into phantom creek. From there it's all off trail and a few 4th class sections up to the shellbach-buddha saddle. At the saddle I contoured north around the Supai layer and found a fixed line up through 5th class terrain. On the hermit shale I traversed south around Buddha to the southeast face. The climbing had one or two distinct 5.6 cruxes but consisted mostly of 5.4. I reached the summit around 12. Halfway done.

I down climbed and charged to phantom creek, I had run out of water and was desperately thirsty. At the creek I ate and watered up. Heading back up the south Kaibab I initially felt great and was moving fast. A sub 11 hour effort was possible. However I encountered a man who was throwing up from dehydration and helped him out. I was happy to help although it cost me twenty or so minutes and I had lost my momentum. I began to bonk pretty bad and had no food left for the final switchbacks. Eventually I made it and finished in 11 hours and 47 minutes! Unfortunately my bike lock was jammed up and I had to walk the extra mile to my van haha. Overall epic day!