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Sargasso Sea 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

   
Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Rossiter, Herschoff, Hare, Horan.
Page Views: 4,180
Submitted By: Quinn Stevens on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (60)
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Morris Hershoff on 2nd lead of Sargasso Sea, photo...

Description 

The route begins with a bang- an obvious side pull sets you up for throw to better holds. From this move, climb into a strenous seam that spits you out onto the slab. Balance and smear your way through the crux and onto to easier climbing.

Protection 

Bring draws for 9 bolts and a two bolt anchor.


Photos of Sargasso Sea Slideshow Add Photo
Sargasso Sea - 12a
Sargasso Sea - 12a
Josh Finkelstein on Sargasso Sea, 5.12a.
Josh Finkelstein on Sargasso Sea, 5.12a.
The upper crux of Sargasso Sea - 12a
The upper crux of Sargasso Sea - 12a
Said reaching big to find some purchase on the rai...
Said reaching big to find some purchase on the rai...

Comments on Sargasso Sea Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 8, 2014
By Patrick Vernon
From: Albuquerque, NM
Jan 1, 2001

Interesting Doug, My first time on this route I had the same experience as you did, I recall a sort of diagonal jamming/handtraversing deal to get to a really bad diagonaling hold, it seemed way harder than .12a. I went back to the route and tried the crux differently, you undecling the right diagonaling holds and can stand up and avoid this reach, this way is at most .12a, probably about as hard as the beginning. Deceptive sequence.
By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From: Phoenix, AZ
Jan 1, 2001

I'd have to agree with Pat on this one. Although the bottom crux is completely height-dependant (I am 6 and snagged the jug with no problem), the upper slab crux is not as bad if you know the beta. I thought the 12a rating seemed about right for the overall route, although neither crux seemed as hard as 5.12 on its own.
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 17, 2001

Work out your body position on both of these cruxes. Climb this route a few times and it's likely to seem a lot easier than 5.12a.
By adam brink
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 21, 2002

Every person I have been down to Dream Canyon with has easily on-sighted this route and thought it was easy for the grade. This was my first on-sight of a 12a and after a dozen more on-sights at the grade, I also feel it is a bit soft. None the less, it is a fun route with pleasing moves.
By Joe Collins
Jul 1, 2002

The boulder problem at the start is the crux if you read the "crux" sequence correctly up higher and work the undercling feature. Felt more like 11c/d to me after seeing someone try the route before I got on it.
By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
Oct 19, 2003

The rock on the lower half of this route is very polished, almost to the point of making this route not enjoyable. The two crux sections are tough to read. It helps to be tall on the lower crux and shorter on the higher crux.
By Anonymous Coward
May 7, 2005

Area and Nonono, you have it all wrong. The correct beta at the crux above the 2nd no hands rest ledge is:

Right hand sidepull, lieback right foot seam, as high as possible without compromising body position, left foot up, slopey but adequate foothold, left hand undercling, long reach, right hand to very blunt arete that can be pinched marginally, left hand to crisp thin edge about 1.5 feet left of right hand that is pinching the blunt arete, move off of that, that's the crux (hardest part probably getting set up correctly), clip is w/ the left hand off of the right hand that is still on the blunt arete.

Geez! get your beta straight man!
By Luke Evans
Sep 7, 2005
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

Felt 12b hard to me and kept me on my toes, even after the 2nd crux. Such a rewarding Route, when your foot finally sticks to the granite through the 2nd crux!
By desbien
From: seattle,wa
May 4, 2008

Fun- first 12a onsight- easier than p1 of Earth Voyage. Not having done much climbing in the area, I don't know what to call it. Either way you can move left of the crux and escape to an easier yet still neato 11c variation. I moved to the left, to anchors after the crux section. The rest of the climb may be fun, but it looked significantly easier and maybe a waste of time?
By Ian
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 25, 2008

After failing miserably trying to go for the mono/finger-lock last time, I ended up doing what AC described in a moment of desperation this time around. It's not as obvious, but a lot easier than going for the seam ways up.
By Mark Wiranowski
Sep 26, 2011

I'm 6'0" with a decent wingspan. I was able to use the left hand undercling, high step right to an adequate knob, and reach all the way up to the finger slot. I used pinky and ring fingers in a thumbs-up position. At first, it felt terrible, but on my RP, it felt good enough to move my left foot and then clip from. Didn't see a crisp edge for my left hand. Grade is on for BC - I've had this experience a few times at the grade - feels deceptively hard the first time, then flows pretty well after another try or two.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Oct 10, 2012
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

I thought this was a super fun route. I guess you could ding the quality a bit because it has several huge, no hands rests, but the moves are so fun and the rock so bomber that I think it deserves 4 stars. In addition, I think the route probably deserves 12a, mostly because I think that the technical movement is comparable to many other 12a's at other granite areas, both inside and outside of CO.
By Jay Samuelson
From: Denver CO
May 19, 2014

Amazing route and lots of fun. I don't understand why there is a run-out ground fall potential between bolts 2 and 3 though. Granted it's easy climbing, but holds break, feet slip, and shit happens. Why put that risk into this route when it's a fully bolted sport route?
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
May 19, 2014
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Agreed, Jay.
Every time I climb this route I think to myself, why the F... is this bolted with such bad groundfall potential. To make matters worse, if you are not tall, then you can't even reach the bolt from the ledge stance. I can reach it no prob, but I have certainly watched shorter folks have to do moves to clip it. Pretty dumb.
By Andy Hansen
From: Longmont, Colorado
May 21, 2014
rating: 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a

I'll give my two cents here: this was a frustrating route for me to say the least. I read the above comments from Adam and thought to myself, "It can't be that hard...." The boulder problem at the first bolt is devious, but once you've wired it (thanks for the beta, Jay...), it seems right on for 12a. I guess I didn't think twice about the runout above bolt two, but off the rest stance at bolts 4/5, the route is strenuous, technical, and deceptive. It took me many goes to finally wire these moves. I ended up not using the the finger slots but instead using some dismal high feet to create enough pressure to stand up into the subtle undercling/pinch/bulge feature. From there, the route eases to low-11/hard-10 climbing and onto the chains. Overall, the route climbs very well on some of the best stone in the canyon, and I think my disappointment merely came from my high expectation to onsight this route. Be prepared to think on this one.
By slim
Administrator
Jun 8, 2014
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

A blue TCU-sized piece can be used between bolts 2 and 3. The climbing through here is pretty easy, but it was wet when I did it, so it was kind of nice to have. The upper crux took a bit to figure out. I thought the protection here was a little weird. There is a ledge in a bad spot below, and you don't really get rewarded with a good clipping stance when you go for it. The 2nd bolt above the crux seemed poorly thought out also.

Overall, the climbing is really good. If the bolts were dialed in a bit better, it would probably be a 4 star route.