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 ADVANCED
The Trophy Wall
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Sea of Vapors T 
Troubled Dreams (ice) T 

Sea of Vapors 

WI7+ R

   
Type:  Trad, Ice, Alpine, 4 pitches, 542', Grade V
Consensus: WI6 [details]
FA: Bruce Hendricks and Joe Josephson
Season: Winter
Page Views: 3,454
Submitted By: Noah8000 on Mar 30, 2011

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Leading Pitch 3 of Sea of Vapors. (Photo by Rafal ...

Description 

When in condition as of the first ascent, this climb becomes one of the hardest ice routes anywhere. (WI7+ R) When the sustained thin ice turns into thicker ice, expect to see difficulties in the WI5+/6 range.

As much as I'd like to say I did it in WI7+ R condition, I didn't. I'll explain the climb in the conditions I found.

In 7+ condition Joe Josephson explains that the belay anchors are solid in the rock but besides that there is no gear leading, just sustained steep thin ice with a couple of overhangs.

P1 Climb the WI5 Postcriptum Pillar for 40 meters until you arrive at the hanging bolt belay. (Only bolts on the climb) Continue to stare at the next pitch.

P2 Climb up to the top of the pillar and enter the "Whipper Traverse." The pitons there are quite interesting. OR place a high screw and traverse directly right skipping the Whipper Traverse with a couple of M4/5 moves to Sea of Vapors. I did not do the Whipper Traverse and skirted right before it so I cannot speak for how hard it is. I have heard M6 or M7. Continue up funky vertical ice for a while until the ground eases in angle. (85 degrees)

P3 Continue up a fun pitch of exposed WI5 climbing until a belay can be made. If your lucky, there is sometimes a cave that makes one of the best belay stations I've been on.

P4 Continue up vertical ice until the top of the climb is reached.


Location 

The route is the right most line on the Trophy Wall. The start is by the Postcriptum or a direct start can be had via two bolts at the roof but it's been known the crux hold broke making it extremely more difficult then it already was.

Descend via V threads.

Enjoy!

Protection 

In the conditions I found, no rock gear was needed. A couple knifeblades are not a bad thing to bring though. Bring a few stubbies.


Photos of Sea of Vapors Slideshow Add Photo
The Replicant in WI6+ conditions. Look to see Jeff leading it! This route looks so good as well.
The Replicant in WI6+ conditions. Look to see Jeff...
Hitchhiking, mtn biking, hiking, camping, soloing SOV! I love Mt. Grundle! 3/28/11
Hitchhiking, mtn biking, hiking, camping, soloing ...
This is around the middle of P2 in PHAT conditions. <br />Photo by Rafal Andronowski
This is around the middle of P2 in PHAT conditions...
Sea of Vapors from the belay on Replicant.
Sea of Vapors from the belay on Replicant.
Leading P3
Leading P3
Exposure
Exposure
The Trophy Wall with Sea of Vapors on the right
The Trophy Wall with Sea of Vapors on the right
A beautiful climb in incredible fat WI5/M3ish condition of 2010/2011 season.
A beautiful climb in incredible fat WI5/M3ish cond...
Following the last pitch
Following the last pitch
The M6 traverse, March 2014.  I clipped the first two pins of the Whipper, and traversed to another fixed pin.
The M6 traverse, March 2014. I clipped the first ...
Kurt heading up the last pitch
Kurt heading up the last pitch

Comments on Sea of Vapors Add Comment
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By Dave Rone
From: Eau Claire, Wis
Apr 15, 2014
rating: WI6 R

My friend Jon and I climbed the route in March 2014 for the first time. Quite an adventure! He wrote up a nice summary of the day.

climbs2high.blogspot.com/2014/...