Grade & Length: V, WI6R, 70m
Approach: Follow the Ghost River driving directions to Devils Gap. Hike up the valley for about 15 or 20 minutes to the first canyon on the right just as you reach the first Ghost Lake. Go up the canyon climbing a couple of short easy ice steps and one pitch of W2 until reaching Aquarius. Alternately, climb the WI3 route “Sunshine” which is on the same cliff band as Malignant Mushroom but a fair ways further up the valley, and then hike up and left through the forest to reach Aquarius (WI4).
A nice 60m pitch of often wet ice (Aquarius, WI4) leads to a bolted belay on the right wall at the entrance to the incredible “Recital Hall”. Even if you don’t plan on climbing the routes, it’s worth walking the few steps above the anchor to check out Fearful Symmetry & Rainbow Serpent.
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Route Description: The lefthand of the two routes, it is an amazing climb that rarely forms. There appears to be some good potential for bolted mixed routes behind the ice, but this has not yet been developed. Climb about 20m of easy ice to a bolted belay on the right behind the pillar. A wild 45m pitch of very steep ice leads to the top, belay off an ice anchor. Usually both pillars have cracks in them and they do fall down on occasion, so use your best judgement and be gentle. Definitely not a route to attempt after a big temperature swing or during a cold snap.
Gear: Just screws.
Objective Hazards: The climb can fall down on you, that’s what the “R” rating is for. There can also be some rock fall on very windy days.