Grade & Length: V, WI6, 75m
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.
Route Description: The righthand of the two climbs. Climb a short pitch to the base of the pillar and build a belay out of the way of ice fall. Launch up the pillar and hang on tight to the top! The ice can be quite rotten and stays steep throughout. An steep but short mixed route (M8?) established by Eammon Walsh and Scott Withers climbs the steep wall to the right of the initial pillar and may be an option if the initial pillar isn’t formed.
Objective Hazards: Some chance of rockfall on windy days. If the route is skinny there may be the possibility of collapse.