Type: Trad, 8 pitches
FA: Rees, Zeilman, May 2014
Page Views: 2,894 total · 38/month
Shared By: Vic Zeilman on Jun 23, 2015
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


The Odyssey is a fun climb that goes pretty quick once you locate the start. Although it is accessed via the Guppy Gully, it is more in character with climbs on the arêtes than routes like Yellow Submarine or Life Aquatic. It is also a higher quality line than those found higher in the Guppy Gully. For those looking for a few more 5.10 options in the Black, this is well worth checking out.

This Grade III/IV 5.10c-ish route scales the front side of the Guppy Buttress (that big chossy-looking formation to the right of the Russian Arête, directly facing the Comic Relief Buttress) and is separated from the SOB Gully by Lauren's Arête. All in all, The Odyssey weaves a fairly high quality line in the midst of a large amount of subpar rock. There is quite a bit of 5.9 climbing, with a couple short but distinct 5.10/.10+ cruxes. Although there is some munge on this climb, it is easy to overlook in light of some excellent pitches.

Follow the approach description listed below to reach the base of the climb. Locate a sizable cairn in the gully (about a 45 minute descent) and scramble 200-300' up exposed broken 4th Class terrain. Rope up on a small, exposed perch with [edit: single bolt]. This is the beginning of the first pitch.

P1. Tricky 5.9ish climbing leads past a marginal piton in a small dihedral and broken weakness left of a prominent roof. Continue up steep 5.9 crack and face, eventually ending on a large ledge below the prominent crux dihedral.

P2. Start up this excellent brown, polished crack system/dihedral. 5.7 climbing gets progressively harder (5.9 hands) to reach a stance below a steep section of stemming. Tackle this short, steep crux section (5.10/.10+ with good gear), and either belay on a small ledge directly above or continue into P3 (linking these two pitches is recommended if you have the gear and lack of rope drag).

P3. Make a few awkward 5.8/5.9 moves in a left-leaning crack system that deposits you on a sizable ledge. Trend right and continue up 5.8 broken cracks to reach a larger terrace above. This is a shorter pitch if not linked with P2.

P4. Move left off the belay; a reachy 5.9 move gains a big jug out on the face (marginal pro here). Move left, find solid gear, then run it out on 5.7ish terrain to reach a prominent crack system above. Follow fun 5.9 crack climbing with good jams and good gear and end at a small ledge below a small, left-facing corner.

P5. This is another excellent pitch of stellar face climbing on beautiful stone which includes some runouts on moderate terrain. Head up the 5.7 left-facing dihedral, then venture onto the face above, aiming for a lone bolt. Clip the bolt, and bust some 5.9 moves (well-protected) as the climbing gets gradually easier and more runout. Move right along a sloping ledge, and clip another bolt. Bust a few stemming moves (5.9) to access a short section of double hand cracks above. Make an exposed, airy 5.9ish step left into the enormous pegmatite band above, and follow some runout 5.6 terrain to a belay ledge.

P6-7. Most parties will choose to link these pitches at 70-75m. Basically, trend up and left off the belay, and follow dirty and bushy 5.7/5.8 cracks to a massive terrace at the end of the pitch. Watch your rope drag.

P8. Locate a splitter crack left of an obvious black streak. Some fun 5.9 jamming in the shallow splitter leads to section of stemming. Sew it up with some good small pieces, and pull through this second crux (5.10/.10+) to reach a stance above. Clip a bolt on the face above, and move hard right to gain lower angle terrain. Continue up and right, squeezing through a section of awkward wide climbing, and belay above.

From here, depending on where you belayed, most parties should be fairly comfortable coiling the rope and scrambling to the rim. Solo approximately 400' of loose, bushy 4th Class to 5.5ish terrain in the prominent gully leading to the rim. Hike to North Vista Trail, and follow the path back to the ranger station.


Guppy Gully - hike the North Vista Trail from the ranger station for approximately 0.75 miles. Enter the first major sandstone drainage on the left. Descend this unique gully (many section of 4th class downclimbing) until it abruptly drops off. Move right toward a prominent tree and located a short fixed rappel down and right.  Continue down the drainage past the Yellow Submarine, Life Aquatic, and World According to Guppy. Stick to the right hand side of the gully (bushwhacking, downclimbing, etc.) as it slowly turns right along the left edge of Lauren’s Arête. Keep heading for the river. Eventually, locate a large outcropping that protrudes from the prow of the Guppy Buttress, and scramble for roughly 250-300’ (see the topo) to a small ledge/perch marked by a fixed pin. Rope up for the first pitch here.


Standard rack plus (1)#4, Microcams, & RPs.