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Glass Ocean and Environs
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A Fish Called Wanda T 
Atlantis T,TR 
Delta Y S,TR 
Get the Net T 
Glass Ocean S 
High Dive T 
Hydroplane T 
Left Tributary S 
Lord of the Long Arms T,TR 
Northwest Passage T,TR 
Open Water T 
Pane, The S 
Right Tributary T 
Sail Away S 
Seam, The T 
Thar She Blows T 
Troubled Seas T 
Tsunami S 

Glass Ocean 

YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 110'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Pat Contor, Gary Taylor, 1988
Page Views: 12,870
Submitted By: Mason on Jun 1, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (150)
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Matt Walker on top rope.


This route is fantastic every time! One of the best 5.8's in BCC!!

There is a ledge about 25 feet up from the start. On the descent it is important to stop on this ledge and walk off around the side. You can NOT lower all the way back down with a 60 meter rope!!! So be careful.

Stuart & Ruckman's Wasatch Climbing Guide simply describes this climb as "Smooth as glass, vast as the ocean. The upper face is beautiful and continuous."

There are some excellent puzzles to solve on the way up, and it feels very, very exposed.

Some of the bolts feel pretty far apart as a result of the exposure.


9 bolts to the anchors. Various sized quickdraws and even a couple of runners useful as the route wanders a bit and rope drag can be bad.

It would be possible to deck between the second and third bolts (but not likely, as it is easy climbing around to the shelf), and also between the third and fourth bolts (because you are basically starting over again from the shelf, and could fall back down to it). This warning is not being issued as a scare tactic, but it should be issued because the possibility exists.

Photos of Glass Ocean Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Lindsey on the upper reaches of Glass Ocean.
Lindsey on the upper reaches of Glass Ocean.
Rock Climbing Photo: Adam Symonds on lead.
Adam Symonds on lead.
Rock Climbing Photo: Another chilly day at Glass Ocean.
Another chilly day at Glass Ocean.
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris halfway up Glass Ocean.
Chris halfway up Glass Ocean.
Rock Climbing Photo: Edging it out at the start of Glass Ocean
Edging it out at the start of Glass Ocean
Rock Climbing Photo: Killin' it on glass ocean.
Killin' it on glass ocean.

Comments on Glass Ocean Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 16, 2015
By Nathan Fisher
May 30, 2004
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

One of the bolts was a spinner (#5 or #6), also, the anchor consists of 2 bolts, neither looked great, and a flake. One of the anchor bolts was definitely bent. Nice candidate for a rebolt.
By Nathan Fisher
Jun 4, 2004
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Agreed, about the space between bolts. Bolt 4 is "high" off the ledge. Although, the climbing is easy to get to Bolt 4, if you slip it will create an ankle injury possibility. Also, after clipping bolt 7, you can't see bolt 8, and bolt 9 looks really far off. Don't panic, for as soon as you approach bolt 8, it will become apparent.
By Eric Jacobsen
Jul 17, 2004

A discussion about rebolting the top anchors to this route can be found here:

By triznuty
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 9, 2005
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

CLASSIC!!!My favorite at the grade. This climb alone is worth the hike...
By Ryan Peterson
From: North Salt Lake, Utah
Jun 16, 2007

8th bolt seemed to be missing, so there was a pretty long run-out between 7 and 9. Anchors at the top were pretty at least.
By cdec
From: SLC, UT
Sep 28, 2007

We climbed this today and the 8th bolt is there, can't see it from 7 but it's there. 7 to 9 would indeed be run out.
By Robert MacKinnon
Jun 11, 2008
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

A 70m rope easily gets you back to the base. This also allows you to TR Left Tributary (5.10d) and Right Tributary (5.11a).
By icsteveoh
From: salt lake city, UT
Jun 28, 2008
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

ditto the 70 meter. Had enough rope to feel comfortable.

It should be mentioned that the glass ocean traverses right on the ledge to the next bolt line. If you continue straight up you will be on Northwest Passage.
By Stan Pitcher
From: SLC, UT
Oct 2, 2008
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

Surprised no comments about the crux? - passing the first bolt and clipping the second. Pretty difficult for 5.8 and the hangar is looking pretty worked. Be careful is 5.8 is your limit. Great climb though!
By LukasJ
May 19, 2009
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Be careful getting to the second bolt. Fell from here and decked, breaking two ribs.
By Jared Hargrave
From: Salt Lake City, UT.
Aug 22, 2009
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I agree with Stan, the climbing at the first and second bolt I thought to be VERY hard for the grade... felt more like 5.10. Past the ledge it was smooth sailing, but that start made me feel a bit down... until everyone else climbing it that day agreed that it felt much harder than 5.8.

Did any ledges break off recently or am I just not seeing the right sequence?
By Finn the Human
From: The Land of Ooo
Aug 30, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Did this today, and it was a blast! Started out below on Left Tributary (5.10d/5.11a) then continued up Glass Ocean.

There are a few slightly run out bits, but it's never on anything really difficult, so I wouldn't stress it :)

Also, as of today all the bolts were indeed there.
By Greg Gavin
From: SLC, UT
Sep 4, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

if the description above scares you. a purple tcu placement is available between bolt 3 and 4 to give you some added anti-ledge-deck security.
By Finn the Human
From: The Land of Ooo
Sep 4, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I think it's worth mentioning that the three bolts directly below Glass Ocean are not part of Glass Ocean. They are Left and Right Tributaries, and are rated 5.10d/5.11a.

Glass Ocean shares the same starting bolts as Northwest Passage, then takes a jog to the right at the ledge.

I suspect people don't realize this when attempting Glass Ocean, hence the comments about difficulty at the beginning.
By Stan Pitcher
From: SLC, UT
Jun 7, 2010
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

No, I'm talking about the GO start which is the left most line. Did it again and still thinks it a pretty tuff 5.8 section with serious consequences if you blow the 2nd clip! Sorry to hear of your fall Lukas. If the leader belays at the top, a strectch 60 m rope will make it - it will not make it if you try to lower! Safest to always have the second tie in before climbing.
By Jerome Sharpe
From: Wanship, UT
Aug 21, 2010

Stick clip the 2nd bolt and place a purple TCU between bolt 3 & 4 and you won't have to worry about an ankle-breaker. Crux is 5.8+, from the deck to 2nd clip.
By Gary Taylor
Aug 22, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I strongly agree with the recommendation to place a TCU (or nut) between bolts 3 and 4. This route was not put up as a sport route. We would not have considered placing a bolt next to such an easy to protect crack in 1988. In fact the 3rd bolt was added long after the first ascent when we heard of climbers placing no pro between the second bolt and what is now the fourth bolt. As to the concern at the second bolt and the overall difficulty of the route, the simple fact is this route is NOT 5.8. We always considered it 5.9 and not a particularly easy 5.9. The beginning moves are certainly harder than any move on Hollowman for example (though granted the route is not as sustained).
By tscacadc
Jun 3, 2014
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13

This is a good route but its no 5.8 Comparing it to the other climbs in the Canyon this is at least a 5.9+
By Gabriel Tallent
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 20, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I was a little nervous reading about the runouts, especially because when you're above them, those buttonheads begin to look very old and a little rusty.
But from the threads, it looks like wiser and more experienced climbers than me have deemed the bolts bomber, and they all seemed solid if dated. The anchors too, look bomber and like they've received some more recent TLC. (But bring a 48 inch sling and equalize if you're going to set up a top rope, the anchor bolts are on different levels).

That said, I would be in favor of a rebolt of this and Northwest Passage and would be happy to volunteer my time if anyone's going for it. A nice, new bolt below would've been reassuring considering the distance between bolts and the delicacy of the moves. Diddo on the 9th bolt looking far away, but the 8th bolt was definitely still there, and in the end, I don't think the runouts were bad. Bracing, but not dangerous.

Solid climbing for the grade, but no more than 5.8 if you climb with your head up and pay attention to the sequence a couple of moves ahead of you, especially coming up on and passing bolt #2, and especially if you expect that it is a sustained 5.8. If you fire up this line without looking more than a move ahead of you, you'll end up in trouble. For sure, it's not a gym climb. Still, considering Coral Bells, 5.9 sections of Worthy Woopsie, and MEGA (5.9-), as well as the climbs at the slips, I think 5.8 is correct. I don't think there's any way this is a 5.9 for the area.

I did place a Green C3 between the third and fourth bolt, but only because I brought the gear. The climbing was so secure going for that bolt that I didn't feel like I needed it. I think other climbers are placing a size 0 Metolius TCU. The placement is bomber. I found what looked like a couple of other marginal C3 placements that looked marginal, but no useful nut placements and in the end didn't place any gear after the first piece. All in all, I don't think the gear added anything to the climb. You could place a small cam when you gain the ledge, but once you stand up, the next bolt is right there. Anyway, I don't think gear adds much unless 5.8 is your limit.

The other link didn't work. Here's a new link.
By Bonneville Williams
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Sep 24, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

Climbed this yesterday. Def a 5.9 considering the difficulty from the ground to the first 2 bolts. Once you gain the ledge it's smooth sailing from there. From the ledge to the chains I'd say it's a pretty average 5.8. We placed a cam between bolts 3 and 4 since there is some serious ledge deck potential. However, the climbing to that 4th bolt is pretty easy assuming as others have said, 5.8 isn't you limit. By far one of the best 5.9's in the canyon if you like your routes thin and crimpy!!!
By Crag Turkey
From: Holladay, UT
Jul 16, 2015

I feel the 5.8 grade is fair. The grade gets inflated by others because of the mental game the route will play with you. This will be worse if you only climb at the gym, slips, and challenge. I didn't find it necessary to place pro between the third and fourth bolt. Mainly because the run out wasn't that long, on easy terrain, and the pro options did not seem to prevent a ledge deck very well. However I am sure some pro could add some mental duct tape, especially if you trend to the right as you head towards the next bolt. This is the finest quartzite slab i have come across. Great flow.

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