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Type:  Ice, 3 pitches, 500', Grade IV
Original: WI5+ [details]
FA: Frank Campbell, Karl Nagy Dec. 1986
Season: Winter
Page Views: 1,782
Submitted By: Dave Rone on Oct 15, 2011

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Climbing the apron to the base of Hydrophobia. Ph...


This incredible, remote waterfall forms up every year, and is located in the back of a deep canyon surrounded by huge rock walls.

The route takes great screws all the way, and unless you are the first party of the year, you will likely have v-thread anchors available for belays and rappels.

Climb an easy 80' apron to the base of a steep pillar, where most parties set up a belay. Climb the pillar (crux) and run the rope out on steep, sustained ice until you can set up a hanging belay. Continue to the top on steep, beautiful ice. (As the season progresses the ice gets pretty hooked out).

Descent: 2 Rappels with 70m ropes, otherwise 3.

A linkup of Hydrophobia with The Sorcerer is a really cool day. We (Jon Jugenheimer and I) approached from the N. Ghost and bivied beneath The Sorcerer. From the top of The Sorcerer, follow the drainage straight up to the ridge. Traverse the ridge to the next major drainage that goes down right, before an obvious high-point on the ridge. Shortly after starting down the drainage, contour down and around to the north (don't descend it all the way like we did), and you will access the Hydro drainage about 140m above the top of the route.

If you climb Hydro first, traverse the scree slope upward to the left to gain the ridge, and then The Sorcerer drainage shortly thereafter. We made a video of our day, check it out.


Take a good selection of screws for anchors and protection, and some cord for v-threads. There are no permanent anchors.


The route is actually north of the North Ghost, on the South Fork of Johnson Creek.

The best approach is from the north, via Waiparous Creek, but this requires a sturdy 4WD and some dicey terrain, including stream crossings, which are usually best attempted in late season. New wilderness regs require that you park at marker 131. Depending on conditions, expect about a 2hr hike to the route.

The link below (Will Gadd's Gravsports) spells out the Waiparous Creek approach. Marker 131 is about 1/4 mile from the fork mentioned in step (9) in the following approach description.

Some parties hike north from the North Ghost. Take the trail to the second Johnson Lake. Cut left across the lake and hike northwest into the drainage north of the Sorcerer route drainage. Take a compass, especially if you're not leaving tracks in snow!

Soon after you're in the drainage, you'll be able to see the route. This hike can take up to 3 hours.

Photos of Hydrophobia Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Wes Bender in the spindrift on Hydrophobia.  Photo...
Wes Bender in the spindrift on Hydrophobia. Photo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Hydrophobia
BETA PHOTO: Hydrophobia
Rock Climbing Photo: Climb Hydrophobia, camp out, then climb Sorcerer. ...
Climb Hydrophobia, camp out, then climb Sorcerer. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rapping off Hydro.  Photo:  Wes Bender
Rapping off Hydro. Photo: Wes Bender

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