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BETA PHOTO: Rough overview of the South Seas to Pacific Ocean ...
The South Seas is an incredibly steep and classic 10 pitch start to the Pacific Ocean Wall. The first few pitches are the steepest on the whole route and climb straight out of the alcove. The subjective/brief description below is based upon my recent experience climbing the route.
P1: Super steep with good placements and interesting climbing right off the ground (A2+ or C3ish, ~160')
P2: Still super steep with lots of funky fixed gear. This was a short pitch (A2+F, ~70')
P3: A few easy free moves off the belay lead to easy aid up a ramp (5.8, C2 or A1, ~150')
P4: Interesting climbing out of the belay to some fixed mank/heads (A3, ~110')
P5: Technically the crux of the route, break out the tiny cams and cam hooks! This is a really cool/long pitch. I'm not too sure what to say for the grade, one book calls it A4, one calls it A3+. Forget about the grade and have fun cam hooking between fixed heads/other things. (~150', A3+/A4-?)
P6: Splitter C1 in a corner to A3 with rope drag (~140', A3)
P7: The Great White Shark, rivets to clean aid and then a wide crack, break out the big gear (~150', C2)
P8: The Rubber Band Man! As of September 2016 there is only one pendulum point in, thin climbing leads to this point and there is tricky climbing as you move above the pendulum after back cleaning.(~130', A3)
(P9 & P10 can be easily linked w/ a 60m rope)
P9: Climb a thin crack, getting to the anchor can be a bit awkward if you don't link pitches (~150, A3)
P10: This was an interesting section for us, it seemed like some recent rockfall had occurred and it was much more engaging than described in the guidebook. My partner had to nail a hollow expanding feature to get through this and I lowered down a ~40 lb dangerously loose block to the anchor. The book lists this pitch as C2, it ended up being spooky but it does go! (~50, A-strange?)
From here you set sail on the Pacific Ocean Wall! Be mindful of loose rock towards the top. It is well worth spending a night on the Island in the Sky and fixing the free pitch above this awesome ledge.
Hike up to the alcove and walk back to the bolted anchor that is left of where the swing is sometimes found.
The following rack is from September 2016 when we climbed the route. Camhooks and big beaks were critical, totem cams were awesome as usual, and a small assortment of other pins was useful. Also, bring plenty of rivet hangers.
-lots of tiny cams, doubles of 000 C3s would be nice
-2 x BD .3, .75, 1, 2, 3
-3 x .4, .5 (you could get away with doubles if you backclean)
-1 x BD 4, 5
-1 set offsets
-1 x standard stoppers
-2 x offsets/offset micros
-bring hella rivet hangers
-2 x cam hooks (all sizes), you'll be using them a lot
-1 x all hooks (grappling, sky hook, BAT hook, talon)
-6 big beaks, they'll be placed often
-4 medium beaks
-2 small beaks (we didn't place any but I'm sure you could find placements, especially if any fixed RURPs blow)
-2 x #2, #5 and maybe a few random ones, we only placed a few on the route (and only brought 4) but they were great where camhooks couldn't fit
-bring a few KBs, I think we only placed ~2 on the route but they were really nice to have
-bring a few small ones, these only saw ~3 placements where C3s and totems were too wide
-We brought a few but didn't need them (as usual), most fixed heads were bomber and a few can be bypassed via small cams
Be aware of loose rock at the top of the PO Wall
Morning on the Island in the Sky.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up the first pitch of the climb, it's ...