The Life Aquatic
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The Life Aquatic is located in the Guppy Gully (the gully between Laurens Arete
and the Guppy Buttress. It is accessed via the North Vista Trail. The Life Aquatic is essentially a 5.9 route with one short section of bolt protected 5.11/.11- stemming. Although the route wanders between ledgy terrain, it links some quality pitches of climbing (pitches 2 and 3 in particular) and tops out back at the rim, a few minutes from the North Vista Trail. The route starts getting shade in the late afternoon, and could be combined with Laurens Arete
for a longer day.
P1. 90 (5.7). Climb a short pitch up the lower angle granite trough with sparse protection. Exit right onto a massive granite ledge (do not continue up and left). Look for a bolt on the next pitch.
P2. 120 (5.11-). Head up the dihedral, clip a bolt and pull the crux - a few desperate moves of friction stemming that is well-protected. Finish the pitch on 5.9 alternating flakes and cracks, eventually moving right onto the face and belaying under a large roof (kind of tricky belay). Pitches 1 & 2 can be linked, but the belay can't see the leader in the crux dihedral.
P3. 150 (5.9) From the belay, traverse left back under roof towards a short hand crack. Pull airy moves and continue straight up through a series of small bulges to gain easy terrain. Stay to the right of the blocky buttress ahead, and belay at the base of a squeeze chimney/OW.
P4. 180 (5.9+) Climb the squeeze chimney/OW until you reach easy terrain. Continue up low 5th, staying right of a large juniper. Climb another short, steep section (5.9ish) which leads to a ledge.
P5. 160 (5.9) Lead up the blocky terrain on the left side of the ledge to a grassy terrace above. Trend left below a large pegmatite tower/block. Around the corner locate a short, thin hands crack which leads to a belay at a tree.
Unrope, head left, and 4th class a short distance to the rim. Return to North Vista Trail.
Hike the North Vista Trail for about 0.5 - 0.75 miles. Enter the Guppy Gully at the first major sandstone drainage heading into the canyon on the left (about 300 past an overlook sign). Head down the gully for about 30 minutes, through many sections of easy down climbing and one short, fixed rappel. Pass a large, stand alone, pegmatite arête (about 400 tall) on your left. Look for water streaked slabs on your right. When the gully opens up at the base of the water streaked slabs, walk past a cairn which marks the start of Yellow Submarine
. Ascend the gully farthest left when looking back up the hill towards the direction you descended. 4th class approximately 300-400 feet up to the base of a lower angle, solid granite gully/trough. This is the first pitch.
Standard rack plus (1) #4.