Haunted By Waters – 45m (165m) V M8 W5 (Sea Of Vapors Direct)

FA: Rob Owens, Scott Semple, Mike Verwey, January ‘01

Drive:  As for Sea Of Vapors.  Park by the bridge that leads to the Banff Springs Golf Course.

Approach:  As for Sea Of Vapors.  Walk or bike along the “winter-only wildlife corridor”—the golf course road.  Where the road splits, take the right-hand fork (blocked by a sawhorse) to the Nordic Centre Trail and continue.  Shortly before the trail drops down to the river, there is a small cairn and a well-traveled trail on the right-hand side.  Follow this as it trends gradually up and left toward the Welcome To Canada gully.  Cross the gully and continue up and left through the trees “until you reach a scree slope below a large rock buttress.  Traverse to the left side of the buttress and climb up short rock steps into the right margin of the Professor Falls drainage.  Slog up to a rib just left of The Terminator.   Traverse down and across an avalanche prone slope into a small east-facing cul-de-sac in the rock band.”  (Waterfall Ice, 1995)   Hand over hand the fixed line up to the thin scree below the wall.  50m of thin W3 gets you to the base of the wall.

The Route:  To the right of Postscriptum there are three ice-capped roofs leading to the main flow of Sea Of Vapors.  Haunted By Waters takes a very fun line through all of them!

P1:  30m, M8 W3.  Climb up thin W3 to a narrow seep below the first roof.  Clip three bolts on your way to the ice.  A two-bolt anchor is up and right.

P2:  15m, M7+ W5.   Climb up and left on thin ice to a bolt.   Continue up and left onto the ice of the second roof and to another bolt on the left-hand side of the arete.  Stem back into the right-facing corner and clip a third bolt on your way to the main flow of Sea Of Vapors.

Gear:  Stubbies, long slings, draws and whatever you need for the remainder of Sea Of Vapors.

Notes:  At the moment, there is a well-traveled trail from the Nordic Centre Trail all the way to the base.  The first half of the approach is the same as for The Gulag.  Bike-assisted, the approach is about two hours from the car.

The grades are considered conservative and need confirmation.  That and the whole wall seems to be sublimating fast, so go do it now! —S.S.