Rock climbing Glass Ocean
Big Cottonwood Canyon’s Glass Ocean rock climb is described on Mountain Project.com as, ÔÇťone of the best 5.8′s in BCC!ÔÇŁ Although it is a fun climb with some pretty good exposure and a couple of heart-pounding run-outs, there are climbers (including myself,) who would take issue with the 5.8 rating. At the beginning of the climb, it feels a bit harder than that.
The start of the climb consists of a smooth, steep section where problem-solving skills come into play in a big way. Foot holds are tiny ledges and for some moves, smearing on slick quartzite. Crimpy hand holds demand finger strength and balance as lay-backing and small traverses will get you past the second bolt. To add to the difficulty of the beginning crux, a fall just before the second bolt could possibly result in hitting the ground. Any 5.8 that features such puzzling moves with a real danger of decking is a pretty stout 5.8, but since it is rated as such, Glass Ocean is a test piece for any 5.8 leader.
Once the crux is passed, a ledge is reached where the climbing gets considerably easier, but feels like a true 5.8. Smooth holds and tricky moves between run-out bolt placements make it a psychological challenge that amps up the fun.
Glass Ocean is a sport climb with 9 bolt plus anchors at the top. There is some traversing on the climb, especially at the ledge above the second bolt, so expect a little rope drag. The climb is long, so a 70 meter rope is needed for lowering back down. If using a 60 meter rope, you have to lower to the ledge where an easy scramble to the side gets you back to the bottom.