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Land that Time Forgot
Routes Sorted
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Ankar Gate S 
Black Sheep T 
Cloak of the Wolf S 
I Love a Cigar T 
Jacob's Ladder S 
Knossos S 
Minoan Maze S 
Nazca Line S 
Oklahoma Princess T,S 
Practislab S 
Riders in the Sky S 
Solarian T 
Temple 19 S 

Solarian 

YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ British: E3 5b

   
Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 500'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Darren Mabe and various partners, 2004
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 2,907
Submitted By: Darren Mabe on Jul 1, 2008

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AJ finishing the 3rd pitch.

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Description 

Solarian is identified by the striking, sunlit, dihedral system on the left side of the NW face of Sheeprock. This route features face climbing, layback corners, a 100', diagonaling, finger crack traverse, and great exposure for only 3 pitches. This is one of few trad routes on Sheeprock.

Begin as for Cloak of the Wolf, on the Perch above the bivy spot on the left side of Land that Time Forgot.

P1: 5.10+, 175', shares the first pitch of the Cloak. 16 bolts, 3 bolt belay on a grassy belay ledge.

P2: 5.10, 105' classic. Lieback up the arching, right-facing dihedral (5.9) to a steep, cruxy step left into the main dihedral, protected by a bolt. Jam through a weakness in a roof above a spooky, hollow flake to a 3-bolt, hanging belay. Be mindful of rope drag. (you cannot retreat after this point).

P3: 5.10+, 150' excellent and memorable. Continue up the finger crack above the belay (difficult to protect) to join a dihedral and A-frame roof. Pull around the roof, 5.10+, (strangely reminiscent of Fat City crack in Lumpy) where a tight, finger crack splits to the right. This is the crux of the entire route. CAUTION: be sure to place pro for your follower, the roof edge is sharp! Dance the sustained rising finger crack traverse (5.9) for about 100' to a comfortable sunny belay ledge with two bolts/gear (and a great place to take a pic of your follower!). This pitch gobbles up nuts and Aliens.

P4: (?) From here, I originally planned on climbing the short dihedral above for a logical fourth pitch to top out. I pre-placed two protection bolts in the summit slabs (5.6?). Starting the steep corner proved difficult at the time, with thin pro for the entry moves, so I never completed it. I don't think is has been attempted yet.... Have at it!

So instead....

Traverse the ledge right for about 20' to rap anchors where you escape by rapping 70' to the top of Ankar Gate, and 5th class traverse to the saddle and have a picnic. If you still want to summit, climb Velcro Wall via Acid Crack,5.5, (classic!) and a hundred feet of 3rd class slabs to the top.

A few options to get down. From the summit, rap Cloak of the Wolf. From the saddle, rap Jacobs Ladder or Ankar Gate. 2x60m ropes for raps.


Location 

This is on the left side. See the topo.


Protection 

1-1/2 set of stoppers, TCUs, doubles of #0.5, #0.75, and #1 Camalots. One #2, #3, and even a #3.5, are optional. 2 x 60m ropes.



Photos of Solarian Slideshow Add Photo
Finishing 2nd pitch of Solarian.
Finishing 2nd pitch of Solarian.
Original topo.
BETA PHOTO: Original topo.
A close-up of the crux roof and upper slab finger crack of pitch three.
BETA PHOTO: A close-up of the crux roof and upper slab finger ...
Coming up the 2nd pitch of Solarian.
Coming up the 2nd pitch of Solarian.
Angela finishing up the P3 100' finger crack.
Angela finishing up the P3 100' finger crack.
Above the crux (and bolt) on pitch two.
Above the crux (and bolt) on pitch two.
Angela soaking up the exposure and view from the P3 belay.
Angela soaking up the exposure and view from the P...
Dave and Kirsten on P3. Dave is above the roof and engaged in the long finger crack.
Dave and Kirsten on P3. Dave is above the roof and...
Topo of SolArian.
BETA PHOTO: Topo of SolArian.
Looking up the first pitch.
Looking up the first pitch.
Coming up the sweet finger crack on pitch three.
Coming up the sweet finger crack on pitch three.
Looking up P2.  Tom just clipped the bolt, about to head left.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up P2. Tom just clipped the bolt, about t...
Caution! The 3rd pitch roof is sharp - mind your rope!
BETA PHOTO: Caution! The 3rd pitch roof is sharp - mind your r...
Hard but well bolted first pitch.
Hard but well bolted first pitch.
Finishing up the first pitch.
Finishing up the first pitch.
Starting the second pitch.
Starting the second pitch.
Working up the crack on the second pitch.
Working up the crack on the second pitch.
Finishing up pitch 1. <br /> <br /><a href='http://www.patrickbetts.zenfolio.com' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >www.patrickbetts.zenfolio.com</a> <br />www.facebook.com/adventurethrulens.
Finishing up pitch 1.

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Comments on Solarian Add Comment
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By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 7, 2010

Edit: to add that Ankar Gate raps are not recommended. If you do, the first rap you must keep tension to the left quite a bit to get to the next anchors. Also, some loose-ish flakes exist which is a bit spooky when pulling your ropes. For the other two raps, your ropes get caught up in the gully.

By Monty
From: Golden, CO
Jul 12, 2010
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b

An excellent route with every type of climbing the platte has to offer (except offwidth, but that's fine with me). The upper finger crack is one of the best I've climbed. Great find Darren

We rapped down Ankar gate, which wasn't bad. It helps to clip a couple directional bolts for the tension traverse left from the saddle, then pull your partner over on their way down.

By KDog
Jul 12, 2010
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b

Really fun & varied climb, highly enjoyable! Funny, the 2nd pitch reminded me a lot of the 2nd pitch of Romulan Territory at Lumpy (but easier) and 3rd pitch fingercrack was reminiscent of Cheap Date (also at Lumpy.) The roof pull on the 3rd pitch is definitely the crux, I had a hard time with it. But the fingercrack afterwards is superb, and just keeps going with awesome exposure!!

By Phil Lauffen
From: The Bubble
Apr 20, 2011

This looks super good. Does it get any sun?

By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 20, 2011

Surprisingly, it does get quite a bit of sun in the afternoon during the summer months. Get early start when it's hot.

Highly recommended route. Enjoy!

By Jay Eggleston
From: Littleton
Jul 1, 2011
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b

This is an awesome route! Really good climbing with lots of variety. Thanks for putting it up, Darren. The pitch three roof is certainly the crux.

By Mark Roth
From: Boulder
Jul 2, 2011

On pitch 2: "Save a #2, #0.75, and maybe a #3 cam for the roof." I tried so hard to save them that I still had them at the belay!! Oops. #1s at the crux are good....

Also, do not bring a #4 up this! We felt so stupid dragging it up. Didn't really need a #3 either (it can get placed if you try hard, though). Would have loved to trade that weight for some water. Doubles to #1 are good and some extra small-medium nuts for pitch 3.

By Patrick Betts
Oct 16, 2012
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b

Climbed this yesterday, 10/15. Great climb. Pitch 1 was the hardest pitch, for me, out of the three. Consists of hard slab and the pitch pretty much stays in your face the entire 130 feet. We got sun on pitch 3 right around 3:30pm.

To reiterate, definitely watch your gear placements on the crux roof on pitch 3 to avoid slicing your rope - especially if your second may or may not flash the roof. We suffered a (small) core shot even though our gear placements couldn't have been much better.

We rapped the Ankar Gate anchors and had zero problems. Head down and left for the first double rope rappel, and you'll be golden.

Still a great climb!