Solar Slab - Upper Tier Rock Climbing
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HUMAN WASTE Human waste is one of the major issues plaguing Red Rocks. The Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council and the AAC provides free "wag bags" in several locations (Black Velvet, First Pullout, Kraft Mtn/Bouldering, The Gallery, and The Black Corridor). These bags are designed so that you can pack your waste out - consider bringing one to be part of your kit (just like your rope and shoes and lunch) no matter where you go. Once used, please dispose of them properly (do not throw them in the toilets at the parking area).
The home of some beautiful, airy climbing! The routes here all work their way to the spacious shoulder at the top of the Solar Slab Buttress.
Several descent options:
1) Rap the Solar Slab route. Many parties choose to do this, using the bolted stations on the route and the face immediately to its climber's right (East). This requires two ropes and takes you directly back to the base with no walking. On the downside, this can tempt one to avoid the very top of the route and thus miss out on the full value experience. You would also miss the beautiful hike through the Painted Bowl.
2) Painted Bowl Walkoff. The standard walkoff. There is a ?GPS track on the climbing area map?. This has several very exposed sections, I would not do this with an inexperienced climber. If you're coming down in the dark, it might be hard to choose the right way in a couple spots, so add that into your calculus for choosing between this and the raps. For moderately experienced climbers in the daylight, I think the walk-off and raps are a tossup. Begin by circling climber's left (West) at the first large shoulder, and down on an improbable ledge system in the red (not tan) rock. After some exposed scrambling, the ledge ends at a bolted anchor. [I know the following will work, but perhaps you could get away with shorter ropes. Please edit if you know this to be true.]
- If you have two ropes, or an 80m: do two long rappels straight down to Painted Bowl. (Skip the set of anchors 40 feet below the start.)
- If you have a single 70m: do two short rappels down the initial slope, then one long rappel over the edge and straight into Painted Bowl.
- If you have a single 60m: do two short rappels down the initial slope, angling climber's left (West) onto a large ledge. Walk to the climber's left (West) end of the ledge, to another anchor at the top of a steep chimney. This takes you to a brushy ledge with a pine tree. A rope stretching rap from the pine tree leads into the Painted Bowl.
Walk down the Painted Bowl and go skier's right (West) along a slabby ramp system until you reach the streambed. There are some fairly steep and exposed sidehill slab traverses in here, stay vigilant even though you're tired! If water is running high in Oak Creek, you can avoid the wetter upper section by rappeling out of the Painted Bowl using the bolted stations by Plate of Fate (see the Black Orpheus Amphitheater section).
3) There are also a few descent options in the gullies on the eastern side of the formation, but these are not universally popular.
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