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Routes in Solar Asylum

Guano Quemado T 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Life's Just Bitchn' S 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Solar Power S 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Sun Salute S 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Sunshine S 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Thermal Mass S 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
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Elevation: 7,000 ft
GPS: 36.533, -105.702 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 1,885 total · 14/month
Shared By: Jay Foley on Nov 10, 2007
Admins: Mike Howard, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
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Winter Climbing outdoors in Taos! A veritable sun-trap, the One hundred foot tall Solar Asylum remains in the shade until late morning (good for summer) and then the sun bakes the wall in the afternoon and evening. It is climbable on all but the coldest days of winter as well as nice and  cool on summer mornings before noon. There are a dozen routes (sport, mixed, and trad) with overhanging, featured, blocky lower thirds and upper head walls with technical, clean face and crack climbing. Top ropes can be set from above on some routes. See Taos Rock from Sharpend press for more route info.

Getting There

There are Three ways to reach this crag:

If you are already in The John Dunn Bridge area the simplest approach, if you don't mind the hike, is to scramble up the left side of Johns Wall then follow a cairned climbers trail that climbs up and back to the East first passing under The New Buff Wall, a smaller cliff with various short sport and trad routes and a good place to warm up.Continue past this wall to reach the Solar Asylum, about twenty min. from car park.

If the river level is low you can save hiking time by parking and crossing the Hondo Creek about 0.3 mi East of the John's Wall. Follow a faint trail east and up the switchbacks to base of crag, about ten min.

If the mesa roads are dry there is an obscure drive to the top of the cliff. This is the best access for summer mornings to avoid the steep hike up. Follow B0001 West off highway 522 north of Arroyo Hondo. Stay right up onto the mesa. Continue right and down the hill to the north on a DIRT ROAD passing left of an old pick-up truck and the Spanish Peaks road.Now head West toward the Rio Grande Gorge for one mile then turn left at the four way and head southwest continue just under a mile and park on a flat clearing. You should be just East of the confluence of the Hondo and the Rio Grande. HIGH CLEARANCE or 4WD vehicle. AVOID IF MUDDY! The Solar Asylum cliff top is Southeast from here. Rap the routes or find the Gully about 100 yards to the west that is also the approach to The New Buff Wall. Stay right (West) Along the base of the cliffs at the bottom of the gully to reach The New Buff Wall And left (East) for Solar Asylum. "trail" is faint but may be cairned from here.

A nice single track mountain bike ride, Horsethief also takes off to the northwest from this parking lot.

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Mike Howard    
There are owls (likely Great Horned Owl, (Bubo virginianus))nesting at the solar asylum. They are pretty much in the center of the wall and seem very concerned about company,it would be nice to give them some time and space. Great Horned Owl Apr 21, 2011
Have not seen the owls in the last couple of years. Feb 17, 2014

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