Avg: 3.4 from 528 votes
|Type:||Trad, 1220 ft, 9 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Herbst, Kaufman, Hamilton '75|
|Page Views:||96,120 total · 532/month|
|Shared By:||Peter Gram on Mar 20, 2003|
|Admins:||Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen|
RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Details
Holds rip off and climbs have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB IN RED ROCKS during or after rain. A good rule of thumb is that if the ground near your climb is at all damp (and not powdery dry sand), then do not climb. There are many alternatives (limestone, granite, basalt, and plastic) nearby. ***** HUMAN WASTE ***** Human waste is one of the major issues plaguing Red Rocks. The Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council identified this problem years ago and has worked to provide "wag bags" free of charge 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 areas). This project was funded primarily by the American Alpine Club
DescriptionSolar Slab is a very popular route due to its long length and all pitches are 5.6 or easier. The climb is 9 pitches long and over 1200 feet in height. However, the start of Solar Slab is on a huge terrace 500 feet up, which has a few different multi-pitch approaches. Probably the most common ways to get to the base of Solar Slab are to climb Johnny Vegas (5.7, 4 pitches), or the Solar Slab Gully (5.3, 5 pitches). An early start is highly recommended to beat the crowds, climb the 14 pitches, and make the lengthy descent. A headlamp is also a good idea.
Start from the Oak Creek Canyon parking area, and follow the obvious trail for 45 minutes to an hour. A prominent trail leads to an obvious gully to the right, the Solar Slab Gully. Climb this or Johnny Vegas to the terrace 500 feet up.
P1) Wander up the beautiful featured golden slab for quite a ways to the start of a nice hand crack. There is little pro in the slab, and the hardest move is gaining the crack system. Follow the crack system to a ledge with a fixed 2-bolt anchor. (5.5)
P2) From the ledge, follow the sandy chimney left and up to another ledge to belay at. This is probably the worst pitch of the climb. (5.5)
P3) Wander up unprotected but well featured rock for about 20 feet to a finger crack. Traverse right when obvious and follow a corner to a small belay ledge. (5.6)
P4) Climb a varnished left facing corner until possible to traverse right to a huge belay ledge with fixed anchors. (5.6)
P5) Climb the beautiful hand crack as long as desired, eventually sinking in a belay at the best spot possible. Some bolts are found near the crack on this pitch. This is a 3 star pitch. (5.5)
P6) Finish up this crack, stepping left eventually and belaying at the top of a pillar. I don't recommend trying to link this pitch with P5. I don't think that even a 60 meter rope is long enough. (5.4)
P7) Wander up and right protecting in various features to get to a low angle crack. Climb this crack up to an anchor. Don't stop at this point, but remember where this anchor is if you are planning to rap the route. Instead, traverse right a bit, then go up and easy corner to the huge low angle terrace. (5.3)
P8) Scramble up to a black varnished dihedral and sink a belay. Depending on your comfort level, this pitch can be done unroped. (class 4)
P9) Climb the black dihedral until the angle kicks back and sink a belay. (5.5)
Descent: I have only done the rappels, but there is also a walk off apparently. This is supposed to be difficult and time consuming. The rappels also take a lot of time, but it is a fairly straight forward way of getting off the rock. Down climb to the right of the last pitch on easy slabs (3rd class) to get to a traverse around to the belay ledge used below the dihedral. Then downclimb the 8th pitch and the last easy part of pitch 7 until the anchors mentioned. From here, rap (double ropes, 200' better, maybe even necessary?). Probably about 6 rappels gets you to the starting terrace. Then rap either Johnny Vegas or Solar Slab Gully (another 5 rappels). I recommend the gully, as Johnny Vegas is likely to get your rope stuck.
There is an entire chapter about this route in Red Rock Odyssey