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Routes in Solar Slab - Upper Tier

Arch Enemy T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Change Up T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Going Nuts T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Heliotrope T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Solar Slab T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Sunburn T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Sundog T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Sunflower T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Sunspot Ridge T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Type: Trad, 850 ft, 6 pitches, Grade III
FA: Jon Martinet & Randal Grandstaff
Page Views: 3,502 total, 21/month
Shared By: John Wilder on Jan 31, 2004
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen

You & This Route


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RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Details

Description

Although everyone comes to this wall for Solar Slab, there are other worthwhile routes nearby. One is the beautiful, but serious Sunflower. This line starts on the low-angle buttress immediately to the right of the top of the approach gully. It then follows a crack that eventually disappears while the route continues up a long stretch of blank, sweeping slab. It again gains a crack system that leads to the 2nd terrace high above.

When originally climbed, the fourth pitch had only two protection bolts. Several more have since been added, making the route considerably tamer, but still somewhat runout.

Pitch 1: Just to the right of the Solar Slab approach gully, climb up a very easy low-angle slab.

Pitch 2: Continue up to a good ledge beneath a small, right-facing corner. There is a bolt anchor for this belay.

Pitch 3: Climb straight up the right-facing corner above. When it disappears, strike out onto the slab. Pass a protection bolt then move left to a bolted belay station. 5.8+, 140'

Pitch 4: Head straight up off belay through delicate moves, following the bolt line. When the bolts run out, strike out through the last of the slab for the crack above. Belay when possible. 5.9, 120'

Pitch 5: Continue up the crack until another belay stance appears. 5.7, 100'

Pitch 6: An easy pitch leads to the base of the last pitches of Solar Slab. 5.5, 45'

Descent: Descend as per Solar Slab- either rappel the route or continue to the summit of Solar Slab and descend into the Painted Bowl.

Protection

Standard rack to about 3", a 4" cam may be nice to have, but not necessary.
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.9
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.9
Very good route. No bad pitches. In fact, all pitches were GOOD. I didn't find any of it to be loose. Nov 24, 2017
Doug Foust
Henderson, Nevada
 
Doug Foust   Henderson, Nevada
 
The flakes you stand on at the top of p3 are sketchy! I shifted my weight and heard it creek 3 feet away. Jan 16, 2011
nealg
 
nealg  
 
did the route last week and found it to be super fun.

there are 5 bolts on P4 - bolts 2 and 4 are ancient - but this slab section is truly no harder the 5.9 and still well protected by the other 3 bolts by Yosemite / Tuolumne standards.

the 2nd pitch of fingers / hands is excellent.

this is a great route up Solar Slab Apr 26, 2010
Meredith DB
Boulder, CO
  5.9
Meredith DB   Boulder, CO
  5.9
I thought this route was incredibly fun. I'm surprised that it doesn't see a lot more traffic, because it's great. We did this climb after starting with Beulah's Book and loved the linkup of the two routes.

I also didn't find it to be particularly runout.

There is some rock that is not well attached, as mentioned by Doug Hemken above. In addition, when we climbed this route on 11/23/2006 we found that the bolt that protects the crux move is partially pulled out of the rock. If you are uncomfortable with 9 slab moves, you might find this unnerving. Otherwise, go for it and have fun. Apr 26, 2007
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
  5.9
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
  5.9
Very nice route, comparable in quality to Sundog.

The belay at the end of pitch 2 has a single new bolt, and currently there is a fixed nut as well. There appear to be some alternate starts that will get you this far, including the original start to Solar Slab (described here), but the most fun is to run up p1 of the modern Solar Slab, then continue up and right in the inviting crack (5.8).

Pitch 3 continues up a flake system, then launches up a slabby crack system. It would be nice if the pitch ended in the large dish, but unfortunately the FA party continued up and left another 30 feet. The belay bolts (beefed up with the addition of a new bolt) are hidden at first, but there is a protection bolt you pass on the way, so route finding is no issue.

There is lots of friable rock in this final section of pitch 3 and for the first part of pitch 4. It's not too much trouble for the leader to sort it all out, but there are some chunks that are potentially hazardous to your belayer or to people on the Sunporch ledge system at the base of Solar Slab. The chunk of rock you stand on while belaying at the top of pitch 3 is of particular concern - we could feel it move whenever we shifted our weight. Someone really ought to move this belay station down and right to the big dish - it would be more comfortable, safer for the belayer, and safer for people down on the Sunporch.

The additional bolts on pitch 4 make this a very comfortable lead. Take time to marvel at how the FA party ran it out on the only loose rock on the route!

Once you hit the crack system on the second half of pitch 4, its a romp. Belay anywhere convenient. With double ropes, you can retreat from as high as the top of pitch 3 and only leave slings and rap rings.

Apr 1, 2005