Type: Trad, 750 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: John Hegyes, Ryan McPhee, George Urioste, Larry DeAngelo
Page Views: 6,530 total · 38/month
Shared By: Larry DeAngelo on Dec 31, 2004
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen

You & This Route

20 Opinions

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Access Issue: Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet. Details


This is an excellent route straight up the middle of the Solar Slab. It lies to the right of Solar Slab and to the left of Sunflower, but is independent of both lines. The climbing difficulty does not exceed 5.8, but pitch 4 features some old-school slab runouts.

Pitch 1: Directly above the top of the approach gully, there is a black, left-facing corner. Pleasant climbing follows the corner to the belay ledge at the top of the first pitch on Solar Slab.

Pitch 2: Continue up the right-slanting finger crack. Belay at the ledge shared with the second belay on Sunflower. (These first two pitches have been long-used as a variation start to the Sunflower route.)

Pitch 3: Climb up and left to a small pedestal to the left of the Sunflower corner. Traverse left for 10 or 15 feet to a very small, right-facing corner with a thin crack. Follow the crack until it ends, then set up a gear belay in a scoop, using thin cams.

Pitch 4: Climb up the slab above, aiming for the crack visible about a hundred feet straight above. Protection opportunities are limited. Set up the belay as high as possible in the varnished plates (in order to have enough rope for the last pitch).

Pitch 5: The payoff pitch! Proceed straight up the glorious face on relatively easy climbing until you can set up a belay after about 59 meters. At this point you can either join Solar Slab for the 3rd class pitch and cruise to the top, or rappel the main slab.


Bring lots of finger-size cams and wires. A 60-meter rope allows reasonable belay stances to be reached.
Bryson Slothower
Portland, OR
Bryson Slothower   Portland, OR
I was able to traverse out right to this route from Solar Slab to climb the pay off pitch and avoid waiting for a party ahead of us. Great climbing, no runout. Apr 5, 2006
Top Rope Hero
Was Estes Park, now homeless
Top Rope Hero   Was Estes Park, now homeless
A blessedly open route compared to the conga line you're SURE to grovel in over on Solar Slab. Take this and laugh at all the gapers groping up the 5.6 just off your left shoulder. Let them dine on your dust as you pass 'em all en route to the top.

Fair warning: Handren's sandbagging guide lists the P2 slanting right crack as 5.9, and I agree. Certainly felt as hard (and steeper) as the 5.9 variation on Johnny Vegas below. But it nuts fantastically well, so whatever--good times either way.

That said, I'm eschewing the "R" rating because most all the runnout is on 5.7-5.8 stuff, a full grade or two less than the crux (you wouldn't call 70ft of unprotected, tennis shoe 5.2 "runnout," would you?). Still, you DO need to get your bold head on to lead P3 and P4--thrice I looked down with 40ft+ free-hanging rope attached to some pretty craptastic placements in that POS death-zone white sand. Just keep climbing and pretend you have superpowers and you'll probably fair well.

Lastly, some advice for the P3 anchor. There is none. FUCK! I ended up stretching rope and aiming for the higher of two distinct, varnished plate systems--each about the size around of a hula-hoop--and slung a nest of well-seated nuts. (You can barley see both, just left of the upper purple arrow, pic 6.) It's well left of the previous anchor, PROBABLY sets up some nasty pendulum action for your follower, unless you're climbing double ropes and can work protect-for-the-second magic. But? the leader's the one stickin' neck out on that spooky, airy, no-pro band. So let 'em fly and have fun! Mar 31, 2010
harihari   VANCOUVER
Best route up there. Bring a head-- serious runouts, albeit on easy terrain. Dunno why anybody would do Solar Slab when this is right there. Apr 4, 2011
Tim Wolfe
Salt Lake City, UT
  5.8+ R
Tim Wolfe   Salt Lake City, UT  
  5.8+ R
Pitch 2 has some nice crack climbing that is probably stout for the 5.8 grade at RR. Save small cams to about 0.75 for the belay on pitch 3. Pitch 4 would be R or maybe X rated if you go straight for the crack 100 feet up on the white stone as I initially did. I reversed from quite high and traversed left a bit to clove-hitch a plate and then felt much safer. So I suggest that on pitch 4 you drift a bit left then back slightly right to the crack as the direct line gets quite run out on sloper sandy white rock. Nov 13, 2011
Serge Smirnov
Seattle, WA
Serge Smirnov   Seattle, WA
I'm comfortable with 5.8 run-outs on good rock, but this one involved relying on potentially breakable holds.

The first 2 pitches (shared with Sunflower) are good. At the top of the 2nd pitch there is a bolt that can be backed up with nuts to build a rappel anchor. I suspect one could get down from the top of pitch 2 with one 70m rope.

The blue sling configured as P2 anchor as of Feb 2016 seems to be threaded in such a way that if the nut pops out the anchor fails, so I would inspect and/or rebuild that anchor before using it. Feb 21, 2016
Awesome route! Definitely spicy... Not for the feint of heart. Jan 24, 2018
John Hegyes
Las Vegas, NV
  5.8 R
John Hegyes   Las Vegas, NV
  5.8 R
Regarding Top Rope Hero's remark about the anchor on the top of p3, I went back and climbed this route again after almost 13 years since the FA and I can confirm that there is indeed a satisfactory anchor at the top of this pitch. As Larry stated in the route description, there is a shallow scoop immediately after the p3 crack peters out. An anchor can be built here with thin cams. I used Metolius #1 and #2. You can also fit a purple Totem (Camalot 0.5 equivalent, I guess) about 18 inches below. I have posted a photo of this anchor.

Overall, this is a really fun route but it is definitely run-out and crispy in places - so it's deserving of an R rating. All the anchors are sufficient however, so no lack thereof should be a barrier to climbing this route. I really blissed out on p4 after all the scary bits were behind me and the alligator skin varnished plates kicked in. Brett and I brought a single 70m and rapped off the back side down the Painted Bowl for a perfect day of climbing. Nov 13, 2018