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Solar Flare

5.11, Trad, 60 ft,  Avg: 2.9 from 22 votes
FA: Scott and Rhicard
Arizona > Southern Arizona > Mt Lemmon (Sant… > Mt Lemmon (Cata… > 1 - Lower Highway > Sun Spot Crags


Solar Flare is a very good, albeit short, route on perfect rock that nearly justifies the approach by itself. Originally a fully bolted sport route, Solar Flare has been revised to be a full on traditional route. The route was chopped by the FA after reconsidering the placements, recognizing the lack of quality gear routes on the mountain, and a community vote.


Traditional gear to fixed anchors.


Solar Flare is located on a small cliff about 200 yards to the left (west) of the Sunburst Crag.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Having fun on Solar Flare.  Eric Ruljancich and Toofast on belay.
[Hide Photo] Having fun on Solar Flare. Eric Ruljancich and Toofast on belay.
Solar Flare goes up the crack on the left.  White Dwarf starts in the tree's shadow.
[Hide Photo] Solar Flare goes up the crack on the left. White Dwarf starts in the tree's shadow.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] Another bolted crack? "Regardless of ethics, or lack there of," is not a valid excuse. Remember "If you live by the sword, you die by the sword". Feb 17, 2006
Tucson, Arizona
[Hide Comment] Cres, have you climbed this on gear? It has many unprotectable sections where the bolts are the only way to go. Just because a feature is a crack, does not mean it protects well.

I was not saying "regardless of ethics.." as an excuse. An excuse for what? I was just saying that the line is very good for Tucson standards. By the way, some of the bolts were recently moved to make the opening 20 feet less spicy. But I assume you would ignore the first couple fixed pieces anyway. Have fun.

Anyhow, you are just trolling and trying to get Jim and Eric's goat. They do seem to be migrating to the dark side. Feb 17, 2006
[Hide Comment] Hey Erik! Long time no see. I'm just teasing Jim a bit. No harm really meant. It's just funny how our past history can come around and bite us sometimes. Feb 18, 2006
[Hide Comment] Guilty as charged. I have gone to the dark side! While I would not lead any of the "cracks" we bolted soley on gear, there are bolts next to protectable cracks. My only defense, they would be in your face scarefests on gear, but bolted they are super fun. I bow to the masses!
If anyone wants to lead Solar Flare or Solar E-clips on gear, let me know, I'll belay you, and chop the bolts when your done. Otherwise, enjoy the safe onsight on us. Feb 24, 2006
[Hide Comment] Forgive me father Sheafmen for I have sinned.
EFR led this route today on gear. All gear was super bomber and did not interfear with the holds in the crack. (At least the way Eric placed the gear)
This route is a consensus 3 star sport climb and an even better trad route.
Do we chop or do we not????
Eric and I think we should should leave the bolts. If you want to lead it on gear go for it. This way everybody is happy.
It is our route after all. Apr 28, 2006
1Eric Rhicard
[Hide Comment] It is not ours anymore pal. It is the climbing communities. If they like it better as a sport route the bolts will stay otherwise they will go. The route is great either way. Lead it on gear and you will remember it past tomorrow. Clip it and go is fun but not as memorable. Apr 28, 2006
[Hide Comment] This is now a gear climb. Sport climbers need not apply :) Mar 15, 2008
Tucson, AZ
[Hide Comment] Thanks, Eric. It was great of you and Jim to put up the thread about this route, and then to put the additional effort into removing the bolts. It's a really nice route. Mar 16, 2008
1Eric Rhicard
[Hide Comment] Did this route again yesterday. Have not been on it since I lead it on gear two years ago. What a battle. I decided to place gear where I might if I didn't know the climb and that made it a good deal more interesting. The last piece that protects the last move is from a pumpy stance and I fiddled with stoppers for a while before getting one that would work. This was fun as a clip up and now it is fun and not so soon forgotten. Apr 11, 2008
[Hide Comment] great route - good job camouflaging the bolt holes eric, you can hardly tell they were there Dec 15, 2008
Tucson, AZ
[Hide Comment] Some of the history of this climb may not be clear from reading the comments. After this climb was originally bolted and led, Eric and Jim also led it on gear. They subsequently did a remarkable thing: they asked the community if the bolts should be removed or not. The majority of the people responding voted to chop, and Eric and Jim happily obliged.

Now this climb is a fantastic gear line. It is sustained, pumpy, and thrilling. There is just enough quality gear to protect the climb safely without making it too straightforward.

If you're looking for classic 5.11 trad testpieces, put this climb on your list. Apr 2, 2009
Eric D
[Hide Comment] A good route. Thanks for removing the bolts Eric, it was much more memorable that way. And gave me a bigger case of sewing-machine leg! Mar 24, 2010
Casa do Cacete
[Hide Comment] Pretty classic for a Mt. Lemmon trad climb; glad the bolts were removed. Feb 19, 2013