Type: Trad, Sport, 40 ft
FA: Richard Rossiter and Bonnie Von Grebe, 2002
Page Views: 416 total · 2/month
Shared By: Ron Olsen on Jul 16, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closure - 2018 Update Details


Follow the approach to the Main Wall of Solaris. Mission To Mars starts behind a tree close to the rock, just right of a boulder-filled cave. A finger crack leads up to a right-facing corner capped by a roof.

Climb the finger crack (I protected it with yellow and red Aliens); for purity, don't use the tree. Clip the first bolt and power layback up to the second bolt (crux). Clip the third bolt under the roof, step left, and make a hard move over the roof to the anchors. The final move can be bypassed by stemming off the tree. Lower 35' to the start.

A short but fun route.


4 bolts plus two finger-sized cams to a 2-bolt anchor.


Jake Wyatt
Longmont, CO
Jake Wyatt   Longmont, CO
I'm happy that the first ascensionists left the crack unbolted -- a few small cams protect that section quite nicely. There's a fair amount of pigeon "grease" around the third bolt, so beware.

The moves just getting to the anchor felt rather awkward to me. Oct 11, 2003
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
The climbing up to the roof is, in my opinion, 5.8. If this is the crux, and is considered 10a, then the sport standards are really slipping. There are 5.8s that are way harder than this.

As for the last move, clipping the anchors is strenuous, but are you supposed to get established above the roof, or do you just yard on the draws (as I did)? I tried several times to pull over the lip to get established on the holds by the anchors, but couldn't get it. I was in a bit of a panic, because it was getting dark, so maybe I missed something.

If you're supposed to pull over the lip rather than yard on the draws, this might be real 10c or so. On the other hand, if you're just supposed to clip the anchors and yard on the draws, then this is silly. Just put the anchors under the roof. Oct 29, 2003
William McGehee
Choctaw, OK
William McGehee   Choctaw, OK
Ivan, I'm confused... You've established yourself on this site by posting comments on 5.9+ well into the 5.11 range and yet, this easy 5.8 necessitates you "yarding on the draws?" I'm not calling you out by any means, just seeking clarification. What do you mean by "yarding on the 'draws?" French-Freeing a route, or something else? If FF-ing the route is what you meant, was it the darkness or difficulty that affected your ascent style? I think it's just me having stayed up WAY too late reading this cursed site in my insomnia. Cheers!~Wm Oct 29, 2003
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO

I thought I was clear. I clipped the anchor bolts clean, and then pulled on those draws to get high enough to thread the rings. Clipping the anchor bolts was about 5.9. Below that the climbing felt like 5.8. Often, people grab the anchor draws, because there is no good stance at the anchors, and that's my question on Mission to Mars: Is the climb over when you clip the anchor, or are you supposed to continue and actually pull over the hang? If your chest is at, say, the level of the anchor, there would be no decent stance.

Ivan Oct 30, 2003

You need not ask anyone about what constitutes the end of a climb, success or failure but yourself. In the big picture, What The *#@% Does It Matter (WTFDIM)? The beauty (and sometimes scourge) of this game is that we all play by our own rules, more or less. (The exception is when our rules change the rules or experience for others, e.g. bolting, chipping, etc. I won't tread any further on this slippery slope.) Anarchy is the cornerstone of climbing. Seeking affirmation from others is anathema to the game and its' primary rule (anarchy), thus depriving yourself of an experience that you define on your terms. Oct 30, 2003
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
I wasn't trying to get heavy... But when you're trying to assess the correctness of a climb's rating, you need to consider how it is usually done. This is more the case with sport climbs where it's often easiear to climb just a few feet to one side or the other. (With trad it's almost always considered fair to use nearby features.) So, when rating a climb, there are some "rules" that need to be considered. Ditto for rating boulder problems. Oct 30, 2003
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
I cleaned the loose stuff from the crack and it goes all trad, at least to the anchors, without any runouts. Gear- cams to 3" and larger stoppers or small tricams.
You can pull up over the roof, but it is difficult- clip the anchor for that move. Oct 3, 2007
Boulder, CO
Tradsplatter   Boulder, CO
This climb is a waste of bolts. I only followed this one, but it seemed roughly correct rating at 10a. A few fun moves and should be a trad route IMO. Oct 3, 2007
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
Tradsplatter wrote:This climb is a waste of bolts. I only followed this one, but it seemed roughly correct rating at 10a. A few fun moves and should be a trad route IMO.

I wouldn't be too quick to pass judgment on the route until you've led it yourself without clipping the bolts.

Do you think the two-bolt anchor at the top should also be removed, to make this a "pure" trad route? How many ascents do you think the route would see if if it had no bolts at all? My guess: not many. The move turning the roof is pretty hard, and poorly protected without the last lead protection bolt or the bolt anchor to clip. Oct 4, 2007
Julius Beres
Boulder, CO
Julius Beres   Boulder, CO
For pro: I place 2 small nuts (somewhere in the #3-#7 range) and then protected the last move before the first bolt with a 0.4 BD cam. I tried to not touch the tree, but it was pretty unnatural to not lean out when placing the first piece of gear. If the tree weren't there it wouldn't be much harder, but it is a bit contrived to find some body position that doesn't touch it...

I would say the last move to get to the first bolt was the hardest move before the roof, and was comparable to 5.9s in the area (similar to the crux move on Luminosity for difficulty)

Once you get to the bolts the climbing eases off until you clip the anchor. Once you clip the anchor, pulling the roof seemed harder than any move on the neighboring 5.10bs to the left (Tower of Power or Twilight Zone) Obviously, you are already into the anchors so you can just pull yourself up... but there are a couple of decent foot holds to establish yourself on and once you pull the roof, there are good handholds above the anchor, so pulling on the anchors isn't necessary. Jun 20, 2009
Jeff Chrisler
Boulder, CO
Jeff Chrisler   Boulder, CO
Perhaps it's because I am only getting into trad, but this definitely felt 5.10 to me. With comparing the other routes in the area, especially Tower of Power, there were two moves on this (the lieback and pulling right with a high foot above the anchor) that felt easily as hard if not harder than any move on Tower of Power. Fun climb and agree that this could have been protected with a little runout and skipping all of the bolts. I certainly appreciate those anchors though! Jun 17, 2011
Sean Brady
Boulder, Colorado
Sean Brady   Boulder, Colorado
I know I'm on an told topic of dispute; however, this route feels like the 5.10 move is right at the top just under the anchor and can actually be skipped if you stretch a little (I'm short FYI) and clip the anchor. Otherwise a somewhat fun if awkward climb.

I'm easily amused though, so your milage may vary. Nov 8, 2012
Jay Eggleston
Jay Eggleston   Denver
The crux is certainly at the top and maybe the very bottom if you don't touch the tree. I think the climb is mostly 5.8 and you could use all gear, but the bolts are nice and reassuring to clip. Jul 29, 2013
Kevin P
Kevin P   Loveland
The crux is at the top, right at the last bolt. There is a slopy, sidepull thing (that is the only way I can describe it) you have to use to work your way up to establish yourself at the anchor. I couldn't reach the anchor from the stance below the roof, so I had to make the moves, that is where the 5.10 is I would say. The route is ok, worth doing once for sure. Aug 16, 2013
Keith W
Keith W  
Decent climb. All the climbing below the roof is fun and sub 10. Pulling the roof to the anchors is the 10 move. My partner and i found two different ways to pull the crux: one involving an undercling that lets you work your feet up and one using the sloping rail on the right and a high foot. Jun 17, 2018