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Routes in Winter Solstice Slab

Winter Solstice T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Type: Trad, Alpine, 160 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 76 total, 1/month
Shared By: Chris Wenker on Jan 12, 2009
Admins: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

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8 Opinions

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Description

This fine route, on good rock, is a truly excellent climb for the budding leader, but you've gotta have your head together for the slabby runout to the first bolt. Then follow the low-angle splitter cracks to the top. The route is a lot longer than it looks from the base, too, adding to the climb's appeal. Too bad it's guarded by the heinous approach.

See the photo topo in the excellent online guide.

Location

Starts on the right-center side of the south face of the slab. Head straight up to the bolt, then trend left up a short crack, and switch to another crack a little farther left, which will take you to the top.
Walk off the back of the slab. Head west to get down, or head east to climb Upper Dome.

Protection

There's one bolt at about 30 feet up. Although you can protect a finger crack at about 10 feet up, that won't do you much good against a ground fall until you clip that bolt. Then, it's all gear (take singles in cams and nuts, with perhaps doubles in hand-sized cams). Build a gear anchor on top.

Photos

Ryan Smyth
Albuquerque, NM
Ryan Smyth   Albuquerque, NM
Take this route if you want to make it up to the upper dome. Its much easier than trying to scramble around. It is runout to the first bolt but its all very easy climbing. If you're comfortable enough you don't need to rope up...fun stuff. Feb 22, 2009
Robin
Albuquerque, NM
  5.6 R
Robin   Albuquerque, NM
  5.6 R
A fun climb. I gave it three stars, but I think it deserves 2.5 since it's only one pitch. If it went on and on, it would be a really cool climb. I think the climbing was quite fun, and once you get to the bolt, protection is straight forward and abundant (although I only toproped it). I think it would take medium-ish nuts very well, and some larger cams (#2 or #3 C4) up higher.

If you intend to build an anchor at the top, the way I did anyway, you might want to bring a rope bag or something because the way I built my anchor, I had runners running over some sharp crystals. Or maybe there's a better way to TR it.... Jan 20, 2009
Bill Lawry
New Mexico
  5.6 R
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
  5.6 R
It is a long route - it's about 35 meters to the clump of grass in the crack so probably around 40 meters to finish out that crack.

On one outing, we built a gear anchor where the crack first gets good after the bolt so we could top-rope The Surprise while others climbed The Right Tower. This also broke Winter Solstice Slab into two pitches, each less than 30 meters.

If linking this route with Last Chance, consider veering to climber's right after the grass clump, drop into a 'gully', and then scramble up to a large ledge on a huge and completely detached block. A couple large cams are nice for the anchor (2 to 4 inch).

Thanks for taking the time to write these up, Chris! Jan 12, 2009