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Solar Burn 

YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E6 6b

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 600', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Dave Nettle & Peter Croft - July 2008
Season: Summer
Page Views: 2,309
Submitted By: Luke Stefurak on Aug 19, 2013

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Luke on the crux 3rd pitch of Solar Burn. Adam She...


Solar Burn, aka Sun Burn, is a right start to Solar Flare that climbs exciting splitters before traversing left into that route. Start by climbing the first two pitches of Airstream, as described below.

P1 - 5.10b - 190 feet

Start up the crack system just to the right of the P1 corner on the Polish route. This is also the start for Airstream. Climb up forty feet and then traverse right at a bush. Keep going right until you find thin cracks that lead up to a nice stance where you can build a gear belay. Belay takes small cams and nuts.

P2 - 5.11a/b - 90 feet

Climb straight up being careful of some loose rock. About 15 feet up there is an obvious rock scar and the large block to the left seems unstable. Climb over a small roof to a corner on the right. Clip a fixed pin and layback up the corner, stimulating! Keep on the gas and eventually you can get in some more gear and holds become more prevalent.

When the difficulty decreases head right to a belay on the arete at a good stance with two bolts. It is possible to access this belay by climbing the first 2.5 pitches of Positive Vibrations and traversing to the left at 5.10.

P3 - 5.12 - 140 feet
From the belay traverse left and up to a pair of very thin finger cracks. Work up the cracks with difficulty until you reach an overlap and the cracks start to pinch out. This section is only about 20-30 feet but packs a punch. Make a hard move left to gain a shallow corner. Follow this up as it becomes a flake and leads to a splitter further out left.

Follow the splitter up the face at 5.10 until you reach a good stance where you can build a gear belay. Anchor takes .75"-2.5" Gear

P4 - 5.10 R - 100 feet

From the belay continue up the crack until you can reach a large feature that runs across the face. It is possible to climb high and place a piece but the rock quality is horrible. Make a unprotected traverse 25 feet to the left on good holds. Follow a finger crack, with good gear, for 50+ feet until you reach a two bolt belay at a stance to the right.

P5 - 5.11c/d - 100 feet

Climb the corner above the belay until it pinches out at a small roof. Work up with difficulty until you can clip the first of 3 bolts. Traverse left across the face past well placed bolts. The climbing is subtle, cryptic and very high quality! Once you make it to the arete the climbing eases and you keep traversing past two more bolts to a two bolt belay on a pillar out left.

P6 - 5.12c - 60 feet - Described as P7 on Solar Flare
It is possible to link P5 and P6 but you will be out of view of your belayer for the crux and the rope drag around the arete is not ideal.

Continue up per Solar Flare. It is possible to bail from the anchor at the end of P5 but the anchor is not currently equipped for rappelling.


This route starts on Airstream and then follows splitters up the face below the Sunspot before traversing left into Solar Flare. The start is located to the right of the Polish Route and to the left of the start of Positive Vibrations.


Single Purple C3. Doubles Green C3 to #1 camalot. Single #2 camalot. RPs useful. At least 12-14 draws/slings if continuing up Solar Flare.

Photos of Solar Burn Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Luke enjoying the last few moves of pitch 5.
Luke enjoying the last few moves of pitch 5.
Rock Climbing Photo: Solar Burn Topo
BETA PHOTO: Solar Burn Topo
Rock Climbing Photo: Adam starting up pitch 1. You go right for Solar B...
Adam starting up pitch 1. You go right for Solar B...
Rock Climbing Photo: Solar Burn (Green) and Solar Flare (Red) Topo
BETA PHOTO: Solar Burn (Green) and Solar Flare (Red) Topo

Comments on Solar Burn Add Comment
Show which comments
By Vlad S
Jul 7, 2014
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Awesome variation! It should get done more as the climbing is really good (and to keep the lichen out of the cracks)! The crux sews up with small gear and has very fun bouldery moves. There are a few places to watch out for: bottom of the second pitch has a good number of loose flakes, the 10d upper part of the 3rd pitch has a some loose flakes inside the crack and the arete that you go around on p 5 is somewhat sharp (would feel better to have a fat rope). On pitch 4, the unprotected traverse doesn't follow a particular feature, rather some spread out crimps and flakes. Basically, traverse at the first opportunity. Running out the easy upper finger crack or lowering and removing gear will make sure that your 2nd has a TR from above for the entire traverse.
By ACassebeer
From: Mojave, CA
Aug 31, 2015

I agree that this variation is excellent. The cracks are all high quality. In fact, I think it's better and more interesting than the standard Solar Flare start. The unprotected traverse is pretty easy (5.9?), although it's exposed. Place a piece off the belay and move directly left almost immediately. P5 is intimidating-looking from below, but mostly it just requires some trickery to figure out the traverse.

We didn't find RP's useful. If you wanted to add extra pieces, make it in the fingers to 0.75 camalot range.

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