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Solar Slab - Upper Tier
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YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 500', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
Page Views: 3,826
Submitted By: John Wilder on Dec 4, 2004

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RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


Sundog is a neat route that works its way up the right side of the main Solar Slab wall. From the top of the Solar Slab Gully: Head right (east) across the terrace to the grooves in the slab above. Lead up this apron or solo it until you come to the base of the main wall and a shallow right facing corner. There should be a bolt at the base of the route.

Pitch 1: Head up the corner past a couple of bolts to a ledge above. Continue up the left facing corner to a bolted stance. 5.8

Pitch 2: Head straight up delicate face climbing through two bulges to another bolted stance. 5.8

Pitch 3: Crux pitch- head straight up past a couple of bolts to a slab above...head generally up and right to belay. 5.9

Pitch 4: Head up the large corner above to the base of a wide section. Either climb this or head right into 'X' territory. Belay a ways above. 5.8 either way you go.

From here, either rappel the route or head left to the terrace at the top of Solar Slab and rappel that route.


Bolted stances.

Photos of Sundog Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Solar Slab Wall
BETA PHOTO: Solar Slab Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Jesse heads up
Jesse heads up
Rock Climbing Photo: Matthew Clausen, p2
Matthew Clausen, p2
Rock Climbing Photo: Overview of the route.
Overview of the route.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jim Mediatore at the top of the 5.6, 1st pitch. 1 ...
BETA PHOTO: Jim Mediatore at the top of the 5.6, 1st pitch. 1 ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 4 of Sundog
Pitch 4 of Sundog
Rock Climbing Photo: Approaching the second belay.
Approaching the second belay.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on the first belay from partway up th...
Looking down on the first belay from partway up th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1 of Sundog
Pitch 1 of Sundog
Rock Climbing Photo: Jonny leading the crux pitch of Sundog. Great rout...
Jonny leading the crux pitch of Sundog. Great rout...

Comments on Sundog Add Comment
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By Doug Hemken
From: Madison, WI
Nov 29, 2005
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I've done this route twice now, on 17 Nov and in Dec 04. A great place to find some sun in the winter! I love the way Mt. Wilson's shadow falls below the huge Sunporch ledge, which gives you the feeling that the whole sunny buttress you are on is adrift in space.

Take one very large cam for the final pitch - this time we did the Beulah's Book approach, so we got to use the big stuff twice.
By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From: Vegas
Jan 30, 2006

A very worthwhile route! I think I was smiling the whole time! The crux felt a bit stiff for a 5.9 though.
By Nick Stayner
From: Wymont Kingdom
Mar 20, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Really fun movement, flows really well. Definitely worth considering if you're interested in doing a longer 5.9 route in the dead of winter.
By M. Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Dec 31, 2006

On par with the best at Solar Slab. A bit runout in spots.
By M. Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Jan 1, 2007

Contrary to the Brock (big red) guidebook, one 50m rope will NOT get you to the ground from the top of pitch 2. Two ropes are a must.
By Cunning Linguist
Feb 22, 2007

Enjoyed this route with Darrin Kite recently, had the pleasure of meeting Phil B. and Joanne Urioste with the survivors of Jorge's 70th b-day party on the upper ledge. We used Greg Barnes' route description, which I thought was fine, but I offer this: the smallest placement I could find on the variant top pitch (go right instead of up the wide crack) was .2 camalot (old) or purple TCU, this was about 3 feet from a bomber hand cam on the ramp before the hard climbing. Above I used a #1 camalot and a .5, no thin placements to be found. This section might be 5.8+ or 5.9, but nothing compared to the bolted movements on the crux pitch below, and my ballnutz went unused on this climb. Based on rappel inspection, I'd reccommend the straight up crack as the more logical, fun-looking, and solid way to go.
By smassey
From: CO
Mar 14, 2011

As of 3/10, most of the bolts are older 1/4 or 5/16 studs. The second pitch belay bolts wiggle just a little - can be backed up with a yellow alien and a creaky slung horn. The first two bolts on the crux are garbage, with the third and forth being pretty decent. The 3rd pitch has a new 3/8x2.25 SS, courtesy of the ASCA, and can be backed up with gear. The last pitch also can be backed up with a red camalot. If one feels the desire to rap a more established rap route, the traverse over to the top of the Solar Slab raps is a pitch of 3rd/4th class to climbers' left.
By Mike A. Lewis
From: Estes Park, CO
Apr 11, 2012

Pitch 1: You can do a 3rd/4th class approach by going just a bit further to climber's right, past the water streaks on the sandy slab. Go up the gully and traverse out left to the 1 bolt anchor.

Good route. Worth doing. Well protected. The crux pitch is a bolted short steep crimpy section that pulls into a very insecure slab with few positive edges - well-enough bolted and options for small cams higher.

Descent: Avoid going down the "descent gully" to looker's right of the Solar Slab Wall. This descent is shown in Roxanna and Jared's Red Guidebook on the topo. Well, only avoid it if you want to miss out on a true adventure full of bushwacking, exposed 4th class scrambling and raps to which you you will probably have to donate your cordelletes and slings. It's pretty fun if you are into that stuff.

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