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The Luminosity 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 85'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Richard Rossiter and Bonnie Von Grebe, 2001
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 5,772
Submitted By: Ron Olsen on Jul 17, 2002

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Marga Powell stepping right at the crux.

Seasonal Closure MORE INFO >>>


Follow the approach to the Main Wall of Solaris. The Luminosity starts under a big triangular roof, 85' left of Mission to Mars, and 10' left of Tower of Power.

Climb up into a right-facing corner under the big roof, turn the roof on the left, and continue up the left edge of a steep face to the anchors. Belay from a good ledge at the top, or lower 75' to the start.

The best route on Solaris.


10 bolts to a 2-bolt anchor. Bring three or four longer runners to minimize rope drag.

Photos of The Luminosity Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Christa Cline making the crux step right above the...
Christa Cline making the crux step right above the...
Rock Climbing Photo: At the crux.
At the crux.
Rock Climbing Photo: Turning the corner/roof.
Turning the corner/roof.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Luminosity.
The Luminosity.
Rock Climbing Photo: The start of Luminosity.  It has an interesting st...
The start of Luminosity. It has an interesting st...
Rock Climbing Photo: Upper section of The Luminosity.  Great route!
BETA PHOTO: Upper section of The Luminosity. Great route!
Rock Climbing Photo: Erik Marr at the crux.
Erik Marr at the crux.
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber lowering off the upper section of ...
Unknown climber lowering off the upper section of ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Christa Cline traversing left around the big roof ...
Christa Cline traversing left around the big roof ...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 3, 2016
By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
Oct 29, 2003
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Maybe 5.9 by Boulder Canyon sport standards, but there are much harder 9s. The fun move is the move left at the roof--squatting there trying to figure out what to do with your head. The moves up and right above the roof are also tricky. I wanted to go right just above the lip...
By Steve Marr
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Aug 7, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I thought this was another great route on Solaris. Fun, sustained climbing to the anchors, with great position. The final moves up the arcing hand crack just below the anchors are great. I would agree with Ron - the best route on Solaris, and worth going back to.
By Matt Gates
From: Pinewood Springs, CO
Aug 13, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Don't pass this one up! Excellent route that will clean up in time. Recommend that the belayer be wearing a helmet and glasses as there is an occasional lichen shower and/or pebble size rock. There are also some fist size rocks waiting to be pulled out as well. 50M rope just gets you down. Don't forget your knots in the ends though!
By Gary Schmidt
From: Boulder, CO
May 25, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I really liked this route. Fun, varied moves and nice length and nicely bolted.
By djoseph
Sep 19, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

One of the best sport 9s that I've been on in BC. Interesting moves and great views. This and The Memory of Trees at Watermark are my favorites at the grade.
By Julius Beres
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 11, 2008
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This is a fun route with big, positive hand holds for the entire thing. It is a sequence of interesting moves shifting your weight around. I would say there isn't a single move harder than 5.8, but it is sustained throughout.
By jcntrl
From: Smoulder, CO
Jul 8, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Nicely varied climbing (backstep, layback, you can even fingerjam if you really want) on positive holds the whole way.

Recommend using a double-runner on the bolt inside the dihedral; this will help with rope drag a bit later, but it's manageable without.

5.9? It's a "boulder canyon 5.9" which means it's more like 5.8. Whatever. 5.youcan or 5.youcan't.
By David Hankin
Nov 1, 2011

During early September, I pulled off a hunk of rock about the size of a book at the crux. So... it's a little harder now.

To pass the crux, there was this sidepull off to your right. Yeah, it's not there anymore.

Good luck. It's still a blast of a route.
By Jeff Chrisler
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 25, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Yeah, when I climbed it today, I was confused about the sequence above the roof. Having climbed it before, I remembered a nice hold to get your feet over to the right and eventually up. Without the hold, it's definitely harder- perhaps 10a.
By joefbtg28 Grossman
May 17, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

One of the best 5.9 sport routes in Boulder Canyon! Turning the roof and next few face moves are the crux. The flake at the top is my favorite section.
By Andrew Locke
From: Louisville, CO
Jun 23, 2013
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I lead this yesterday, having never climbed it before. It's well protected, but I would grade it at 9+, only for the crux. Someone mentioned the sidepull being gone, which makes it much more balancy to get your feet above the roof. The next couple moves are tricky as well, which makes the sequence harder than 9 in my opinion.

For reference, I've lead In Memory of Trees twice, and feel Luminosity is more difficult. Not quite 10a, but sustained 8+, with a 9+ crux. The diagonal crack before the anchors is excellent.
By William Thiry
From: Lakewood, CO
Aug 30, 2013
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Terrific, long route with great positions on very steep rock and spectacular views at the top. Sustained 5.8/5.9 with a 5.10a crux above the roof.
By Danny F.
Sep 7, 2013

NOTICE: As of 9/7/13, the 4th bolt (I believe) above the roof and at the crux is loose. Still a great route! Definitely a stiff 9 without the broken off hold...maybe 10a?
By Tombo
From: Boulder
Nov 29, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I tried to rope solo Luminosity today, and I am clueless at the crux so ended up doing it 5.8 A0. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to move my hands to lean over to the jug? Is the move height dependant or was I just off today? I think the Avalon/Solaris area is some of the softest grades in the canyon, and this felt way harder than say Dominator, Mists of Avalon, The Tower, or Wheel of Fortune. Or like I say I was off and missing something. Have to go back w/ a partner.
By Karissa Sampson
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 3, 2014

Excellent route. Sustained climbing at the grade. I'm not sure how it was before a hold at the crux reportedly broke off, but I would say it goes at 5.9, sustained with some moves over exposure. I too found the bolt next to the crux to be loose 7/2/14. Solid bolt, the nut on it is just loose. Didn't have a tool otherwise I'd have tightened it more than just by hand. It's probably the bolt most likely to get torqued on the route due to being at the crux, so check it out before you clip it. Have fun!
By Fiona Dunne
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 24, 2014

Crux bolt nut (the first bolt after the roof) is still loose - I hand-tightened it today.
By Conor Felletter
From: Boulder, Colorado
Jul 24, 2014

One of the best 5.9s IMHO. I got around the roof by crouching low standing on the ledge on the face of the arete(?) and sidepulling on both sides then just inching around. The crux is committing, but there is small micro-ledge above the cave right of the jug that you can get your foot up on to. In conjunction with the pinch, it's doable. Be warned, the next few clipping stances aren't great and might really tax a nervous leader.
By Ben Wiz
From: Boulder, Co
Jul 28, 2014
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Fun problem, great views, worth the extra hike from Avalon to do.
Upgrading a bit due to the crux, which felt hard for a 5.9 (even for Boulder Canyon).
By Bruce Hildenbrand
Oct 6, 2014

Dale Haas and I addressed the problems with the 4th bolt on this route. We added a SS lock washer and applied some silicone seal to the threads, so this bolt should stay tight for a while. We also tightened most of the other bolts on the route.
By L Kap
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 3, 2016

Excellent route with varied moves - loved it! The crux is tricky for a 5.9 but definitely doable. Want my beta to avoid aiding it? After you turn the huge roof and stand up to clip the next bolt, drop back down about a foot to stay low on good hands and feet and traverse back toward the right edge of the face. There's a high right-hand pinch on the face that should be within reach unless you're quite short. It's not much, but it's solid. There's also a mini-ledge just under the face itself near the arete - get your feet on this, pull on the right-hand pinch, and stand up calmly. Decent left-hand holds will be in reach. I'm 5'7" and wimpy, and this move wasn't reachy or pumpy or too thin for me. The rest of the route similarly has good hands and feet if you look for them and have decent technique. Use a few long slings to reduce rope drag if you've got them.

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