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The Solar Dome (aka Lighthouse)

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Altoids On the Beach S 
Baditude S 
Burning Up The Hillside S 
Fire Starter S 
Homesteader, The S 
Howl Of A Hungry Cat S 
Ice Hose Chopper Lunch Mob S 
Kelp Bed Freak Show S 
Lady Of The Light S 
Lipstick Sunset S,TR 
Montana Floodgates S 
Morning Sunshine S 
Nimby S 
Nuns on the Beach S 
Sundance S 
Tanning Block, The S 
Walking On The Sun S 
Walking with the Homesteader S 
Waves of Rays S 
Waves on the Beach S 
Willie's Wake Up Call Girl S 
Unsorted Routes:

The Solar Dome (aka Lighthouse) Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,600'
Location: 40.0057, -105.3953 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 10,542
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Jan 1, 2001
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BETA PHOTO: A few routes on the left side.

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  • Description 

    The Solar Dome is a small, non-descript crag uphill and a bit West of The Upper Security Risk. Really, it looks like a small, improbable blob with little to offer. In fact, The Solar Dome is a well-developed sport crag on short but typical Boulder Canyon granite. Most routes are under 70 feet in length and have been well-bolted. Surprisingly good climbing can be had for such short routes. Since the crag sits on top of the hill, it gets good sun all day long. However, it also picks up most of the bad weather blowing through Boulder Canyon. On a warm summer day, The Solar Dome is a great place to catch the rays and pick off a few good climbs. The climbing is largely 5.10 to 5.12, although a few very moderate lines have been installed. Presently, there are at least twenty routes in place with link-ups possible for many of these.


    A. Nimby, 7+, 1p, bolts.
    B. Montana Floodgates, 11-, 1p, 70', bolts.
    C. Burning Up The Hillside, 11-, 1p, 60' bolts.
    D. Sundance, 11+, 1p, 50', bolts.
    E. The Homesteader, 11+, 1p, bolts.
    FE. Walking with the Homesteader, 10, 1p, 50', bolts.
    F. Walking On The Sun, 12-, 1p, 45', bolts.
    G. Altoids On The Beach, 8, 1p, bolts.
    HI. Waves On The Beach, 10, 1p, 80', bolts.
    I. Waves Of Rays, 10, 1p, bolts.
    J. Nuns On The Beach, 11+, 2 starts, 1p, 60', bolts.
    K. Kelp Bed Freak Show, 11-, 1p, 55', bolts.
    L. Baditude, 10, 1p, bolts.
    M. Howl Of A Hungry Cat, 10+, 1p, bolts.
    N. Lady Of The Light, 12-, 1p, bolts.
    O. Uptown Venus, 12, 1p, bolts.
    P1. Fire Starter, 10 or 11, 1p, 50', bolts.
    P2. Willie's Wake Up Call Girl, 11+, 1p, bolts.
    Q. Morning Sunshine, 7, 1p, bolts.


    AA. Lipstick Sunset, 12, 1p, 30', bolts.
    BB. The Tanning Block, 11+, 1p, 40', bolts.
    CC. Ice Hose Chopper Lunch Mob, 11-, 1p, 35', bolts.

    Getting There 

    The most hassle free approach to The Solar Dome is to hike up from The Upper Security Risk crag. This adds about 10 minutes to the hike up from Boulder Canyon making the entire walk at least 45 minutes. In the past, it was possible to approach The Solar Dome from the North, parking on the hill just before it drops down to Dream Canyon parking. This entails crossing private land, which has caused some trouble in the past several years and is to be avoided if possible. That said however, we have used the Northern approach after first checking with the landowners.

    Climbing Season

    Weather station 4.5 miles from here

    21 Total Climbing Routes

    ['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]

    Classic Climbing Routes in The Solar Dome (aka Lighthouse)

    Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Solar Dome (aka Lighthouse):
    Walking with the Homesteader   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
    Lady Of The Light   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
    Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Solar Dome (aka Lighthouse)

    Featured Route For The Solar Dome (aka Lighthouse)
    Rock Climbing Photo: Low on the route.

    Montana Floodgates 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  Colorado : Boulder Canyon : The Solar Dome (aka Lightho...
    The next face climb left of Hillside, Montana Floodgates starts with hard move right off the deck. I thought it was a bit harder than 11a. The move right, around a blocky bulge was a little spooky, leading off in thin hands with sub-par feet. The climbing settles down a long way for several bolts, picking up a few good moves with in-obvious sequences higher up. This is another great warm-up for the harder routes on the crag, or a fun romp by itself....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

    Photos of The Solar Dome (aka Lighthouse) Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Beta pic of right/lower part of Solar Dome.
    BETA PHOTO: Beta pic of right/lower part of Solar Dome.
    Rock Climbing Photo: View from the crag.
    View from the crag.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Beta pic of Solar Dome - right side.
    BETA PHOTO: Beta pic of Solar Dome - right side.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The Solar Dome.
    The Solar Dome.
    Rock Climbing Photo:

    Comments on The Solar Dome (aka Lighthouse) Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Michael Walker
    From: Loveland, CO
    Oct 29, 2001
    Do not think that the long hike will mean fewer crowds! It's a good spot to meet and greet the sport climbing crowd.
    By Chris Lee
    Nov 12, 2002
    Nice hike and scenic place to climb moderate routes. Thanks goes out to the people who installed the routes. Good job!
    By Jeff St. Pierre
    Jan 6, 2003
    MMmmmm... Warm. Nice place in the cooler months, if there's not much wind.
    By Luke
    Nov 28, 2005
    Climbed in short sleeves on Nov. 20, a day when the Boulder high was forecast around 55 (don't the know actual turned out to be down there but it felt warmer than that here.)
    By S. Kimball
    Dec 2, 2005
    Do the climbing community a favor, drill a few more holes in this and return it back to the rubble heap it is.
    By pfwein
    From: Boulder, CO
    Nov 15, 2008
    Hmm, no one there (besides me/partner) on a lovely 50 degree (in Boulder, sunny, low wind) late fall Saturday. I guess crowds come and go.
    By Mark Rolofson
    Mar 15, 2017
    For complete & accurate route info please refer to my guidebook "Boulder Canyon Sport & Adventure Climber's Guide - Volume I - Lower Narrows & Dream Canyon". Rick Leitner & I established most of these routes from December 1997 to March 1998. While climbing at Upper Security Risk Crag in December, I noticed the sun stayed on the south-facing wall, that soon became Lady Of The Light on the Solar Dome, until 4:30pm. With the sun setting at Upper Security Risk at 3:45pm, this made the Solar Dome seem rather appealing.

    After establishing the first route "Lady Of The Light", we decided to focus our energy toward exploring the Solar Dome. After seeing dozens of parties hike up to Upper Security Risk just to climb "Pup", the only 5.9 sport pitch, I decided the area could use more moderates. There are some excellent 5.10 routes & a few easier pitches. No need to bring any gear, just draws & a rope. "Waves On The Beach" & Altoids On The Beach" are 85 feet in length. Everything else is shorter at 40 to 60 ft, with three short routes of 25 feet on the two large boulders.

    The cliff is great for winter sun, but beware the harsh winds. The wind is far colder up here on the rim of the canyon than below. Shade can be found on the right (east) & left (west) side of the crag during the longer days of Spring through Fall.

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