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The Solar Wall

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The Solar Wall Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 11,000'
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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Tony B on Jul 24, 2006
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The Solar Wall as seen from Andrew's Glacier Trail...

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The Solar Wall is a very appropriately named buttress on Mount Otis. This south-facing wall gets sun from early morning and into the afternoon, season depending. The relatively short approach (~4 miles) and height of this cliff (~600-800') could have made for a very popular destination in the Alpine rock or RMNP, were the lines on it more distinct and information more readily available. But as it is, the wall is relatively untraveled. It has only 1 published route on it, and one new one as of July 2006. You are unlikely to be climbing below another party on this wall, which is good, as there is some occasional loose rock.

On the whole, the cliff varies in quality from bulletproof golden granite to solid bands of black (Gneiss?) like on Hallet Peak... but there is also some less solid areas of granite, with loose rocks and ledges with fist and head-sized chunks waiting to be pulled off. Be wary. Route finding can be difficult ans the wall is very featured and even where the rock is peerless, runouts still occur, as there are frequently seams, but no cracks.

Still, the wall is worthy of being done, and has more lines to go on it.

Getting There 

Approach is up the Andrews Glacier/Andrews Creek fork from the Glacier Gorge parking lot. Follow directions as for the Wham and Zowie Tower, and go just left of Zowie to the main buttress behind it. This is the Sunshine Wall. The two existing climbs start by going up a gully to the left and then up and right onto a ledge to start at the left corner of the main wall. This is maybe 4+ miles long and will take perhaps 1-2 hours with packs on.

Climbing Season

Weather station 8.3 miles from here

2 Total Climbing Routes

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

Featured Route For The Solar Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: This is roughly the line you should follow.  The t...

Solar Arete 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Colorado : Alpine Rock : ... : The Solar Wall
The crux of this climb is keeping your head together as you try to:a) find itb) protect itWhile Bernard Gillett does include a write-up and topo for this route in his most recent High-Peaks book, the wall is so featured as to be indistinct. Which one of the 4 'shallow left facing corners' would you choose? Once found, the route requires some focus to protect and climb though we felt that pitches 2-5 were all about 1 letter grade easier than rated. All lengths given here are very approximate, as ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

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