A spectacular 13 pitch route that moves up mostly moderate terrain just left of Solar Slab. This route is a real adventure- fun and technical climbing, spectacular views, and a awesome summit. Climbers should be solid at the grade and willing to run it out in places. Route finding skills and creative pro are required. Start about 200 yards left of Solar Slab Gully at the base of Solar Flare (look for the 4 overhangs on a black buttress). Scramble up and left along a bushy ledge system to a small ledge in a chimney. Pitch 1: Ascend the west wall of the chimney, eventually stepping left into another chimney. Belay in the awesome cave. 5.8, 100' Pitch 2: Step right out of the cave and head up and then right to some beautiful face climbing trending up and left, eventually traversing left 15' to a large ledge. Pro is intricate. 5.8, 100' Pitch 3: Head generally straight up via the path of least resistance, eventually stepping right about 15' to a left leaning crack that leads to a cozy alcove. 5.8, 120' Pitch 4: 3rd class up to the lower shoulder above. From here, 4th class straight up for about a ropelength to a cozy chimney below a varnished face. Pitch 5: Step right and work your way up the face to a sloping ledge above. Thin cams for belay. 5.7, 100' Pitch 6: Go up, then right, following the path of least resistance to a decent stance. 5.6+, 120' From here, more 4th class terrain leads to a second large shoulder. Head straight ahead toward the slab above. Belay at the base. Pitch 8: Go up beautiful varnished plates for about 3/4 of a rope to a hanging belay. 5.2, 165' Pitch 9: Go up and right into the dihedral which leads to the ledges just below the upper terrace on Solar Slab. 5.7, 120' Descent: Either continue to the summit of Solar Slab and descend via Black Orpheus, or continue up Solar Slab to the nearest rappel anchor (5.3, 80') and rappel the route. FA (Lower Pitches): John Wilder, Larry DeAngelo, John Campbell. FA: (Upper Pitches): John Wilder, Larry DeAngelo, John Hegyes, George Urioste.
Submitted by: vegastradguy on 2005-12-11
Route ID: 71393
The route involves a lot of pitches, but the climbing should be relatively fast if the climbers are competent. It helps to know the descent rappels if you are going to attempt Sunspot Ridge during the winter. The 2nd pitch (as described here) is the best climbing of the day. The 6th and 8th pitches are pretty cool rock with nice upper wall positions. With Gene.