A worthy crag, Solaris lies just left of Avalon. The crag consists of four buttresses separated by steep gullies. The main walls face west and provide morning shade for hot-weather climbing, and afternoon sun for climbing in cooler weather.
There are over a dozen routes here, most of them developed by Richard Rossiter and various partners.
Most routes are fully bolted sport routes, and can be done with a 50m rope and a set of quickdraws. There are a few trad routes and a few that require some gear in addition to the bolts.
Solaris has routes on three levels: the Lower Tier, the Main Wall, and the Summit Tower. To get to the Lower Tier, continue up the talus about a hundred feet above the creek, then cut left and down along the base of the wall for several hundred feet.
Routes on the Lower Tier:
A. Crumbs, 8+, 1p, gear, 60'. B. Left Line, 8, 1p, 60', bolts. Face with horizontal cracks to slab. Can continue on Leftovers, 5, 120', gear. C. Arete, 9, 1p, 60', TR. D. Crack, 9, 1p. E1. Right Line, 8, 1p, 50', bolts. Face to tree to pillar. E2. The Right Way, 8, 55', gear.
To get to the Main Wall, continue up the talus and look for cairns. Cut L at the cairns and follow a trail along the base of the wall. The first route you'll see is Contact. The other routes lie several hundred feet farther left, past a gully.
At the cutoff to the Main Wall, you can head south (upstream) and find a path to the Tarot Wall area on Avalon.
Approach #1: Park at the Practice Rock pullout on the right at 8.1 miles, opposite Bell Buttress and the route Cosmosis. Walk upstream 140 yards to the crag. If the water is low enough, you can wade or hop rocks across the creek right below Solaris. After crossing the creek, follow a path up to the right, around a short wall, to the edge of a talus field. From here, you can cut left to the Lower Tier, or continue up to the Main Wall.
Approach #2: If the water is too high to wade, you'll have to cross the creek via a tyrolean traverse. Unfortunately, the tyrolean traverse that used to be set up below Solaris is no longer present (as of 5/25/06), so the easiest tyrolean to use is the one below Avalon, another tenth of a mile up the canyon. You can park at a paved pullout on the right across from Avalon at 8.2 miles to shorten the walk to the Avalon tyrolean. Use the Avalon tyrolean, then hike up the talus angling left below the First Tier of Avalon. Continue up to the left side of Tarot Wall on the Second Tier of Avalon, and take a path north (downstream) toward Solaris. Go through a short wooded section, cross a talus field and within several hundred feet you'll arrive at a trail leading to the Main Wall of Solaris (look for cairns).
Follow the directions to the Main Wall of Solaris. This is the first route you run across. From the base of the route, it is difficult to see the second pitch, but you can see the beefy bolts for the first.The first pitch doesn't look too inspiring. Rossiter's site calls it 5.7. I guess there is a 7 move in there, but the first 'pitch' is really there to get to the better climbing up above. Clip four bolts to the anchor on a nice ledge with a bit of loose rock.The second pitch is fun. This...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
The tyrolean traverse below Solaris wasn't present on Thursday 5/25/06 and the water was too high to wade.
We went a little farther up the canyon and used the Avalon tyrolean. After crossing the creek, hike up around the left side of Avalon's First Tier to the left side of Tarot Wall. Take a path to the left (north), through the woods and across some talus, to the Main Wall of Solaris.
As stated above in the route list, routes J, K, L, M are left of the gully separating the Main Wall from the blob that contains Q, N, O, P. I say this because, in D'Antonio's guidebook, J, K, L, M are erroneously shown to be to the right of the gully and beneath Q, N, O, P.