Solar Slab 5.6
Solar Slab Wall, Oak Creek Canyon
About the Climb
This stelar route climbs a long and easy natural line up a big face. Although the climbing is relatively easy, well protected and straightforward, it is a big day for the 5.6 leader and should not be underestimated with almost 2000' of climbing if going to the top.
Solar Slab and Cat in the Hat (5.6) are the most popular moderate multi-pitch routes in Red Rocks. You can already guess what that means: get up early or get in line. Whichever you choose, it is worth it. Combined with one of the routes on the lower tier, Solar Slab makes for an amazing day on the rock with great views. Most people climb only the first 6 pitches and then rap down. Althought the rap route is to the right and partly uses independent belays, it can still be clogged up. However, you can go to the top and walk off through the Painted Bowl, which is very nice and adds to the overall commitment. If you're planing to do Black Orpheus (5.9+) one day, this will allow you to already know the Painted Bowl descent.
The Solar Slab route starts from the Solar Slab ledge halfway up the wall, so you have to climb another route to get to it. The quickest options is to (simul) climb Solar Slab Gully (5.3). For more challenging climbing you can climb Johnny Vegas (5.7) or Beulah's Book (5.9), both located just left of the gully. Options to the right of the gully also exist, but make for a less logical linkup with Solar Slab.
If there is a long line to get on Solar Slab, you can bypass it by climbing Going Nuts (5.6), a fun two pitch climb that starts below the arch and from which you can reach the second belay of Solar Slab.
Cat in the Hat (5.6) is similar in grade, and the top half has similar quality climbing. However, since you don't have to climb another route to get there it is a much shorter day. You can also climb the Cookie Monster-Cat in the Hat combination for a great day of moderate climbing.
For a similar climb, although a bit shorter, also check Birdland (5.7) in Pine Creek Canyon. Moreover, when combined with Rawlpindi (5.7), it can provide an equally exciting day as going for Solar Slab.