The Solarium Mostly Sport climbing13 routes in cliff
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A gently overhanging wall of some of the nicest rock you'll ever fondle perched high above Crag X. A great cold weather destination, but not so good (i.e. completely dire) on a summer’s day, as it faces north, offers no shade, and has an uncanny ability to reflect the sun! The routes offer interesting and sustained climbing on great rock, and the location at the head of a broad valley, with expansive views and eagles soaring above, makes it a great place to soak up the ambience of the ranges. The climbs are sport except for one mixed route which requires a small trad rack. Some of the other routes will also accept a cam to minimise runout. There‘s oodles of unclimbed rock in the area to explore (including an amazing pocketed giant rock arch), and there are bound to be new routes waiting to be found by those willing to take the time to explore. There’s plenty of bouldering to be done, too, if you’re into that sort of thing. You might even find the obscure old hermits cave – if you do, please don’t disturb what was probably once someone’s idea of paradise!
Access issues inherited from Red Rock Area
Do NOT approach any of the crags in this area across the paddocks from Red Rock Road. The land has recently changed hands and the farmer does not want people crossing the property. Follow the tracks just outside the southern or northern boundaries of the farmland until able to move around the farmland to the area you are going. Please adhere to this to keep open the possibility of negotiated access.
From the far end of Crag X (Empire of the Sun cave - a cruisy 25 minutes on a decent track) steeply follow the broken cliff line for about 100m until confronted by another cliff. Turn right and follow the broad gully for about 50m until it is possible to veer back left along a narrow rock shelf. Follow a series of rocky ledges and ramps until you arrive at the Solarium, half way between the main cliff and Ballbag Amphitheater. Lots if cairns point the way. Total time 35 minutes.
The original approach is listed below for those who like their access to have a touch of epic. From the northern end of the gravel pit (which lies just south of Eagle Rock), head steeply north-east up the hill keeping just left of the creek, aiming for the saddle between Eagle Rock and a small outcrop on the right. This section is quite overgrown with vigorous regrowth, but following the fence-line points you in the right direction to pass just to the left of the small outcrop on the right. At the top, keep heading north-east and walk across a gentle valley before again passing between some small outcrops (with a distinctive ‘eye’ in the large boulder on your right) as you crest the next ridge. The path then descends slightly into a broad gully before swinging right and up the gully. There are lots of cairns and the odd bit of red tape to show the way. The track ends up crossing the top of the cliff and then descends an easy scramble down the gully on the eastern side of the cliff. 30 minutes.
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