solo : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread

I plan on soloing either Aurora or Lunar Eclipse this season and wanted to see if anyone else has done these routes. I am looking for people's opinion concerning the quality of the route. While I know this will be subjective, it may help me commit to one of them. I am not so interested in beta, but I will listen if you have something to say. Thanks for any help. Hold on for just a little longer, the season is just around the corner. Except for those sick folks who climb during the winter and laugh at the rest of us for climbing in the crowds. Damn hard men. Ronnie

-- Ronnie Miller (, February 25, 2000


I soloed Aurora last october, even though I'd never soloed a wall before it seemed pretty mellow (I only though I might die once). I wasn't prepared for how much hard work was involved though. Long pitches make this a perfect solo target, just make sure you have the right size nuts for the stud belays..I didn't! I had five bibi's on the route, climbing 2 pitches a day until my headtorch broke, then I just did one a day (the way to go for hardish soloing I recon).

Hope you have a good time

Andy K

-- Andy Kirkpatrick (, March 06, 2000.

Nice one, Andy! Didn't know you were up there - we were over around the corner on JR in Sept/Oct. Ronnie, unless you're a pretty good swimmer, you might want to rethink climbing Aurora in the spring! I soloed Native Son May/99, and the stream from the right side of the Equator was absolutely PISSING DOWN on the ninth belay of Aurora. The belay looked absolutely unuseable, and I cannot imagine anyone soloing the route under such conditions! You can see the black streak and the water from the Meadows with binocs. I would recommend you solo Native Son or Iron Hawk (I've soloed both). Native Son is shorter and direct, and the Coral Sea is a bit harder than anything on Aurora, I think. Bring lots of nylon, hooks and tape to "finesse" the Coral Sea - absolutely ANY piton you hammer WILL MOVE the rock in some way on that pitch. There is a really nasty, awkward A1 on P11 that COULD be the crux! Iron Hawk is very bitchin', but a long and commiting solo at 23 pitches. You'd better understand the continuous loop for the Knifeblade Traverse! (haul from 5 to 7 with a 60m haul line). You'll also find the "5.9" exciting - I thought it was pretty real 5.10 20' above my last piece, with another ten feet of slack pulled through my Solo Aid. (yes, I solo with a Gri-gri now....) IH and NS are surely on the driest part of the crag, and would be better bets than A or LE. It is also likely that LE will be hammered by spray from the waterfall, as is just about anything right of Zodiac, and indeed even Zodiac. Unless conditions are VERY DRY, which seems VERY unlikely, I doubt you'd want to try either of those routes in the spring. Cheers, Pete (and Wee-Wee, the Big Wall Crab)

-- "Pass the Pitons" Pete Zabrok (, April 02, 2000.

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