The Diamond


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bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 17, 2007 - 06:08pm PT
Maybe one best alpine faces in the world. Post up!

Also shots of the Lower East face and the Red Wall.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Aug 17, 2007 - 06:12pm PT
My first and second big wall, early '70s.

(back when I could do the approach and didn't know if I went to the desert I didn't have to.)
Cheers Bob.

Trad climber
Aug 17, 2007 - 09:45pm PT

Coming to the end of the traverse about a month ago.....

Trad climber
Aug 18, 2007 - 01:18am PT
i'll be back out there in a couple of weeks!


Aug 18, 2007 - 02:03am PT
Looks real good.

They said I must get up early to go up to this Diamond.

3 am was rise time they said.

By 3:05 it was pouring rain.

Thus I went back to sleep and never went.

Thanks for the photos, they are great.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Aug 18, 2007 - 02:41am PT
Late summer can be flirting with disaster Tim.
I remember '94, and reaching Granite Pass in a snowstorm.
Good luck compadre; you're a veteran now.

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Aug 18, 2007 - 09:10am PT
I don't know why you'd want to mount Lady Washington,
although she is said to have had a nice pair.
Maybe I wood first thing in the morning,
but not once it gets light out.

Folks up high (orange, black)are on Ariana;
below, a party on some chossheap called Pervert Something-or-other.
That must have been an amazing trip back then, Ron.

The Yellow Wall, p.1. Rather a stiff wake-up.
He missed the marmot.
Later that day (last week) it trundled a guy's pack down Field's Chimney all the way to the glacier
during an attempted break-in.

Following the traverse across Crossover Ledge and up to the start of the A4 Traverse pitch.
This was pretty effin' burly as well, harder than the first. Luckily I got the dull end both times.

Anyone have any recommendations for topping out above Table Ledge? We looked into the maw of the YW finish,
a wide, dripping mossy slot, and opted to go on down.
I'm still ISO a better way.
Maybe it's just those pitches in a dry year.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Aug 18, 2007 - 01:43pm PT
Early '70s I'm in a wheelchair recovering from a rockfall injury (acquired in Eldo, where there IS no rockfall, yeah right).

The doctor says I'm gonna have to give up climbing, but I'm pouring over my East face of Long's photos picking out a new route to do up the left side of the Diamond. The ace up my sleeve was the close inspection that I was able to pull on the fourth ascent of Curving Vine.
I'm so cocksure of myself that I even start playing with ideas for a name for this route I wouldn't even climb until the following year.

What to call it?
What to call it?

In the mail is a letter from my old friend Eddy Boudreau who is stationed in South Korea.

The letter starts;
Dear Ron,
are you still hiding out in your perverted vertical sanctuary?

Trad climber
Aug 18, 2007 - 03:45pm PT
I just climbed the Pervertical Sanctuary route TO THE SUMMIT w/ Wayne Willoughby! Wayne had polio as a child, has no use in is right leg, and very little in his left. HE KICKED ASS! We finished the last 3 pitches in a typical death defying Diamond storm and there was nothing but positivity ringing from this guy. Add an unplanned bivy above Table Ledge, the Kiener route finish, a marathon walk-off descent (Keyhole was not an option), and you have the all of the ingredients for full value adventure! Seriously, we had a blast...
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Aug 18, 2007 - 07:38pm PT
My god! How did he handle the approach?
Even if he rode a horse that's impressive as hell.

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Aug 18, 2007 - 07:43pm PT
Wow. I can't believe I was whining about a little cold. Sounds like you guys had an adventure.


Trad climber
Evergreen, CO
Aug 19, 2007 - 02:09pm PT
Rhoto...Are you sure you were looking at the YW finish? The last two pitches of Yellow Wall are one crack right of where the Casual hits Table. You have to climb past a refrigerator sized rocking block on Table but after that it is clean amazing climbing to the top. The last pitch has high exposure climbing up the right of the hanging roofs, looking down between your legs at the base of the Lower East face 1500 feet below you.

The thin flaring crack system directly above the Casual crux pitch is Bright Star, which suckers many parties with its nice jamming for 50 feet before the business begins.

The last 2 pitches of Forest Finish are also high value and can be climbed in a 70m rope stretcher. Some water and slime but hands and fists forever and should not be missed.

I've climbed the Diamond over 20 times, and the days I have taken it to the top vs bailing at Table (which is only 3/4 of the way up BTW) have been the most memorable. Of course when the thunder starts grumbling it sure is nice to have that option.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Aug 19, 2007 - 02:27pm PT
it is posts such as the one you just made that make the taco such a great place to hang.
Thanks for the perspicacious input.
Richard Large

sneaking up behind you...
Aug 19, 2007 - 05:12pm PT
the traverse pitch -- Casual Rt.
the crux pitch -- Casual Rt.
some gumby on Table Ledge. The photo is tilted big time but the trail line tells the story.
Climbers on the Casual Route...
Crux pitch of Red Wall
Crux pitch of Directissima


right here, right now
Aug 21, 2007 - 10:38pm PT
'Only been up the Yellow Wall.
What an amazing linkup of finger locks, jams, and crisp edges all the way up!

I love this picture of Kor cruising some of those moves:

from CLIMB!

right here, right now
Aug 21, 2007 - 11:15pm PT
Roger Briggs on the cover of Glenn Randall's "Vertigo Games":
(there is so much to be told by Roger Briggs about the Diamond...)

A passage from Pat Ament's "A History of Free Climbing in America":


Gym climber
Otto, NC
Aug 22, 2007 - 02:22pm PT

ABout 15 feet right of the Casual topout. Not the system that heads into the roof (dry, inviting, unclear (to us) if it links into the roof or not); but one that lies to the right of the roof and the wet R-facing corner above it. We stepped on the rocker block (more like car-door) to check it out. I guess the dry one is Bright Star, if it looks cruiser for 50' or so and then gets hard. I'll look into the FF next time.

Maybe the old COLORADO ISSUE topo from rock and ice will clear things up.

Y'all should get the f off the computer and out there today, cuz the cool and clear is HERE!

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Aug 22, 2007 - 02:39pm PT
Did the Obelisk about a month ago with George Lowe. Prior to that, I hadn't been to the Diamond since maybe 1991 or 1992. I had remembered what a hump a Diamond day is, what with the 4 hours of hiking/scrambling just to get to the start. What I hadn't remembered is how beautiful that face is. I could not stop looking at it on the hike in and on the hike out. I would have to say it is the most beautiful face I have ever seen (except for Elizabeth's, of course).
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
Aug 8, 2008 - 03:29am PT
Just did Eroica to two pitches on the Casual Route to the last four pitches of the Forrest finish on Saturday with Kevin Stricker (Kevster on the Taco)and Dave Russell. First time that I have topped out on the Diamond without being in a pretty major storm.

It only rained on us on top for a relatively short time, and we never stopped laughing from begining to end. Wow, do I really have to wait an entire year before I get a chance to get back up there?! Guess I'll just have to settle for El Cap next month! Ha!

Trad climber
Aug 8, 2008 - 07:49am PT
damn i love this place, glad to see this one bumped back up again!
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