<-- Map of summer 2019
     climbing roadtrip 
     (click to enlarge)

The DIAMOND (on LONGS Peak)
Route (2019): D1 Pitches 1-4 (of 7) (5.11, 4p)
Route (2020): D1 (Full route) (5.12a, 7p)

AUG
24
2019
TR #: 363
AUG
11
2020
TR #: 444

Category: Colorado     
Elev: 14,255 ft (Longs Peak);  ~14,000 ft (top of full route);   ~13,600 ft (top of Pitch 4)  
Rock Type: Granite

Partner (2019 and 2020): Nate Arganbright

D1 is one of the longest (and most adventurous) routes on the Diamond. The first route put up on the Diamond, it snatched a status as a Fifty Classic.

LINK TO MY DIAMOND BETA PAGE!

Before I get to the trip report, here are links to useful beta page I have compiled for the Diamond....


The trip report on this page represents the 7th and 14th times I have climbed the Diamond.

I cannot seem to get enough of this amazing alpine wall of granite, and I keep wanting to come back. I have put together a DIAMOND BETA PAGE summarizing the main methods of approach and descent as well as summarizing/comparing the time stats of the various approaches and descents I have taken. Check it out by clicking the link below!  


Page features:
ROUTES I'VE CLIMBED ON THE DIAMOND
APPROACH & DESCENT OPTIONS FOR THE DIAMOND
TIME STAT COMPARISON FOR ALL OF MY CLIMBS ON THE DIAMOND
          



INTRO

D1 climbs the long crack system straight up the middle of the Diamond. 

This route has a lot of historical significance. D1 was the first route put up on the 1000-foot vertical walls of The Diamond on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. An interesting tidbit of history is that climbing was banned on The Diamond until 1960, when for some reason the National Park Service decided to change their stance and allow climbing. Soon afterward, on August 1-3, 1960, Dave Rearick and Bob Kamps made the first successful ascent of the Diamond, via a long crack system straight up the middle of the wall. The route became known simply as D1. 

D1 saw its first free ascent in 1978, by John Bachar and Billy Westbay. But Bachar and Westbay did not quite climb the original line at the crux pitch. Thinking the route line was obvious, the two had not read the route description, and when they reached Table Ledge, they continued straight up the crack system, a dark, mossy, overhanging offwidth running with icy water. This terrifying crux pitch of the route clocked in at 5.11. Rearick and Kamps' original line had actually ascended an excellent (and dry) corner/crack just left of this nightmare offwidth. In 1980, Roger Briggs and Jeff Achey made the first free ascent of the original line. The rating was given 12a.

D1 is listed as one of the climbs in Steck and Roper's Fifty Classic Climbs of North America, published in 1979. Now there are numerous other routes on the Diamond, many of them considered to be of higher quality than D1. D1 has the reputation of being a difficult and adventurous route on rock with frequent vegetation and sections of questionable quality. But its historic status coupled with the fact that D1 is one of the longest routes on the wall (going all the way to the top rim rather than stopping at Table Ledge as several routes do) makes D1 is a respectable tick. I suspect that most climbers who succeed in getting to the top of D1 feel greatly satisfied with the adventure yet feel no immediate desire to climb the route again. 


August 2019 Trip Report
Pitches 1-4


INTRO FOR TRIP REPORT FOR D1 PITCHES 1-4

Nate and I knew we were headed up into a challenge when we started up D1. It was one of the few <=5.12a routes on the Diamond Nate had not climbed, and I am always up for adventure, so we were willing to give it a go. We ended up climbing the first four (of seven total) pitches before deciding that we had enough difficult adventure climbing for the day. Doubtless the slightly overhanging kitty litter sections of Pitch 4, the half dozen bail anchors on this pitch alone, and the presence of a bolted rap station at the top of Pitch 4—kind of a subtle "here's your free ticket out"—played a key role in the decision to bail. I was impressed with Nate's lead on this pitch. 

Usually I do not create trip reports for uncompleted climbs, but I feel that for a route like D1, even climbing four of the seven pitches ends up feeling like a full-value adventure on the Diamond. Plus, D1 is a route with a lot of intrigue, so I figure this trip report will be of interest to climbers trying to gather beta for the route. Moreover, someday I will climb the route in its entirety, so I will be back to fill in the details in this trip report once I do climb the rest of the route.

The following page gives a trip report for our climb of the first four of seven pitches of D1. Nate and I called the day's adventure "D 0.6".


ROUTE OVERLAY FOR D1



TIME STATS FOR D1 PITCHES 1-4

Approach Option 1: North Chimney
Descent
Rappel D1

Car-to-car time: 13 hours 18 minutes
Boulder-to-Boulder: 15 hours 45 minutes

Leave Boulder: 2:00 am

Leave trailhead: 3:10 am
Base of North Chimney: 6:10 am (3:00)
Base of D1 on Broadway Ledge: 6:55 am (0:45)
(Trailhead to base of route: 3:45) 

Start climbing D1 Pitch 1: 7:08 am 
Top of Pitch 4: 11:26 am 
(Climb D1 P1-4: 4:18)

Begin rappels from top of Pitch 4: 11:40 am
Base of rappels below N Chimney: 2:10 pm (2:30, got rope stuck)
Trailhead: 4:28 pm (2:18)
(Top of route to trailhead: 4:48 (got rope stuck))

Boulder: 5:45 pm 


PHOTOS FOR D1 PITCHES 1-4

August 2019 
(first attempt of D1 - Pitches 1-4 only)
Photos:
Photo descriptions:
Approach
We approached via the NORTH CHIMNEY to Broadway Ledge.
1.    2   
3.    
   
  
  
 
 
  
1. Approaching North Chimney. We had crampons/spikes, but felt we could have managed without them (which was interesting, since the previous week I had felt I really wanted my crampons on for the snow, but the snow seemed tackier now).
2. Scrambling up slabs in the North Chimney.
3. At the base of the route. The other climbers are on Casual Route. D1 heads for the obvious crack splitting the headwall, which forms Pitches 6-7 (the final two pitches) of the route.


Pitch 
1
D1. 5.5-5.9. Start on the Casual Route, but ascend corners to the right to the middle or top of the D1 Pillar. Can probably keep the grade closer to 5.5 if you climb the Casual Route or cracks on the face, but it seems more like 5.9 in the somewhat-vegetated corner system.
4.    
5. 
4. On Pitch 1. This shares the corner with Casual Route briefly, but for the most part stays right of Casual Route. The other climbers are on Casual Route.
5. Expect a bit of moss and vegetation on this route.


Pitch 
2
D1. 5.9. From the top of the D1 pillar, follow a right-facing dihedral up right, then back left to a ledge. 
6.   6. Looking up the right-facing dihedral of Pitch 2.

Pitch 
3
D1. 5.10d. Climb a right-facing dihedral up to a roof, pull through the roof on the left, and follow cracks to the top of the Ramp. 
7.    
8.    
9.  
7. Nate pulling the crux roof.
8. Climbing above the roof.
9. Climbers to the left of us on The Honeymoon is Over (13c).


Pitch 
4
D1. 5.11a. The guidebook mentions that it is best to move the belay from the top of the Ramp to the ledge about 30 feet higher before launching into Pitch 4. We did this as a short pitch. From the ledge above the Ramp follow the steep crack system for a long lead to a ledge on the right with a two-bolt anchor. By Diamond standards, the rock quality is poor and granular. The wall is vertical to slightly overhanging at times, and the pitch is about 200 feet long, so it is a strenuous lead. There are several bail anchors on this pitch. 
10.    
11.    
12.    
13.    
14.   
10. Looking up the start of Pitch 4, just above the ramp. As recommended in the guidebook, we did ashort 30 foot pitch to bump the belay to just above this section, to have enough rope for the rest of Pitch 4.
11. Pitch 4 above the belay 30 feet above the ramp. It's hard to tell from the photo, but the rock is pretty much dead vertical to slightly overhanging.

12. Rock quality on this pitch is sub-par by Diamond standards. Awesome lead Nate! I much preferred getting gravel rained down on me at the belay to having to be up there leading this pitch.
13. Looking down the pitch while following.
14. An old bolt midway up. 


Pitch 
5
D1. 5.10d. Continue up the crack system to an alcove at Table Ledge Crack.
15.   
We did not climb this pitch in August 2019. See August 2020 trip report below for photos.
15. Looking up Pitch 5. Someday....

Pitch 
6
D1. 5.12a. Step left and climb a difficult crack to a left-facing dihedral, that is followed to a pedestal with a two-pin anchor. The first free ascent (Bachar and Westby, 1978) climbed directly up the chimney, but this is a wet and runnout 5.11 OW. The thin corner to the left is the original line.
We did not climb this pitch in August 2019. See August 2020 trip report below for photos.
Pitch 
7
D1. 5.9. Follow the often wet and icy upper chimney to the top of the wall.
We did not climb this pitch in August 2019. See August 2020 trip report below for photos.
Descent
If we had gone to the top of D1, we were planning to tag the summit and then descend via the CABLES ROUTE to CAMEL GULLY and back into Chasm Lake Cirque below Mills Glacier. But since we stopped at the top of Pitch 4, we RAPPED D1 in 4 double-rope rappels off of bail anchors situated near each belay. I suspect it is quite common to get as far as Pitch 4 and throw in the towel. From Broadway Ledge, we rappelled the lower DIAMOND RAPPEL ROUTE back into Chasm Lake Cirque and hiked out.
16.    
17.    
18.    
19.    
20.    
21.    
22.    
23.  
16. The climbers making good progress on The Honeymoon is Over (13c) next door.
17. The bolted rap anchor at the top of Pitch 4. 
18. An old bolt and sun-baked tat at the rappel at the top of Pitch 3. This was backed up with a chockstone, nut, and a wad of tat. I think the weakest link in the system was the tat, which can be replaced with new tat.
19. Climbers (I knew one of them, Michal, a Boulder friend I made soon after moving there) on Hearts and Arrows (12b) to the right.
20. View of the Diamond above Chasm Lake on the hike out.
21. The walls of Mt. Meeker looking inviting above.

22. Rocky Mountain Columbine.
23. Lenticular cloud. It was a windy day.




August 2020 Trip Report
Full route

INTRO FOR TRIP REPORT FOR D1

Once Nate and I had made the decision to climb D1 in August 2019, and had rappelled at the top of Pitch 4, it was only a matter of time before we attempted D1 again to complete the adventure we started. And we did so just shy of a year later, in August 2020. I think Nate and I would both agree that we enjoyed the adventure of the route, are glad we completed it, but feel no immediate desire to climb the route again. 

The following page gives a trip report for our successful climb of D1. Thanks Nate for being an excellent partner for this adventure.

TIME STATS FOR D1 

Approach Option 1: North Chimney
Descent
 Option 2Cables Route from summit + Camel Gully

Car-to-car time: 13 hours 3 minutes

Leave trailhead: 6:07 am
Base of North Chimney: 8:24 am (2:17)
Base of D1 on Broadway Ledge: 8:52 am (0:28)
(Trailhead to base of route: 2:45) 

Start climbing: 8:58 am
Finish route (top of wall, just below summit): 3:45 pm 
(Climb D1: 6:47)

Start descent (just below summit): 3:58 pm (0:13)
Chasm View (via Cables Route): 4:24 pm (0:26)
Trailhead: 7:10 pm (2:46)
(Summit to trailhead: 3:12)


PHOTOS FOR D1

August 2020
(second attempt of D1 - Full route)
Photos:
Photo descriptions:
Approach
We approached via the NORTH CHIMNEY to Broadway Ledge.
1.    
2.    
3.    
4.    
5.    
6.    
7.    
  
  
  
 
   
  
   
 
1. A somewhat smoky sunrise due to smoke from the Pine Gulch fire just north of Grand Junction.
2. Approaching the Diamond basking in the morning light.
3. Some alpine columbine along the way.
4. Some banding in a chunk of gneiss. The Diamond itself is granite, but there are some outcrops of gneiss in the area.
5. The Diamond as seen on approach.
6. Entering the North Chimney.
7. Higher up in the North Chimney.

Pitch 
1
D1. 5.5-5.9. Start on the Casual Route, but ascend corners to the right to the middle or top of the D1 Pillar. Can probably keep the grade closer to 5.5 if you climb the Casual Route or cracks on the face, but it seems more like 5.9 in the somewhat-vegetated corner system.
8.    
9.  
8. Looking up from the base of the route at the base of D1 Pillar.
9. The corner system of Pitch 1.


Pitch 
2
D1. 5.9. From the top of the D1 pillar, follow a right-facing dihedral up right, then back left to a ledge. 
10.    
11.  
10. This is part of Pitch 2.
11. The view of climbers on the Casual Route from the belay at the top of Pitch 2. Busy day on the Casual Route!


Pitch 
3
D1. 5.10d. Climb a right-facing dihedral up to a roof, pull through the roof on the left, and follow cracks to the top of the Ramp. The guidebook mentions that it is best to move the belay from the top of the Ramp to the ledge about 30 feet higher before launching into Pitch 4, so Nate linked this last part into the end of Pitch 3 in a rope-stretching 200 foot lead.
12.    
13.    
14.    
15.   
12. Nate nearing the roof on Pitch 3.
13. Another view up Pitch 3.
14. Pitch 3 above the roof.
15. The short, steep, and somewhat hard section of climbing above the Ramp to the belay.


Pitch 
4
D1. 5.11a. From the ledge above the Ramp follow the steep crack system for a long lead to a ledge on the right with a two-bolt anchor. By Diamond standards, the rock quality is poor and granular. The wall is vertical to slightly overhanging at times, and the pitch is about 200 feet long, so it is a strenuous lead. There are several bail anchors on this pitch. 
16.    
17.    
18.    
19.    
20.    
21.     
16. Nate starting off Pitch 4.
17. Pitch 4.
18. Higher on Pitch 4.
19. Lots of old pitons along the way.
20. Another piton. Note the kitty litter rock quality that is characteristic of this route.
21. An old bolt.


Pitch 
5
D1. 5.10d. Continue up the crack system to an alcove at Table Ledge Crack.
22.    
23.    
24.    
25.    
26.    
27.    
28.    
29.    
30. 
22. Looking up at Pitch 5.
23.
 xxxx
24. I didn't clip it.
25. As per Bruce Hildebrand on mountainproject: "That's a Star Dryvin. If properly placed it was a pretty solid bolt in it's time. From the bent 'nail' it appears that this bolt either wasn't drilled deep enough or the nail was too long. I don't think the bolt has started to pull as that aluminum hanger would probably not have stood up to any sort of dynamic load!"
26. Alcove belay.
27. 
Looking down Pitch 5 from the alcove belay.
28. Nate nearing the top of the pitch.
29. Table Ledge crack (looking rightwards from the alcove belay).
30. Table Ledge crack (looking leftwards from the alcove belay).

Pitch 
6
D1. 5.12a. Step left and climb a difficult crack to a left-facing dihedral, that is followed to a pedestal with a two-pin anchor. The first free ascent (Bachar and Westby, 1978) climbed directly up the chimney, but this is a wet and runnout 5.11 OW. The thin corner to the left is the original line.
31.    
32.    
33.    
34.  
31. The wet chimney directly above the belay. The thin corner to the left is the way to go.
32.
 Nate starting up the thin 5.12a corner. The first few moves were wet so we didn't try to free the initial moves.
33.
 Looking up the pitch.
34. Higher on the pitch.


Pitch 
7
D1. 5.9. Follow the often wet and icy upper chimney to the top of the wall.
35.    
36.    
37.    
38.    
39.    
40.    
41.    
42.    
43.    
44. 
35. The start of Pitch 7. About 10-20 feet up the dry wall and then step right into the wet chimney.
36. Step right into the chimney.
37. Looking up the chimney.
38. 
View down while leading the chimney.
39. Another view down.
40. Lots of moss.
41. Another view up.
42.
 Some ice in the depths of the chimney. This is part of the reason the chimney stays wet even in late summer.
43.
 Nearing the top!
44. An old piton to clip along the way.
Descent
We descended via the CABLES ROUTE  (3rd class scramble and 1-2 single rope rappels) to Chasm View. Then we descended CAMEL GULLY (3rd) back into Chasm Lake Cirque.
45.    
46.    
45. Looking towards the summit from the top of the route. This route pretty much tops out on the top of the Diamond not far from the summit.
46. Late afternoon light on the hike out.