This route is the most popular on Combat and is the easiest to find. When you reach the base via the trail, you will most likely be right at Diagonal or just below it. It is the left-facing corner with the crack going up diagonally. You will need TWO ROPES to rappel from either belay station. This route can be done in either two or three pitches.
Pitch 1: Follow the left leaning crack through some great finger jams and sketchy foot moves. The pro here is good if you have small enough cams. Go past small tree and continue around a hump following the diagonal line. Two-bolt belay is about another 30 feet. (Another pitch could be added here to reduce rope drag... continue to the bottom corner of the roof, about 20 feet, and set up a belay at the fixed pin and with some stoppers. I didn't think that this was necessary.)
Pitch 2: Follow the diagonal line up to the roof. Traverse right underneath it and up into the overhanging flake. The flake widens up into a fist jam, so larger pro is needed. At the top of the flake, pull over it onto the face and continue up this easy section to a two-bolt belay. Double-rope rappel from here to your LAST belay station... not to the tree that looks like you might be able to reach, because you won't! Then again double-rope rappel to the ground from the bolts at your 1st belay station.
This is an awesome climb and is definitely worth doing if you are at Combat.
Pro for the first pitch will consist mostly of wired stoppers and small cams and TCUs (under 1"). However, if you continue on to pitch 2, you will need a couple of #2 Camalots to protect the fist jam in the overhanging flake.
Save a 0.75 Camalot to protect the crux moves to the small tree on the first pitch. After the tree you gain a ledge, and there is a bolt anchor to the right - single rope rap to the ground from here. Use a #3 Camalot for a directional before moving right.
A great way to do the route in 3 pitches is to belay on the ledge described above, then lead to the end of the left diagonaling crack and belay at the bolt anchor at the top of Rambo Santa. Then, lead off to the right under the roof for the last pitch. Watch rope drag on the second pitch in particular.
Fantastic route, P1 is one of my favorites anywhere.
Diagonal is a superb route! I was fortunate to get to lead this route a few days ago. The second pitch makes this route a great diverse and sustained route. Be sure to take lots of nuts for the first pitch and be sure not to go [straight] up after the tree on the first pitch. I took cams up to 2" and only used sizes up to 1" on the roof traverse.
You can rappel with one rope from the bolt anchors on the first pitch by either rapping to the tree on the Tree Roof and then doing another short rap, or by rapping straight down to the end of your ropes and doing some easy downclimbing in a left facing dihedral/ramp.
Great climb, definitely one of my favorite 5.9 trad routes so far.
P1 - harder than it looks from the ground. If you have a 60m rope you can run the first pitch long, all the way to the base of the roof of pitch 2, will cause some extra rope drag, but I think this eases rope drag on the second pitch. Bring lots of small to medium gear.
P2 - small stoppers supplement the fixed pin on the traverse, then a couple of cams in the #1-3 Friend size for the sweet hand crack. A larger piece (#4 Friend) can be used near the top.
This was one of my first leads many years ago and it still remains one of my favorite all time routes. The crux moves under the upper roof are well protected and airy. For fun and a different finish you can pull the roof at about 5.9 by going up and left about 8 feet before the roof ends. not much protection to the bolts from there after you pull it but it is about 5.6 if i recall. Excellent route!!!
A worthwhile variation involves heading straight up Pearl Harbor (or is it Eight Clicks?) from the first belay, then (after the third bolt) moving left into the crack. This allows one to avoid the excessive rope drag (or, if no pro is placed, the long runout!) of the "normal" 2nd pitch, while still enjoying the roof crack...
By Matt Richardson Administrator From: Longmont, CO Jul 3, 2007 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
Just did this one a couple of days ago and we did the second pitch as Allen suggests. This variation is beautiful, and I don't think that it is terribly runout. I ran the first pitch to the base of the right-leaning, overhanging dihedral and didn't experience any noticeable rope drag (although I didn't place much gear for the last 50 or 60' as the climbing is pretty easy). This makes for a long and beautiful pitch. The only problem with this route is that it is not longer.
Best route on the rock. Will definitely do it again, and maybe try Al's suggestion. 70m rope comfortably makes it to the top anchors on Rambo Santa and beats the two previous uncomfortable belays. Do the first pitch. Let your partner have the roof. The first pitch is the business. #1-3 Camalot on the roof will sew it up.
By Ivan Rezucha From: Fort Collins, CO Apr 11, 2010 rating: 5.9+5c17VI17E1 5a
I also did the left "escape" on P2 while self belaying today. I had not read about it here, but it looked much more appealing than the undercling out right (no fist or hand jams for me). The move left is maybe 5.7 if you are tall enough to stem out left, else it could be a bit more exciting with a bit of a dangle.
I thought the first pitch crux was quite hard, and I was gripped enough to lunge for the little tree. On TR when cleaning it still felt hard.
With a 70m rope you can get down in 2 raps, with the second rap leaving you about 10' off the ground on easy terrain.