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Diagonal Crack 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 2,549
Submitted By: Aron Quiter on Jun 26, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (20)
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Approaching the final moves, a long clip to the bo...

Description 

The only goofy looking crack on the whole face. Climb the diagnoal crack, which is unlike many cracks in that it is comprised of little subpockets within the crack, so you can actally pinch things inside of the crack in addition to jamming.

On a top rope, you will take a substantial swing if you fall on the top portion of this climb, but there's nothing to hit in the swing, except for other climbers.

Protection 

Most people top rope this route, but if you're insane, cams and nuts up to 3" A top rope can be set up from the 3 bolts located way to the right on the same rock.


Photos of Diagonal Crack Slideshow Add Photo
The rope in the picture displays where to set up a top rope.
BETA PHOTO: The rope in the picture displays where to set up a...
If you don't truly trust your feet on the thin face holds, this climb can be very pumpy.  Gear is good but you need a large variety of gear as the placements vary tremendously. Hexes, stoppers, cams, and even tricams make for good placements. Smaller sizes too if the rock doesn't shear.
If you don't truly trust your feet on the thin fac...
Brad about 1/2 way up.  The final crux section is up above after the little alcove.
Brad about 1/2 way up. The final crux section is ...
Brad about 15' up Diagonal Crack above initial crux.
Brad about 15' up Diagonal Crack above initial cru...
This route is a bit hard to toprope but I think I could have done a better job!  Look out for that swing Brad!
This route is a bit hard to toprope but I think I ...
Thin edging and secure foot jams make for interesting sequences up the crack.
Thin edging and secure foot jams make for interest...
John after a whipper when his pro pulled out.  Additional gear is not a bad idea.
John after a whipper when his pro pulled out. Add...
Gwen Rose follows 'Diagonal Crack' (5.10) at Mt Diablo. Photo by Tony Bubb, 9/03.
Gwen Rose follows 'Diagonal Crack' (5.10) at Mt Di...

Comments on Diagonal Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 11, 2014
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Sep 22, 2003
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

The line is not that bad to protect and not that hard. For most folks the crux will be 10' off the ground and is well protected. SHorter folks might find another crux just below the left-hand finish, going to a big flake/jug.

The climb is easily protected up to the huge arch with no bolts at all. THe huge arch can be slung through with a cordalette, (there are bolts on either side of it for a short TR) and you can finish left (up to an easy chimney) or right on a sloping, loose traverse.

For more spice/difficulty up top, instead of diagonaling left under the final bulge, cut up and right into a steep, narrow, open book (hard, slopey) to add a crux.

I lead the climb on a set of stoppers, cams from 1" to 3.5" and pink, red, and brown tricams. As it was my first lead here and I knew little of the rock quality, I loaded the crack with gear, placing mostly at 5' intervals. Later, a huge # of people TR'd below the gear and eventually hung on or swung on most of the pieces- ALL held that much.

After leading, building an anchor at the big arch by the 2 bolts would be best, then let the follower finish up to the tree- no drag, no swinging in the event that the second falls, and a better place to watch from.

Two stars for this crag, or maybe 3. Keeping in mind the area, I thought the line was almost as good as, but more interesting than Amazing Face.

Mostly 5.9 with a few harder moves. Crack climbing experience is requisite to grade the climb as such.
By Brian Quiter
From: Oakland, CA
Oct 11, 2004

So I forgot my guidebook this last weekend and decided to lead the Diagnol.

I made a few bad choices that I think I should mention here so that other people dont do the same.

After the third bolt (there are three on the climb, the first two are VERY suspect) the climb either goes left into a dirty 5.6 chimney or traverses right as Tony metioned.

It also looks like you could go straight up. The face is pretty well featured on the steep part as far as you can see. I decided to go up.

After 10 feet of 5.9 or so, the face becomes much less steep. But, there aren't any holds on this part and its mossy and sandy. 15 feet above my last bolt (not as suspect as the last two, but still worrisome), 5 feet from the top, I was stuck and unhappy. After scrubbing moss for 5 minutes and finally getting someone up top to toss down a sling (for me to grab in case my feet started to slide), I did the sandy slab move free. It was probably 10b. But it was scary as hell and I don't recommend anyone going this way on lead unless another bolt is drilled into the top of the face.
By Paul Rezucha
From: Alameda
Jul 25, 2005
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Diagonal Crack is a great route to be sure. I put off trying to lead this as it always looked very intimidating but the climb actually does protect very well. I, too, laced the route with gear mainly because I don't trust the quality of the rock to take a longer fall. Of course by placing so much gear I got very pumped making the last move to the final jug this much " " too hard. I grabbed the jug and fingers just peeled off. I don't know if I missed a placement or didn't have the right gear but I fell about 15' with rope stretch. A good rest and I made it second try. I think this top move is the crux of the climb as it's a very thin move with a long reach. To exit, I ended up traversing the easy way to the left and going to the top with TONS of rope drag.A much more difficult lead than Amazing Face and good crack technique is a must!
By scalparm
From: Vienna, Austria
Apr 29, 2008

Very nice. Good gear. The top out is disappointing. Solid 10b in my opinion.
By Erwin
Jun 8, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

I agree with Tony. Feels like mostly "Yosemite 5.9" with a few slightly harder moves. Not 10d, though. Pro was pretty good when you need it. Going left after the 1st bolt is easy but leaves a short, semi-exposed crack between you and safety. I didn't go right, but the anchor is probably better for TR. I led this climb on BD cams .5-1, and purple to red link cams. an extra 2 and 3 would be good if you like lots of gear. The linkies are good on some of the pin scar-like pods.
By SF2Yosemite
Mar 13, 2012
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Nice crack climb. TR'd the lower 2/3 of climb. There are birds or bats that live about halfway up. Seemed empty now but they may be back in the spring.

Very enjoyable laps running up the climd direct and utilizing the alternate start of the left facing flake.
By Kyle Townsend
From: Oakland, CA
May 13, 2012
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

This is a stellar crack climb for the bay area. Takes excellent, bomber pro, and has great moves. I felt like it was 10c, but that's only if you traverse right after the second bolt, climbing past a bulge. The finish is a nice hand traverse on slab, really cerebral finish! Gear to 3", many nut placements, opportunities for small TCU placements as well.
By aaron hope
From: Walnut Creek, CA
Jan 4, 2013
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

The first or second bolt (I can't remember) has all but completely pulled out. Looks like someone took a good fall on it.

Edit: the bolt is gone as of oct, 2013 along with some of its neighbors to the left (Godzilla?)
By Salamanizer
Administrator
From: Vacaville Ca.
Jan 6, 2013

I wasn't aware that their were "ANY" bolts on the diagonal. Perhaps you're thinking of the Dinosaur?
By dgerb
Dec 5, 2013

From the Tresa Black guide book:
"...There is a bolt near the top of the crack for added protection if leading."

Perhaps this is the bolt you guys are talking about? I led diagonal crack expecting to use this bolt for protection. I was sadly disappointed when I found it had been chopped. The bolt chopper didn't even do a good job, as that the hanger was gone, but the bolt was still sticking out.

Little did I know that the top section is completely run out. After a couple of awkward high step and pinch moves, I found that I was faced with a number of unprotectable pockets. I tried to shove a cam into one of them, but it started to cut grooves in the rock when I tugged on it. Realizing that I was screwed, I tried to run it out to the last move, but I had already burned too much energy trying to protect for the last ten minutes. I ended up falling, my gear popped, and I took a 30 foot whipper.

The lack of a bolt to protect the end is quite unfortunate. I feel that it ruins what would otherwise be an awesome trad route. If anybody is interested in fixing the bolt up again, I'm sure climbers at Mt Diablo would appreciate it. I'd be happy help out if you contact me.
By aaron hope
From: Walnut Creek, CA
Aug 11, 2014
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

The bolt has been replaced with a glue-in, albeit a couple feet higher than the original where the crack actually runs out and the moves get hard. The old manky stud has been removed and the rock patched. Also, the two bolts at the end of Godzilla have been replaced which brings back the opportunity for a fun right finish to the Diagonal Crack.