Type: Trad, 4 pitches Fixed Hardware (5)
FA: Layton Kor, Larry Dalke, 1962. FFA: R. Briggs, J. Erickson
Page Views: 10,660 total · 48/month
Shared By: Kishen Mangat on Dec 31, 2000 with improvements by Tony B and 1 other
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Subject to Seasonal Raptor Closures Details
Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


Follow Redguard through pitch 4 (5.8s). Diving Board begins from the pitch four belay of Redguard.

P1. Traverse left across an obvious, black ramp (spotty pro, 5.6) to left side of the pigeon flake. Set a belay at a fixed pin, or continue up the pigeon flake.

P2. Climbing the left side of the pigeon flake (5.8), clip one fixed pin and belay on top of the pigeon flake (two-bolt anchor).

P3. From here, traverse left across an airy shelf, clip 2 pins and power up into the steep, left-facing dihedral, belay in a cave (5.10c, 50 feet, 3 FPs).

P4. The final pitch moves right out of the cave into a hand / fist / off-width crack (5.11a, 50 feet, 2 FPs).


Rack to (old) #4 or (new) #5 Camalot.


There is a major death block next to raptor nest on Diving Board. It has to be at least 200 lbs. and is totally mobile. A 2016 comment by a longtime Eldo climber states that the death block is gone.
Joe Collins  
Just did this route yesterday evening. I do not recommend doing this route until late fall due to the swarm of swallows that are living in the crux, crack section, unless you don't mind [thrutching] through a pod while being swarmed by frantic birds. Cool, exposed climbing though. The 5.8 and 10c pitches are easily linked.... Aug 24, 2001
Chris Dawson
Grand Junction, CO
Chris Dawson   Grand Junction, CO
This climb is also ideal for a rain storm. Just make sure that you make it to the headwall before the rain hits. The lower slabs woulnd't be fun when wet. My partner and I were climbing the last pitch when it started raining. The entire canyon got pretty soaked for atleast 20 minutes, but I had no idea it was even raining (probably because I was being dive-bombed by birds while their friends flung poo in my face from within the crack). Enjoy. Jan 3, 2002
A few swallows don't sound so bad. Last time I tried this route there was a decomposing pigeon oozing its innards all over the crucial chockstone in the pod. The chockstone was hidden behind a thick coat of feces and feathers and gristle. After a couple tentative tries at yarding on the more solid-looking pigeon femurs and tibias, the appeal of pulling on cams seemed irresistible. Helgi Christensen, the Icelandic hardman, followed and put me and my whining to shame by nonchalantly burying his fists into the depths of the stinking slime. Perhaps this is an everyday Icelandic experience. Truly memorable watching him dragging the ribcage out and throwing it over his shoulder so he could thrust his already gobied hands deeper into the gore. Just for a second, he almost looked perturbed. Top pitch is well protected. Bring some large cams for the pod section (at least one #4 Camalot will let you lace it up). The pitch below is pretty awkward 5.10, and not very well protected. Gaining this pitch involves some truly crappy climbing on loose 5.8 territory. Otherwise, it's wildly exposed and a true (sorta old fashioned) classic. The three stars are traditional, and have no bearing on reality. Jan 11, 2002
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.11a PG13
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.11a PG13
I thought it was a classic, but last time I did it (4 years ago) I didn't find any dead birds. I guess I'd consider the dead birds a temporary issue that can detract from your enjoyment of an otherwise classic climb. What makes a classic? Length, position, exposure, good rock, views? In my opinion, the Diving Board had all of them, save one spot of poor rock.

BTW, that poor spot, pulling up into the dihedral after the traverse is not that well-protected - the fixed aluminum bashie with the half-broken cable was looking pretty mank. The pitch is PG-13.

Overall, the rack you probably want is up to an (old style) #4 camamlot Jan 11, 2002
Climbed it on 9/16/02 and the feces factor was minimal. Sep 20, 2002
The Diving Board is closed until August 1 2004. Jun 5, 2004
What type of rack is essential for the last pitches? How much big stuff? Oct 13, 2004
As far as big gear goes, 1 #3 and 1 #4 Camalot are plenty. Oct 13, 2004
Danny Inman
  5.11a PG13
Danny Inman   Arvada
  5.11a PG13
Classic and committing route. The exposure on the last two pitches is unbelievable. As of Oct 23 2007-the route is clean of dead birds and was surprisingly poop-free, except for the "cave belay" which was filled with a mixture of bones and some mysterious matrix; this is not a real problem b/c one can build the belay far enough out that the stench is barely noticeable. Oct 24, 2007
Brian Weinstein
Brian Weinstein  
How about some exposure? Note that there is no 2-bolt anchor at the base of pigeon flake as stated in the guidebook. Oct 24, 2007
Joseph Crotty
Broomfield, CO
Joseph Crotty   Broomfield, CO
Yes, the last pitch is stellar and about as atmospheric as they come. However, there is just too much junk rock and bird crap on this route for it to be "classic". Combine pitches 1-3 to bypass the poor belay at Pigeon Flake. C4 #5 is the ideal size for the crux. Sep 2, 2009
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.11a PG13
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.11a PG13
Wow - presently the poopiest classic in Eldo. Still a must-do, but being the first on it this season wasn't the best call.
The bolt belay is on top of the pigeon flake, not below it (ref. a few comments prior).
Lastly, the climb goes with nothing bigger than a new-style #4 Camalot with no runouts at all. Sure, if you want overhead pro at the crux a #5 might help, but at my ankles was good enough and I didn't have to carry anything big. May 20, 2012
Alpine, Utah and Almo, Idaho
RKM   Alpine, Utah and Almo, Idaho
A funny story of my first attempt at the Diving Board - probably 1975:

Mark Ward and I drove over from Provo, Utah to work the classics. XM, Outer Space, Blackwalk, etc. Mark was belaying from the Pigeon Flake while I lead pitch two. I ran it out a bit much, and just as I pulled into the ‘cave’ belay, my hands slipped off and I kicked myself straight back into space. Went the whole pitch, ending up about 10’ below the belay.

Both of us had on two inch swami belts (the standard 'red'). Everything went quiet, and then Marks' approach shoes dropped into space. Apparently the hip belay he provided had slipped a bit and the rope burned through the shoes laces.

There were plenty of people watching, as would have been the case in the mid '70s. I cleaned the pitch so as to not leave any gear. We finished up Redguard and headed immediately west for the Utah border with our tail between our legs.

Mark and I went back a couple of years later – to get revenge. Dec 26, 2012
David Champion
Centennial, CO
David Champion   Centennial, CO
CAUTION: On 6/14/14, while leading p3 (the 10c dihedral) of the Diving Board, I dislodged a substantial chockstone while using it for a hand hold. I estimate the chockstone moved from 6" to 12", but it did not come out. However, it is likely to come out if it is pulled on again. Trundling it would have been too dangerous, so it is likely still in there. Said chockstone is (or was, if it has fallen out since 6/14) near the base of the wide-ish crack at the top of the dihedral, just before exiting to lower-angle face moves. It had been there, and used as a hand hold, for some time, as the top of it was heavily chalked. Please exercise caution when negotiating your way around this chockstone. It is a time bomb that could hurt you, or parties below, if it is knocked loose. Jul 9, 2014
Kent Pease
Littleton, CO
Kent Pease   Littleton, CO
A few helpful notes: from the top of Pigeon Flake, the two bolts are on a slab a ways down to the right; you can belay from there, but this results in rope drag and poor communication with the leader, or sit on the top of the flake with a long extension to the anchor plus other gear. The traverse into the corner pitch (P3 per MP description) is not too hard but heady due poor rock and pin quality. After that, you can plug a good #4 Camalot at the base of the corner for an anchor before moving up. I found the last pitch with the wide crack to be no harder than the corner pitch below — both around 10c. Sure it is wide ... and etc... but more info would be too much. Sep 6, 2014
Golden, Co
WadeM   Golden, Co
Still very poopy but fun. Redguard approach isn't the greatest. I was thinking it would be fun to link in from the Naked Edge.

Great exposed climbing once you get to it. Mar 5, 2015
Jim Logan and I linked into Diving Board from the Edge around '97 on the suggestion of a friend. One pitch from the 2nd pitch belay of the Edge to the top of Pigeon Flake. Maybe it was 5.9 and with a heady run out getting to the left side of the Flake. There was a scary amount of loose rock along that left side of Pigeon Flake. It wouldn't endanger your belayer, but anybody along the base of Redgarden along T2 to start of Redgard would be threatened. Mar 9, 2015
The fixed pin on P1 of the description above is hard to clip if you're short and not 5.8. I can't imagine setting an optional belay here with the bad rock. The traverse into the 10c corner isn't bad and protects with blue and green Aliens, it's not "R" rated. A new #4 BD Camalot was nice to have on the 10c pitch after the traverse and just when starting the corner. A #5 Camalot is recommended for the final pitch. The death block is gone at the raptor nest. There was lots of bird poop but no live birds to bother us last weekend. Nov 22, 2016
Kishen Mangat
Kishen Mangat  
Thanks, Joseffa, for the updated beta. It has been years since I have been back on The Diving Board. I will plan to get back on this exhilarating route and update the description! Nov 22, 2016
Devan Johnson
Devan Johnson   Foco
The quality of the upper pitches on this climb cannot be overstated. It's as good as any crack climb at its grade in the Boulder area. The approach pitches, well ...yeah they kinda suck.

I found no need for a #5 cam, a #4 fit perfectly at the crux.

The traverse in from Redguard (described as pitches 1 and 2) is sketchy and loose, even by Eldo standards. Setting a belay and breaking these into 2 pitches would be ill-advised as Joseffa noted.

Bird shit factor was moderate but not enough to detract from the overall quality. Nov 20, 2017
Gregger Man
Broomfield, CO
Gregger Man   Broomfield, CO
Both anchors have been updated. Pigeon flake has a glue-in wave bolt and a 1/2" stainless with a double ring hanger. The raptor cave belay has two 1/2" stainless bolts with double-ring hangers rather than a single bolt and pin with tat. May 28, 2018