Type: Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Ron Olevsky and Bob Dodds, 1974. FFA: Bruce Adams/Tobin Sorenson
Page Views: 66,068 total · 301/month
Shared By: Nate Weitzel on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Pervertical is the second easiest climb on the Diamond, but don't let this fool you into thinking it is a cake walk. This is a serious route that can give you trouble unless you are good at all sizes of crack climbing. There are a few loose pitches, but the upper pitches are phenomenal and there is superb exposure. As with all the Diamond routes, it is wise to become familiar with the layout of the wall before attempting these routes (especially your descent route as the rappel anchors can be hard to find), or better yet go with someone who knows the area well. Begin on the far left side of Broadway on the right side of the Obelisk column.

P1. Climb the left side of the Mitten formation. A loose pitch with sparse pro. (8, 130 feet)

P2. Climb the crack above the Mitten flake and belay at a ledge on the right. (9, 100 feet)

P3. Continue up the crack and left facing corner to a bolt (manky) and gain a ledge at the right side of the Obelisk. (9, 100 feet)

P4. Crux pitch. 11a handcrack (10c old-school) that will leave you gasping for air. (11a, 130 feet).

P5. Offwidth pitch. This is a four inch offwidth that is sustained, but fun if you like wide cracks. Right facing corner on right side of Obelisk, belay on top of this pillar (10a, 80 feet)

P6. From the right side of the pillar take a steep crack to Table Ledge (9, 100 feet). (My experience says this pitch is longer, more like 150 feet.)

Traverse left to get to Kiener's or right to the rappel anchors.


Standard alpine rack up to a #4 Camalot. Double cams from 1.5 and up.


Nate Weitzel
Nate Weitzel  
The old-school rating for this route is 10c, however the newer guide books give it 11a, so it is up in the air. The serious rating is because of the loose rock on the first two pitches. Otherwise the gear is bomber. Jan 1, 2001
Charles Vernon
mind & body in Colorado, he…
Charles Vernon   mind & body in Colorado, he…
The lengths given for pitches four and five (which track Rossiter's guide) are wrong; in fact, they should be reversed. The 10a pitch is at least 130' if not more. This is assuming you use the fixed belay above the crux pitch on top of the wedged block, which seems to be where everyone belays. Also, you can easily combine pitches two and three at about 180'.

I second Nate that the final three pitches are fantastic and more than make up for the lower chossy stuff! Jul 21, 2001
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Yes, the 5.11a pitch is really just old-school 5.10c, with a few moves of 1-1.5" crack for a crux. Unless you are a very good offwidth climber, you might find that only 2 big cams is a little shy of the ideal pro for the 5.10 off-width pitch.
I placed the last of my large gear down low. For the last 40' I had nothing- zip, nolo, nada... and that was a bit tweeky. Maybe I am just a wimp, but I ended up a little nervous about being 30' above my gear on this pitch. Take 2 #4's and a #3.5, or save whatever ones you have for up high. Aug 6, 2001
The 4-inch 10a is the true crux of this route. Put your stronger leader on it. Nov 8, 2001
I finally did this route the other day and I strongly disagree with the notion that the 10a pitch is the true crux of the route. The crux pitch is probably 10c but it feels like 11- at that altitude. The 10a fists at the start of the "wide" pitch are burly but the OW higher up is only 5.8. I felt solid with one #3.5 and one #4 Camalot, though the #4 Camalot needs to be saved for the top of the pitch.

This is probably the quickest climb on the Diamond (if done as 5 pitches its borderline grade III) and the upper part of the route gets sun for a little while after the rest of the wall is in the shade. It was the first Diamond route I've done where I haven't felt completely destroyed when I got back to the car. Jul 11, 2002
Bosier Parsons
Colorado Springs, CO
Bosier Parsons   Colorado Springs, CO
If you know you're going to rappell the wall, you can easily traverse right at Almost Table Ledge, without stopping for an extra belay, and also avoiding the first, short, 50' rappell from Table Ledge to Almost Table Ledge.

On the wide pitch, I remember getting a blind TCU placement around the arete on the left, then having to climb about 30' to the top of the Obelisk Pillar, but not terribly difficult climbing (5.8 with a section of 5.9?). Aug 14, 2004
Fort Collins, CO
nolteboy   Fort Collins, CO
I, too, felt that the thin-hands pitch was the true crux. I recall Mr. Bubb's statement (in some other route review) that he has smallish hands, hence a possible explanation as to how the pitch felt to him. If your hands are "standard issue male hands" (like mine are), it will feel harder. Then of course there's the subject of how good at thin hand cracks one is....GAAAHHHH!!! Sorry to bring up a topic that could be discussed ad infinitum, but I thought some clarification/obfuscation might be helpful.... Jun 13, 2005
Mike Anderson
Colorado Springs, CO
Mike Anderson   Colorado Springs, CO
Funny comments...I'll add mine. We picked this route at the last minute when we got to B-Way a bit late and found the Yellow Wall occupied. We only had the [Gillett] topo, no description, so we only had 2 #2 Camalots and one #3. I didn't know there was wide stuff on the route! Needless to say, I found the two 5.10 pitches to be quite exhilarating, but it is possible to do. I held onto the #3 (with lots of placing, then backcleaning it) until 20 feet or so from the ledge, on the 10a pitch, then ran it to the top. Fortunately there are a lot of options for placing smaller gear intermittently on those pitches. So there's your slim rack beta.

PS, awesome route with a great, splitter crux! Aug 1, 2005
Another option, if you find yourself in Mr. Anderson's situation, is to step left from the belay atop Pervertical's crux and do the 11c pitch of Ariana, which requires nothing larger than a #2 camalot. If you can do the crux of PV in good style, you will do OK on that pitch. You may or may not send, but you'll get it up fine. However, if you struggle on PV's crux, I can't recommend this option.

Also, having done both routes, I feel that this combo is actually gives you the two most classic pitches on this side of the Obelisk-the best pitch on PV followed by Ariana's best pitch. Aug 2, 2005
Interesting combo of Ariana .11c pitch and PS, but I would venture the best pitch on Ariana is the crux pitch.

Another option if you are in the vicinity without requisite bigger gear for PS is fire up D7, even if you need to A0 the crux. There is a ton of good climbing on this, and you will still have a smile on your face even if you pull on some gear up there.

With all the crowding on the Di-a-mond these days be prepared to shift plans and get loose up there. Also consider options from the raps down Y-Wall in case of crowding there, esp. if the weather craps out. Aug 3, 2005
Check this out--yikes!!

rockclimbing.com/topic/94746 Aug 9, 2005
Malcolm Daly
Boulder, CO
Malcolm Daly   Boulder, CO
I've done this route twice. Once in the late 70s and once in the mid/late 80s and don't remember any offwidth. I suck at offwidths so I think I would remember. Since I suck at offwidths I have developed lots of avoidance techniques so maybe it's there and I just don't remember it... That chopper flake in the crack up high is waaaaay dangerous. Someone should trundle it when there's no one below.

The largest piece I ever carried in those days was a #3 Friend and it felt well protected. Maybe it was youth or maybe it was tricams. Don't remember. This was the first route I did on the Diamond and it felt pretty reasonable, but breathless, at .10c.

The raps are stupid and make the Diamond feel like a sport climb. Go up and over the top. You'll remember the secret passages down the Chasm View wall for the rest of your life...

Mal Jun 8, 2006
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Check out the featured photo of the route on this page. The one with Jo's whole arm stuck in the crack up to her shoulder. I'm pretty sure there is some OW on this climb...
But then again, that's a flexible definition. I guess some of us have smaller hands, but it's certainly bigger than fist for me and some others. Jun 9, 2006
Amazing route! No single move on the crux pitch is really harder than 5.9 but 10c is an accurate rating due to the super sustained nature of the crack. The 10a fist crack is also excellent involving perfect laybacks and deep fist jams. Nothing really off-width. Highly recommended. Jul 17, 2006
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
My favorite route on the Diamond. Not sure why really except it was the first one I did.

I think Ron actually started this from Mill's Glacier with a independent line to Broadway in a attempt to do a grade six on the east face. This is a vague memory though and I could be wrong. Charlie Fowler did do just that though with his La Dolce Vida with a start near the North Chimney.

Happy Holidays.... Dec 20, 2007
Rob Dillon  
I wonder if that's ever been repeated.... Apr 21, 2008
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
According to Ron, it has not seen a second ascent. Apr 21, 2008
Boulder, CO
Hamlet73   Boulder, CO
This route is amazing and the real crux for me was the altitude. Scrambling to the top of Long's felt like an ordeal. A must do route. Sep 2, 2008
Jeff S
Helper, UT
Jeff S   Helper, UT
North Chimney packed with snow, consider the corner system to the left.
I found the rap route very well placed. It prevents your rope from getting stuck.
I didn't think the moves on the crux were that difficult. I would give it a 10+ rating. It's sustained climbing at altitude, which makes it tough.
The 10a OW pitch can be done with two #4's safely, if you conserve one for the top.

Overall this has got to be one of my favorite climbs! The position your in on the Diamond is incomparable to anything I have done so far. Jul 24, 2009
If you're going to send this route in style and enjoy it:
Link the crux and the corner above. 10c crux is locker and the corner is fun if you stem, layaway and use the mantra "the park will provide" aka use the face holds. More of a fist crack than an ow. I carried a #4.5 Camalot-sized piece for this pitch, because of all the hoopla, used it at the belay. I did have a #4 Friend and a 11 hex though. Run it out a bit, you're on this stone to send, and it is big whipper steep if you don't! Jul 15, 2010
Boulder, CO
tooTALLtim   Boulder, CO
We found doubles from 0.5 to 4 (new styles) to be sufficient.

These are the best alpine cracks I've ever climbed! The "OW" pitch contains more hand size than OW size crack. We didn't find P1 to be loose, just wet. Aug 1, 2010
Andrew McLean
Eldoorado Springs, CO
Andrew McLean   Eldoorado Springs, CO
Amazing and sustained route. The thin hands will feel like 5.11 if you have big hands like myself. It is very steep and rests are few and far between. This was my first trip up the Diamond. As of yesterday, the North Chimney is steep snow to about half way up, then it turns to rock. Also, there is still snow on Broadway ledg,e so you will want crampons and an axe to get to the base.

I got my #4 stuck in the off width crack near the top of the pitch. Feel free to return it.

Go get some! Jul 4, 2011
Hoag Hoag
Littleton, CO
Hoag Hoag   Littleton, CO
What a great line.

Jarod Sickler and I climbed this on Monday, July 25th 2011 and were the only one's on the wall. It was a bluebird day with zero precipitation and warm temperatures. It was spectacular.

Some thoughts:

-There is still a LOT of snow on the approach to the North Chimney and still some snow in the chimney itself. The snow in the chimney itself can be avoided by climbing on the rock ramp to the left of the snow. We roped up for a short steep section of the chimney just before Broadway. I recommend crampons for the approach, but you can leave the mountaineering ax behind. All the snow on Broadway is avoidable.

-The 4" crack pitch is more like a fist crack than an off-width but does a a couple of off-widthy sections. I led this pitch and ran out of big gear. Either be conservative with the big stuff or bring extra 3.5" and 4" cams.

-Right now there is flowing water at the top of PS on Kiener's. We had only one liter between the two of us and filled up on our way to the summit. It was quite a treat :)

-If you choose to summit, walk north west off the top toward the boulderfield. Follow cairns and a loose trail to some huge eye bolts on the rock. Two single (70 meter) rope raps will get you down to the far right side of the Diamond where rap anchors can be found. You'll have to look around a super exposed corner to find the anchors. The rap from there is set up for a double rope rappel. In order to make the 70 meter rope work, we had to build one intermediate anchor with some stoppers and purple cord. With this, we were able to reach every other rap station or get within an easy down climb of them. You can rap all the way down the North Chimney and ever down the steep snow approach with all the anchors that are there. A short glisade will take you back to the Chasm Lake bivy sites. Here is a good image for the right side rappel situation: 4.bp.blogspot.com/_PS4SVI8A…

-Marmots will eat anything. Hang your food and packs from the roof of your bivy.

-Have fun! Jul 28, 2011
Daniel Trugman
Los Alamos, NM
Daniel Trugman   Los Alamos, NM
You don't need a 70m rope to do the North Face rappels, a single 60m will work. If you do chose to top out on Long's (recommended, at least once), it's probably best/fastest just to do these raps (the first raps described by Hoag above) and scramble down The Camel (class 2) back to the upper end of the lake and your bivy.

Oh yeah, and this route is amazing! Have fun! Aug 5, 2011
ShaneGlazier Glazier   Arvada, CO
How soon can this route be climbed this year? We had a very warm winter and I thought that Northern CO had the same? I will be in the area next weekend, but I am sure that it is too early in the year to climb this gem, despite the very mild winter.... After climbing The Casual Route a couple years back, I told myself that I will never climb that face again, but I find myself yearning for more! May 1, 2012
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Shane, many Diamond routes are normally climbable (dry) by late June. This year is so dry, it may well be possible by the end of this month (May). May 1, 2012
erik rieger
Sheridan, WY
erik rieger   Sheridan, WY
It's nice to link pitches 2 and 3 together from above the Mitten. Jun 21, 2013
erik rieger
Sheridan, WY
erik rieger   Sheridan, WY
Holy CRAP. Literally. On Aug 1, we unknowingly flaked our rope over the large flake on top of the Mitten to find out someone had recently taken a huge shit inside. Fresh poop, all over our rope! To whoever did that and whoever's partner allowed them to, I hope you go back up there with a long scrub brush and clean up your shit. There must have been at least FIVE other ways you could've taken a crap that didn't directly affect a classic, popular, and well-traveled route. Seriously, shame on you. Do you know how long your crap will take to decompose inside a bare, rock chasm at 13,000 feet? I can still recall the feeling of wet, brown feces passing through my fingers as I belayed and our brown-stained hands jamming the cracks above.

Five other ways you could've pooped:
-You could have rapped to Broadway, since you were only 1 pitch up and done the deed.
-You could have shit on the outside of the Mitten where it would not have affected the route or belay, and it would actually get washed away by rain and sun.
-You could have emptied your water bottle and shit in there (probably the most practical option).
-You could have taken a wag bag to shit in (probably an even better option).
-You could have shit your pants (I hope you do when you read this). Aug 2, 2013
Golden, Co
WadeM   Golden, Co
Great route in a great setting makes for a wonderful day out.

Not much to add, but do remember to save a #4 for high up on the wide pitch.

We combined p2 & p3, to finish in 5 pitches.

Rating: I don't see how this would be 11a. The thin part is maybe 10 feet long but with great feet. Maybe if you had to rand smear, it would be harder. Being at 13,000 does add difficulty, but I've climbed many harder 11a's in Eldo.

Wide pitch is 10a. Plenty of rests. Make sure to bring small gear too, as there are ample chances to place it.

Was my first route on the Diamond and won't be the last! Jul 12, 2015
Mike Minson
Boulder, CO
Mike Minson   Boulder, CO
Boulder, CO
michalm   Boulder, CO
^Check the above link for the Pervertical trip report we wrote up from last July. This was my first alpine route and is still one of my favorites! Jun 7, 2016
Lots of #3 size Camalot climbing, so holding onto (or bumping) those is just as important as the #4s in my opinion. You can bump the #4 in a few spots lower on the pitch until you get another piece in and save both for the top which makes the wide finish much more comfy. Aug 15, 2016
Adam Block
Colorado Springs, CO
Adam Block   Colorado Springs, CO
I thought I'd clarify the start of the first pitch, since some topos and decriptions have one traversing straight into the mitten from up left high on Broadway which is extremely loose with bad pro. A better start is head to the upper tier of Broadway via the 4th Class scramble under D7. Then start 50 feet left of the three bolt beginning of Ariana under some small, detached pillars. Head up these to a left-trending ramp until it meets with a ledge you can then traverse straight right into the bottom of two LF dihedrals on the mitten. Some photos: mountainproject.com/photo/1… mountainproject.com/photo/1…. Sep 16, 2018
Scott E
Scott E  
If you belay from the bolt and flake stance at the top of the 11a pitch, the next pitch (10a hand crack and offwidth) is more like 170 feet, not 80 feet like this descriptions list. Additionally, the 11a pitch is more like 70-80 feet, not 130 feet. Sep 24, 2018