Type: Trad, Alpine, Grade V
FA: FA: Kamps/Rearick. FFA: Bachar/Westbay Achey/Briggs
Page Views: 11,243 total · 44/month
Shared By: Steve Levin on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


D1 is the quintessential Diamond climb. Sustained and pumpy, some funky rock, great exposure, classic history- simply a great place to be. The first route climbed on the Diamond, it was freed in the late '70s via a horrendous, wet 5.11 chimney above Table Ledge that may still be unrepeated. The original aid line left of this was freed in the early '80s, and provides a difficult and exciting finale. The route is obvious, taking the center plumb-line crack system to the apex of The Diamond.

The first 200-300 feet is moderate climbing (5.8-5.9), lower-angle (at least compared to above) and a bit broken. If you have a pack, it may be efficient to have the second carry the pack instead of hauling. It is also time-saving to simul-climb the first 2+ pitches. Stay a bit right on the "D1 pillar" and it is easy to avoid climbers on the Casual Route. After this lower section, belay just below the obvious 5.10 overhang, on the higher of 2 stances. Climb the overhang, and a stretch of 5.10 above; with long slings down low you can avoid rope drag higher on the pitch. Near the top of the pitch skip the belay stance at the base of the overhanging handcrack (bail slings here) and continue up 20-25 feet to a small but comfortable belay ledge on the left with good anchors. Now you can skip the cramped hanging stance (bail slings here) midway up the pumpy hand crack in the overhanging wall and go all the way to the bivy ledge in one long pitch. Somebody should replace the bolts at the bivy ledge. From here, one rotten 5.10c pitch gets you to Table Ledge, a cramped stance/alcove at this point. Have a rain jacket handy, even if the weather is splitter, because drips from the ice plug can soak you at this belay. At Table Ledge step left (or barge straight up the wet 5.11 offwidth) and tackle a pumpy boulder problem which leads to sustained 5.11 climbing. This is a long pitch that is waaaay up there. The final 5.8 pitch may feel like the crux...wet, icy at times, and runout.

Not everyone will agree with a 3-star rating, although some well-rounded Diamond climbers I know consider D1 the best Diamond climb. It is not quite as sustained as King of Swords, but the crux pitch is probably harder than anything on the King, and the rock is better. The crux pitch is among the best 5.12a Diamond pitches, along with the crux pitch on Ariana and the Gilbert dihedral variation to King of Swords. Early season (June) D1 is often dry and climbable.


2-3 sets wires to #3 Friend, a #3.5 Friend or two, extra mid/large-size wires. 60m rope for the pitch combining beta (below). With two 60m ropes it is possible to bail from this route, even from up high. Early season ascents have used an ice screw on the last pitch if the ice plug is in (a small ice hammer would be comforting too- no joke!).