Type: Trad, Aid, Alpine, 1000 ft (303 m), 10 pitches, Grade V
FA: Jimmie Dunn and Billy Westbay, 1972, FFA: Josh Wharton et al., 2011
Page Views: 16,303 total · 61/month
Shared By: Craig Quincy on Jul 8, 2002 · Updates
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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This is a fantastic aid outing up the middle of the right side of the Diamond. This a real aid route on the highest alpine big wall in the Lower 48. Do not treat it lightly.

The crux is getting all the gear to Broadway. Hauling a haul bag up the North Chimney is NOT recommended because of all the dangerous loose rock. With wall gear, it's probably safer to approach via the Chasm View rappels. After the initial pitches, the climbing is thin and steep, but never too scary except when the ubiquitous thundershowers roll in. Keep in mind the sun leaves the face around noon, so be prepared for heavy weather. On our ascent in early August we experienced lightning, hail, snow, rain, cold temperatures and even a little sunshine.

We climbed the route clean except for P6 where my partner used a couple KBs and LAs. The route has been done all clean since then and it is probably easier to climb it clean on a few RPs than to drag a hammer and pins up and down the Diamond. The clean crux would involve making something stick in the Knifeblade slots, so bring some trickery.

Standard clean aid rack: hooks, cam hooks, 3 sets RPs and Offsets, 1 set Ball Nuts, 3 sets nuts, a few hexes or tricams, 2-3 sets TCUs, 2 sets Friends, 1 big cam (#4 Camalot or #5 Friend). Poop tube - please pack your nasties out!

Once on broadway begin right of the North Chimney on the right side of a large pillar known as the Green Pillar or Dunn-Westbay pillar. Note: Gear and Clothing follows the cracks to the left of the route and King of Swords follows shallow corners to the right of the route.

P1. Leave Broadway and climb up rampy terrain to a large right facing dihedral on the right side of the pillar. 5.8, 145 feet.

P2. Free climb a nice hand crack in a slimy, cold corner to a good stance or throw in an aid move to get warmed up for the dangling and thrashing to come. This would be a fun pitch if it were dry and in Boulder Canyon, but it's not. 5.9+.

P3 More free climbing or gear yarding in the corner. The crack becomes wide at the top. Arrive at the top of Green Pillar. Belay at a fixed anchor with a hangerless bolt. Possible bivy. 5.10, P2 and P3 are about 165 feet of climbing. Also, with a 60m rope it might be possible to just combine P1, 2 and 3 and make the top of the pillar in 2 long leads.

P4. Short pitch. Head off the right side of the bivy ledge on aid. Make a hook move somewhere around here and don't fall. Then follow a flake (cams) back to the left and head into an awkward slot (big cam) and belay at some fixed slings although it is probably better to continue and climb. P5. The remainder of the pitches and belays can be combined in different ways. There are some fixed anchors from retreats, but nothing compelling enough to dictate the location of the belays. It's sling belays to the top either way. Do what feels good and makes sense. C3-, 95 feet.

P5. From here the route finding is easy, take the crack to the top. Isn't the Diamond cool? Head up the crack to a sling belay at some fixed gear. C2-, 145 feet. ??

P6. This is the crux unless P4 was the crux. Nonetheless, this is a brilliant pitch. Get out the RPs and head up the thin splitter crack. Belay at a stance well below Table Ledge crack. C3 or C2+ (new wave) or A3 or whatever. "It's all A1 until you fall." 145 feet.

P7. Make some moves off the belay on small nuts and continue to the roof. Belay at the roof (fixed gear) or climb some of P8. Table ledge crack forms the roof. There is no Table Ledge here! C2 100 feet??

P8. Head out a few feet to the right from the belay and with big exposure climb through the roof. After passing a detached flake, belay. C2, 155 feet.

P9. Keep aiding towards the top and belay at the edge of the Diamond on a ledge. C1, 150 feet. Stay roped up.

P10. Another pitch is required to reach a good unroping point.

Note: Pitch lengths are approximate!

Descend the North Face via 3rd class hiking and rappelling the anchors from the old Cables route. Exercise extreme caution especially if caring lots of heavy aid gear. A slip anywhere along here will land one on "the other side".

Protection Suggest change

Standard clean aid rack: hooks, cam hooks, 3 sets RPs and Offsets, 1 set Ball Nuts, 3 sets nuts, a few hexes or tricams, 2-3 sets TCUs, 2 sets Friends, 1 big cam (#4 Camalot or #5 Friend). Poop tube - please pack your nasties out!