Type: Trad, Aid, Alpine, 1000 ft, 10 pitches, Grade V
FA: Jimmie Dunn and Billy Westbay, 1972, FFA: Josh Wharton et al., 2011
Page Views: 12,109 total · 60/month
Shared By: Craig Quincy on Jul 8, 2002 with updates from jawshoe uhh
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


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".


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!


George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
How is the bivy atop P3? Is it better to carry a portaledge? Jul 9, 2002
Kevin Frederick
Lusaka, ZM
Kevin Frederick   Lusaka, ZM
I did this a few (4?) years ago. Indeed, it went clean even for an unimaginative aid climber as myself. We bivied on the top of the Green Pillar -- I think there was enough room to bivy comfortably. I can't say for sure because we set up the ledge+fly anyway due to the intermittent hosing from snowmelt above. We also added two 3/8" SS bolts (total) at the fixed belays: one at a belay 1-2 pitches below Table Ledge (table roof) and another at the belay at Table Ledge. (Some have criticized these two bolts; some have thanked.) Jul 10, 2002
If you need a ledge or not just depends on how you want to do the route. Top of green pillar is a good bivi for one and ok for two but you are only 3 pitches off the ground and just at the beginning of the aid climbing. If you want to split the route over two days more even, you need a ledge. Those added bolts for belays weren't nessary. The belays where a little tricky but that's just part of the climb. Sep 1, 2002
Chicago, IL
euroford   Chicago, IL
Did this route recently, full trip report available through link below. Should provide more than enough beta.

bigwalls.net/forum/viewtopi… Aug 29, 2006
Estes Park, CO
ABaxter   Estes Park, CO
Amazing line. Some beta for the faint of heart. After schlepping our "too scared to aid clean" insurance policy through the Boulderfield to the Chasm View raps and beyond, my partner led the aid crux (and all of the harder aid for that matter, as I was the alleged free climbing gun), totally clean with camhooks at what he felt to be straightforward C2+. I believe we had 1 small and 2 medium camhooks. We never found a need for ballnuts either. Triple set of HB offsets was mighty plush and I think one would be just fine with 2 sets total. Lots of nutting overall though. We took a #5 Camalot up there for some supposed wideness and never really found a necessary use for it. P2 and 3 go as one with a 60m. Last pitch was wet and we were glad to share a pair of crampons for the descent. Word is this thing went free at around .13 something last summer, but don't quote me. Jul 16, 2009
Adam's mistaken, the route was not free climbed in 2009. The first free ascent took place on Saturday, July 23, 2011. The crux is a long pitch off the top of the Green Pillar, which I feel is .13b-ish. But there are also four more 5.12 pitches above, the last two being especially wet and tricky. The best free route I've done on the Diamond (although I can't speak to the quality of the Honeymoon). Big thanks to Pete Takeda, and Andy Donson for their vision to see this climb as a free route, and for placing the critical bolts for the free variation on the crux pitch. I will try to post details, and a topo of the route in the coming weeks. Cheers! Jul 25, 2011
J Wharton, thanks for the confirmation on this. I just added a photo of the FFA from last Saturday. I have a few others I'll try to get posted in the next few days. Can't wait to hear all the details. Left Jimmie a message today. Wow, incredible line! Thanks again for the confirmation, and congrats to the FFA party. -Jim Jul 25, 2011
Was TC working the upper pitches Aug. '12 [white rope tossed from above]?
I was on it, looking to rope-solo the route, when rope damage (hauling) didn't let me get past the first pitch. -frown-
Scared the s**t out of me hearing something coming down from above with a loud CRACK! That was a lot of rope tossed over ending at the top of the pillar. Just curious. Jan 3, 2013