Type: Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches
FA: Ed Webster 1984, FFA Roger Briggs/Topher Donahue, 2001
Page Views: 2,562 total · 73/month
Shared By: hkennedy on Jul 7, 2016
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

4 Opinions

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Bright Star is a hidden gem and one of the more sustained 5.11+ routes on the Diamond. The climbing is high quality and offers some very unique face climbing throughout the entire route. I would say that Bright Star is much better than D7 or Ariana.

P1. 5.11+ R. From the left side of the Broadway Bivouac Cave, start by climbing steep jugs to obvious, thin crack. Bust some 5.11 moves to gain an obvious ledge, this section is a bit spicy. Easy climbing leads to a piton just below an obvious, thin splitter. Spicy 5.11+ laybacking leads to easier 5.11- terrain to a nice belay ledge with fixed slings on a block.

P2. 5.11. Varied crack climbing and face climbing with good protection, steep and very fun 5.11, lead to a fixed belay just below a bolted traverse that trends left.

P3. 5.11+. Amazing, left-trending face climbing protected by old bolts gains a steep flake system. At the top of the flake, an easier 5.10+ ramp trends left. Keep your eyes out for the final 5.11 traverse back and right to a fixed belay on a good ledge.

P4. 5.11+. Spicy climbing above the anchor in a offset crack gains more juggy, face climbing. Near the top of this pitch, trend back to the right to a two bolt anchor on a sloping ledge.

P5,. 5.11+. Clip two copperheads above the belay, and traverse right to more old bolts. A very cool crimp rail leads to a thin crack that splits the wall. Burly 5.11+ laybacking in a right-facing corner, dealing with all the vegetation, adds to the overall experience of this pitch. Belay on a big ledge, The Casual Route shares this same belay.

P6. 5.10. The "slot pitch" on The Casual Route that gains Table Ledge. Belay at the ledge on pitons and cams.

P7. 5.11+. Climb the plum line just above the belay with varied sizes. Weave left on face holds, and climb to the left side of the huge roof. Belay above the roof to the right on a comfy stance.

P8. 5.11. Cracks and corners lead to the summit.


Bright Star starts just left of the Broadway Bivouac Cave, basically the next route to the right of The Yellow Wall.


Standard Diamond rack.


Colin Simon
Boulder, CO
Colin Simon   Boulder, CO
Thanks for adding this, Hayden!

Jesse made P1 sound pretty serious - 5.11 X status - would you agree?

Also is there any more beta for finding the start of the route? Jul 8, 2016
P1 is certainly "engaging", and that's all I will say.... Jul 9, 2016
Abel Jones
Bishop, ca
Abel Jones   Bishop, ca
The first pitch wasn't too bad. No ledge fall potential so only slightly R. Just have your small gear ready. I followed the above description and ended up missing the point during pitch 4 that I should have angled slightly left into juggy terrain and found myself in another harder spicy crux that lead to a good-sized ledge but off route and difficult to get back on. I bailed from there and can't comment on anything above. The description in the new RMNP book says angle leftish into juggy 5.10 terrain on pitch 4, and I'd recommend doing so after the first 11ish crux. The variation I took was awesome though, and the climbing above looked harder than 11+ if anyone wants a challenge. Aug 16, 2016
ejesse Jesse
Colorado Springs
ejesse Jesse   Colorado Springs
This is one of if not the best routes on The Diamond. Every pitch is solid, sustained and engaging. (I still need to do the last 2 above Table Ledge). If you use the topo, follow the descriptions as there are some old aid bolts that could otherwise lead you to hesitate or veer off route Our rack worked fine as singles to #3, doubles to #1, RPs, and a handful of offset nuts.

If you have time to clean 40' of the 3rd 11+ pitch, you'd help the route a lot. The section of the crack directly below where the Yellow Wall crux traverse links into the route. You could easily rap down from the Yellow Wall bivy ledge to get there. I had to do some flower picking, but my partner then got it onsight, so maybe it's clean enough. Aug 9, 2017
Ryan Kempf and I replaced the old bolts on Bright Star on Sunday, September 3, 2017 with hardware courtesy of the ASCA. We also cleaned up all of the tatty anchors except the slung flake at the top of P1 which isn't too bad.

Of note is that on P3, there is still an old button-head to the right of the flake that you climb up after the crux of that pitch (now protected by modern hardware). This bolt is unnecessary to protect the free climbing which heads left at that point where the aid line goes right.

Also on P4, when trending rightwards back towards the two bolt belay, don't get confused by the old bolts and heads that are out right. These are part of the aid line, and the free climbing stays on the larger flake features.

P7 and P8 are worth doing once to send the route, but P7 is a bit loose (though the climbing is excellent and dramatic) and P8 is quite lichenous. P8 would be good if someone feels like spending a day scrubbing it. A good option for "Bright Star Lite" would be to do the pitch of Forrest Finish off of the left edge of YWBL to avoid parties on the Casual Route's slot pitch.

The history of this route is also very noteworthy. Ed Webster dedicated this bold solo to Lauren Husted, and Donahue subsequently dedicated the free version to Cameron Tague. On the full free ascent, Donahue suggested that Roger Briggs lead the odd numbered pitches (which are significantly more "engaging"), and Briggs "managed them all". Bad to the bone! Sep 5, 2017
Boulder, CO
michalm   Boulder, CO
Thanks for this awesome service, guys! Really stoked to go climb Bright Star with some bomber anchors. Sep 5, 2017
Aaron Ramras
  5.11+ R
Aaron Ramras  
  5.11+ R
I second that...huge thanks to Dylan and Ryan for the new hardware! This this is easily my favorite on the Diamond so far!

A little more information about the final two pitches:

P7: the crack above the Casual Route belay is pretty clean and fun 5.10 for a while. I found the leftward traverse to be pretty inobvious. As of now, there is a pin with a piece of sun-faded, pink webbing tied to it. This is something like 30' below the roof? I traversed left from just above the pin for about 12ft to a hard-to-see and discontinuous crack and climbed up toward the roof/corner from there. From the start of the traverse to the end of the roof, the climbing is mostly 5.11 and pretty dirty, but I did not think it was nearly as hard as any of the 11+ cruxes on the previous pitches. The belay above the roof is on gear, but there are lots of options for stances.

P8: burly 5.11 crack climbing for the first half leads to hero jug pulling in a steep corner! This pitch had a different character than the rest of the route, and involved lots of tricky jamming with less face features. The crack is coated in lichen now, but the rock is better than the previous pitch. I think it will clean up well with traffic.

Also, a note about the p4 route finding challenges: we found that you only stay in the main crack off the belay for about 20-25ft before traversing left to a series of lower angle features that trend up and left. Follow these for a long ways until it's possible to cut back right into a series of steep, shallow, left-facing corners that lead to the belay. Sep 7, 2017