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Pervertical Sanctuary T 
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YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: FFA Bachar and Harrison, 1977
Page Views: 32,345
Submitted By: slevin on Apr 5, 2001  with updates from Guy H.

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'70s rack. Climber: Olaf Mitchell. Photo: Bu...

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After the Casual Route and Pervertical Sanctuary, this is probably the most "straight-forward" Diamond Route, although the free climbing rating is rather stiff (5.11c or d). The crux is short and protects well, and is easily aided. Climbers who find the Casual Route jammed, and don't have enough big gear for Pervertical, should consider attempting this at 5.9 or 5.10 C1 (or free), but plan on a longer day if you aid much (the entire climb is still strangely popular as a clean aid route). The climbing is generally clean and solid, with many relic fixed pins set as reminders that in its heyday, this was the most popular route on the Diamond (FA: Dalke, Goss, Hurley 1966 at 5.6 A2). D7 is also the unquestioned favorite for those few demented souls who climb the Diamond in winter. The descriptions in Rossiter, Gillett, Wadman and Dumais are all accurate, but if you do not have access to these what follows is a brief narrative describing the route.

You have survived North Chimney. Now locate the bivy cave up and left from the top of North Chimney and Casual Route. Traverse left and low (below the loose ledge leading to Yellow Wall start) to an exposed, 4th Class or lower 5th Class step which leads to the second prominent left-facing corner system from the cave (the first being the 5.11 start to Yellow Wall).

Climb several pitches of finger and handcrack (5.9) in corners and around small flakes to a short wide section of low-end 5.10 (a couple of pieces to 4" useful here) to a good ledge and a fixed anchor. If aiding, this wide section may be the crux. Climb the right and smaller of 2 right-facing corners directly above to a continuous section of stiff 5.10 and belay. The free climbing crux looms above, a bulging section of white rock with parallel finger cracks splitting it (a fairly obvious feature). Launch upwards, then strut your stuff on the pumpy-to-protect 15 feet of technical pulls where the angle steepens- classic, clean, and exposed climbing. Belay on a small ledge, then climb a short difficult section (5.11a) leading to easier climbing and "Almost" Table Ledge (rap anchors). Climb the easier rock above to Table Ledge and traverse slightly left to anchors (start of the rappels, which are "climbers left" from the route) or further left to Kiener's and the North Face Cables descent.

4 to 8 hours climbing time, although aid parties may take much longer- consider a bivy on Broadway. There are several variations to this route (Soma and D Minor 7 are the major ones)and much opportunity for "mixing and matching" (it's even possible to head into Hidden Diamond or Curving Vine at one point), but really, D7 takes on the most compelling and recommended line between Pervertical and Yellow Wall.


Double set wired nuts to 3" cams, 1 each 3.5, 4", 8 QDs, 6 slings. More gear for some, less for others. There are a large number of fixed pins on this route, especially in the first 300 feet- some of them are actually quite good. The route also goes clean aid at C1, and a hammer is not required.

Photos of D7 Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Crux pitch.
Crux pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: The flower pitch on D7....
The flower pitch on D7....
Rock Climbing Photo: Winter 2016.
Winter 2016.
Rock Climbing Photo: On the thin section of the last pitch.  Photo by C...
On the thin section of the last pitch. Photo by C...
Rock Climbing Photo: Belay station D7. Photo Buc Taylor.
Belay station D7. Photo Buc Taylor.
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climbers on D7 (second at the crux). Photo...
Unknown climbers on D7 (second at the crux). Photo...
Rock Climbing Photo: I believe these parties are on D7, but not 100% su...
I believe these parties are on D7, but not 100% su...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on pitch 4, which I found to be a lit...
Looking down on pitch 4, which I found to be a lit...
Rock Climbing Photo: Charlie Fowler, Kathy (?), and Jim Tangen-Foster (...
Charlie Fowler, Kathy (?), and Jim Tangen-Foster (...
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting out on pitch 4. (guidebook pitch 4.  10c....
Starting out on pitch 4. (guidebook pitch 4. 10c....
Rock Climbing Photo: The steep P3 of D7....
The steep P3 of D7....
Rock Climbing Photo: Jim Tangen-Foster on D7 in 1976.
Jim Tangen-Foster on D7 in 1976.
Rock Climbing Photo: TJ Brumme leading through the crux, 7/19/14.
TJ Brumme leading through the crux, 7/19/14.
Rock Climbing Photo: Eric Everson on the 1st pitch of D7 on the Diamond...
Eric Everson on the 1st pitch of D7 on the Diamond...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cleaning gear on D7. Photo Buc Taylor.
Cleaning gear on D7. Photo Buc Taylor.
Rock Climbing Photo: George Squibb on the 5.11c/d crux of D7 on the Dia...
George Squibb on the 5.11c/d crux of D7 on the Dia...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chip Ruckgaber leading the crux pitch of D7. July ...
Chip Ruckgaber leading the crux pitch of D7. July ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on p1.
Looking down on p1.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on our pitch 2 - guidebook pitch 3.  ...
Looking down on our pitch 2 - guidebook pitch 3. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The top-out of any Diamond route has primo scenery...
The top-out of any Diamond route has primo scenery...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chip topping out on D7.
Chip topping out on D7.
Rock Climbing Photo: John picking nose on The Diamond.
John picking nose on The Diamond.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down from Table Ledge after an early seaso...
Looking down from Table Ledge after an early seaso...

Comments on D7 Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 20, 2017
By Leo Paik
From: Westminster, Colorado
Mar 14, 2002

Beware on pitch 1 there is a flake that looks like a jug that oh, you should never grab! It pries out perhaps 6 inches as horrible, horrible thoughts go through your reptilian mind. Climb around it!
By Nate Weitzel
Jun 18, 2002

What a great line! The climbing on this route is superb. I loved the moderate begining pitches, followed by a stout finish. There are an amazing number of pins on the route, most of which appeared intact and relatively safe. As such, you can easily par down the leaders rack, especially for the first two or three pitches. Interesting though that as soon as the climbing gets hard, the pins disappear.....oh well can't have everything I guess.
By david goldstein
Jul 4, 2002

Another great Diamond route. As of July 2002, here are many pins on every pitch of this route, even the harder pitches; a strong and/or bold climber could get away with bringing a very light rack and a bunch of quick draws.

For the more mortal among us, it may make sense to break the crux into two pitches. There is a good ledge shortly after the 11c crux and just before another, similar section that's almost as hard; if you're out of breath and gear (draws), as I was, it makes sense to stop here. Major warnings: there are some loose blocks which get you by surprise. A particularly nasty one is on the 1st pitch, maybe 30' after it gets steep. A central hold/block at the start of the crux also seems to be loose; avoiding this adds some difficulty.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Jul 6, 2002

re/loose block on the crux pitch: 2 years ago, while climbing in the Forrest Finish crack, we had a very good view of and conversation with some friends on D7 attempting to yank this block out (after the leader had nearly had a heart attack trying to climb around it)--noone was below them on the route, Broadway or the glacier. They tried for a while but just couldn't get it out, so maybe although it seems horrifying, it may be OK to use. Caveat emptor.
By Frank Stock
Aug 19, 2002

We did to table ledge and then crossed over to FF Saturday. Leading about 30 feet below Crossover Ledge I knocked a big block off of the left side of the crack. I pretty much was climbing the crack and using the features on the right when whatever I brushed on broke loose, missing my partner by three feet and stirring up pretty much everyone on the face. Scary. The first pitch block is loose, but I couldn't pull it out.

As for the two or three (depending on how you link em) pitches to crossover ledge, you really don't need much gear. Tons of good pins, including the cruxes. We had 12 double slings we used as draws, and still run out doing long pitches. Really nice climbing though.

By Joe Collins
Aug 29, 2003
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

[Gillett] calls it 11c. Green calls it 11d. Rossiter??? Steve calls it 11c or d. I didn't have the slightest chance to onsight which makes me think 11d. The crux pitch has two really hard sections. Though they are both short, they're really hard and you arrive with a good pump at each of them. Since it is a pretty long pitch, the 2nd crux felt almost as hard as the first to me.
By Brian Milhaupt
From: Golden, CO
Sep 2, 2003

I thought the 6th pitch stayed pretty continuous the entire way, and the large cams became useful again.A single set of cams seamed sufficient since there are so many pins and the belays are fixed.
By Bosier Parsons
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 16, 2004

The loose block on the first pitch has been there a long time. I've had a couple opportunities to pull it off, but you never know when someone could be below you. Best to just leave it be, and when it comes off, it comes off. I don't remember the one on the crux pitch, but I'd say the same thing there. Also, we definitely climbed the left of the 2 corners off the left side of Crossover, then stepped back right into the system. I know all the guides describe the shallow right facing corner as the line, but this seemed very lichenous, to the point that I thought noone had climbed it for a long time. I'm curious what others thought about this.
By Bernard Gillett
Jul 18, 2004

Responding to B. Parson's queery... I think the original aid line did climb the righthand of the two corners on the left side of Crossover Ledge. My guide says to climb it that way, because that's the way I did it the first two times I climbed the route (some time ago, and I was aiding), and that's where earlier guides described the line. I returned twice to the route in recent years (after my 2001 guide was published) and free climbed D-7, and both times I did it the way you described, with the lefthand corner for 20 feet, then step right into the original line. My guess is that this is the way most people free climb it?

The loose blocks on pitch 1 and the crux pitch: two years ago my partner and I decided to see if we could remove those flakes while following. We were climbing early season, and no one was around, so we yarded on both of them, but were unable to remove them. They seemed pretty well stuck, even though the one on the lower pitch moves ablot. Probably best to avoid them anyway.
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 13, 2004

One of the best day's climbing anywhere. I got so tired pulling my second up the crux pitch I thought my heart was going to burst! Sliding down the snow at the end was such a good and quick way down. Tripped over about 50 times on the way down the trail in the dark (no torch). A great adventure.
By Ross Swanson
From: Pinewood Springs
Jul 3, 2006

Just below the crux I fell on a red (#1 or 2 HB?) about 4 times until I figured out the crux sequence and I had enough nerve to continue. I don't usually climb 11c but this route is so good it was worth the effort, best 5.9 pitches ever!

There is the wealth of fixed pins on the lower pitches then the crux pitch has few fixed pieces.
By EldoFiend
From: WY
Aug 6, 2009
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

With a 70 meter rope it is possible to do this route in 4 pitches as follows:

P1 - 5.9, 220 feet to a small stance with 2 fixed pins (about 30 feet above the first sling anchor you come to).

P2 - 5.10, 230 feet past the wide section, crossover ledge, and some thinner climbing to the stance and fixed anchor below the crux pitch. Wet when we climbed it in early August.

P3 - 5.11, ~120 feet past the crux and second 11 section to fixed anchor on small ledge.

p4 - 5.11-, ~130 feet up thin crack, through wide crack to almost table ledge.

We didn't try it, but if you have the guns, you might be able to link pitches 3 and 4, it would be long, hard, and amazing though. In all a stellar route!
By Ben Griffin
From: Durango, CO
Jul 17, 2011

I tried this route on 7/16/11, and all the cracks were amazing and amazingly wet. I bet it needs a couple of more weeks. The North Chimney is also wet but easily doable now. The approach up to the North Chimney is a steep snowfield. The Crack of Delight has a river pouring down it.
By Devan Johnson
Aug 24, 2015
rating: 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a

This was my 4th and likely last route on the Diamond. I climbed this with a stronger partner (thankfully), and had I not, I probably would have had bigger problems. Some impressions:

- Loose block on p1 is still there...tread lightly!

- We did this route in 4 pitches. I found this strategy exhausting, but it can be done.

- As stated above pins are everywhere on the easier pitches but diminish as you get higher.

- Although well-protected, this is not crack climbing, very steep crimping and small sidepulls at the crux (didn't lead). The crux comes in 2 distinct sections that felt equally hard.
Super sporty... played to my weakness.

- I found the comments suggesting the trivial nature of the crux (and the route) to be greatly overstated. The proud tradition of sandbagging lives on. While the grade was probably a stretch for me at altitude, I found myself thoroughly outclassed on this route. Steep, pumpy, and bloody difficult.

I thus retire from The Diamond, tail between my legs and humbled. D7 won.
By Moritz B.
Sep 10, 2015
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

Great route - here are some tips for you, who might be looking for beta.

- We had a single set to #3, (doubles to 0.75), a set of nuts, and sixteen draws. There are many pins on the route, including the crux pitch. The #3 is also optional, it can be done without. Bigger cams can be placed, but there are other options around.

- We did the the route in four pitches with a 70m rope. If you make pitch three a short pitch and stop right after the crux at the two pins, you can make it all the way to table ledge in a long, great 70m pitch.

- Bring leg warmers and gloves for the belay, it gets really cold once the sun leaves the wall.
By John.A.Kirk
Jul 16, 2016

Did this in Summer 1980. Felt really hard due to altitude and a poor night's sleep out on the hill to the side. There is only one hard section of about 20 feet, but at 14,000 feet, it is quite a challenge. That is why I gave it 5.12a, because it felt as hard as 5.12a in Yosemite at lower altitude. Only did this one route on the wall, but what a route and what a wall. A hailstorm hit just as we topped out. Twisted ankle so many times on the 7 mile walk down in the dark. Take a flashlight!
By mpech
Aug 16, 2016

Fantastic route that I feel is diminished by the embarrassing number of pitons on this route.... I've never seen anything like it before.

No need for a #4. A single #3 is sufficient.
By alix morris
From: Estes Park, CO
Jul 20, 2017

This is one of the greatest routes I've ever been on!!!!! Spectacular position, great gear, steep, mega pitches, and short cruxes that are punctuated by stances. Fuck yeah Bachar!!!!!!

I would take a single rack to 3 or 4 depending on your wide comfortability and bunch of draws. The route is a clip up.

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