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Matt Pierce just through the crux on the Variation...
Climb the first 2 (or 3) pitches of D7
(5.9-5.10) and belay about 15 feet above the left side of Crossover Ledge at some fixed pins.
1) Climb a steep section that goes up and left via fingers and face, past a couple fixed pins and a few fixed wires. Gain the right-facing, left-leaning corner/ramp (easier climbing but a little awkward) and follow this to a 2-bolt anchor which is part of the rappel route (5.11a, 110 feet).
2) Climb the steep, right-facing corner above, which varies from hands to fingertips for about 90 feet, 5.11b. Traverse right on a sloping ledge to rejoin D7
above its crux headwall, and continue via the 5.11 crack above for another 50 feet or so to a sling belay at some fixed gear (5.11b, 140 feet).
Finish with the last pitch of D7
Take a standard rack to 4" with some extra 1/2-3/4" pieces and lots of quickdraws for the lower pitches.
Matt Pierce following the beautiful crux pitch on ...
Looking up at the second pitch of the Variation.
Monte Lunacek gains "the ramp".
Monte Lunacek low on the first pitch of the D7 Var...
By Phil Lauffen
From: The Bubble
Aug 5, 2013
Has anyone gone left at the top of the 11b pitch to the next bolted anchor and tried to climb straight up the dirty crack above the bolts? Is this Soma? We went that way yesterday, and I bailed after the crack ended about 50 ft off the belay. There is a crack to the right which looked climbable, but there was a hanging flake that looked recently detached and was poised to kill my belayer.
By Bosier Parsons
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jan 29, 2014
Phil - Soma is further left. At the top of the first pitch to D7 Var, you traverse left to a hanging right facing corner and climb to a fixed anchor. This will set you up correctly for the final pitch to Table Ledge. Unless you're FA'ing, in which case, by all means!
By Dylan Cousins
Jul 25, 2015
While the climbing on these two variation pitches is good, it is not nearly as nice as the crux on D7. I found the .11b pitch on the variation to actually be more difficult than the original route's .11c as the crack is quite vegetated at the crux (and wide).
I'd not recommend this variation until you've done all the other classic free climbing on The Diamond.
By Jamie Logan
3 days ago
I remember climbing these pitches with Roger Briggs, probably 20 or 30 years ago. We were on crossover ledge, going somewhere that I don't remember, and it started to rain. We stood there for 15 or 20 minutes, and Roger declared that he was bored and that the crack to the left looked like you could put your fingers in it, so it might be dry. As he was leading it on many stoppers, I asked him how hard it was. He replied some kind of 5.11. That may have been the first ascent of that crack.