As you approach The Diamond, to its left is the Lower East Face. What it lacks in glamour of its name, it makes up for in size as its identical to The Diamond just sitting below it. Most of us bypass it for the Death Chimney but always after looking at the beautiful crack that runs from its right side split up to its top, and this is the Diagonal. The Diagonal Superdirect takes this crack from its very bottom up to its top at the highpoint on Broadway which should make route finding relatively straightforward.
Pitch 1. 5.11a. Some in your face hard pulls early in the morning get you into fun finger locks and then jams as you work upwards. It might feel a bit awkward as you get used to either your feet or hands being in the crack but typically not both. Stop at the bolted belay, 110'.
Pitch 2. 5.11b. More fun crack, a few hard moves, and lots of 5.9 and 5.10 get you to the next bolted belay before an impressive looking roof, 100'.
Pitch 3. 5.9. Pull the roof, and go up east hands and fist until you decide to stop at one of several nice ledges. We ran the whole rope out. You get gear anchors from here on out, 210'.
Pitch 4. 5.11a. Some awkward wide crack suddenly disappears. Place gear, and then execute some hard moves with it at your feet before you can jam a cam again to your relief. The rock transitions to Yosemite glass at this point with your feet feeling like porcelain. Set a belay here (60') or head up into the overlaps at some more low 5.11 to a fixed nut belay you can backup with some cams (another 40'). The overlaps are dirty as water runs over them most of the year leaving a sandy residue. If you stop right after the first 5.11 section at 60', you will want to move the belay up and add a pitch so your belayer can see you for the next pitch.
Pitch 5. 5.11c PG-13. Head left. The crack is clean here as water does not run over it. It's gorgeous splitter seams straight out of Yoesmite. I am really not sure how it's so smooth. The crack suddenly disappears at the obvious crux. You can place some small cams (blue and black Alien), then execute moves out left into the parallel crack, up and then back right to a stance where you can place bomber gear again back at your waist, so maybe 12' between descent gear. Keep going on sustained 5.11 to a gear belay at a descent ledge, 100'.
Pitch 6. 5.11+. Two train track seams rise above you holding their distance at about 8 feet apart. Dance back and forth between them as seems logical, starting in the left. Good gear and occasionally finger locks keeps appearing as you make the switches. Eventually head up purely the right crack using some face features to make progress upwards. This pitch is phenomenal and, like the last, 5.11 the whole way. Stop at a nice ledge, 80'.
Pitch 7. 5.9. Go right up the ledge and gain a flake, regain the cracks, and take it to the top of the wall.
Descent: take Broadway down to The Diamond. We continued to the top via the Full Yellow Wall
. For relative route reference. It took us 6 hours to on-sight Diagonal Superdirect, about an hour on top recovering and simul-ing "chossway" Broadway to the base of Yellow Wall
, then onsighting the Full Yellow Wall
to the top, 4.5 hours. I thought the Diagonal Super Direct was a lot more sustained and full value than Yellow Wall
. Anyways, the full outing took a bit under 12 hours base to top as we decided to follow in the footsteps of Roger Briggs and Kim Carrigan. Thanks for the bad idea, guys!
This ascends the Diagonal, on The Lower East Face's right side. It is pretty much impossible to miss.
Black Alien; doubles (but if you had it, triples) blue, green, yellow Aliens; doubles grey Alien through #1 BD Camalot; a single #2 and #3; 8 Yosemite draws; and one set of RPs (we never placed one but probably should have).