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Unsorted Routes:

Great Dihedral 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 400', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 15,571
Submitted By: Scott Conner on Jul 4, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (58)
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Looking down the last pitch of the Center Route fi...

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This is a fun moderate on the first buttress of Hallett Peak. To find the start, locate Hallett Chimney, AI5 M5 which separates the first and second buttresses. About 40-50 feet left of this chimney, on the right side of the first buttress, locate a huge, right-facing dihedral. The left face of the bottom corner section has a beautiful hand and fist crack arcing up and right into the corner. This crack goes at about 5.6/7 and is sweet.

Rack up below this corner and scramble up and right to a nice ledge to start the climb.

Work up and left to gain the dihedral. Continue up the series of right facing dihedrals and chimneys for 2 to 3 pitches. If you have a 200 foot rope, there are great belay ledges at 195 feet for two pitches and you end up about mid-height on the buttress where you can scramble up to the next section on the face and choose a finish. Scope out your finish before you leave the ground as the lines are difficult to discern once on the wall.


Standard rack w/ a few long slings.

Photos of Great Dihedral Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: Another shot of the classic Great Dihedral.
Another shot of the classic Great Dihedral.
Rock Climbing Photo: Upper half of the 1st Buttress.
BETA PHOTO: Upper half of the 1st Buttress.
Rock Climbing Photo: Scrambling up the easy middle ledge, finish altern...
Scrambling up the easy middle ledge, finish altern...
Rock Climbing Photo: Leading up the second pitch; we're moving fast sin...
Leading up the second pitch; we're moving fast sin...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Lewis leading the last pitch. It's not as...
BETA PHOTO: Mike Lewis leading the last pitch. It's not as...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lisa Foster on the upper pitches of the Great Dihe...
Lisa Foster on the upper pitches of the Great Dihe...
Rock Climbing Photo: Just before the middle ledge, with Emerald Lake be...
Just before the middle ledge, with Emerald Lake be...

Comments on Great Dihedral Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 24, 2017
By Leo Paik
From: Westminster, Colorado
Aug 2, 2002

The first pitch is reminiscent of the dihedral pitch on Better Than Love III 5.8. The second pitch looked a bit, er, vegetated. A variation to the right was a bit cleaner. Fire up to a crack just up and right of the belay. Move right, gently face-climb on Hallett face holds most of the rest of the pitch, 5.7s with a couple spots of 5.8. Eases up towards the end of the pitch. 210' brings you to a belay on the huges terrace mid-height of the buttress.

From here, hmmm, retrospectively, traversing off left to the walkoff seemed better than finishing on the Standard Route, unless you want to top off. Should have "convinced" my partner to move right and look into the dihedral of Center Route. 4 x 200ish pitches with a traverse bit on that mid-height terrace gets you to the top.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 25, 2002

A really fun route on excellent rock that ends too soon. Unfortunately, the finishes on the upper part of the First Buttress are not on par with the Second Buttress.

Although it makes the first pitch short (about 130'), I recommend belaying at the base of the namesake crack as you can then take a classic photo like the one Myke took below. This climb took us 4 pitches to the imtermediate terrace with a 50m rope, although the fourth pitch was only about 80' long. If you do the climb this way, there is a nice grassy ledge at the top of the second pitch to belay with a fixed piton.
By Jim McGuire
Sep 26, 2003

We did this route in 3 pitches with a 60m rope allowing stops on convenient ledges. The last bit of the first and whole second ptich are the best and are in the dihedral proper. A very good route but it is a bit wet in the corner, especially earlier in the season.
By Jay Hippel
From: Denver, CO
Aug 7, 2005

Did this route with the [Center Route] finish on 8/6/05.

First of all, DO NOT DO THIS ROUTE. It is awful and contains maybe 50ft of good rock. The rest was like climbing in a sporadically and badly protected garden. Moss, lichen and grass everywhere. The [Center Route] finish might have reached "bad" status if I'd had an entire rack of #6 Camalots and big bros. 30-40ft runouts (if you don't have enormous gear) on vegetated crap and a huge flake.

It was my first route on Hallett, and I should shoot myself for not doing the Culp-Bossier. Looked like solid, clean rock all the way up. I was jealously staring at it while runout 35ft on a TCU wedged in a wet, slimy chockstone.

Don't know if I was off route but man, did this route suck. Negative stars. I'd like to erase it from memory.
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 7, 2005

...Isn't alpine granite fun? ...One man's Choss pile might make another Man's heart smile. Maybe it's the pleasant smell of wet alpine moss and lichen sprinkled with a light morning dew on a brisk August morning. Or maybe It is the big scary runouts and intricate route finding on steep Alpine granite that makes Hallett so damn good. Maybe it is the fact that Hallett is a nice little crag that can be done as quick as Sundance but on that Flower and grass infested alpine rock at altitude. I don't really know what it is, but I do know Hallett kicks ass and ... that intricate Right Facing Dihedral that looks totally broken and discontinuous. I could understand how easy it would be to [wander] off route from such a inobvious [feature]. I am sure that most people who climb on Hallett would not need a whole rack of 6 Camalots and BigBros for the pitch.........[Heavily edited due to its negative & unproductive ranting]
By nick moeckel
Aug 8, 2005

Heading up pitch three things started to get a little slimy and not-as-awesome looking as the first two pitches had been. Looking right I remembered Leo's comment about a variation- nice solid rock with fun moves out there, and a little sunshine to boot. We cut back left after a little while to a nice belay spot 50 feet or so down from the big ledge. Lots of fun.
By Jay Hippel
From: Denver, CO
Aug 9, 2005

Well Anonymous Coward, I'm sorry I didn't like your "heart smile" route (sniffle, sniffle). I should hope one man's opinion doesn't stop you from doing all the grassy, slimy routes you'd like to accomplish in your lifetime. Knock yourself out, I guess I just like good rock when I'm rock climbing. Didn't mean to hurt your feelings.

To those who might consider this route: Climb it if you want, it doesn't matter to me. I've done a [handful] of alpine routes and was extremely excited when I laid eyes on Hallett. It is a beautiful formation, and I'll be returning again soon to climb it, via another route. I really just felt gipped from my climbing experience on this route. It could have been cool on another line. But instead, it was dirty and scary on bad rock. Maybe I was off route. Maybe I have a high standards for what makes a good rock climb. But regardless, I didn't like it at all. And the Center Route finish- a full rack of VW-sized gear would not have made it a good climb. If you could not [decipher] my true feelings about it through context, you probably shouldn't be climbing in the first place.

All I can comment on is my experience, and hopefully prevent others from having the same. For those anonymous cowards who were brought to tears because of my insulting comments- sorry, I just thought it sucked.
By ac
Aug 11, 2005

Thanks for moderating, long time overdue.
By Kevin Craig
Aug 10, 2006

Did this route last Friday (8/4) and it's awesome! The start we used was almost directly below the dihedral and is very run out, but fairly easy (5.5-ish). The crack in the dihedral is stellar - solid rock, great climbing, excellent pro. There's a move or two at the top that were kind of wet, but nothing terrible. We walked off shortly after due to iffy weather, but just the dihedral pitches are definitely worth the walk.
By Andy Leach
From: Denver, CO
Aug 14, 2006

We climbed it 8/12/06 and I agree that this is a really nice route. This was my first 5.7 lead, and I had a blast! We walked off after the Great Dihedral due to sketchy weather.

Trip Report:

Also, we found some gear on the route that looked like it had been dropped (i.e. it wasn't part of an anchor or anything). If you lost some stuff, email me or brenta ( - he's got it in Boulder.
By Merlin
From: Grand Junction
Aug 15, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Did this August 15th, 2006, it is a great route. I found it to be roughly equal to The Ellingwood Arete in quality (although the Needle is a much cooler summit, and it is nice to top out on top). Highly recommended as an alpine route. We followed Leo's comments and encountered a bit of 5.8 on the route. The only negative is the long slog to the summit, if you actually want to finish the peak.
By Slojoe
Jul 22, 2007

I hit this today with a buddy, and the name-sake dihedral was indeed fun. On the other hand... the other 70% of the route, leading to the base of the upper pitches was more on par with 5th class bushwacking. Standard rack for this should include Claritin, a machete, and at least one extra-thick helmet for the belayer. I pulled up into so much thistle and grabbed so much moss-slop that I began to wonder where the rock was. When said rock was finally located, I didn't even want to breath on it, let alone pull on it for fear of bringing down the whole route on to my partners head. Whatever you do, avoid the Magistrate above...
By kevinnlong
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 19, 2008
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

We found this to be an excellent route! The first three pitches were different and interesting. The protection through the whole climb all the way to the top through the Standard Route is bomber. I carried far too many large pieces; perhaps a single 3.5" would do. I used several fist sized hexes and several small to medium nuts. It's definitely worth breaking the climb into three pitches (before the upper headwall) as the ledges are all wonderful.

This is a great alpine climb. If you are looking to do some cragging, you may consider going somewhere else....
By Gary Schmidt
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 3, 2008

Did this today and I found the climb to be great. Wonderful alpine climbing in a beautiful setting. I don't understand comments about machetes, thistles, and moss. I would say at least 90 percent of the route is very clean (certainly by alpine standards), the climbing moves are solid, fun and varied. We did the Dihedral portion in 3 good pitches, and then did the short scramble to the Standard 5.5 finish, for two more good length pitches. Do recommend picking the crack line on pitch 3 about 20/30 ft right of the dihedral proper. 5.7, maybe a wee bit of 5.8 this way but solid pro and climbing. Perhaps the last pitch of the standard finish was a little bit mossy in places but still lots of interesting climbing. Once topping out, headed east for a couple of hundred feet to the two bolt rap anchor (two raps to get down) and then the straightforward downclimb/scramble bringing us right back to our packs. I particularly would recommend this route as a good introduction to alpine rock climbing.
By Joe Brannan
From: Lyons, CO
Sep 8, 2008

Climbed this route with standard finish 9-6-08. Required a 4th 80' pitch on the lower buttress with a 50 meter rope. Used the 5.8 face variation on the third pitch which looked far superior to the blocky dihedral.

As far as the standard route finish goes, I found plenty of pro on the very alpine final 5.6 pitch (right of two dihedrals) and had nothing bigger than a #3 Camalot. Bring fist size hexes, very useful.
By Johnny C
From: Colorado
Aug 17, 2010

Did this route a couple of days ago and found it to be a lot of fun. Also, nice to have the option of exiting after the dihedral pitches, if weather or, as in our case, the call of beer becomes too great. Funky, airy first pitch getting into the dihedral. Then did a short pitch to the base of the very cool crack/dihedral. This is the best pitch for sure. The last pitch was a full 60 meter romp, with a little 5.8 and some runout face climbing, using the crack to the right. Kind of cold, and 30 mph gusts, but not too bad for climbing. Was nice to exit the dihedral into the sunshine.
By Kevin Landolt
From: Fort Collins, Wyoming
Dec 19, 2010

When linked with Finch Route, this makes for a superb mixed route in winter.
By Ryan N
From: Bellingham, WA
Oct 13, 2012

Route is a little difficult to find but is right in the middle of Hallett. The closer you get, the more obvious it becomes. As far as the climb, the "dihedral" pitch is the only good pitch but worth the hike and the other not so great pitches. Watch the descent, it's not the first gully but the second. The first will require a loose fifth class downclimb.
By hunterkonchan
Jul 10, 2016

Sweet climb overall. There's a huge, loose boulder near the beginning of the second pitch. Be super careful, and check for those loose holds. The more you stay on faces and not in the chimneys, the less loose rock there is. If you top out, follow the rock cairns to chains to rap down to the 4th class gully.
By Martin le Roux
From: Superior, CO
Jul 11, 2016

One can descend from the top of the 3rd pitch in two 60m double-rope rappels. Both raps are from slung trees. As of July 2016, the slings were in good condition. The first rap point is at the 3rd pitch belay. The rappels go straight down the face (climber's left of the dihedral). Don't try this with a single rope, there aren't any intermediate rap points.
By WookieStick69 Thomas
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 24, 2017
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Climbed this route yesterday and had a blast. We followed Leo Paik's original comment on this route and veered right on the third pitch to climb a crack system that was well outside of the corner (maybe 5.8 as Leo said though that seemed generous). At the second pitch belay, head up and right and after about 30-40 feet you can enter this crack with toothy looking holds. Then follow it straight up.

RMNP has tons of great 5.8/5.9 classics, but if you're looking for something a little easier, this is one of the few great route options in the 5.7 range.

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