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Pervertical Sanctuary 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Ron Olevsky and Bob Dodds, 1974. FFA: Bruce Adams/Tobin Sorenson
Page Views: 53,647
Submitted By: Nate Weitzel on Jan 1, 2001

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Sarah Fritz digging deep at the end of the crux pi...

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Pervertical is the second easiest climb on the Diamond, but don't let this fool you into thinking it is a cake walk. This is a serious route that can give you trouble unless you are good at all sizes of crack climbing. There are a few loose pitches, but the upper pitches are phenomenal and there is superb exposure. As with all the Diamond routes, it is wise to become familiar with the layout of the wall before attempting these routes (especially your descent route as the rappel anchors can be hard to find), or better yet go with someone who knows the area well. Begin on the far left side of Broadway on the right side of the Obelisk column.

P1. Climb the left side of the Mitten formation. A loose pitch with sparse pro. (8, 130 feet)

P2. Climb the crack above the Mitten flake and belay at a ledge on the right. (9, 100 feet)

P3. Continue up the crack and left facing corner to a bolt (manky) and gain a ledge at the right side of the Obelisk. (9, 100 feet)

P4. Crux pitch. 11a handcrack (10c old-school) that will leave you gasping for air. (11a, 130 feet).

P5. Offwidth pitch. This is a four inch offwidth that is sustained, but fun if you like wide cracks. Right facing corner on right side of Obelisk, belay on top of this pillar (10a, 80 feet)

P6. From the right side of the pillar take a steep crack to Table Ledge (9, 100 feet). (My experience says this pitch is longer, more like 150 feet.)

Traverse left to get to Kiener's or right to the rappel anchors.


Standard alpine rack up to a #4 Camalot. Double cams from 1.5 and up.

Photos of Pervertical Sanctuary Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Joseffa Meir spreads her fingers to help with the ...
Joseffa Meir spreads her fingers to help with the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: One of the 5.10 pitches, yeehaw!
One of the 5.10 pitches, yeehaw!
Rock Climbing Photo: A monotonic world on the wide pitch.
A monotonic world on the wide pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Kuus and Butler cruise PS while Wright and Mills e...
Kuus and Butler cruise PS while Wright and Mills e...
Rock Climbing Photo: The crux pitch of Pevertival Sanctuary. Steep!
The crux pitch of Pevertival Sanctuary. Steep!
Rock Climbing Photo: Tony follows the steep thin-hands crux of Perverti...
Tony follows the steep thin-hands crux of Perverti...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rob leading PS, while Gabe and partner are climbin...
Rob leading PS, while Gabe and partner are climbin...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber on Pervertical Sanctuary, taken from Black...
Climber on Pervertical Sanctuary, taken from Black...
Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch.
First pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climbers on Pervertical, (Greg? and ?), ta...
Unknown climbers on Pervertical, (Greg? and ?), ta...
Rock Climbing Photo: Halfway up the offwidth-y pitch.  Henry waving to ...
Halfway up the offwidth-y pitch. Henry waving to ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber on PS on 7-23-11....
Unknown climber on PS on 7-23-11....
Rock Climbing Photo: Look at the butt on that guy.
Look at the butt on that guy.
Rock Climbing Photo: Eli following up P2 of Pervertical Sanctuary.
Eli following up P2 of Pervertical Sanctuary.
Rock Climbing Photo: Kishen Mangat on the crux.  Circa 1996.
Kishen Mangat on the crux. Circa 1996.
Rock Climbing Photo: Joseffa Meir leads the steep thin-hands crux of Pe...
Joseffa Meir leads the steep thin-hands crux of Pe...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down Pervertical from midway.
Looking down Pervertical from midway.
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul Glover, most-ways up the wide crack.
Paul Glover, most-ways up the wide crack.
Rock Climbing Photo: A few climbers up above and right, as seen on a bl...
A few climbers up above and right, as seen on a bl...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on Joseffa Meir who is following 'Per...
Looking down on Joseffa Meir who is following 'Per...
Rock Climbing Photo: Michael enjoying the view.
Michael enjoying the view.
Rock Climbing Photo: Crux pitch of Pervertical Sanctuary, August 2013.
Crux pitch of Pervertical Sanctuary, August 2013.
Rock Climbing Photo: Big air.
Big air.
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber near the top of 2nd pitch after co...
Unknown climber near the top of 2nd pitch after co...

Show All 27 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Pervertical Sanctuary Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 15, 2016
By Nate Weitzel
Jan 1, 2001

The old-school rating for this route is 10c, however the newer guide books give it 11a, so it is up in the air. The serious rating is because of the loose rock on the first two pitches. Otherwise the gear is bomber.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Jul 21, 2001

The pitch lengths in the above description are straight out of Rossiter, and they are a bit screwy. Most people will want to do as Gillett describes in his new guide, and start with the obvious left leaning crack system on P1, and then traverse to the Mitten dihedral(which doesn't reach the ground)--about 180 feet (belay at the base of the Mitten if necessary), but the first 50 are easy and avoid some involved and dicey scrambling far left and then back right. P2 and P3 combine nicely with a 60 meter rope. The description gets really weird for the next two pitches: the obvious belay on the crux pitch is after about 90 feet (it answers Rossiter's description of the belay), but that makes the .10a fist/OW about 150 feet long. Which leads me to believe that Rossiter has the height of the Obelisk wrong, as well as the location of the belay. One could conceivably continue the crux lead up the first part of the wide crack and belay on another small ledge, to make the pitches more even in length.

Other notes: watch for a very loose flake near the top of P5, in the wide crack. The .10c "old-school" grade seems accurate to me, especially when compared to other pure crack climbs in the Estes/Boulder area, e.g. Country Club Crack, Days of Heaven, etc. The final 3 pitches are fantastic and more than make up for the lower chossy stuff.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Aug 6, 2001
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Yes, the 5.11a pitch is really just old-school 5.10c, with a few moves of 1-1.5" crack for a crux. Unless you are a very good offwidth climber, you might find that only 2 big cams is a little shy of the ideal pro for the 5.10 off-width pitch.
I placed the last of my large gear down low. For the last 40' I had nothing- zip, nolo, nada... and that was a bit tweeky. Maybe I am just a wimp, but I ended up a little nervous about being 30' above my gear on this pitch. Take 2 #4's and a #3.5, or save whatever ones you have for up high.
By Anonymous Coward
Nov 8, 2001

The 4-inch 10a is the true crux of this route. Put your stronger leader on it.
By Joe Collins
Jul 11, 2002

I finally did this route the other day and I strongly disagree with the notion that the 10a pitch is the true crux of the route. The crux pitch is probably 10c but it feels like 11- at that altitude. The 10a fists at the start of the "wide" pitch are burly but the OW higher up is only 5.8. I felt solid with one #3.5 and one #4 Camalot, though the #4 Camalot needs to be saved for the top of the pitch.

This is probably the quickest climb on the Diamond (if done as 5 pitches its borderline grade III) and the upper part of the route gets sun for a little while after the rest of the wall is in the shade. It was the first Diamond route I've done where I haven't felt completely destroyed when I got back to the car.
By Bosier Parsons
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Aug 14, 2004

If you know you're going to rappell the wall, you can easily traverse right at Almost Table Ledge, without stopping for an extra belay, and also avoiding the first, short, 50' rappell from Table Ledge to Almost Table Ledge.

On the wide pitch, I remember getting a blind TCU placement around the arete on the left, then having to climb about 30' to the top of the Obelisk Pillar, but not terribly difficult climbing (5.8 with a section of 5.9?).
By nolteboy
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jun 13, 2005
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

I, too, felt that the thin-hands pitch was the true crux. I recall Mr. Bubb's statement (in some other route review) that he has smallish hands, hence a possible explanation as to how the pitch felt to him. If your hands are "standard issue male hands" (like mine are), it will feel harder. Then of course there's the subject of how good at thin hand cracks one is....GAAAHHHH!!! Sorry to bring up a topic that could be discussed ad infinitum, but I thought some clarification/obfuscation might be helpful....
By Mike Anderson
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Aug 1, 2005
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Funny comments...I'll add mine. We picked this route at the last minute when we got to B-Way a bit late and found the Yellow Wall occupied. We only had the [Gillett] topo, no description, so we only had 2 #2 Camalots and one #3. I didn't know there was wide stuff on the route! Needless to say, I found the two 5.10 pitches to be quite exhilarating, but it is possible to do. I held onto the #3 (with lots of placing, then backcleaning it) until 20 feet or so from the ledge, on the 10a pitch, then ran it to the top. Fortunately there are a lot of options for placing smaller gear intermittently on those pitches. So there's your slim rack beta.

PS, awesome route with a great, splitter crux!
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 2, 2005

Another option, if you find yourself in Mr. Anderson's situation, is to step left from the belay atop Pervertical's crux and do the 11c pitch of Ariana, which requires nothing larger than a #2 camalot. If you can do the crux of PV in good style, you will do OK on that pitch. You may or may not send, but you'll get it up fine. However, if you struggle on PV's crux, I can't recommend this option.

Also, having done both routes, I feel that this combo is actually gives you the two most classic pitches on this side of the Obelisk-the best pitch on PV followed by Ariana's best pitch.
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 3, 2005

Interesting combo of Ariana .11c pitch and PS, but I would venture the best pitch on Ariana is the crux pitch.

Another option if you are in the vicinity without requisite bigger gear for PS is fire up D7, even if you need to A0 the crux. There is a ton of good climbing on this, and you will still have a smile on your face even if you pull on some gear up there.

With all the crowding on the Di-a-mond these days be prepared to shift plans and get loose up there. Also consider options from the raps down Y-Wall in case of crowding there, esp. if the weather craps out.
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 9, 2005

Check this out--yikes!!
By Malcolm Daly
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 8, 2006

I've done this route twice. Once in the late 70s and once in the mid/late 80s and don't remember any offwidth. I suck at offwidths so I think I would remember. Since I suck at offwidths I have developed lots of avoidance techniques so maybe it's there and I just don't remember it... That chopper flake in the crack up high is waaaaay dangerous. Someone should trundle it when there's no one below.

The largest piece I ever carried in those days was a #3 Friend and it felt well protected. Maybe it was youth or maybe it was tricams. Don't remember. This was the first route I did on the Diamond and it felt pretty reasonable, but breathless, at .10c.

The raps are stupid and make the Diamond feel like a sport climb. Go up and over the top. You'll remember the secret passages down the Chasm View wall for the rest of your life...

By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jun 9, 2006
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Check out the featured photo of the route on this page. The one with Jo's whole arm stuck in the crack up to her shoulder. I'm pretty sure there is some OW on this climb...
But then again, that's a flexible definition. I guess some of us have smaller hands, but it's certainly bigger than fist for me and some others.
By Jarrett Tishmack
Jul 17, 2006

Amazing route! No single move on the crux pitch is really harder than 5.9 but 10c is an accurate rating due to the super sustained nature of the crack. The 10a fist crack is also excellent involving perfect laybacks and deep fist jams. Nothing really off-width. Highly recommended.
By Allen Hill
From: FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Dec 20, 2007

My favorite route on the Diamond. Not sure why really except it was the first one I did.

I think Ron actually started this from Mill's Glacier with a independent line to Broadway in a attempt to do a grade six on the east face. This is a vague memory though and I could be wrong. Charlie Fowler did do just that though with his La Dolce Vida with a start near the North Chimney.

Happy Holidays....
By Rob Dillon
Apr 21, 2008

I wonder if that's ever been repeated....
By Allen Hill
From: FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Apr 21, 2008

According to Ron, it has not seen a second ascent.
By Hamlet73
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 2, 2008
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c

This route is amazing and the real crux for me was the altitude. Scrambling to the top of Long's felt like an ordeal. A must do route.
By Jeff R.
From: UT
Jul 24, 2009
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

North Chimney packed with snow, consider the corner system to the left.
I found the rap route very well placed. It prevents your rope from getting stuck.
I didn't think the moves on the crux were that difficult. I would give it a 10+ rating. It's sustained climbing at altitude, which makes it tough.
The 10a OW pitch can be done with two #4's safely, if you conserve one for the top.

Overall this has got to be one of my favorite climbs! The position your in on the Diamond is incomparable to anything I have done so far.
By Anthony Everhart
Jul 15, 2010

If you're going to send this route in style and enjoy it:
Link the crux and the corner above. 10c crux is locker and the corner is fun if you stem, layaway and use the mantra "the park will provide" aka use the face holds. More of a fist crack than an ow. I carried a #4.5 Camalot-sized piece for this pitch, because of all the hoopla, used it at the belay. I did have a #4 Friend and a 11 hex though. Run it out a bit, you're on this stone to send, and it is big whipper steep if you don't!
By tooTALLtim
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 1, 2010
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

We found doubles from 0.5 to 4 (new styles) to be sufficient.

These are the best alpine cracks I've ever climbed! The "OW" pitch contains more hand size than OW size crack. We didn't find P1 to be loose, just wet.
By Andrew McLean
From: Colorado
Jul 4, 2011
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Amazing and sustained route. The thin hands will feel like 5.11 if you have big hands like myself. It is very steep and rests are few and far between. This was my first trip up the Diamond. As of yesterday, the North Chimney is steep snow to about half way up, then it turns to rock. Also, there is still snow on Broadway ledg,e so you will want crampons and an axe to get to the base.

I got my #4 stuck in the off width crack near the top of the pitch. Feel free to return it.

Go get some!
By Hoag Hoag
From: Littleton, CO
Jul 28, 2011
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

What a great line.

Jarod Sickler and I climbed this on Monday, July 25th 2011 and were the only one's on the wall. It was a bluebird day with zero precipitation and warm temperatures. It was spectacular.

Some thoughts:

-There is still a LOT of snow on the approach to the North Chimney and still some snow in the chimney itself. The snow in the chimney itself can be avoided by climbing on the rock ramp to the left of the snow. We roped up for a short steep section of the chimney just before Broadway. I recommend crampons for the approach, but you can leave the mountaineering ax behind. All the snow on Broadway is avoidable.

-The 4" crack pitch is more like a fist crack than an off-width but does a a couple of off-widthy sections. I led this pitch and ran out of big gear. Either be conservative with the big stuff or bring extra 3.5" and 4" cams.

-Right now there is flowing water at the top of PS on Kiener's. We had only one liter between the two of us and filled up on our way to the summit. It was quite a treat :)

-If you choose to summit, walk north west off the top toward the boulderfield. Follow cairns and a loose trail to some huge eye bolts on the rock. Two single (70 meter) rope raps will get you down to the far right side of the Diamond where rap anchors can be found. You'll have to look around a super exposed corner to find the anchors. The rap from there is set up for a double rope rappel. In order to make the 70 meter rope work, we had to build one intermediate anchor with some stoppers and purple cord. With this, we were able to reach every other rap station or get within an easy down climb of them. You can rap all the way down the North Chimney and ever down the steep snow approach with all the anchors that are there. A short glisade will take you back to the Chasm Lake bivy sites. Here is a good image for the right side rappel situation:

-Marmots will eat anything. Hang your food and packs from the roof of your bivy.

-Have fun!
By Daniel Trugman
From: La Jolla, CA
Aug 5, 2011
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

You don't need a 70m rope to do the North Face rappels, a single 60m will work. If you do chose to top out on Long's (recommended, at least once), it's probably best/fastest just to do these raps (the first raps described by Hoag above) and scramble down The Camel (class 2) back to the upper end of the lake and your bivy.

Oh yeah, and this route is amazing! Have fun!
By ShaneGlazier
May 1, 2012

How soon can this route be climbed this year? We had a very warm winter and I thought that Northern CO had the same? I will be in the area next weekend, but I am sure that it is too early in the year to climb this gem, despite the very mild winter.... After climbing The Casual Route a couple years back, I told myself that I will never climb that face again, but I find myself yearning for more!
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
May 1, 2012

Shane, many Diamond routes are normally climbable (dry) by late June. This year is so dry, it may well be possible by the end of this month (May).
By erik rieger
From: Ridgway, CO
Jun 21, 2013

It's nice to link pitches 2 and 3 together from above the Mitten.
By erik rieger
From: Ridgway, CO
Aug 2, 2013

Holy CRAP. Literally. On Aug 1, we unknowingly flaked our rope over the large flake on top of the Mitten to find out someone had recently taken a huge shit inside. Fresh poop, all over our rope! To whoever did that and whoever's partner allowed them to, I hope you go back up there with a long scrub brush and clean up your shit. There must have been at least FIVE other ways you could've taken a crap that didn't directly affect a classic, popular, and well-traveled route. Seriously, shame on you. Do you know how long your crap will take to decompose inside a bare, rock chasm at 13,000 feet? I can still recall the feeling of wet, brown feces passing through my fingers as I belayed and our brown-stained hands jamming the cracks above.

Five other ways you could've pooped:
-You could have rapped to Broadway, since you were only 1 pitch up and done the deed.
-You could have shit on the outside of the Mitten where it would not have affected the route or belay, and it would actually get washed away by rain and sun.
-You could have emptied your water bottle and shit in there (probably the most practical option).
-You could have taken a wag bag to shit in (probably an even better option).
-You could have shit your pants (I hope you do when you read this).
By WadeM
Jul 12, 2015
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Great route in a great setting makes for a wonderful day out.

Not much to add, but do remember to save a #4 for high up on the wide pitch.

We combined p2 & p3, to finish in 5 pitches.

Rating: I don't see how this would be 11a. The thin part is maybe 10 feet long but with great feet. Maybe if you had to rand smear, it would be harder. Being at 13,000 does add difficulty, but I've climbed many harder 11a's in Eldo.

Wide pitch is 10a. Plenty of rests. Make sure to bring small gear too, as there are ample chances to place it.

Was my first route on the Diamond and won't be the last!
By Mike Minson
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 3, 2016
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
By michalm
Jun 7, 2016
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

^Check the above link for the Pervertical trip report we wrote up from last July. This was my first alpine route and is still one of my favorites!
By Michael Arriola
Aug 15, 2016

Lots of #3 size Camalot climbing, so holding onto (or bumping) those is just as important as the #4s in my opinion. You can bump the #4 in a few spots lower on the pitch until you get another piece in and save both for the top which makes the wide finish much more comfy.

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