Diamond In The Rough
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This climb is a jamming adventure on off-fingers to thin hands to wide hands. The name 'Diamond In the Rough' is more than a play on the crag name of Diamond Head, it describes finding a good climb on this spire, in the middle of some otherwise non-descript terrian.
The route in and of itself is great climbing, but it is a long way from the road and is not a long pitch (55' tall). Were the climb a rope-length long, I would give it 3 stars.
Locate this route by finging a shorter summit tower on the ridge line, perhaps 300' South of the true summit of Diamond Head. 'Diamond In The Rough' ascends a splitter crack up the overhanging start of the tower to an offset above, and to the sumit of the small tower.
Scramble or climb to the base of the first 'tower' South of the main crag. This can be accessed via a gully from the West or from Diamond head's ridge line from the North. You will come to a left-facing corner in the rock, back track 3 meters left to a stance by a good belay-tree and look up into the splitter. The crack starts on fingers through a bulge, then goes to hands, then to wide hands before taipering shut up top. Lead it to the top and belay on the tower summit, being wary of a few stacked rocks in a notch that are wobbly. They are secure by 2 sides holding them in, but wobbly, so you should not set get in that crack. purple, green and red camalots set further down and back are solid.
To descend, scramble down the back about 20 feet, then walk off to the South until you reach the cliff base. You can also scramble back off North to the belay stance, then back down the gully.
This route was initially established on-sight via a start on the obvious overhanging flare and slot to the right, in a left-facing corner, whcih was intended to be a different line. At a critical 'death-block' I traversed out left to join this splitter. Done this way, the difficulty is 5.11- and the route is rated R. R for lack of gear. The route was followed via the direct line, which is safer, more logical, and better overall, and only 5.10 as lead directly in 2008.
I went back in 2008 to to assses the condidtion of the block more carefully and possibly clean it, but it had already fallen out or been cleaned. The direct corner was on-sighted, free-solo, by Jason Haas, as a 5.9.
This pitch is well protected by a set nuts and cams from 1" to 3" (one set) if done direct.
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