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training for the diamond on longs peak
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Mar 26, 2011
Well i think i have decided that for one of my big goals, i would like to climb the Diamond. Oh i havent picked a date for this yyet it could be two years from now even.

What kinda training program should i follow for this? would a 4-3-2-1 cycle be good for this. Along with general cardio and light weight lifting.

or should i stick to lots of climbing inside and out, cardio and bodyweight excercises, like pushups and pullups etc. I know there is more to it then this i'm in a hurry to head out the door.

hope you all can help.
mike526
From schaumburg
Joined Nov 5, 2009
1 points
Mar 26, 2011
J TREE
Climb a lot of Granite....5.9- 5.10 Jim Amidon
Joined Jun 12, 2001
927 points
Mar 26, 2011
Top of Bridalveil, feelin good
Skip the cutesy weight training. Go climb. Lots of trad 5.10/11 at Eldo, Turkey rocks, etc. Have fun, its a classic! erik wellborn
From manitou springs
Joined Apr 3, 2008
370 points
Mar 26, 2011
Don't forget about the altitude. It might be advantages to climb a few 14ers before you head up on the Diamond.

Will you be leading some of the pitches?
JJNS
Joined Sep 30, 2008
505 points
Mar 26, 2011
Tough Mantle Problem.  Haven't sent yet...
There's only one way to train for climbing... lots of climbing in the same style you hope to excel in. That and Bachar ladders. Rob Gordon
From Hollywood, CA
Joined Feb 2, 2009
138 points
Mar 26, 2011
The route in it's entirety.
training should just be climbing a lot, and be solid at the grade before you attempt any committing alpine climbs. Dial in your systems so you lightning quick up there, and not fooling around at belays. Greg G
From SLC, UT
Joined Oct 3, 2008
599 points
Mar 26, 2011
I know that many of these posts sounds like silly advice; climb to train to climb the Diamond. I think it is good advice. You will want to be comfortable on the terrain and feel confident of what is going on. Multi-pitch is very useful. The 4-3-2-1 program is not going to be very useful. Be sure that your are confident in your gear placements and that you can move fast. Cardio is also a good idea. Elijah Flenner
Joined Jan 1, 2001
919 points
Mar 26, 2011
old
Definitely get your multi-pitch skills down; gear placements, building belays, transitions in and out of belays, etc. are all essential.

You need to move efficiently on any alpine route in the Park as weather is a typical threat. With that being said, start climbing routes in the Park if you have not already done so. Doing this gives you a feel for weather patterns, approaches, the fitness needed to feel strong the entire day, and the rock types.

Do some of the multi-pitch routes at Lumpy and build from there. Routes in the Park that are good for getting accustomed to the Park are N. Ridge of Spearhead, Sykes Sickle on Spearhead, Culp Bossier on Hallets, S. Ridge of Notchtop, Spiral Gully on Notchtop, Zowie, S. Ridge Sharkstooth, and the Petit. These are all here on Mountain Project so you can read up and plan your attack.

The unique thing about the Diamond is the time/commitment it takes to get just to Broadway, do not underestimate this. Once you are there you are on one of the premiere alpine walls in this country. Another caveat is that the weather usually builds to the west of Long's and that is hidden from you until it is on you:)

Enjoy your preparations and hope it goes well whenever you make your attempt.
Lynn S
Joined Jun 16, 2007
877 points
Mar 26, 2011
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
The big thing for me for the Diamond was you are at 13,000, so it made me extremely exhausted easily during the climb. So really hit the cardio before you go and perhaps do some altitude training or sleep high the night before. Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,532 points
Mar 27, 2011
Just climb lots of routes at Lumpy Ridge. Link 2-3 routes on the Sundance buttress in a day. You get altitude training, a long approach and similar climbing, and you'll have to move fast. Moving fast on 5.8-5.10 terrain and dealing with altitude is what you should probably be focusing on. Zach Allen
Joined Sep 1, 2005
78 points
Mar 27, 2011
Loving it up in the Creek!
I agree with big days at Lumpy. You'll get accustomed to the rock, and the local weather patterns. Also, Longs will be staring at you the whole time.

Climb Wolf's Tooth and Tiger's Tooth on Twin Owls. There isn't much OW on the Casual, but that squeeze chimney on the crux pitch is much more comfortable after practicing on the squeeze chimney at the end of both of those routes.

I also really like Zach's suggestion, a long day at Sundance can feel like an alpine day :p

Finally, bivy up there the night before if possible; a night of acclimation goes a long way.
tooTALLtim
From Boulder, CO
Joined Apr 9, 2007
1,267 points
Mar 27, 2011
more of the same
Especially agree with the comments regarding cardio. For me, everything on the Diamond feels harder than its grade because of the altitude. In addition to climbing, build a good cardio base. Cody Cook
From Colorado Springs, CO
Joined Jul 28, 2005
67 points
Mar 27, 2011
Rubicon J Tree CA
Good advice for training in Lumpy, climb all the classic 9's on the Sundance keep grinding them out every weekend. Then hit the awesome linkups on the book, don't exit via the cave get comfortable on Cheap Date and Outlander. If you are comfortable with that you'll cruise the CR. Also, might be a good idea to find our way up with North Chimney and Kieners prior to climbing the route. We were the first people in the NC but got beat to the top since we didn't know where we were going. If you're solid on 9/10- the climbing is pretty straight forward with no real suprises. Also, I worried alot about the protection on the traverse pitch, don't worry about that pitch there is way more gear than expected and the climbing is really easy and fun. DavidHH
From Parker, Colorado
Joined May 11, 2006
1,794 points
Mar 27, 2011
i would love it if i was able to climb there every weekend. living in the Chicago area thats not possible. I will make do with whatever training i can think of. mike526
From schaumburg
Joined Nov 5, 2009
1 points
Mar 27, 2011
Chris setting up the rappel in the Southeast Gully...
On rainy days here in boulder, I've gotten a great alpine workout from climbing every 5.10 in the gym. 15-20 routes in the gym is great stamina training. Climb two pitches back to back to simulate one long pitch.

Match that with some extended cardio, like a long bike ride.
Chris Sheridan
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jan 18, 2006
1,635 points
Mar 27, 2011
Vintage anorexic sport climber shot
mike526 wrote:
i would love it if i was able to climb there every weekend. living in the Chicago area thats not possible. I will make do with whatever training i can think of.


Chicago ?

In that case, expect every pitch on the Diamond to feel at least 1 1/2 to 2 grades harder than rated.

My best advise would be to head to Devils Lake mid week so you're not in too many peoples way and get to the point you can lead "Sometimes", "Birch Tree", and "Upper Diagonal" consecutively with minimal breaks a minimum of 10 times each in 6-7 hrs or less.

That should give you a rough approximation of the length and difficulty of the Diamond, not counting altitude effects.

Then plan on getting to CO at least 7-10 days before your Diamond climb, and spend as much time as you can, running as many pitches as you can manage in a day at Lumpy Ridge, to get a minimal acclimatization going, as well as get used to 180-200' pitches instead of 50', setting belay anchors, switching gear, etc. and exposure, since climbing the John Hancock tower is frowned upon.

The "Casual Route" is not terribly difficult, but speed climbing at altitude is mandatory to get up and down before the daily mega- thunderstorms roll through.
Dave Bohn aka "Old Fart"
Joined May 3, 2002
301 points
Mar 27, 2011
just teasin' the sharks...
Stich wrote:
[...] sleep high the night before.


helps me calm my nerves...
Dusty
From Fort Collins
Joined Apr 28, 2008
260 points
Mar 27, 2011
MS13 Training Arete
Look up a guy named J F Sebastian. Hes hardcore. Im sure he would run the Diamond with you. JasonT
Joined Aug 4, 2008
330 points
Mar 27, 2011
look I never said i wanted to do it tommorrow or even in 3 years for that matter. I'm just saying its something i would like to add to my lifelong list of goals. I know its along way away before i'm ready for anything like this but i see no harm in asking how one would train for it. mike526
From schaumburg
Joined Nov 5, 2009
1 points
Apr 21, 2011
J-Tree
I am originally from Chicago and I sympathize with the challenges of training for high peaks living in the Midwest. I would plan on a two week trip out here if you can. Among my friends who have done the Diamond I would estimate that 2 out of 3 attempts are aborted due to conditions. A two week trip would give you some time to acclimate and maybe give you a couple of different shots at the Diamond. There is plenty else in the Park and elsewhere to keep you busy and give you some practice moving efficiently that aren't so committing. Speed and efficiency are crucial to getting up the route. Good luck! David Houston
From Boulder, Colorado
Joined Nov 18, 2001
184 points
Apr 21, 2011
if you can lead a 5.8 at devil's lake you can lead the entire casual route. if you can lead 5.9 at DL it won't even be exciting as far as the climbing goes. Anyways, cardio fitness will help! Success will depend on luck in regard to the weather and how many parties are ahead of you. Frank K
From Bishop, CA
Joined Jun 9, 2009
36 points
Administrator
Apr 21, 2011
El Chorro
I feel your pain. I'm in London, and planning on doing some high altitude stuff this summer. The Diamond, among other things.

I have a lot of multi-pitch experience and am comfortable (relatively speaking) placing gear up to 11a. I'm not sure I'd want to just go and jump on the Diamond if I were any less experienced or climbed at a lower level. It's just too committing and the weather is too sketch. Not to mention all of the bumblies up there. Also not to mention that I don't want to be one of the bumblies.

Maybe a 5.9 climber who is a regular in the Park would be comfortable doing the Casual Route, but for those of us who don't get to climb there often, we need to be stronger and more fit. By grade, there are several routes on the Diamond I could do, but since this will be my first trip to RMNP and my first 14er, I think I'll do the easiest route I can.

I plan to do a shit ton of cardio in June but I will be hiking and climbing in the real outdoors for a few weeks before I get to the Park, and I do get to climb outside some. Again, not sure I'd be comfortable in an alpine environment otherwise.

To do committing climbs at your limit, you must make big sacrifices. Job, money, family, where you live... all of that stuff will suffer. That's why there are few that actually do it well and many that just wish they could.
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
Apr 21, 2011
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
Just a little example of a day on the Diamond.

I attempted the Casual Route last September with my partner Roland who has probably 30 years of climbing experience and had yet to do the route. Weather was good up until the top of pitch 5 where it began to rain. Not a good soaker, but the rock was wet within a few minutes. Before we got there the party in front of us decided to bail due to the follower getting the high-up heebie-geebies. The Diamond gets your attention for sure. It's huge! Very nice to look down at. Not to mention a guy had died the day before right where we were.

In any case, we could have waited the rain out and finished, but we decided to bail. It was a colossal pain in the ass. The rappel from pitch 5 is down stair-stepped ledges way right to get to the next anchor. The rope then got stuck when we pulled it, necessitating re-leading the pitch and doing another rap. The rap from the top of P5 brought us straight down to some rather nasty, tattered, bleached crap anchors. One in particular was horrid. It was a slung chockstone. I stopped at that piece of crap and then noticed another one lower and right.

So I sent Roland to that anchor and then got back on rappel and joined him. After that I'm believe we made Broadway and used the excellent Crack of Delight rappels to get all the way down. By then it had stopped raining and the rock was drying in the sun. Duh-oh! But it did start raining again once we began hiking out.
Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,532 points
Apr 21, 2011
donald
Frank K wrote:
if you can lead a 5.8 at devil's lake you can lead the entire casual route. if you can lead 5.9 at DL it won't even be exciting as far as the climbing goes.


This belongs in the "Dumb things other climbers have said" thread.
jeff walz
From CO
Joined Jan 27, 2006
34 points
Apr 21, 2011
Mt. Baker
Mike, a ton of good advice here, and I know that a few people have already mentioned cardio, but I'm going to throw it in there one more time. Train those lungs. Without bringing physiology into everything, the bottom line is that the more you ride, run, swim, spin, etc. the easier the climb will be. You will enjoy the experience more. Nothing is going to suck more than to be at the base with your legs burning. If you want some good reading or more advice that has helped me in the past, send me a message. Regardless, you will have a blast. Mark Wyss
From Denver, CO
Joined Jan 1, 2001
250 points
Apr 22, 2011
jeff walz wrote:
This belongs in the "Dumb things other climbers have said" thread.


well i shouldn't have said it won't be exciting, the exposure, setting, sustained steepness, rock quality, etc... are all exciting. I was just talking about the technical difficulty of the climbing.

I wouldn't want a Devil's Lake climber to get sandbagged into thinking he couldn't do the crux pitch if he leads 5.8s and 9s at DL.

edit- not that i'm advocating a DL climber going to the diamond without real multipitch experience and trying to do the casual route. they'd probably end up hypothermic in a thunderstorm at 4 in the afternoon after epicing by getting offroute on the traverse pitch. Just wouldn't want the guy to think he has to lead 11s (or honestly even 10s) at DL to be able to tackle the techical climbing challenges on the casual route.
Frank K
From Bishop, CA
Joined Jun 9, 2009
36 points


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