There is no place comparable to the alpine rock routes on Longs Peak. With a million square feet of perfect, vertical granite at 14,000 feet, the Diamond is the motherlode of alpine rock in Rocky Mountain National Park and one of the great alpine walls in the world. The first time you see the Diamond, the sheerest part of this world-renowned face, you’ll understand why it draws climbers from all over the globe. It is high, cold, steep, a long way from the parking lot, and most of all, intimidating. Chasm View, or the Flying Buttress can get you acclimated, but nothing can prepare a climber well enough to be comfortable on their first trip up the infamous Diamond.
The Casual Route on The Diamond is an iconic route that people from all over the world travel to and climb. Rated at 5.10a, The Casual Route it is the easiest on The Diamond, but this does not mean it should be taken for granted – it feels a full grade harder due to altitude, cold and daunting exposure. It is a world-class rock climb and listed as one of the 50 classic climbs of North America. The Casual Route incorporates high altitude climbing with wild exposure and high alpine weather.
Regardless of which route you choose, you’ll be tying your rock shoes at 12,800 feet and looking forward to 1,500+ feet of some of the best rock that Colorado has to offer. For those willing to hike, The Diamond of Longs Peak holds some of the best climbing in American West. It’s a short season to climb The Diamond, so plan ahead.
Hit the trailhead around 3am and hike up to Chasm Lake. Begin climbing at sunrise with the hopes of summiting and descending before any afternoon thunderstorms have moved in.
Day 1: Plan for a multi-day alpine climbing outing. Hike up Longs Peak to the Mills Glacier bivy site (5 miles). Set up bivy camp below The Diamond and prepare for the next day’s climb.
Day 2: Alpine start to climb The Diamond. After the climb, we’ll head back to the trailhead.
Colorado Mountain School
341 Moraine Avenue
Estes Park, CO 80517