American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Colorado, East Face of Longs Peak, The Diamond, Toiling Midgets

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1996

East Face of Longs Peak, The Diamond, Toiling Midgets. During the second week of August, Pete Takeda and I established a new route, Toiling Midgets (VIA3+ 5.8), on the east face of Longs Peak. Upon arriving at the base of the wall we discovered that our proposed route was beneath the drainage point for snow melting from the north face. The constant shower drenched the leader, but Pete's last-minute addition of an umbrella to our arsenal of gear saved the belayer. The route is located between Waterhole #3 and Diamond Star Halo. The climbing was characterized by thin to medium nailing and Friending in hollow rotten granite. All of the pitches are long.

From Broadway we scrambled 50 feet up to a wet grassy ledge below a large pillar (C4). Pitch one followed a right-facing dihedral to its end and then continued up a crack on the left side of the pillar to its top (5.8 A1 wet). Pitch two started off of the right side of the pillar's top and entered an obvious crack that is part of Diamond Star Halo's third pitch. We followed this broken crack system left, and belayed on new territory above the second dark horizontal band that crosses the face (A3). Pitch three went straight up over lots of rotten rock into which Pete placed numerous heads and Beaks (A3+). Pitch four continued straight up to a small roof, pendulumed 20 feet left into a parallel crack system, and continued up until even with the pendulum point (A3). Pitch five was quickly christened “A River Runs Through It” when Pete's boots filled up with water after just 10 feet of climbing. A straight-in crack led to a wet, mossy, left-facing dihedral that deposited us onto the north face (A1+). We then rappelled the route. The climb was independent except for one-half of the second pitch.

David Sheldon, unaffiliated

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