American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Longs Peak, Hearts and Arrows

United States, Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Chris Weidner
  • Climb Year: 2010
  • Publication Year: 2011

Bruce Miller and I spent nine days on Longs Peak between July 27 and August 26 establishing Hearts and Arrows, a free route up the center of the Diamond. We climbed the first four pitches of the Enos Mills Wall (V 5.11 A3), already freed at 5.10, with a short new leftward traverse to a stance. We then added a new 45' face traverse pitch that climbs leftward into a prominent right- facing corner on Jack of Diamonds (V 5.10c A4). We added two bolts and one pin on this 5.11c traverse. The route overhangs slightly for the next 350'.

The sixth pitch climbs the corner (5.11a) to a semi-hanging stance where we added one bolt and one pin at the belay. The crux seventh pitch comes next: steep face (one new pin, 5.10- R), then endurance crack climbing from fingers to fists for 90' (5.12b). Pitch eight is 100' of steep crack climbing (5.11b) ending with a spectacular hold-studded roof. The second half of this pitch is new climbing between Jack of Diamonds and Enos Mills Wall, including the 5.10d roof. The final pitch traverses right for 10' into the Enos Mills Wall for 100' of 5.9 offwidth and another 60' of easier terrain to the top of the Diamond.

Interestingly, the aid cruxes from the first ascents proved some of the easiest free climbing. For example, the 5.10- R start of the crux pitch was A4 on the first ascent of Jack of Diamonds, back in 1963.

Bruce and I rapped in from the top six different days, spending many hours finding the best, driest cracks and cleaning them of loose rock. Some days we were stormed off by 11 a.m., having hiked four hours to the summit just to get two or three hours on the Diamond (then another three hours down).

On August 26 we left the car at 1:45 a.m. We began climbing off Broadway at about 6:15 a.m. The crux was dry and we redpointed the route with no falls. We topped out at 5:15 p.m. after 11 hours of climbing, then hiked about 10 more minutes to the summit of Longs Peak. Our car-to-car time was 19:40.

Our line is objectively safe, relatively solid, and high quality for the middle of the Diamond. It goes at V 5.12b, nine pitches. We placed three bolts and three pins, in both cases two for lead protection and one at belays.

Chris Weidner, AAC

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