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Blue Diamond Ridge - 5.9

Average Rating = 5.00/5 Average Rating : 5.00 out of 5
Route sequence (left to right): 3
Route Summary | Ascent Notes (2)
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Consensus Ratings
  Difficulty 5.9
  Safety Rating R
  Exposure 5.00/5
  Rock Quality 4.00/5
  Scenery 5.00/5
  Fun Factor 5.00/5

Description:

Home of the Equalizer Arete (5.9X), a scary pitch with over 2000' of exposure. This climb ascends the prominent arete just south of Lady Wilson's Cleavage. A true adventure route!

Submitted by: vegastradguy on 2004-08-07
Last Modified: 2008-07-15
Views: 849
Route ID: 56309

2 Ascents Recorded

GoRecord an ascent

Ratings
  Difficulty 5.9
  Safety Rating R
  Exposure
  Rock Quality
  Scenery
  Fun Factor
Onsight Onsight ascent by: werdna on 1997-03-10 (View Climbing Log)

5 out of 5 stars Excellent winter route on Mount Wilson

I have done this route 8 times and highly recommend it for winter. It receives sun immediately and most importantly all day. This climb is more along the lines of an alpine ridge route. The approach is straight forward. Just north of the First Creek parking lot (quarter mile) is an old road that heads west across the desert dead heading almost directly into the gully that must be ascended to get onto the route. Some people may find it necessary to rope up for some of gully as there are a couple of very real sections in the gully. Once at the top of the gully head up and right and scramble up some 4th and 5th class steps making your way over to the start of the climb. The climb starts at a 40' splitter crack. About 700' into the climb there is a chimney that must be climbed to the left of a steep buttress. At the top of the chimney there is a small pine tree to use for an anchor. Then climb the short and awkward left facing dihedral step which leads up to a crack that you follow up and right which then puts you back the ridge proper. The upper crux of the route is the Equalizer Arete, for the first 50' of this pitch there is "no pro" but then you arrive at a shallow horizontal where it is possible to get two pieces (.75-.5) which I equalized on the FA and every ascent since, hence the name Equalizer Arete. After those two pieces continue up the arete and there is a adequate stopper placement. After that pitch you have two options for topping out. The first is the climbing the left leaning crack which ascends the prominent buttress directly in front of you, or climbing up to the obvious ledge system and scrambling up and left to a chimney which will lead you to the top as well. The two best options for descending off of the south end of Mount Wilson is to either go all the way back to where First Creek meets the limestone and head down the canyon, this takes a while but is straight forward. The other option is immediately where the Blue Diamond Ridge tops out there is a huge drainage that descends down into First Creek. Go down to the drainage always staying to the left, there will more than likely be cairns, as this descent is popular with what I call the extreme hikers. During this descent you will pass by what may be the largest Ponderosa Pine Tree in Red Rock Canyon, due to it being next to an excellent catchment pool as well as being well protected from lightning. Eventually this descent will deposit you in the North Fork of First Creek, and within minutes you'll be in the main fork. From this point it's around 2 hours back to the car. This is a long climb with no fixed anchors or bolts for protection, if one had to bail off, the way to descend would be to drop into the gully to left and then head back down the approach.

Added: 2009-11-09

Ratings
  Difficulty 5.9
  Safety Rating R
  Exposure
  Rock Quality
  Scenery
  Fun Factor
Onsight Onsight ascent by: werdna on 1997-03-10 (View Climbing Log)

5 out of 5 stars Excellent winter route on Mount Wilson

I have done this route 8 times and highly recommend it for winter. It receives sun immediately and most importantly all day. This climb is more along the lines of an alpine ridge route. The approach is straight forward. Just north of the First Creek parking lot (quarter mile) is an old road that heads west across the desert dead heading almost directly into the gully that must be ascended to get onto the route. Some people may find it necessary to rope up for some of gully as there are a couple of very real sections in the gully. Once at the top of the gully head up and right and scramble up some 4th and 5th class steps making your way over to the start of the climb. The climb starts at a 40' splitter crack. About 700' into the climb there is a chimney that must be climbed to the left of a steep buttress. At the top of the chimney there is a small pine tree to use for an anchor. Then climb the short and awkward left facing dihedral step which leads up to a crack that you follow up and right which then puts you back the ridge proper. The upper crux of the route is the Equalizer Arete, for the first 50' of this pitch there is "no pro" but then you arrive at a shallow horizontal where it is possible to get two pieces (.75-.5) which I equalized on the FA and every ascent since, hence the name Equalizer Arete. After those two pieces continue up the arete and there is a adequate stopper placement. After that pitch you have two options for topping out. The first is the climbing the left leaning crack which ascends the prominent buttress directly in front of you, or climbing up to the obvious ledge system and scrambling up and left to a chimney which will lead you to the top as well. The two best options for descending off of the south end of Mount Wilson is to either go all the way back to where First Creek meets the limestone and head down the canyon, this takes a while but is straight forward. The other option is immediately where the Blue Diamond Ridge tops out there is a huge drainage that descends down into First Creek. Go down to the drainage always staying to the left, there will more than likely be cairns, as this descent is popular with what I call the extreme hikers. During this descent you will pass by what may be the largest Ponderosa Pine Tree in Red Rock Canyon, due to it being next to an excellent catchment pool as well as being well protected from lightning. Eventually this descent will deposit you in the North Fork of First Creek, and within minutes you'll be in the main fork. From this point it's around 2 hours back to the car. This is a long climb with no fixed anchors or bolts for protection, if one had to bail off, the way to descend would be to drop into the gully to left and then head back down the approach.

Added: 2009-11-09