Pervertical Sanctuary, 5.10d – The Diamond, RMNP

MountainProject.com >> Pervertical Sanctuary, 5.10d 
…with The Finnish Machine, Wilhelm Bergman (@willmountainman)

Fantastic. Steep. Prime granite.

The splitter cracks, crisp friction and hidden face holds/edges on Pervertical Sanctuary make this route amazing, and doable with some granite wizarding for sport climbers like myself. Will and I also tagged a 65m 8.4mm half-rope to the leader and hauled a small pack on every pitch to make the experience for the follower as good as for the leader.

The Approach
starts from Long’s Trailhead, hike to Chasm Lake and around right following the climber’s trail to the bivvy sites and glacier snow/ice, then up towards Mill Glacier keeping below and moving right to where the snow section is shortest (if there’s still snow there).

We bivvy at midnight, and at 3:45am caterpillar in our sleeping bags to the cans of double espresso. Once we are awake enough to eat, we hang our packs off the ground on a nut (you can also hang it off a boulder on a stick anchored down with rocks) and start up the approach to the North Chimney to start climbing at 5.30am, or first light. While North Chimney is an easy fifth class, it only stays at the 5.4 if almost all the snow is melted off, and you manage to start and follow the easiest line starting almost all the way up the gully on the left.

Approach Pitches: North Chimney
Is actually a gulley, and easy fifth class to 5.4 for 400 ft up to a final leftward traverse to Broadway Ledge. Pitching out, soloing, or simul-climbing this fun precursor pitch up to the start of the Diamond’s more famous routes start can be a sketchy affair – it’s full of rock fall, ice fall, and snow melt, depending on the conditions / time of day! Get on it at the break of dawn if possible.

There is always a danger of knocking off loose rocks! There were multiple parties soloing and simul-ing the North Chimney, but luckily everyone on the wall was amiable, even chatty, and careful not to knock too many rocks down! Will and I pick our way up the pre-dawn-sticky ice and kicked-out footsteps to solo to the first good ledge and simul the rest of the 300 feet to the left turning corner onto Broadway ledge.

Your alternative: Chasm View Wall Approach and/or Descent
Some hike up via the Camel to start (or hike down from the summit to finish) and rap down Chasm View Wall, traversing left on Broadway to get to where the routes and rap descent start. Or like us, descend this way from the summit after hiking to the Cables Route rap (descent info below). Starting with this rap, the easiest way may be to hike up the 2nd class Camel route and heading left/east to the top of Chasm View Wall – you can bivvy high the night before to avoid the morning hike – and then rap in from the shiny new bolts now located on the visible side of the block (not around the exposed corner, as before) and go down with double 60m ropes/a tagline. *BEWARE* you may send rocks down into the North Chimney EVEN if you’re super, super careful!)

At Broadway
walk left on Broadway to where a broken ledge trends up and left, where you can solo-traverse from the right, belay from almost straight below, or if there’s no snow/ice left, walk left and up to cross in from the right. Obvious anchor just right of the starting crack.

Route Description // Pitches referenced from MountainProject

Pitch 1: 5.8, 130ft Use slings well! Went up the left side of the Mitten past a crap anchor at the halfway, traversing out right and just under the belay with considerable rope drag.

Pitch 2: 5.9, 100ft
Up the left flake. Fantastic climbing – “nothing to write home about.”

Pitch 3: 5.8, 100ft, apparently can be linked with Pitch 2 with a 60 meter
Belay at a ledge right of the Obelisk

(Our pitch 4 linked the next two for ~230ft // full 70m rope length)

Pitch 4, .10d — 80ft Short crux pitch with a few fixed wires and good edges. (A real sport climber’s dream!) The crux was a short section of great fingers, to thin hands, to fists/lie back, so when I stood on the ‘diving board’ at the first anchor, I decided to link into an enduro pitch that continued up the 5.10a face/stem/big hands/fists/OW/lie back.

Pitch 5, .10a — 140ft Save your #3s for the last half, and a #4 for the last 30-ft section. Combining this into an enduro 68m pitch was amazing. I was able to jam and fist far inside the crack, but then stem, face climb and lie back outside most of the wide sections, so while I have small hands, I could rest most of the time and walk the bigger pieces. The Park provides!

Both hands were on the thank-dog ledge when Will shouted that he was out of rope.

Pitch 6: 5.9, 100+ft Head straight up towards a piton and use that wag bag with the best view possible on Table Ledge.

Summit:
Keiner’s finish to Long’s Peak summit. 15 feet of 4th class ledges to the left of the anchors, then head up on solid 3rd-4th class ground for the last few hundred feet to the top.

Descent:
Cables Route, 5.2/raps. 60m rope is fine. From summit, head north and east towards Chasm View and down before reaching the slabs along 2nd class scree, following a highway of social trails, for 20-30 minutes until the trails head left to a final flatter ledge and large cairns direct you towards the eye bolts. It’s possible to down climb this super easy 5th class, and we passed the first cable eye-hole to start rapping from the second, which you can do with a 60mt. You can then hike down the Camel 2nd class route, but we rappelled Chasm View since we had the two 70m ropes (one a half-rope).

What a mind-blowing climb!
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This photo of Will finishing the enduro pitch sums it up very nicely. (Love you!)

Be safe out there, humans.

And if anyone has questions about this route, or our gear collection to empower youth at Move Mountains (www.climbingwithoutborders.com), shoot me a message on Facebook or email me at Tiff@ClimbingBorders.org

ALSO, THANKS TO THESE GUYS!

David, for rescuing my Weaver rock shoes from Broadway last month!!!
Matt at NiteIze for the sweet 280-lumin waterproof, rechargeable, lockable headlamps for the long adventures
Kenny and the crew at Mad Rock Climbing for the sweetest trad shoes ever, the breathable Weavers
Jon at Pebble Wrestler Collective for donating 5% to Climbing Borders
Katie, at Honey Stinger for feeding our climbs!

– Tiff, Semi-pro Climber & Advocate for Youth

 

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Moving to Mexico

In 2013, with the help of sponsors GSI Outdoors, Mad Rock Climbing, and KAVU, I ditched a townhouse to live in a van on a six-month road trip around North America. The 2005 Dodge Sprinter was unconverted, so I slept for most of that time on boxes, and on cold days curled up with my border collie. In March, we came across Monterrey, Mexico…and now a year later and four months deep into a visa, I’ve found myself moving in, sharing rent and getting a work permit.

How did this happen? Why would someone from the USA move to MTY?

“Sometimes life is like a movie.” This comes to mind a lot lately, with all the serendipitous and incredible experiences I’ve had these past four months, working with unbelievably inspirational people. It’s actually a quote from Mr. P, a substitute economics teacher I had in high school who could beat-box and speak arabic, who also dropped this sentence on his teenage economics students as through the square classroom window they watched a new classmate with Turrets run around the yard hurling insults at bewildered teachers and karate chopping a small planted tree. Yes, I realized from then on… If you can take a step back and see life through a screen, or a window, life is just like like a movie: just as tragic, just as hilarious, and just as profoundly unbelievable.

What happened is that I found something unbelievable in Mexico, and it wasn’t the addicts and beggars, as one might think. Nope, all major cities – the US too, of course – have problems with poverty, and even worse, governmental neglect. What I found past the hovels without roofs and shantytowns hidden by flashy billboards, the thing that was unbelievable, was the people working to actually change these situations. A team was coming together as an organization and talking directly to sharp and restless youth in the tightly-knit, drug-laden neighborhoods. They were taking them climbing to give them a different kind of ‘high’.

In Monterrey, as other places, the doors are always open to situations we often hear about in the news, in books, and in movies…but through affluence or ignorance, we barricade ourselves inside invisible walls to stay blind to these discrepancies, feeling ourselves victims for witnessing the suffering because the sight is so painful to see.

Much as my step father refuses to admit they did anything useful, the months of traveling after high school opened my eyes to the invisible walls, the barricade; left me realizing how little I knew, and young I was; instilled in me a growing indignation at ignorance and suffering. When I was 14, and left the country for the first time, I saw how a child that grows up in urban Beijing thinks nothing of walking past beggars with feet swathed in cling wrap to display tuberculosis. They saw the beggar everyday; whereas I and my mother were shocked into mutual silence. At the time, I thought ignoring the woman was another form of maturity, an acceptance to what life brings, or God decrees, or whatever…

But each day, even to the present day, I grew more certain this was wrong to do and that unacceptably, undoubtedly, somewhere else in the world there was a solution for this woman – and also for the man without legs beside her, the old hag forcefully grabbing half-empty drinks from tourist’s hands, and the child without empathy; somewhere there was doctor willing to do a surgery, a therapy, a prosthetic to solve any problem…and education to cultivate those solutions.

I believe the biggest problem is the invidious belief that you can do nothing. That is the very worst fallacy of human nature. That last day before we left, I gave the man without legs the last of my trip money, and I hope I never grow up.

 

Crag Dog Life with a GoPro Hero3

From Mad Rock’s vimeo channel: “Tashtego explores the bouldering area with Tiffany’s GoPro Hero3 while she and her boyfriend work on Moon Arete V10 with new friends at Horsetooth, Fort Collins, Colorado. Soundtrack is The Cave by Mumford and Sons.”

Taken over 2 hours, my dog roamed around while we projected Moon Arete. I tried to nail the true perks of being a crag dog.

Tiffany Hensley – Life of the Crag Dog from Mad Rock Climbing on Vimeo.