Climbing the Casual Route/Long's Peak Diamond

General disclaimer: The following information is probably incorrect, egregiously misleading, full of gross factual errors, you are likely to die if you follow this advice (in legal terms, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah....; in Webspeak, your mileage may vary). Climbing is an insane endeavor pursued by idiots! Have a good time! :^)

This has been compiled based upon my own experience, with input from other helpful rec.climbing contributors.

Why a FAQ on the Casual Route?

The Casual Route is often pretty crowded during good weather and on weekends, and not everyone I contacted was enthusiastic about the idea of doing anything that would encourage even more people to frequent the route. However... 2 reasons for a FAQ -

1) Giving climbers a better idea of what the route is like may help them decide whether or not they should be climbing it. This might be particularly helpful for out-of-state climbers that don't have easy access to any first-hand "beta" on the route.

2) The main problem with other climbers on the route is slow parties, particularly since several routes converge near the top. Some of this could be prevented if people are better prepared, and that's what this FAQ is for.

General Advice

How to get to the base of the Casual Route: Approaches

You're there and ready to climb - what next? The Climb

OK, you made it to the top - now how do you get down? Descents

Then, of course, you need to consider strategy - do you want to do it in a long day vs. bivy? How do you want to handle the pack?

Probably the main reason that people back off the Diamond is the weather. How do you know when it's a good day to try the Diamond? Since everybody has something to say about the weather, here's more advice on the weather from other climbers on the Internet.

You say you want to make it up before it snows on you? Good idea! How long is it going to take?

It's been a long winter - lots of sausages and beer, dunkin' donuts and coffee, you've put on a few pounds - just how hard is the Casual Route?

Want to know what gear to bring?

Want to see some pictures?

Just a few stats:

Elevation gain

And some more useful advice from other rec.climbing readers

All this information was collected by Tom Dunwiddie (

Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome - if there are things that I've left out, let me know!