A Dangerous Climb: 50 Years Later

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Fifty years ago this month, Boulder resident Dave Rearick and his partner Bob Kamps became the first climbers to scale what’s known as the Diamond. It’s a sheer rock face on the east side of Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. Today there are lots of different routes up the wall but before 1960 there weren’t. National Park Service officials wouldn’t even let anyone try it. They feared it was just too dangerous. Then they changed their minds with a caveat. Climbers had to have their own people standing by for a rescue if things turned bad. Rearick and his climbing partner were eager to take the risk. Rearick and Boulder writer Chris Weidner joined us to talk about the historic climb. Photo courtesy Eli Helmuth.