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Author Topic: August 1, 2010 - Diamond Peak  (Read 1850 times)
stoudema
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August 1, 2010 - Diamond Peak
« on: 08/02/10, 09:45 PM »

Todd and I met up with Josh at the trail head for Blue Lake around 5:00 on Saturday evening. The plan was to camp at Blue Lake for the night, and ride the remaining snow in the Bear Creek drainage of Diamond Peak the next morning. I've ridden Diamond before, but earlier in the year, so I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a bit of snow still remaining on the northern aspects of the mountain, given that the summit elevation is only 8700 feet. Here's a shot taken from a several miles away looking at our objective....



After a short hike into the lake, we set up our bivy sacks and camp. Todd went to work trying to catch a fish on the fly rod, while Josh and I hiked out to the truck for a few extra supplies (more beer). Neither Todd nor I had any luck hooking a fish that night, but had a good time trying.  After a nice camp fire and plenty of stories, we hit the sack ready for the coming day's turns. Up around dawn, we hit the trail early after breakfast. The hike up the trail was fast, then we marched through brush for a few hours before we reached treeline. This shot was our greeting at treeline.....



The snow patches were very firm, though I don't think it froze the night before. We all had elected to leave our crampons at the car in favor of fishing gear (and other gear including skins we ended up not using), so we headed up the main steep rock ridge in front of us. It was pretty easy scrambling, though in one section Todd knocked a loose rock down towards me that narrowly missed my noggin.  We reached the top of the ridge, and got the view of our main objective. The weather was nice, not too hot, so we basked in the sunshine for awhile and took in the view before climbing the last half hour to the top. Here was the view from the ridge top.....



Marching up the snow was working pretty well now without crampons, as we were allowed enough penetration to feel comfortable.  Marching up the snow was working pretty well now without crampons, as we were allowed enough purchase to feel comfortable.  We took a few pictures on top before heading back down to the gear.  Finally it was time for the riding. Dropping in required riding down a pretty steep pitch of somewhere between 50-60 degrees, but it was only about 100 feet or so in elevation. We dropped it a bit early, and it wasn't quite as soft as it could have been, but was still fun.  Here's a shot of Josh riding below the summit....



We rode down several hundred feet, then stopped at a rock island to let the snow soften some more. After another 45 minutes, we continued making turns to the bottom of the bowl.  Here's a shot of me ripping the middle of the run....



Once at the bottom, we climbed a few hundred feet up out of the bowl to a saddle in the ridge, then dropped in the other side and continued riding until the snow ended. We probably got somewhere around 2000 vertical feet of riding for the day. Then, we packed the boards on the packs and started the long several mile trudge down the ridge to the trail. The mosquitoes were fierce in the forest below, and I have dozens of bites on my arms and face :?  We made it back to the lake in time for a nice swim, which made me feel somewhat human again. Then, gear packed, we headed for the truck and were out to the trail head by 4:30 or so to a cold beer.  All things considered, it was a good way to earn turns in August and it was a pleasure meeting Josh and riding with him for the first time.

Note - sorry about the 5 pics - couldn't get the thumbnails to work.......
« Last Edit: 08/03/10, 08:28 AM by stoudema » Logged

There is nothing more practical in the end than the preservation of beauty." - Theodore Roosevelt
JoeMack
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Re: August 1, 2010 - Diamond Peak
« Reply #1 on: 08/03/10, 09:54 AM »

Nice pictures Matt. Glad to hear that you had fun and survived the mosquito onslaught.
It's surprising to have so much snow left at Diamond this late...
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