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| | |-+  May 5, 2012, Diamond Peak, OR, by bicycle
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Author Topic: May 5, 2012, Diamond Peak, OR, by bicycle  (Read 1899 times)
frankfrank
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May 5, 2012, Diamond Peak, OR, by bicycle
« on: 05/08/12, 03:04 PM »

Diamond Peak is the closest snowy volcano to Eugene, so it seemed natural to ride my bike there and ski it. After some earlier bus/bike supported trips up to McKenzie Pass and Middle Sister and a few failed attempts at this peak, it felt great to finally complete a trip from doorstep to mountain under my own power.



Details:

The bike route is actually quite pleasant, with only a few short sections on busy highway. North Boundary/Shore Road provides a great alternative to Highway 58 on the opposite side of Lookout Point Reservoir between Lowell and Oakridge. It also provides the view seen above, right at the dam. Then, on the other side of Oakridge, the route follows the west side of Hills Creek reservoir and eventually the Middle Fork of the Willamette. I made the ride on Friday, expecting rain the whole way (while fresh snow fell on the mountain), so when I did get some sunbreaks, I was overjoyed. I set up camp at Indigo Springs (2800ft) 10 hours after leaving Eugene, and was asleep before dark.

Saturday morning, with skis and pack on my back (trailer and camp gear left behind), I started riding up Pioneer Gulch Road. These four miles ended up being the most tiring of the whole trip. There is no "rest step" when climbing by bike -- I could sustain the minimum required effort to stay balanced and moving for only a few minutes at a time. Maybe a gear lower than 28/28 would help. Or maybe walking would have been more efficient. (I should look up the relevant chapter in "Bicycling Science" again...) Snow was falling along the whole length of the road, but it was clear to (and beyond) the junction with road 2160 (4500 ft). 2160 had some apparently continuous snow, and this was where four carloads of skiers had parked and unloaded shortly before I arrived. I stashed the bike and started skiing there.

The skiers ahead of me had gone up the Pioneer Gulch trail. But following others' tracks is no fun (right?), so I decided to instead go north to the end of road 406. That would put me on the ridge above Corrigan Lake and I'd pass the west false summit on the way to the top. Everyone else would arrive by the south summit.

I kept skis on all the way through varying fat/thin/bare sections on the road, then over barely snow patches in the first part of the forest, through a few inches of powder higher in the trees, and finally trudging through horrible heavy glopping fresh snow in the open treed ridge. Above the trees (7400ft), I found harder snow on the north side of the ridge and happily switched to crampons. I climbed around a couple of gendarmes, skirted the false summit, and continued up the west ridge to the true summit.

first view of summit


I had been moving pretty slowly, so my arrival at the summit was much later than I expected (7.5 hours from camp). The other skiers had already come and gone. But it was calm and comfortable, and I had some company in the form of flybys from a raven and four F-15s, so I was feeling good.

looking east


looking north


looking west


looking south


I descended the southwest bowl, as the others had, with a few inches of heavy new snow over a very smooth and hard crust. Quite good, though no corn anywhere in sight. Clouds blowing through brought brief whiteouts. The rest of the descent was softer, wetter, and stickier, of course... but the tree well rodeo is always fun. I found the Pioneer Gulch trail and hiked back to the bike.

bottom of bowl


I rolled back down Pioneer Gulch road (fixing a pinch flat along the way) and was soon getting comfortable back at camp. I was glad to see that the adjacent campsite was taken by the couple I had just met while they were scouting out the trailhead for a Sunday ski. It was great to eat and chat with some other Eugenians. I slept well, again.

I was expecting the first part of Sunday's ride back down to Oakridge to be quick and easy. Instead, coasting through the cool morning shadows had me shivering uncontrollably, so I stopped in every patch of sun to warm up. The air was finally feeling comfortable when I reached the reservoir, and then I settled in to a decent pace. I checked in again at Willamette Mountain Mercantile (coolest place in Oakridge) and rolled on to shred the gravel of North Shore Road. A nap outside Lowell was the last stop I needed, and I pedaled hard against headwinds through Springfield and back into Eugene.

Now I'm wondering what will be next. I don't think other peaks will be as easy.

« Last Edit: 05/08/12, 03:15 PM by frankfrank » Logged
Randy
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Posts: 1394


Re: May 5, 2012, Diamond Peak, OR, by bicycle
« Reply #1 on: 05/08/12, 03:13 PM »

The thighs are evil and must be punished!

Well done!
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Amar Andalkar
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Posts: 1231


WWW
Re: May 5, 2012, Diamond Peak, OR, by bicycle
« Reply #2 on: 05/08/12, 03:30 PM »

Wow, great report, nice work!

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OldHouseMan
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Posts: 262


Re: May 5, 2012, Diamond Peak, OR, by bicycle
« Reply #3 on: 05/08/12, 03:51 PM »

Great report. A friend and I have talked about a similar trip from our front doors in Portland to Mt Hood, but that's all the further we have taken it. Nice work.
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JoshK
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Posts: 140


Re: May 5, 2012, Diamond Peak, OR, by bicycle
« Reply #4 on: 05/08/12, 04:17 PM »

Very cool! Sort of a triathalon...except with sports that are actually fun.
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wolfs
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Posts: 634


Re: May 5, 2012, Diamond Peak, OR, by bicycle
« Reply #5 on: 05/08/12, 04:29 PM »

Love it! That Diamond sure has some slopes begging for extended harvesting.
Your last photo is emblematic. Is the opposition of your direction of travel versus the window paintings a symbol of your individuality, and your belief in personal freedom?  Wink
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frankfrank
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Posts: 59


Re: May 5, 2012, Diamond Peak, OR, by bicycle
« Reply #6 on: 05/09/12, 10:39 AM »

Great report. A friend and I have talked about a similar trip from our front doors in Portland to Mt Hood, but that's all the further we have taken it. Nice work.

Yeah, I have thought of that, too -- probably take the train to Portland and start there with some friends. Though we hadn't thought of routes yet. Is there any bike route other than Hwy 26? I think I have heard of others doing this, but know of no specifics.

Your last photo is emblematic. Is the opposition of your direction of travel versus the window paintings a symbol of your individuality, and your belief in personal freedom?  Wink

Ah, you know so much about me already! Really, I think the window figures are bursting out of the bike shop with excitement, while I'm just going home...
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