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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2013 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  April 2013 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  April 28th, Diamond Peak, Oregon
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Author Topic: April 28th, Diamond Peak, Oregon  (Read 2165 times)

Posts: 40

April 28th, Diamond Peak, Oregon
« on: 04/29/13, 08:49 PM »

After the mishap a few weeks ago (ski crampons failed and sent me on a harmless but surprising 200ft vert slide) I decided on a second attempt given the fine conditions., although it started cloudy it cleared through the morning.

I heard that the road was snow clear to the junction of 2149/2160. When I drove up the 2160 was totally blocked but I went a little further on 2149 to around 4650ft.
From there I skinned along a patch and that ended I took a right at a small deadend forest road that had deep snow but abruptly stops (shown on topo maps). I bushwacked uphill to 5000ft (easy open forest) where I thought I had found continuous snow but it was very patchy and forced lots of meanders and a few transitions to boots. I think my issue was I was slightly north of pioneer gulch gully and the slope had a very slight southerly exposure. Lots of snow loss n lats 2 weeks down here. At 5500ft snow was more continuous and very good by 6000ft.

I continued up the SW ridge and at 7000ft came across my tracks from last week, which I was sure would melt right out since the hard crust was barely penetrable so I assume there was little melt up here.

By 7300ft the ridge had become quite hard and icy. At 7500ft I came to the narrower steeper crux where I had the choice of the traverse across SW face where I had the prior incident or going straight up ridge. This time I had boot crampons with me so I made the conservative choice to go up towards false summit. Easy but glad I had crampons, that north side was very solid and although passable without crampons would have been trickier than the simple stroll I enjoyed.

Wind picked up on this ridge and with the hard snow I went slow leaving time for the sun to do its magic. Below false summit I swapped to skis with ski crampons and easily traverse to the saddle and climbed up the ridge to the true summit. Very sunny but distant views block by clouds, stiff breeze but easy to shelter on SW ridge.

Given the hard snow I waited on the summit having a nlong lunch and trying to enjoy the sun but I was slowly getting cold and it looked like th clouds were building. So I dropped down straight from the summit. Unfortunately the wind had prevent too much Corning and the slope was very firm but easily edge-able, smooth and very enjoyable. Lower down transitioned to corn and in the sheltered trees without the help of the wind was mushy but not too deep.

Keeping closer to pioneer gulch and with very athletic log jumping, dirt skiing and general combat skiing I linked patches all the way down to 4800ft but from around 5400ft was very broken and barely skiing, will melt out very soon. A 10 minute walk straight downhill took me to the car.

Excellent tour, thout about lapping the top bowl since it was not too soft yet, but decided to reserve energy for the return bushwack and enjoy an hour in the sun on the drive home. I still think Irefetthe earlier ascents that although had extra distance and vert leaving the car at circa 4000ft made for easy and enjoyable skiing to and from the car door. The 1000ft extra along forest roads goes very fast and means better snow above 5000ft.
« Last Edit: 04/29/13, 09:05 PM by Timstirling » Logged

Posts: 1724

Re: April 28th, Diamond Peak, Oregon
« Reply #1 on: 04/29/13, 09:35 PM »

I like the reports from the southern volcanoes. 

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana

Posts: 23

Re: April 28th, Diamond Peak, Oregon
« Reply #2 on: 04/30/13, 02:42 PM »

You sure those were your tracks going up the SW ridge?  There were people bootpacking that on Saturday.  At least 9 folks that I saw climbed the mountain on Saturday the 27th.  We went up the road to the Corrigan Lake TH.  By avoiding slopes down low that were anywhere near south facing, we skinned continuously from the road to summit.  Did the Traverse from Hell across the SW bowl.  Skied N. off the summit, traversed over and skied the SW bowl.  With the exception of 3 short carries accross dry patches along the road we were able to ski all the way back to the car.

Posts: 40

Re: April 28th, Diamond Peak, Oregon
« Reply #3 on: 04/30/13, 07:47 PM »

I was surprised that I would see my tracks but they followed my route exactly, going around every tree and rock, complete with my break spots. Was weird, this was o ly for a short section around 6800-7200ft. Saw plenty of other tracks around higher up which I followed.

I thought about following the road to the Corrigan TH but from where I turned off it looked pretty broken and I thought it would be more direct to go straight up until I hit good snow.

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