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Author Topic: April 11, 2016, Diamond Peak  (Read 1842 times)
KLW
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April 11, 2016, Diamond Peak
« on: 04/13/16, 09:32 AM »

We skied Diamond on Monday. Parked at the junction of 2149 and 2160. 2149 was snow free with lots of blowdown that was minimally cleared by some good soul with a chainsaw prior to our arrival. It's still a bit of a slalom course to get through it all with a fullsize truck but we managed fine.

We didn't try driving any further towards Corrigan lake TH but the road was clear as far as we could see. Probably still snowed under just around the corner though.  2160 was covered in 12+ inches of slush and melting out fast. Almost no snow in the trees until around 5800. Excellent coverage from there to the top.




We opted to ascend a rib that connects with the W/NW ridge and found good skinning and fun scrambling in a few places taking us to the saddle between the W/NW ridge and the summit cone.





We took a nice loooong summit break while enjoying the views and the balmy conditions and chatted it up with two other skiers from Oakridge who were also having a lazy day of it. After coffee and summit treats we skied the SW bowl and contoured back around the SW spur aiming for the P Gulch TH but trying to keep on snow as long as possible.





My partner switched to boots around 5800 but I got a few more turns in by skiing it down to the stems and seeds around 5600 or so Smiley



Conditions down lower on the mountain were surprisingly thin for this early but the upper mountain is well covered. Lots of cornices still hanging on up there and things should hold out nicely for quite a while yet, though it would seem that skiing car to car is not going to happen on Diamond this spring!

Get some while it lasts!
« Last Edit: 04/13/16, 03:20 PM by KLW » Logged
DG
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Re: April 11, 2016, Diamond Peak
« Reply #1 on: 04/13/16, 12:32 PM »

Thanks for the Diamond report.  Considering heading down there later this spring - surprising to hear that the snow level is already that high. I figured that they had decent accumulation in those parts, but I guess it was a warm winter.  Do you figure the upper slopes (above treeline) will still be good in late May?
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KLW
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Re: April 11, 2016, Diamond Peak
« Reply #2 on: 04/13/16, 01:38 PM »

Yeah, we were surprised too!

The Salt Creek snotel was calling it just shy of 2' still at 4800' on the N side but there was zilch left at 4800' on the SW side on Monday... except for the roads. Maybe that snotel site sits in the middle of a road? Wink

Hard to say about late May. It depends on which line you plan to ski. Coverage in the SW bowl was great but there were a few shark fins poking up in places that I don't usually see them this early in the spring. The system coming through this week might just cover them all back up again for a while. The other skiers we talked with on the summit did comment on running into some "rotten" snow while booting it straight up the bowl that morning though I didn't encounter it on my ski down. I'm sure there will be snow left but it probably won't be continuous from the summit if your goal is the SW bowl. That bowl can also get badly sun cupped and runneled by mid spring, though it was as smooth a Oregon cream corn gets on Monday!

Lots of other options up there though if you don't mind doing a little extra traversing to get back to your car. The NW bowl looked smooth, steep and fast but we didn't have the time or the legs to want to mess with getting out of there as it requires regaining significant elevation or a long low traverse in the trees to get back to where we had parked. Parking further N makes that a sane daytrip for mere mortals such as myself.

I'd recommend going earlier if only to avoid being eaten alive by the bloodsucking hoards of mosquitoes that Diamond is renowned for Smiley
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Amar Andalkar
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Re: April 11, 2016, Diamond Peak
« Reply #3 on: 04/13/16, 02:30 PM »

Thanks for the report. But all the pics are broken and not publicly viewable, at least for me on a Mac (tried viewing in both Safari and Chrome), and even trying to view the images URLs at googleusercontent.com directly in a new window did not work.

Yeah, we were surprised too!

The Salt Creek snotel was calling it just shy of 2' still at 4800' on the N side but there was zilch left at 4800' on the SW side on Monday... except for the roads. Maybe that snotel site sits in the middle of a road? Wink

Very surprised that the snow depths on the SW side are so different than the nearby SNOTEL sites. The Salt Creek Falls SNOTEL is actually even lower at only 4220 ft, and still shows about 20" (with consistent-looking data). It's in a clearing in the forest, about 100 meters north of ORE 58 and 100 meters west of FR 5894, 6 miles north of Diamond Peak, so it's definitely not on a road. The Cascade Summit SNOTEL at 5100 ft Pengra Pass, 6 miles NE of Diamond Peak, also shows 54", and the Summit Lake SNOTEL at 5600 ft, 5 miles south of Diamond Peak, has 88". So there's over 7 ft at 5600 ft on the south side a few miles away, and near-zero in the trees at the same elevation on the SW side? Bizarre!

I've only skied Diamond a handful of times, once every few years since 2000, so I've never managed to get fully familiar with the springtime distribution of snowpack on that mountain.

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KLW
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Re: April 11, 2016, Diamond Peak
« Reply #4 on: 04/13/16, 03:08 PM »

Thanks for the heads up on the photos. I'll see if I can figure it out.

Yes the snopark I was talking about was Salt Creek but my memory had it 600' higher. Oops! Thanks for the correction. I also noticed the readings at the Summit Lake site before we left and assumed we would encounter good snow much lower.

There were little bits here and there on N aspects and we found a small ribbon left in a gully just N of Pioneer gulch TH off the FS rd but it ran out and we had to pack the skis to around 5800 before it seemed prudent to put them back on.

I've been up there more than a handful of times now and the only thing I can consistently say about early spring conditions on the S side of Diamond is you don't know until you go Smiley I've read that it's position further west than the rest of the Cascades in OR cause weather patterns unique to it's location. Amazingly high snow fall totals in cold winters but it's also more likely to get hammered with warm rain in a winter like this one.  We had many winter storms that rained up to around 6k so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. It is curious though that just a few miles away the snotel sites are reading so high!

Edit: I tried to fix the pictures above but I've probably failed. This link should work...maybe?

https://goo.gl/photos/esjWg1sdiewvpvUr9
« Last Edit: 04/13/16, 03:23 PM by KLW » Logged
Amar Andalkar
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Re: April 11, 2016, Diamond Peak
« Reply #5 on: 04/13/16, 04:10 PM »

The pics in the TR are visible just fine now! Thanks for fixing it.



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DG
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Re: April 11, 2016, Diamond Peak
« Reply #6 on: 04/14/16, 09:39 AM »

Thanks for the info, it does sound like earlier may be better down there, for ski conditions and insect avoidance.  The Southern Oregon Cascades mosquitoes are deserving of their own horror movie.
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