Forums TR Archive Oregon Diamond Peak, OR – August 1, 2010
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  • #573316
    551 Posts

    Todd and I met up with JBaysurfer 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 JBay 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. That occurred not far from this picture……

    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 purchase to feel comfortable. Here is a picture of me and JBay coming up the last pitch…

    This is the view across to the summit proper (Diamond has several false summits)……

    Getting to the actual summit proved interesting, as we had to negotiate either a scree ridge which required scrambling, or negotiate a large moat with some exposure. JBay chose going the moat route since he had a whippet, and Todd and I scrambled since we were w/o tools. We ditched our packs about 80 feet below the summit, and hiked up for a nice August view. Here’s JBay from the summit……

    We took a few pictures on top before heading back down to the gear. Here’s a shot looking towards Willamette Pass (in the background), where Todd and I are on ski patrol in the winter……

    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 couple of shots of JBay riding the pitch….

    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 few more shots of me and JBay….

    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. Here’s a shot of JBay and I on the hike out…..

    All things considered, it was a good way to earn turns in August and it was a pleasure to meet another rider on this board and get to spend some time in the backcountry with them. Thanks JBay for joining us!

    534 Posts

    Awesome! Looks like a great time. I like that NW bowl you guys were in.

    Glad you, Todd, and JBay could hook up.

    August. :thumpsup:

    947 Posts

    Nice. Thanks for having me along you guys. I gotta say, 8700′ in Central OR in August and 2k’ of descent was beyond my wildest expectations. I more or less decided to hook up with these guys to get SOMETHING done in August and to meet Matt who, along with Buell have been very gracious with the beta for the Southern Cascades for me this spring. Buell, sorry I couldn’t hook up with you, but I’m definitely gonna hook up with you guys next season to hit up the Sisters as well as some other stuff.

    Here’s a couple of shots from my camera, Matt along the South Ridge leading up to point 8300 (or something like that..) with the snow finally coming into view:

    Matt and Todd climbing the ridge. I guess to even the score since Todd kicked one by his head, very near this picture, Matt set one loose that required evasive action by me to avoid dome damage:

    Our rest stop 1/2 hour below the summit. We were making pretty good time, and the snow was firmer then we expected so we felt like there was no hurry. In all I’d never expect to say this in August, but it probably could’ve been a bit hotter that day if we were to reap perfect corn. Alas, it never got much above 60 degress up there, so we had to settle for “surprisingly good for August” corn:

    Todd and Matt with the Bear Creek drainage below them, and the Willamette Valley (maybe, we all agree this Californian needs to work on his OR geography) off in the distance:

    Todd and Matt negotiating the “crux” of the summit ridge after I navigated the moat to our common destination:

    Great trip fellas. Thanks again. and the next time someone says you can’t get turns in August below 12k, you just tell ’em I got 2000 reasons they’re wrong 🙂

    503 Posts

    You’re making me jealous.
    I was debating taking my board with me on my recent trip to Colorado to summit Blanca Peak. I was glad I didn’t cause even above 14k there was hardly anything you’d call rideable snow. There hasn’t been any snow left here in Utah for over a month. But we barely make it over 11k for the most part.

    1669 Posts

    Looks like a good time in zee mountains. :bananas: :thatrocks:

    534 Posts

    We will hook up JBay. We will do our best to make McLoughlin happen next year. :mrgreen: I headed up to Baker this weekend to get snowed and rained on. Tons of snow left up there.

    Sounds like, if the weather and schedules cooperate, you might have discussed a Green Lakes camping trip next season with Matt and Todd. There are a lot of great lines between S. Sister and Broken Top! Woohoo!

    551 Posts

    @buell wrote:

    Sounds like, if the weather and schedules cooperate, you might have discussed a Green Lakes camping trip next season with Matt and Todd. There are a lot of great lines between S. Sister and Broken Top! Woohoo!

    The 4 of us should definitely hook up and and camp/ride in the Green Lakes area next year :thatrocks:

    534 Posts

    And Rebecca!

    689 Posts

    @stoudema wrote:

    Lovin the steeps!! :rock: :rock: :rock: :rock:

    947 Posts

    @stoudema wrote:

    @buell wrote:

    Sounds like, if the weather and schedules cooperate, you might have discussed a Green Lakes camping trip next season with Matt and Todd. There are a lot of great lines between S. Sister and Broken Top! Woohoo!

    The 4 of us should definitely hook up and and camp/ride in the Green Lakes area next year :thatrocks:

    Sounds great! Sign me up.

    Tks for the replies everyone, we spent a bit of time debating the pitch of that rollover, and naturally, with 3 of us carrying inclinometers, none of us bothered to measure it 🙂

    118 Posts

    Nice work, i’m impressed with your drive to ride snow in August.

    Count me in on the Green Lakes camping/riding. I’ve got sleds to get us in there before the road opens. The lines right above Green Lake are pretty nice, i’d say better than the lines on the W. side of BT. Depends on what type of snow you’re searching for.


    25 Posts

    Nice job still keeping after it! It looked like Diamond was still holding well from the views I’ve had on MTB rides this summer, now I know. That rollover on the headwall into the main bowl IS steep, I bet 65+ when the snow pack is deeper earlier in the spring. Funny how similar classic photo points get used, reminded me of a buddy’s photos from some previous forays up there…

    Would be great to meet up with some other locals once the snow flies again.

    947 Posts

    Yeah Radam, sweet pics. I’d like to go back up there and get it like that first set of photos (2006).

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