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- June 29, 2009 at 2:43 am #571876Kyle MillerParticipant
June, 23rd, 2009
Diamond Peak is one of the more isolated Volcanoes of Oregon situated in the Diamond Peak wilderness. Our intentions was to ski the Massive wide open NW slopes off the summit proper so we decided to start our journey at the Lake Vivian trail head. We would attempt to follow the Mt Yoran trail until reaching the ridge line then bushwhack once we reached alpine to the summit proper then retrace our tracks back to the car.
After leaving 3 Sisters wilderness we took the long drive south on 97 until reaching our junction on state route 58 heading west. After arriving in the city of Oakridge we blindly followed some forest roads under the dark sky arriving at the Lake Vivian trailhead in the heart of Diamond Peak wilderness. Once again I chose to sleep in the slightly sloped gravel parking lot bundled deep inside my sleeping bag trying not to expose any flesh to the desperate mosquitoes. Bundled deep within my sleeping bag I was able to avoid the early morning sunlight until the heat became unbearable.
We made some coffee and oatmeal then packed up the last of our gear and were on the trailhead by 9 A.M. The first mile and a half was easy travel on a snow free trail with little elevation gain along the way but as soon as we were on snowpack the trail was gone leaving us bushwhacking through dense forest. The snow wasn’t consistent at all so we kept bootpacking until reaching the snow covered ridge. Once reaching the ridge we were able to get a view down into the Alpine bowls that we would have to cross if we wanted to get summit proper. To get down into the bowl we were forced to bushwhack down a scree field for a few hundred feet while traversing along the way before reaching continuous snow once again. The down climb went smoothly and before I knew it we were back to skinning up the massive wide open alpine bowl.
False summit to the left and true summit to the right
There are 2 main high points to Diamond peak one more to the North and the other (summit Proper) to the south with a ridge separating both of them. The Northern highpoint was melting out fast with spots where you would be forced to carry your gear along the way while the summit proper had continuous snow all the way from the top. From the Northern bowl I made a low traverse over to the ridge separating both the bowls and down climbed a few hundred feet into lower flanks of the main bowl. The lower slope was an easy skin until the final 1000 vert in which it was necessary to crampon up the slope. After switching to crampons it was a steep climb up to a low col that had direct access to the summit proper with some easy 3rd and 4th class rock scrambling. Once on the summit I took a few photos of the views then dropped onto the steep NW face and was able to ride for around 2000 vert until the snowpack became inconsistent.
Looking towards the false summit
The line down from the summit proper
Looking south from the summit Towards Theilsen and Bailey
Looking East towards endless potential lines
I knew it was impossible to try and follow our tracks in so I decided it would be far more efficient to bushwhack through the woods. I also knew the woods were going to be dense leaving it easy to get lost so before dropping into the slope I looked at where Jon’s truck was in the distance and referenced the direction the sun was facing when I looked towards our final destination. With the sun positioned between my bangs and eyebrow I tromped through dense marshes and forested slopes making sure to reference my position with the sun every few minutes. This worked beautifully and took off multiple miles of brutal bushwhacking and before I knew it I made it down to the forest road and after hiking 5 minutes we were resting at Jon’s truck preparing to drive to the next destination.
In conclusion Diamond peak offers a variety of slopes to choose from. You could easily ride multiple different bowls within the area with terrain suitable for ever level of ability.
Using the sun as a reference was a great for navigational purposes but would pale in comparison to using a compass. Thank you to all the people who have help me along the way without your help and donations this trip would not have been possible.June 29, 2009 at 2:50 am #618710stoudemaParticipant
Sweet :thatrocks: Diamond’s a great mountain and not too far out my backdoor – it’s really good around mid-May. Looks like you scored some good lines though!
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