Diamond Peak 5-14-10

>Here are a few photos from Friday on Diamond Peak. This was my second try at skiing it; the first time was a few years ago in early march with Steve. We ended up abandoning the skis because of bad conditions on the face. For me, Diamond is one of the safest winter or spring 12er to climb but I always suspected skiing its East face would be the absolute opposite.

On Thursday, my climbing partner had to bail at the last minute and I decided it would be too risky to stick with an East face descent without a lifeline so I set my sights on the South face.

I was able to drive all the way to the trailhead and spent a comfortable night on the ridge at 9,300’ The climb to the top wasn’t what I’d expected, a lot of the snow was punchy (sometimes all the way to my waist) and I was pretty worked by the time I hit the top. The weather couldn’t have been better, mostly sunny and totally windless. I recuperated for about an hour and then set off down the huge and wide open South face. The snow conditions were as good as the weather and I made effortless turns in perfect corn on an aspect that is probably less than 40 degrees. Easily the best ski down any of the 12ers I’ve had!


7 responses to “Diamond Peak 5-14-10

  1. >Wes, I was thinking of trying the north side of Leatherman on Wed. but your conditions on Diamond are making me think about it instead. Whenever I have climbed Diamond, I drive past a cattle watering hole then park under what I call the east ridge and hike up from there. How would you suggest driving in to access and ski the south side?

  2. >Turbo, I'm not sure about Leatherman but I suspect the conditions would be pretty good, especially after a couple warm days. The snow I was on was mostly just ribbons of ridge snow subject to big changes by the wind. The few times I crossed over onto the bigger snow fields of the North and East sides of the ridge, the snow consolidated nicely. It's hard for me to say about the LRR though, I've not been on that side yet this year. Earlier, I talked to Dean about a Church-Donaldson trip this month but we didn't really cement anything. I'm still planning on giving it a try in the next few weeks as an over-nighter from the North side. The weather will have to be tip top though : ) The road past the pond and up onto the East ridge is the route I took to. Ski the face all the way down into the canyon that eventually dumps out into the middle fork of Pass Ck. Right now you can ski down the canyon to the 8,600' contour and then hump 1,000' back up to the east ridge. I avoided the hump by traversing all the way across the South and East faces and connected with the ridge above the wide saddle. The hike through the rock band was pretty and by traversing out early, I missed a load of great turns all the way down the canyon. This is definitely one you want to have a pack big enough to carry your hiking boots. Thanks guys!

  3. >Great job Wes, and great photos too! Take a look at South Central blog for my trip report of Church… excellent skiing and it was fairly "busy" up there this weekend!www.scidaho.blogspot.com

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