Diamond Peak

February 18-20, 1978

Rather unfavorable conditions met us Saturday as we plodded up roads 210 and 2381 to our camp near Blue Lake (5500'). Soft snow, warm air; in the afternoon fog creeped in. First on the agenda after making camp was to prepare soup to replenish moisture we had sweated out on the way up. However, Sunday morning dawned bright and clear, giving prospects of a wonderful winter climb, the only drawback being soft snow. Leaving camp at 7:00 a.m., we endured three hours of hard cross-country work; finally at 10:00 a.m., breaking through into what made it all worth while: brilliant sunshine, and the high alpine regions above timberline. This part of the climb was made on skis. I used wooden skis with red wax; Randy used Trak skis. Both worked equally well. After having lunch at the base of the northwest ridge, and after stashing the skis, we started on foot for the summit, reaching there at 2:15 p.m. Once there we met two people skiing off the summit, going down the south side. They appeared to negotiate the route very well. Crampons were not needed on the final leg of the climb, and ski poles served in place of ice axes, although in one or two places ice axes would have been more assuring. Skiing back down to our camp was enjoyable, but not easy, with much traversing and kick turning. We reached camp at 6:00 p.m., making an eleven hour round trip. Only two hardy souls on this trip: Randy Zustiak and leader Jack Nitzel.

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