Diamond Peak

May 7, 1995

Once again, the annual Diamond Peak climb was delayed due to bad weather or inaccessible roads to the trail head. Despite no one signing to go, Jan and I (Rich Anselmo) left Pioneer Gulch at 0815. We made excellent progress for the first 45 minutes as the path was snowfree. When we arrived at snow line, we were jubilant to find the tracks from Crosby’s previous climb. We continued in their old tracks for about 30 minutes, even finding someone’s lost apple. Eventually, the tracks disappeared. As the sun broke through the fog, we recalculated our position toward the summit. Jan and I broke trail, postholing about 9" deep. At 1030, we recrossed Crosby’s tracks which now led like a meandering boulevard to the upper ridges. We made rapid progress although the footing was often sloppy and unstable. At 1130, we came to the end of the tracks of the former climbers. Based on the stomped out pattern in the snow, it was obviously their turnaround spot. With a sea of clouds underneath, and dark, threatening clouds lurking overhead, we decided to make quick haste for the summit — still another 90 minutes away. Storm clouds whitewashed the ridges and summit. Lacking wands, we prepared mini snow cairns with red ribbons along the upper ridges. Fog and clouds swirled about over a gray white snowcover. We continued along the last ridge to the summit, sandwiched between black and white cloud layers. In 11 Diamond Peak climbs, we have never seen so much snow on the summit for so late in the season. There is a wall of snow 30-50 feet high, corniced at the top. We took pictures and left in 15 minutes as light sleet pellets began falling. Our return trip was fast as usual, charging down our old tracks back into the clouds and fog below. Two hours later we arrived at our start, high spirited. Shame no one signed up.


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