Diamond Peak

April 5, 1997

The 1997 climbing season began with the Anselmos’ tenth annual Diamond Peak climb. Seven climbers assembled at 0730 about half-a-mile below the trailhead. A foot of snow blocked the entrance to the usual starting point. Good progress was made through the timber for the fiist two hours. The snow was mostly compacted, unlike previous seasons requiring deep post holing. However, the same crusted heavy snowfall made the ascent much steeper than normal. At treeline, three climbers returned while the rest proceeded, gaining the upper ridges at 1030. There we were buffeted by 30-mph winds and 20° cold. Much of the snow surface was frozen and icy. Travel was slow and steady. As we pushed higher, I was reminded of that song ”These boots are made for walkin …” but that certainly wasn’t the case today. Unless one had plastic shell boots, very still leather boots or crampons, the last in a series of ice glistened ridges would prove too slippery. At 1330, while watching one member slip ’n slide with crumpled boots 400 ft. below the summit, a group decision was made to retreat via the well flagged route marked earlier, this foregoing the whitened, wintry objective for another time. At 1530, all recounted the day back at the starting point. It is very disheartening not to summit. For myself, sometimes the challenge becomes knowing when to retreat rather than to push forward when conditions are just too demanding on those with less than ideal equipment. All agreed. Climbers were Marc Hansen, Brian Hoyland, Larry Huff, Julian Peñaloza, Gerry Roe and Rich & Jan Anselmo (leader and co-leader).

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