Ascent of Diamond Peak on 2021-07-20

Climber: Bradley R

Others in Party:Frank E
Date:Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Peak:Diamond Peak
    Elevation:7993 ft / 2436 m

Ascent Trip Report

I contemplated entering a report for this one because I more or less accepted we weren't making it far on this one before we ever got on the trailhead. I've decided to more as a journal entry than anything else.

Why we chose this hike:
We were hoping to bag an ultra.

We had a few things going against us ahead of time. For one my legs were pretty beat from Borah two days before and the Windy Cave in Darby canyon the day before. Second, we had a rental with little clearance adding 6+ miles (though relatively easy miles) to the day. But probably the biggest factor was the weather. With a solid forecast we were caught in a thunderstorm on Borah two days prior, and I didn't want to repeat this on Diamond. Diamond's forecast indicated thunderstorms would begin around noon. Given these items, we accepted we wouldn't reach the top on this day before ever beginning.

On the 19th we entered Diamond Peak, Idaho 83244, which directed us to 44.143965, -113.047029. Frank did the majority of the driving on this day, when we turned off of Highway 28 onto Forest Rd. 835 Frank struggled to not beat up the undercarriage of the Kia Sedan. I was able to do a little better by keeping the tires out of the ruts, providing a little more clearance.

After starting up the road, we turned back and went to the Birch Creek Campground (which was very nearby) for the night. This was honestly a pretty nice campsite. They had at least one source of potable water and vault toilets. There were plenty of spots open, we set up our tents where we had a view over the creek. It was too warm to sleep well.

The next day:
We packed up and headed back to Forest Rd. 835. and were able to make it far enough to turn onto Forest Rd. 796. Soon after we turned there was a post gate that you had to open to get through and close behind you. We only made it about 100 yds past the gate before it was clear the Kia wasn't going any further. We stopped here at approximately 44.145762, -112.987185.

The Hike:
We started hiking up the road at 8:58 AM. The skies were an amazing blue, and we were getting baked hiking up the road. Cattle were everywhere, and one bull made us uncomfortable, but let us by. It was 2.8 miles from where we parked to where I feel a vehicle with some decent clearance could make it. This area gained 900' in elevation. As we walked we could see clouds beginning to come over the ridge from the opposite side of the mountains. (2.8 miles total)

From here I think it would take a fixed up vehicle to make it much further. We only hiked about 2/3rd of a mile further gaining ~450'. My legs were certainly telling me they weren't back to 100% in this section. Frank was feeling stronger than I, I think he wanted to continue a bit further. I did not. Knowing that we weren't going to summit, I wanted to head back and use the day to recover. Frank didn't push to continue so we turned back. (3.45 miles total)

We returned via the same route we went up. (6.9 miles total)

On this day I think I would have made the peak if we'd had a wide weather window, but I wasn't ready to push for a quick climb.

Moving Forward:
Since I want to touch all the ultras in the lower 48 I'll want to return to this peak. I will rent a 4wd with clearance next time.

The drive out:
About the time we reached pavement we looked back at the mountain and the clouds over it looked like storm clouds. We stopped to take a few photos and we could hear thunder coming from the mountain. This confirmed we made the right decision to not push for the top on this day.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1403 ft / 427 m
    Extra Gain:40 ft / 12 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.9 mi / 11.1 km
    Trailhead:796 just off Pass Creek Rd.  6670 ft / 2033 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 48 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 9 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Bradley R
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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