Ascent of Diamond Peak on 2014-08-30

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Saturday, August 30, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Diamond Peak
    Elevation:9640 ft / 2938 m

Ascent Trip Report

From Rock Springs WY, I headed S on WY-430. After 55 miles it crosses into CO and the surface changes from pavement to wide, smooth, well-graded gravel. The highway number changes to Moffat county road 10N. 5.1 miles into CO I turned R on Moffat CR-72. The road passes a few oil pumps and storage tanks, then begins to climb gradually. Just before mile post 4 (the distance from CR-10N), the road crests a small ridge and there is a jeep road on the right, identified by a small fiberglass wand bearing the number 2017; this is "point 7804" on the topo map. Just past mile post 4 is a wide spot in the main road, where I parked.

The peak can also be approached from the S via CO-318. On this highway, ~41 miles WNW of its junction with US-40 near Maybell, turn N on CR-10N. From both directions, guide signs indicate that this is the way to Rock Springs WY and BLM signs say 4 miles to Irish Canyon. After 4.3 miles, pass the Irish Canyon Interpretive Site on your R, then immediately enter Irish Canyon itself. Reach the junction with CR-72 after a total of ~17 miles, then continue as I did above.

I hiked briefly across open range to intercept the jeep road, which I followed uphill. At 8900 feet is a mapped junction where I turned L. The road continues to traverse along the S face of Diamond Pk, climbing gradually and winding in and out of several gullies. At 9300', at the last switchback to a drill hole, the obvious thing to do is leave the road and head cross-country to the peak. Unfortunately I didn't feel like taking out my map to check it, so I continued on the road until it ended before realizing it wasn't going to be of use. After recovering from this embarrassing error, I traversed around the S flank of point 9575. I soon blundered into a forest of small and very immature pine trees, often growing so close together that I had trouble squeezing my shoulders between them. It was slow, arduous going. Eventually I reached the saddle between 9575 and the main summit. The forest cleared somewhat, the going eased up, and in 5 more minutes I arrived at the main summit.

On the descent, I avoided the horrible "tree-whacking" in the immature pine forest on the south side of 9575 by going over the summit of 9575. I then descended to the saddle between 9575 and 9568, from which point I descended the gully SW to the switchback in the road. As usual, I recommend my descent route to future climbers of this peak: upon reaching the switchback at 9300', leave the road and head straight up the gully to the saddle between 9568 and 9575. From there, follow the ridge the remainder of the way to the main summit. Do not try to avoid the elevation gain and loss of going over the summit of 9575 by contouring around its S side, or you will get trapped in the horrible dense immature pine forest.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1916 ft / 583 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1916 ft / 583 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1836 ft / 559 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Start Trailhead:CR-72  7804 ft / 2378 m
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1916 ft / 583 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1836 ft / 560 m; Extra: 80 ft / 24m
    Gain on way out:80 ft / 24 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    End Trailhead:CR-72  7804 ft / 2378 m
    Time:1 Hours 20 Minutes

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