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Ascent of Peak 3984 on 2018-07-15

Climber: Daryn Dodge

Others in Party:Kathy Rich <4167>
Jim Ramaker
Date:Sunday, July 15, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Peak 3984
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:13071 ft / 3984 m

Ascent Trip Report

From our camp near the north fork of Oak Creek at an elevation of about 3250m (10,663 feet), we followed the Baxter Pass trail up for about 2/3 of a mile, then left it heading east into the bowl between Diamond Peak and Peak 3984 (otherwise known as North Diamond Peak). The terrain consisted of talus rocks and boulders, but low-angled snow on the north side of a glacial moraine made travel easier. At an elevation of 3600m (11,812 feet), we stopped and surveyed the steep slope at the end of the bowl for the best way up to the Sierra crest line between Diamond Peak and Peak 3984. We decided to ascend NNW towards a highly fractured area of brownish rock. The 300m climb started on scree and talus, but lead to steeper, more solid rock near the ridge. After entering a large chute we had spied at the start of the climb, the climbing got a little easier and we were soon on the ridge, roughly 1000 feet horizontal (and 200 feet vertical) from the summit of Peak 3984m. This route was steep class 2, but close to class 3 in spots. This is near the descent route chosen by some members of the 2013 Sierra Challenge, after climbing the peak from Baxter Pass.

The remainder of the climb to Peak 3984 was easy class 2 and only took another 10-15 minutes. Rather than climb the peak, Jim and Kathy had elected instead to continue on to Diamond Peak, which they reported to be class 2 and a nice alternative, if not superior, route compared to the standard route on the SE face/chutes of Diamond Peak. Few people climb Peak 3984. Only 2 since 2013, when the tragic climbing accident occurred on the ascent from Baxter Pass. Looking east from the summit towards Baxter Pass, the ridge looked difficult, tedious, loose, and exposed. I was happy I did not try the climb from Baxter Pass. I returned to the bowl the same way I climbed the peak. Descending off the crest into the bowl was easier than expected and went rather quickly. Back on the snow at the bottom of the bowl, I heard Jim and Kathy let out whoops of joy as they had just reached the summit of Diamond Peak. See Kathy Rich's GPS track for the route up to the Sierra crest near Peak 3984 (which then goes on to Diamond Peak).

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:6906 ft / 2104 m
    Extra Gain:100 ft / 30 m
    Round-Trip Distance:15 mi / 24.1 km
    Route:SE face/SE ridge
    Trailhead:Baxter Pass trailhead  6365 ft / 1940 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp



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