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Diamond Peak, Summit Lake Trailhead Route

September 23, 2012

Coordinator: Fritz Capell

Summit Altitude: 8744 feet
Round-trip Distance: 10 miles
Excursion Time: 8.5 hours (car-to-car)

Photo Gallery

Eight of us awoke at Spring Campground at Crescent Lake, broke camp, and left about 7am toward the Summit Lake trailhead to Diamond Peak. If you take the road from Crescent Lake to the Summit Lake trailhead, be forewarned: it is rough. So rough, in fact, that it was just barely manageable for our two Subarus (check the Gallery for some thrilling footage). Gabe's Jeep had no trouble. If you want a better road, take the road from Oakridge; any car could do that one. However, it would have been a rather long way around from Mt Thielsen, which five of us had climbed the day before.

We departed from the Summit Lake Trailhead at about 8:30am. Bill did the guiding, as he had been there before, though he claimed 30 years had passed between. There are a few routes you can take, but the one we took was pretty straightforward; as I recall, we just followed the PCT at a gentle incline until we reached a large cairn, several miles in. From there, we turned upward on a climber's trail and just kept going up. The first part of the climber's trail is very steep, but it mellows a little as the vegetation gives way to volcanic rock. There is a lot of variety to walk on, from mixed boulders to deep scree. You just keep going up, appreciating each of the two or three false summits. From the last false summit, you can finally see the real summit, past the most interesting part of the climb, a long ridge with a number of gendarmes and other obstacles to tackle on the way.

We reached the summit at about 12:30, just in time for lunch. We spent about an hour up there; it was sunny, but a little bit windy and cold.

Diamond Peak is not terribly popular, and a great place for solitude. The whole time we were up there, I don't think we saw a single other hiker or climber. And too bad, because it is a very large and quite beautiful mountain, and the ascent is not at all technical. I would compare it to South Sister - just a long slog, but the terrain is more pleasant and more varied than any of the Sisters. It would probably be rather difficult in winter conditions, just due to its size, and it's probably nearly impossible to get to the trailhead. But for summer, it is really a mountain that you should put on your list.

Our descent was just as fun as the ascent, and we reached the trailhead again at about 4pm, had snacks and beverages, and hopped in our cars for a long, tired ride home.

- Fritz

Post-Event Forum
[View Pre-Event Forum]

Fritz (leader) says:
We'd love to have your photos! It's easy. Instructions here:

Bill answers:
Hi Fritz, I am not a photophile, but i noticed that the IPTC settings in the photos can be edited to put in a caption, keywords, etc, etc. Is putting in more info in these fields something that might be useful for other SAC participants to keep track of trips or ?? Thanks, BN

Fritz (leader) answers:
Useful, perhaps... not sure if worth the effort. I could certainly have the script read those and display the captions, etc, if we wanted.

Fritz (leader) says:
3D photos here

Fritz (leader) says:
New Photos from Bill and Gabe! See Photo Gallery above.

Bill answers:
Thanks to all for the photos and especially to Fritz for providing the venue. The photos I submitted that are two-in-a-row nearly the same were probably taken in 3D mode on my camera. Unfortunately I think that the 3d mode works on 3D televisions and perhaps not elsewhere... They may be able to be modified to work with the fun glasses you distributed!!

Fritz (leader) answers:
Why yes, as a matter of fact. I removed the ones from the Gallery that appeared duplicitous, and rendered the ones that appeared 3D, see here.

Fritz (leader) says:
Trip Report posted! Anybody have anything to add?

Bill says:
Thanks Fritz! I would just add: Diamond peak is great for folks that want to progress from hiking to climbing, but may not yet be ready for technical climbing. If anyone would like to try the approach from the North (hwy 58) late summer 2013 please e-mail me. Let's DO that (also Waldo lake camping is right there, fantastic) And get your bug spray ready (okay, no it is not THAT bad. See you then. (email hidden) Thanks again Fritz for the photo and blog posting area; it is excellent.

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