Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Alaska Pt. 3 Diamond Peak

First off I gotta say I am not real sure about the spelling of this peak. In Matt Kinney's guidebook it is spelled both Diamond and Dimond. Different maps have different spellings. I kinda suspect Dimond is an "Alaska" spelling of Diamond, but who knows.

The spell of clear, fine weather was over, but we decided to make the most of it and head up towards Diamond Peak.

The start for this tour is a little lower and we quickly discovered the snow was isothermal rot which could - and did - collapse beneath you at any moment.

Dense willow and alder further increased the fun factor.

Then we entered a narrow gorge for some contortion skinning (Jed photo)
We emerged from the little gorge onto the Alaska Oil Pipeline right of way, which briefly provided supportable snow.
Eventually we found better snow for skinning and attained the glacier leading to Dimond's northwest face.
Moody mountains.
The cloud deck was hanging low and we were not interested in negotiating the Burgschrund and a crevasse section in flat and low light, so we elected to ski this beauty.
Steve the boot meister heads up on the lower pitches.
The three climb about halfway up.
A couple of loose class 3 moves lead to the top (Jed photo).
We were all a bit giddy - including Jed.
Steve prepares to make the first turns (Jed photo).
Jed rolled with style off the top.
The skier's left side was a little sun affected with the best snow as far right as possible.

Jed finds the fluff over thar.
Rowdy lines abound 'round here.
The rot was no more fun on the way out than it was on the way in. John was the victim of a particularly bad collapse that required him to dig his skies out - while they were still on!
Although the approach and exit were miserable, the tour was a success. We made the most out of the bad weather and skied a wonderful couloir.

No comments: