Pioneer gulch route/ March 31st 08'
It was a big snow year for the cascade mountains( what use to be considered normal) It has been difficult to visit the peaks in mid spring. I rescheduled the climb three weeks later than initially planned to facilitate an easier approach and climb.
The climb had as many as twelve people signed on, then on the day of the climb it dwindled down to seven participants. We met at the Albertsons on 58th and main and popped over the hill to hwy 58 on are way to the wilderness. We experienced heavy rain along hills creek lake then arrived in sunshine at the trail head at pioneer gulch.
We shared the trailhead with two groups of telemark skiers intent on linking turns in the bowls. We non skiers headed on up to the southwest ridge through hemlock and fir forest to open vistas of Diamond peak as we began to ascend to treeline.
We kept a pretty brisk pace once we were out on the open slope. It turned into a torrid pace once I let the twenty somethings get out ahead. I gave the guys a minute and a half head start,then I went off after them. they said they had already been waiting ten minutes by the time I caught them. I developed cramps chasing those darn kids.
The weather on top of the mountain went from awesome to awful in a minute We summited in a white out with the rumble of thunder not far off. Are group hung around for the obligatory pics and briskly headed back down. The view into the east bowl was fleeting but gorgeous. The Diamond peak wilderness is still slumbering in winters white blanket. Meanwhile we were keeping a weary eye on the storm that was casting a dark sheet of rain over Maiden peak and Davis lake.
We had taken advantage of the steep slope and did some glissading down the ridge until we reached the trees(what a hoot!) Once in the forest it's all about which way did we come into these darn woods and will we find are way out,hmmm.
The participants for this fun outing were Brian Hamilton, Mark slipp both fearless assistants. Larry Huff trip leader. and fellow Obsidians Marianne Camp and Steve Kuhn. The eager non members were Ajah Boise and Shawn Grover