The last time I went up Diamond was in May 2006. In July 2007 the Oak fire burned the lower Baxter Pass trail, and in July 2008 a flash flood roared down the canyon, obliterating the Oak Creek campground; the ensuing mudslide closed 395 for a time (there are probably still videos on youtube). I was curious to see how things were.
I headed in on Friday / Saturday. The creek crossings were the crux of the approach -- the rangers said with the delayed melt this spring, creeks would be running high and all three crossings were deep and fast. The first one had a decent log across a bit upstream. The second had some slightly more sketchy logs upstream. The last one before the switchbacks was borderline hazardous .. I don't think I've ever seen it that deep before. I hiked a ways upstream to find an even sketchier log, but it worked out. They are saying the next couple weeks snowmelt could bring some creeks to flood stage, so be careful out there
Snow level was about where the rangers said it might be ... ~9500. There were patches down to 8500-ish, but easy to kick steps into. Summit Meadow was pretty rocky and brushy on the north (trail) side of the creek. I remember camping with a group on the south side of the creek in May 2004, but I guess being north facing those were mostly still snow covered this year and crossing the creek without getting wet seemed unlikely
Instead I headed up some mellow snow to the more established campsites above the falls. Here I found dry sites and running water nearby, much like May 2006.
Approaching from Summit Meadow
Camping above the falls
The approach to the peak was pretty mellow early in the morning. I headed to the base of the East Couloir, which I'd mistaken for the NE Couloir in 2006.
but instead of climbing it I continued on to the moraine on the north side of the peak and the base of the NE Couloir.
The exit of the NE Couloir is just a few hundred feet below the true summit.
Gotta love Diamond Peak in the springtime !
Looking down Oak Creek canyon from the summit
Enjoyed a nice glissade down the SE face
Full set here