Finding the Trailhead
We started out early Saturday morning driving from Pocatello at about 5:30 a.m. We drove through mud lake, and took the highway that curved to the right just after the town. We drove for 30 or so miles. It was just about 12 miles outside the Exit sign to the INL. On the left side of the road was a little dirt road. We took it and drove on a maze of dirt roads for about 6.5 miles till we got within 2.3 miles of the trailhead.
Starting the Hike
We started out our hike with alot of enthusiasm. We were really excited to see what the mountain could throw at us. We saw the road we were supposed to take and where the trailhead started, but my 98 ford escort was really lucky to make it within 2 miles of the trailhead because of the rough deep jeep track road. So our trip was a lot longer than someone else who say had a phat jeep or truck that could park way up the start of the mountain. So our first goal was to make it to the Trailhead where someone's truck was sitting. It was about 2.3 miles away. We hiked through sagebrush, mountain grass and just made our own trail till we got to the truck. It took us about an hour. Then we headed up the side of this really steep grassy hill with some trees. It took us probably another hour or so to get to the top of this hill because of how steep it was. When we got to the top, one of the ladies that was with us said she wasn't feeling good because of lack of sleep the previous night, so we found a shady spot for her to sleep while the remaining 4 of us headed up toward a dirt trail we could see heading up to the crest of the mountain. We took a stab at hiking up this steep section of the mountain. It was shale rock, that it felt like going up 2 ft. and sliding down 1 ft. So it took a lot of time and effort to go not too far. Once we were at the top of this section we rested.
We were feeling great getting to this part of the hike. We were standing right in front of the top of Diamond Peak on the ridgeline. We could see where we needed to go. We just needed to follow the crest of the mountain north up the rocks till you got to another pointy rock and then curveback to the left to the top of the mountain. We hiked to the small pointy plateu which I guess others on the internet call it the 10,800 ft part. This is where my wife and another man from our party pooped out because of sore legs and blisters on the heels of the feet. SO my brother and I were feeling like we were on top of the world and we would make it to the top. We headed over a very skinny section of rock, which I guess is pretty close to a Chicken Out Ridge like the one on Borah Peak. My bro. was pretty freaked out about it, but it really didn't bother me much. Then the real class 3 scrambling began.
Class 3 Scrambling
Ok, so as I mentioned in the title, I am no pro at hiking. I have never attempted a hike quite as big as this one. I have never been up 12,000 ft. on a mountain.
So I thought class 3 scrambling was just sortof tip-toing over a skinny section of rock that was steep but not too bad. Well, I wish I could have showed what I saw. This mountain is ruthless and mean and very psychologically disheartening for the friends that do not do this every day. We started climbing these small cliffs, and we were like...Oh this isn't TOO bad. Then we had to hike up a 20 ft. cliff, and down the other side where there is a little bridge with droppoffs down both sides. Then up another cliff and down. We did this a few times.
We came to a point that we looked up and the rock was just towering over us and we were so scared for our lives that THIS WAS THE END OF THE ROAD FOR US!!!
There comes a point where you KNOW it's more important to LIVE than to sacrifice your frail body just to say you climbed a mountain.
So as freaked out babies, we took pictures of how high we got and turned around. We figure we made it to AT LEAST 11,000 ft. I am thinking we were taking the hard way up. I saw other people coming down earlier that day and they got down through that section pretty fast. So I don't know which route they took. But I know, that it was a very tough hike. It is tough on the legs because you go up 4500 ft. in only 3 miles, and it really looks worse than it is, but we just didn't make it. So that piece-o-crap mountain will one day meet its match with ME and MY WIFE and we will conquer this stupid silly mountain! WE WILL BE BACK!!