After trying and failing on this mountain a few years ago (it wasn't a very serious attempt, since we randomly decided to have a go at it), I found an opportunity to return. Solo hiked from the junction of the PCT and Hwy 58 (Willamette Pass Resort) around to the southern ridge and up to the summit before descending and reversing course back to my car. 10.5 hours and 27.5 miles round trip. I wouldn't advice anyone to attempt to repeat this path as a day trip.
A nice half-day hike, but I can see how one might have an issue in poor visibility!
As far as Oregon chosspiles go (and there are many of them), this is one of my favorites. With only a couple of hours' sleep at the rest area east of Oakridge, I arrived at the trailhead at dawn. The trail hiking went fast both ways. Rockpile Lake looked dried up (although I did not explore) but Marie Lake was gorgeous. I thought the off-trail approach was straightforward but I could see how novices might get off-track in the forest. Not as bad in that regard as the upper slopes of Mount McLoughlin, however. Once I reached the southern false summit, I really enjoyed the beauty of the mountain and its surrounding views. Don't believe the hype about the ridge "scrambling" as I only scrambled one time (and only because I wanted to), and all scrambling sections could be easily avoided. Heck, I saw prints from skateboarder shoes in the rocky sand, if that is any indication. It only took five hours roundtrip (three up, two down), giving me a comfortable time cushion for me to reach my next destination of the day: Yamsay Mountain. Yes, a Diamond/Yamsay road trip one-day slam. The things that crazy prominencians do.
My first legitimate peak!
roads clear at any elevation. minor snow patches closer to marie and rockpile lake. most of the ground under snow near the lakes and the pct area. was able to stay on exposed ridgeline up the first half of the mtn but used crampons on the upper half. Some areas were soft enough to not need them. false summit to main summit had plenty of snow on the east side to cross and stay off of the rock but not too close to the edge. very few mosquitos still, but expect them to get bad soon. pioneer gulch might be a better route for the next couple of weeks if you're good with a gps, due to no trail visible up at the pct. (I used gps there too, it's tricky getting back to the lakes on the way down without it)
Came in from the Bear Mt. TH and hit the NW ridge to the summit. Snow level was about 6500! We were able to park at around 5500. Yes this is in February.
Great Peak. The last ridge was very scenic and view was amazing. Climbed by hiking to Marie Lake from Summit Lake and then heading north straight up the ridge. The only downer of the day is that the mosquito were horrible until we got half way up the mountain. I'd call this mostly a class 2 climb a few class 3 spots. High clearance vehicle needed for drive to Summit Lake coming in from the east.
My sons first peak.Great time, good weather, awesome company.
Beautiful trip, great view from the top.
Did this one with a friend from work. We left the Pioneer Gulch trailhead around 1030AM. Mosquitoes weren't too bad, but they were there. I bet in another week or two it would be nasty. We brought DEET and I would definitely recommend that.
It was an absolutely beautiful day with high temps in the 60s. Zero wind-I've almost never experienced a quieter environment. We reached the junction with the Corrigan Lake/Marie Lake trail and began the bushwack 40 degrees NE. As the route description on SP says, you can't really see that you're on the ridge until you're pretty high up on it due to trees and terrain.
We ran into snow around 6400 feet, but for a while it was optional--scree and talus on the ridge's high point or snow on the south side of the ridge. We decided to put the snowshoes on at some point and kept them on except for when we had to walk over some rockier sections. I wished I had brought crampons since the snowshoes I was using didn't have the best crampons and I had to use my ice axe a lot to avoid sliding down.
Summited at around 330PM. Found a guy and his dog on top. The guy was doing yo-yo ski runs down the east side and it looked like fun. He was the only other person we saw all day. Fantastic views of the Sisters and Thielsen, and Jefferson and Hood we're visible in the distance.
Although the hike back down isn't on a trail, we were often on our boot prints (even in the dirt) from earlier in the day because the route kind of naturally pushes you in a certain path. We glissaded on a lot of snow stretches and were making good time but got a little lost towards the bottom. Our senses of direction were telling us both that we needed to go right (North), but the gps was telling us we needed to go left (South). We should've listened to the gps because after a 30 minute detour we realized we were not where we should've been. It felt so wrong, we couldn't believe it. It's hard to get too lost because as long as you're heading downhill you'll run into a trail sooner or later (the Corrigan Lake/Marie Lake trail). The key is knowing which way to go once you hit it.
Anway, ice axe was a must. Snowshoes or crampons. I would've preferred crampons. At the time we went, the SW ridge would've still been ski-able in a lot of areas, but I don't know that it would've been worth hauling gear up for it. The east side was still very ski-able. A good 2-day shuttle trip might've been to climb up the SW ridge, then ski down the east side to the PCT, and then hike out from there. A good map is always a must, but in this case a gps would be useful for route finding. The gps app on my phone was actually more useful than the older etrex I had.
Summary, a long day, but nothing too difficult or technical. A lot of fun. Just make sure you know where you are, where you're going, and which way will take you back!
Went with my cousin. Road 2160 still had snow so we hiked in from the intersection @ 2149. Hit continuous snow at about 5200' and used snowshoes from there on up.
Our party of 5 included a dog. Excellent hike and scramble, seldom visited. Little evidence of even a climbers' path. Loved it
Drove FSR 6010 and 380 from the east. Hiked the Diamond Peak and Rockpile trails to Rockpile Lake, then on to Marie Lake. Bushwacked up the South Ridge route. It was a hot and humid day with intense mosquitoes near Marie Lake.
Proposed 10 years ago on top of Diamond, the return trip was just as nice. I love you Abby.
On the advise of the Middle Fork Rangers, we decided to forgo attempting to get to Summit Lake (5600') to start from the PCT trailhead due to snow levels at 4500' and the road likely being blocked. We instead on Road 21 to 3556 to 4484 and started on trail 3632 at the 4950' elevation. We didn't start on the trail until noon, and turned back at 3:30pm when we realized we would be summiting and hiking back in the dark. No fresh tracks in the snow, so we were not very confident we could track back to the car via headlamps and using only our own tracks. A peak for another day.
Started from the PCT after camping at Marie Lake (yeah, bugs were bad). Hike/climb was great and the view was terrific. No snow crossing required. Be prepared for lots of false summits. Lost the trail on the way down, used a map/compass to find out way back to the PCT.
After the climb, the hike out to Trapper Creek trail head made for a long day.
False summit after false summit. Stayed at Marie lake and was treated to mosquito factory.
fun hike up Diamond Peak with my girlfriend Amy
From a still mostly frozen Divide Lake gained the ridge and skirted to the top. The trail from Notch Lake to Divide Lake was mostly covered in snow. The mosquitos were horrendous in the trees.
Took advantage of a favorable break in weather to climb the SW Ridge. Time up from Pioneer Gulch trailhead was 4 hrs 20 minutes.
Clear overnight skies and low temps in the upper 30s gave up us firm snow. Snow level is currently about 5500'
We took snowshoes but stashed them at the junction with the Diamond Peak Trail (#3669) on the way in. The snow on the SW Ridge was pretty solid, so we put on crampons somewhere around 6000'.
Blue sky day, it was great. Did not see anyone else.
Snow softened up in afternoon and we used the snowshoes for the last part of the snow. Great trip!
Bob J. / Eugene, OR