Saturday, January 24, 2009

Aloha, Diamond Head!

"You're going to freeze in that outfit", Mountaineers leader Giday said to me when we met to carpool to Diamond Head. "But where we're going, shorts and a t-shirt is the standard garb". "No, no, no", he asserted, "this is Diamond Head at Blewett Pass, elevation 5,915' and currently snow-covered and expecting a high of 22 degrees." 

Giday was right- while the mountain does look a lot like its namesake in Honolulu, it is on the eastern crest of the Cascade Mountains, receives plenty of snow and is usually a bit colder than areas to the west like Snoqualmie Pass. 

The snow was crusty and not very deep and the air was cold and dry. Once we started up to the saddle between Diamond Head and the unnamed peak to the east, we left the ankle-breaking traverse and icy snow behind us and started to enjoy views of the Stuart Range.

After many photo stops, we reached our destination at the summit and lunched, marvelling at our good timing because fog was rolling in and the weather was changing. For now, it made for more dramatic photos, especially since Mt. Rainier came into the picture. And we were all in the standard garb for this Diamond Head: layers of wool, fleece and down.

For more great photos, click here.

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