Diamond Peak

Elevation: 12,197 ft
Prominence: 5,387

Climbing information for Diamond Peak is found on page 308. 


Diamond Peak is located in the Lemhi Mountain Range. The peak lies in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, except for a portion of its west side, which lies in the Challis National Forest. Diamond Peak is the 4th tallest peak in the State of Idaho and the only 12er in the Lemhi Range. Also, Diamond Peak is one of three peaks in Idaho (the other being Borah Peak and He Devil) that has 5,000 feet or more of prominence. Diamond ranks 43 of 57 summits in the lower 48 states in this category.

The great and unclimbed North Face of Diamond Peak. Photo- Larry Prescott

The great and unclimbed North Face of Diamond Peak. Photo- Larry Prescott

Back in 1981, when I climbed the peak, nobody was talking about climbing all of the 12,000 Idaho peaks and Diamond was very seldom climbed. Since that time, Diamond has gained in popularity, especially among the 12ers, because of its straightforward eastern approach; proximity to cities on its eastern side of Idaho such as Idaho Falls, Rexburg, and Pocatello; and growth of outdoor recreation programs at BYU-Idaho and Idaho State University.

The peak’s east ridge is the standard route, and a classic line that should not be missed. A few photos from my 1981 climb of that route are provided directly below. Further down, you will find the entire route documented in a photo essay by Dan Paulson.

Please also see Larry Prescott’s excellent photo essay on the East Ridge Route.

USGS Topo: Diamond Peak

East Ridge Route, Class 3

West Face of Diamond Peak on the day before my November 1981 climb.

West Face of Diamond Peak on the day before my November 1981 climb.

It was almost winter when we climbed the peak. Though there was a lot of snow in the canyon to the south, the east ridge was blown mostly clear of snow.

It was almost winter when we climbed the peak. Though there was a lot of snow in the canyon to the south, the east ridge was blown mostly clear of snow.

Starting up the peak's east ridge, November 1981.

Starting up the peak’s east ridge, November 1981.

East Ridge of Diamond Peak December 1981.

East Ridge of Diamond Peak November 1981.

The summit, November 1981. Notice the climbing attire of the day.

The summit, November 1981. Notice the climbing attire of the day.


East Ridge Route Photo Essay
by climber and photographer,  Dan Paulson

The east ridge route begins by climbing out of the Birch Creek Valley. Dan Paulson Photo

The east ridge route begins by climbing out of the Birch Creek Valley.

Another view of the lower route in the foreground and the upper east ridge is on the skyline climbing from right to left. Photo - Dan Paulson

Another view of the lower route in the foreground and the upper east ridge is on the skyline climbing from right to left. Dan notes that, “Once you find your way through the trees and get into the saddle where you finally get a good view of the Riddler, this is what you see when you look at your path. Follow the best way through the trees to the start of the trail up the talus slope. This is a fairly short talus slope. The ridge line is less steep and more firm once you top out above the talus.”

The ridge is a talus slog in its mid-section. Photo - Dan Paulson

The ridge is a talus slog in its mid-section.

Moving up the ridge. Photo - Dan Paulson

Moving up the ridge.

The upper ridge. Photo - Dan Paulson

The upper ridge.

The upper ridge is a rocky rib. You should be able to find a Class 3 route up the ridge but keep in mind that there is a lot of Class 4 territory so be careful where you tread. Photo - Dan Paulson

The upper ridge is a rocky rib. You should be able to find a Class 3 route up the ridge but keep in mind that there is a lot of Class 4 territory, so be careful where you tread.

The east ridge is one of the longest, pure ridge routes in Idaho. Photo - Dan Paulson

The east ridge is one of the longest, pure ridge routes in Idaho.

Classic ridge climbing at its best. Photo - Dan Paulson

Misty Broesicke enjoying classic ridge climbing at its best.

The summit. Photo - Dan Paulson

Dan Paulson and Misty Broesicke on the summit.


West Side Route, Class 3

Not many people climb the peak from the west because it involves a steep scree climb. Here is a west side route photo courtesy of Zach Vickery.

Ascending the west side of Diamond Peak involves a classic talus climb. The red line is the ascent and the blue line the descent taken by Zach Vickery and Matt Durant. Photo - Zach Vickery

Ascending the west side of Diamond Peak involves a classic talus climb. The red line is the ascent and the blue line the descent taken by Zach Vickery and Matt Durant. Photo – Zach Vickery

 


More Views of Diamond Peak

Diamond Peak from Italian Peak

Another view of this impressive peak. Diamond Peak from Italian Peak.

Diamond Peak from Copper Mountain, February 2017. John Platt Photo

Diamond Peak from Copper Mountain, February 2017. John Platt Photo

Return to the Idaho 12ers page

Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Lemhi Range

Year Climbed: 1980

Longitude: -113.082778   Latitude: 44.14667

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