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Woolley and Diadem
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TOPIC: Woolley and Diadem
#289
Woolley and Diadem 5 Years, 2 Months ago  
Conditions up at Woolley and Diadem were almost excellent.
River crossing is knee deep in the morning, and crotch deep in the afternoon. This seems to correlate well with participant smell and is nice before getting into the car.
The snow route up Diadem is continuous snow with no visible ice or cornices at the top. There are a few cornice sized runnels from top to bottom which would make for some fun climbing. The rock traverse on the normal route is well cairned and bare of snow.
Overnight freezing was non-existent and the snow that fell up high over night (>2800 m), very quickly melted. Snow had ankle deep penetration, but the snow bridges seemed to to hold up well in the daytime heat. Rockfall was minimal on most of the route.
We made a Saturday ascent of Mushroom peak which took us about 4.5 hours. It feels a lot longer than it is and we were surprised at how high it is relative to is surroundings (3200 m). Mushroom Peak is a scree bash, so we probably climbed another 300 m if you added in the scree back-sliding. I think it should be considered a gross 11,000.
We managed to get to bed by 10 pm, just as it started to rain. It rained pretty much all night long, including when our alarms went off at 4:30. We went back to bed for an hour and got up at 5:30, were is was nice for 15 minutes before raining some more, so we went back to bed. We eventually left at 8 where it was beautiful, too late for a summit attempt. It had rained for so long that we didn't think it was going to stop so soon, I guess had we suffered through the rain at 5 am, we would have had a chance. We started up anyhow with a noon turnaround and made it to the end of the rock traverse (~400 m vertical shy of Diadem). You have to be tough to climb mountains. Pouring rain, at 4:30 am, in the dark, with no overnight freeze was more than we wanted to suffer. That being said, another group was tough enough to make an attempt at that time. Unfortunately, they only made a 100 m further than we did.
Matthew Breakey
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