I jokingly asked a friend if he wanted to climb the Diamond. He said yes?! Damn, I wasn't expecting that. We eventually set a date. After inquiring for beta about the nighttime approach, I was determined to remember the clear instructions. I am not going to lie - my memory for such things can be spotty.
After hiking for nearly 4 hours I started to wonder...The rock walls that were illuminated by the moon had little to no resemblance of the fabled Diamond.
Our wrong turn took us into the next cirque over from the Diamond. Once we began retracing our steps I all of a sudden could hear my friends beta replaying in my head. Oh yeah, we needed to go right there....
The sun started to come up and everything was clear - that our wrong turn put us at the back of the line. A long, long line. We knew the popularity of the climb, the good weather and the fact that it was a Sunday could make our chances of an ascent at 50%. As we sat in the boulder field watching the shit show going down on Broadway Ledge we ate breakfast and shifted our sights to a shorter climb on the lower east face.
The snow field up to the base of the climb didn't look that bad. I had on regular tennies and thought 'I can get up there, not problem'. My partner Patrick watched in horror as I tried to ice skate up hill. At one point I thought to myself 'if I fall, I am going to slide down this like a rag doll and end up hitting some rocks along the way'. Then I got scared. Then I downclimbed.
And this was all on my first attempt. Yeah, that's right. I tried to ice skate up hill a second time on what I thought was a better section of snow.
Back down safely after getting scared, we gave up. We came to find that even if we hadn't gotten lost we'd still be line. There was already a party sitting on Broadway at 4:30am waiting for the sun to rise. It was like the DMV - everyone takes a number, sits down and watches angrily at the people who are at the window taking their damn time. And behind them were 12 parties.
One thing I will say is its so beautiful up there. It's big. Way bigger and more grand than the pictures can capture. And its in my backyard. The plan is to try again before the season is over, which is like in 4 weeks. And next time, I will have my crampons.