Gendarmes, Gen-darms, Jen-dar-meez, Gend-ar-mays

Peak Summited2021 Diamond Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadDiamond Rockpile
EncounteredFall foliage
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsIntermittent snow - not hard to cross
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

Just squeaked in my final hike of the Central Oregon Six Pack. Most of the snow from Sept 27th and 28th has melted on the south route to Diamond Peak, but it looks like storms are lining up.

I drove the Bend, Crescent, Oakridge way to the Rockpile trailhead. It’s a long drive but smooth enough for any vehicle.

The evergreen needle cushioned Rockpile to PCT route climbed through a gorgeous forest.  I enjoyed this for about 4 miles until exiting the PCT at a ribbon marked cairn. After this the real climbing began.

Steep dirt changed to steep rocky dirt, to steep rock, to steep scree, etc.  I followed a series of cairns to the south ridge keeping an eye out for landmarks to use for navigating on the way down.

Once atop the south ridge the trail is mostly visible except for at the rocky gendarmes  guarding sections of the trail. Some gendarmes looked impassable, but with a bit of searching the way became apparent.  After this bit of scrambling the summit was easy access.

The hike took me about 3 hours up and 2 1/2 hours down.  The landmarks I spotted on the way up helped me find the right ridge to get back to the PCT junction.




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