Diamond Peak
Diamond Peak is the fourth highest mountain in Idaho (ID) and had been high on my peak-bagging to-do list for quite some time.  On the final leg of my recent three-week road trip, I decided to scramble up Diamond Peak via its east ridge before heading home.  After checking out of my motel in Idaho Falls, ID on the morning of 16 August 2013, I drove to the base of Diamond Peak's east ridge as per the directions from  Using my GPS with pre-loaded waypoints was helpful in navigating the labyrinthine back roads, but I was only able to drive as far as the bottom of a big hill about 800 metres short of the end of the road.

Leaving my car, I hiked to the end of the road and picked up a beaten path heading up through some trees.  The path eventually disappears, but I continued to climb up the grassy slope until I reached a low saddle on the crest of the east ridge.  Though steep in places, the terrain on the lower part of the ridge is mostly Class 1 or 2 and does not pose any serious challenges.  Higher up, the ridge takes on a more serious complexion as the terrain is predominantly Class 3 for the last 350 metres or so before the summit.  I stayed on the crest of the ridge as much as possible but occasionally detoured to climber's right to avoid tougher obstacles.  A little more than 4.5 hours after leaving my car, I was standing on the broad summit of Diamond Peak.

After spending about 40 minutes at the summit, I retraced my steps down the mountain and enjoyed a relatively trouble-free descent.  Smoke from a wildfire to the west darkened the sky, and my drive back to the highway had a rather surreal quality about it.  I continued driving through the night all the way back to Calgary to conclude a most satisfying road trip which saw me drive over 6000 kilometres, visit 5 US states, play 3.5 rounds of golf, and climb 10 named peaks.  I can hardly wait for my next vacation!
I saw a herd of antelope running across this vast open landscape. Simply amazing. Diamond Peak looks resplendent in the morning sun.
This is about as far as my Honda CR-V could take me. The road ends just below the white rocks.  A beaten path continues up through the sparse forest but eventually peters out on the grassy ridge.
It gets bloody steep just ahead! The east ridge is initially easy Class 1-2 terrain.
Still mostly hiking at this point... A good beaten path continues up the slope of rubble.
This is where the fun begins... The east ridge begins to look a bit daunting.
Head right past the cave here. The upper part of the ridge is solid Class 3 terrain.  Note the shallow cave at far right.
About another 40 minutes to the top from here. A short flat stretch precedes more Class 3 terrain.
My 3rd Idaho 12,000-footer! Sonny stands on the summit of Diamond Peak (3716 metres), the fourth highest mountain in Idaho.
Lotsa haze in the air today... Bell Mountain, at distant right, stands out to the northwest.
Not a 12,000-footer but a sexy peak nonetheless! Here is a closer look at Bell Mountain.
Can you see my car? Across the valley to the east, Copper Mountain is nearly dead centre on the horizon.
Lotsa rugged mountains here! The Lemhi Range stretches away to the southeast.  On the horizon at right is Saddle Mountain.
Time to head down. This is looking back down the east ridge from the summit.
I guess I shouldn't have tossed that lit cigarette to the wind... Smoke from a major wildfire near Ketchum, ID obscures the sun over Diamond Peak.

The world is coming to an end!

The sun turns an eerie pink colour as the smoke thickens.

The end of an amazing 3-week holiday. Here is a last look at Diamond Peak from where Sonny parked his car.
An excellent scramble! Total Distance:  15.6 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  8 hours 6 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  1267 metres