Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:24 am Post subject: Iron Mountain (Big Iron) via Southwest Ridge
One day soon, after most of the snow has melted and the rivers level drops, I am planning a hike to the summit of Iron Mountain via Allison Gulch and then the southwest ridge. We would start at Heatonís Flat, follow the east fork of the San Gabriel River (river crossings and wet feet likely), leave the river to follow Allison Gulch, hike up to before the waterfall and take a use trail up around the difficult part of the Gorge to Allison Mine. Just before Allison mine we will head North and follow the ridge up to the main ridge leading southwest from Iron. Some class 3 and possible 4 will be involved.
I will keep everyone posted on when this trip will happen,
I am going to write more of a trip report later. All I can really say at this point is that this route was very challenging. I read a trip report in the HPS newsletter of some guy who said this route was actually quicker than the usual route. Well, I don't know if he was joking or what, but it took us double the usual time to summit (8.5 hours). Tom and I are no slouches either, our usual time to Iron is 3.5-4 hours (I even did it just over 3 hrs once). The many river crossings slowed us down, then once we left Allison Gulch we hit pretty well sustained class 3 for most of this ridge. Lots of brush. Ups and down over various bumps along the ridge, and then nearing the top we hit deep snow, often corniced over the ridge, making difficult progress. The worst was trying to bushwhack in deep snow. You could walk on top of the snow up to the brush, but then you sunk in up to you waist at times. Very tiring doing this over and over. WE ended up hiking out the usual trail in dark, but we made good time going down even though there was a lot of snow (just under 3 hrs). It also surprised me that no one else had summited since we had all the snow, so we had to break trail going down too. All in a fun day of hiking. _________________ Travis Linds
Looking forward to the TR. I sort of want to give a thumbs up and a grimace at the same time. You guys are nothing but beasts Can any ridge stop you guys with all that horsepower? Anyways, congrats!
Thanks for setting the record straight too, that guy said it was quicker than from Heaton Flats? wow.
What I saw in this short description was determination, and that key lesson of not letting brush get to you. On top of that was a hot hiking temperature. Occasionally, people talk about brush, but a lot of times these guys are modest. Its not a 10 on the scale or even 8, but this adds a whole challenge to a hike thats not often described...but for those who share the views from the result...thanks.
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