Iron Mountain #1 Trip Report

Trip details are given here.

Meetup Link here

My Pictures

GPS track here

KML Google Earth file

Iron Mountain #1 aka Big Bad Iron at EveryTrail

15 people signed up for this painful journey. We planned to meet at 7 am at the East Fork parking lot, and 5 left at 7:15 while I waited for some others to get ready and we left at 7:30. 5 people were not there, we assumed started a bit earlier and 2 had texted they were pretty late. One guy actually had “prepared” for this by doing part of the hike on Thursday! Who the hell would want to hike Iron Mountain 2 out of 3 days? I guess he didn’t summit on Thursday, so that would give the motivation. And he was supposed to start earlier so I assumed he had.

Anyways, getting to the trailhead, I notice this sign, which I do not remember from before:

Interesting for a couple of reasons. 5 miles away would approximate the distance to the main saddle at before the steep ridge to Iron begins, and I know there has been some discussion on what the name of it is. I don’t remember anyone considering calling it Coldwater Saddle! And also, the fact that it lists the distance to Coldwater Canyon is intriguing. Is this trail still in use? I assumed the trails off of the saddle were unmaintained…

Luckily we started early enough to avoid sun during a good amount of the hike to the saddle. The temperature was not too bad either. Going up and down these bumps along the way didn’t seem too bad, but maybe that was because I wasn’t pushing too hard.

At the saddle, topo discussion begins. For anyone who has been here, there is a faint trail to the right in this picture that curves to the southeast – it is neither the Allison Mine or Coldwater trail. It covers up quickly in brush but I still saw some remains, but I guess its nothing formal?

I took a little break and explored the two aforementioned side trails. I walked about 50 ft on the Coldwater trail which was getting overgrown in brush, but looked passable. The Allison Mine trail definitely has not been maintained. I walked probably 200 – 300 ft on it. It was still passable in this area but certainly not the most stable terrain. I saw some footprints so at least someone has been checking it out. Definitely intrigued for future exploration

We continued up and, of course, it was steep. This trail gets my legs. I could be going slow and not breathing really hard, but it will still wear out my legs. It’s just so steep in parts that it burns my calves like no other. Needless to say most of the 2nd half of the hiked look like this:

and this:

Of the 10 people who started at the scheduled time, 9 summited. The one who didn’t had only planned to go to the saddle anyways since his knee was bothering him. One other only planned to go to the saddle, but was motivated and kept going and made it as well! 3 people had started earlier, 2 of which also had only planned to go to the saddle, but they ended up just pushing and going all the way. All people under 5 hrs. Quite inspiring!

One hiker and I have been talking about eventually doing the trek on the San Antonio Ridge. He decided to check out the portion just up to Gunsight Notch.

He said it looked pretty intense. We got some contacts of some people who have done it before, so in the future we might try to get them to take a few of us up. But, that’s another adventure for another time.

In the end, the guy who did part of the hike on Thursday didn’t show up early as he had overslept. But he still came and made it up, as well as the 2 others who showed up about an hour late. So in the end, 14 out of 15 people endured the entire painful trek. I’d say it was the most successful hike I’ve organized.

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 22nd, 2008 at 9:03 pm and is filed under Trip Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Iron Mountain #1 Trip Report” - Southern California Hike Reports and Trail Information » Blog Archive » Hiking: Then and Now - Southern California Hike Reports and Trail Information » Blog Archive » Hiking: Then and Now January 21st, 2009 at 9:26 pm

[...] 57? FIFTY-SEVEN people summited?! When we did the hike this past fall, we had 14 people make it up and I thought that was a huge [...]

Top 5 Leg-Busting Hikes in Los Angeles | Modern Hiker

Top 5 Leg-Busting Hikes in Los Angeles | Modern Hiker June 15th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

[...] Of course, there are many other tough trails around here, and I’m sure you’ll share your favorites in the comments. One of my all-time favorite tough treks was Strawberry Peak, but that’s right smack in the middle of the Burn Area and probably won’t be open anytime soon. There is also the even MORE difficult ascent of Baldy from the Mount Baldy Village visitors’ center (on my to-do list for summer), and the cross-country hack-and-slash of Iron Mountain. [...]

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