Leaders: Bill T. Russell, Frank Goodykoontz
The 17th Annual Routebaggers adventure to "Big" Iron was via the north gully and ridge. It was a duplicate of trips made in September 1986, November 1983 and October 1980 and completes four cycles of my leading trips that ascended the east, west and north ridges in succession. The other five annual climbs ascended the south ridge.
On Saturday we hiked up the East Fork to the Fish Fork and up it and its south branch to elevation 4140 feet (UTM 34149609) where we had a very pleasant evening. On Sunday we climbed the brush-free gully that starts where we camped and ends at about 5900 feet on the north ridge, the one just east of Falls Gulch. We then went on up the steep, narrow ridge to the summit. The gully and ridge gave spots of easy 3rd class climbing. At 7200 feet we saw seven bighorn sheep on the adjacent ridge to the west.
We ate lunch on top and descended the standard south ridge route. The USFS has brushed out the trail from Allison Saddle to Widman Ranch and survey stakes and ribbons are placed along the Heaton Flats Trail, so maybe it is scheduled for much needed treatment.
It was a good outing with nice cool weather and fine people. Participants were: Ron Barbour, David Eisenberg, Hans Lehman, Amon Friedman, Ellen Holden, Frank Goodykoontz, Karen Leonard, Pat Russell, Bill T. Russell.