Leaders: Bill T. Russell, Carleton Shay
The 18th annual routebaggers adventure to Big Iron repeated the trips of April 1976 and May 1987. We had a car shuttle Fri evening, slept at Manker Flat and started hiking at 0600. Our route was up the trail to Baldy Bowl, over to the south ridge and up to the summit of Baldy, which we reached at 0900. Here one participant joined us: he had hiked up Fri pm.
We were now a Party of 24.
We went over West Baldy and down the west slope. About halfway down one participant turned back; he had leg cramps and was out of shape. We continued west along the nice San Antonio Ridge to the east notch at 357943, this is about 500m west of pt 7758. Here the route descends and traverses on the south side for about 10m. and then ascends a chute back to the ridge crest. From here go up a 3rd class pitch for about 60' that is right on the ridge crest. It is easy although it may not look so. The route then goes down the easy west side of the inter-notch bump to the west notch at 355943. This notch is easier. The route traverses on the south side for less than 20m and then ascends through trees back to the ridge crest. From here, the climbing is rough, brushy 2nd class over bumps to the summit of Iron.
After passing the notches, one participant with impaired lung capacity was climbing very slowly so I stayed with him and Carleton Shay and Frank Goodykoontz led the other 21 people over to Iron and down the south ridge and Heaton Flat Trail to the East Fork roadhead. At about 6000' on the descent, two participants had flare ups of old injuries. Therefore the group was divided with Bobcat Thompson and David Eisenberg leading 13 at a normal pace while the other 8 stayed with the wounded. The first group reached the roadhead at 1920, the second at 2030 and the third at 2200. We had enough cars waiting so that the return to Manker Flat for cars and sleeping bags worked just fine. Iron was Pete Doggett's emblem peak, a worthy one. The weather was ideal and the wild flowers were outstanding. We looked hard but saw no sheep nor snakes. It was a good trip with good people.
My thanks to the several leaders named above who kept things moving. Data: 5800' gain, 10,000' loss, 17 miles. Participants were: Georgina Burns, Pete Doggett, David Eisenberg, Jim Farkas, Al Franz, Mike Fredette, Frank Goodykoontz, Doug Hatfield, Sandra Johnson, Mike Lohr, Tom Malloy, Randy Ragland, Bill T. Russell, David Russell, Evan Samuels, Carleton Shay, Kerry Sieh, Erik Siering, George Smith, Roy Stewart, Bob Sumner, Bob Thompson, Maris Valkass, Bob Wyka.