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Iron Mountain #1

30 March 2005

By: Edith Liu


An Old Japanese Proverb says:

He who never climbs Mt. Fuji (Big Iron?) is a fool.
He who climbs Mt. Fuji twice (Big Iron?) is twice a fool.

Well, not so. Although it takes much energy and quadriceps to reach the summit of Iron Mountain, the hike to the summit is without any difficulties.

I remember the first time I conquered this peak in late May of 2001, when we were freezing cold and got wet to our underwear as we brushed against the dew-soaked branches. Then at about 7000' we left the clouds below us and dried out as we hiked the last 1000 feet in warm sunshine.

March 30, 2005, my second climb to Big Iron presented quite different conditions. Mars, Martin and I were prepared for the forecasted strong wind, possible snowfall above 5500 feet. We started to hike around 9:30 am; there wasn't a cloud in the sky or any wind. The so-called G.T. trail has been judiciously cleared of Yucca spines and nasty branches. It was well defined all the way up. At lower elevation we could hear the water flowing down a creek bed. At one point we passed a waterfall. As the trail got steeper we got hotter, no breeze to cool us off. Then at around 7500 feet small patches of snow appeared and we were able to safely kick-step our way through. We carried our heavy boots and crampons for nothing! As we approached the snow-covered peak, the temperature dropped about 20 degrees; we shivered as we hurried to don our jackets. And where is the register can? Mars tried to hack at the hard snow pack, but without an ice ax, we realized we had to leave without signing in.

I want to thank Mars for leading us to one of the more challenging peaks on the HPS List.

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