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Summit Signatures

15D Iron Mountain #1

Location: Los Angeles County, California

Iron Mountain #1 was named by the USGS (1890). Originally called "Sheep Mountain" by early miners in the area after the large herds of Big Horn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) that were once found on the slopes. According to Will Thrall there was once a USFS plan to change the name back to Sheep in 1940.

Even iron-men consider the roller coaster ascent of "Big Iron" to be merciless and the toughest climb in the San Gabriels.

Name refers to features with prominent iron ore formations. Gudde notes there are about thirty such places in our State. Iron (Fe), the 26th element was initially mined in California near the gold fields during the Rush of 49. But it didn't become a significant industry for another century, due to its ease of availability as an import and in finished forms. Currently our local production only amounts to three percent of the national total. Most of the state's major deposits are in the desert portions of Riverside and San Bernardino County. Iron is a widely recognized symbol of power, durability, and inflexibility. While not viewed as less valuable in all respects and by all cultures, it was, for example, forbidden in Solomon's Great Temple, "built of stones hewed and made ready: so that there was neither hammer or axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house when it was in building" (III Kings vi, 7). This was because it was believed that iron drives out numinous powers. For similar reasons iron has been almost universally avoided for use with sacrificial offerings. Meteoric iron on the other hand has often been revered as embued with the divine. In Alchemy, iron corresponds to Mars and is considered masculine, hot and dry. It has been believed to cause lightning, storms, wildness, and mercilessness.

Name first appears on GLO State of California Map (1907).

Peak was on the original 1946 HPS Peak List. Weldon Heald climbed this peak in 1941.

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