2011/5/20 – Iron Peak / 鐵峯

The weather was too good to pass up so I took a personal day off from work to hike. Since I had a concert that same night, I needed a shorter hike with gorgeous mountain view. While searching for options on the WTA site, I came across HikerJim’s trip report from last month via Beverly Creek. He posted some amazing pictures, so Iron Peak for us it was.

In the trip report, Jim mentioned he parked his car near the old guard station on 9737, so I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to get very far to access trail #1399. Service road 9737 was bumpy from all the potholes even in my SUV. I kept my fingers crossed in hope that the road was clear all the way to the trailhead. Lucky for us, we didn’t see the first patch until mile marker 8.5 before crossing a creek, which was about one and a half mile from the trailhead. I didn’t need to risk of getting stuck in the snow so we parked the car and started walking. There was one other car parked in the area when we arrived.

The snow continued in big patches all the way to the trailhead. The trail was clear of snow before we hit the first switchbacks and was around for the remainder of the hike. Surprising, the snow was mostly packed so I only had to use my microspikes for traction. I didn’t need my snowshoes for the hike, but I brought them along just in case. Never knew what condition the snow might be in at various elevations. The sun felt nice and it was relaxing to hike in packed snow pretty much all the way to the top, with non-aggressive elevation gain. I post holed a few times, but not enough to put on the snowshoes.

The hike along Eldorado River already had a amazing view to the west/southwest, and I couldn’t wait to see what the peak had in store. The dogs had a great time chasing each other and running around in the snow. There were no visible human tracks in the snow, so I believe I was the only one there. Once we got on the ridge, walking along the ridge line to the peak was a breeze. I was in awe the minute the Stuart Range came into view. I’ve seen south side of the range a few times before, but it always seemed like a whole new experience every time. Now I just need to get myself to the Enchantments at some point!

We got to the peak around noon, amazing view all around! We did our usual routine (eating, taking pictures, and spotting out peaks, etc.) and left the peak around 1. On the way down we saw one other hiker just below the peak.

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