Iron Mountain by Gunn Peak / 靠槍峯的鐵山

Up until last week, I had never heard of this Iron Mountain. But we had been up two Iron Mountains in the past. One in the Teanaway Backcountry, and the other in the Mount Rainier National Park. The views on this mountain made up for what we missed out last weekend.

Summit dogs on Iron Mountain 5245
Summit dogs on Iron Mountain 5245

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Iron Mountain 5245 at a Glance

Access: Index-Galena Road blockade 
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 840′-5245′
Gear: helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Index-Galena Road

A recent trip report with beautiful photos of Wild Sky Wilderness peaks piqued my interest. The climb also allowed us to go through the town of Index. We then drove on Index-Galena Road for the very first time.

We went to the end of Index-Galena Road just before 9 AM. The blockade there marked the dead-end, and it kept us from driving any farther. There were also two other cars there. So I knew we were in the right place.

Four miles of road walk
Four miles of road walk

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The Road Walk

The road walk was straightforward but tedious. Then we hiked four miles on the road before leaving the path. On the bright side, route finding for the trip was minimal. But there were lots and lots of down trees blocking the roadway. Then the worst section came at the 1300′ elevation.

Also, roadway conditions varied. Some parts were smooth and dry. In contrast, others were rough with rocks, mud, and running water. It was interesting that the road didn’t have a number.

Roadside attractions
Roadside attractions

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Iron Mountain Southeast Ridge

Snow appeared at 3000′. Then more snow at 3400′ where I put on snowshoes. There were old snowshoe tracks, plus a new boot trail from today. So there was at least one other person ahead of us. At 3600′, the new tracks went up into the western basin.

But we stayed on the road almost to the end. Then at 4250′, we left the roadway and moved uphill. Later, we went up to the southeast ridge at 4750′. Then we continued on the ridgeline for the rest of the climb.

Sidestepping on the southern slopes
Sidestepping on the southern slopes

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Iron Mountain Summit

We were able to stay on the crest for the most part. But at times, we needed to bypass outcrops from south of the ridge. Soon, we made it up on the summit. Right away, I saw the cornices on the north side. But we stayed away from that area the entire time.

Views were excellent on this sunny and virtually windless day. The backside of Merchant Peak, Gunn Peak, and Jumpoff Ridge was quite impressive. We were at a perfect angle to see the Wild Sky Wilderness mountains!

Merchant Peak
Merchant Peak

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Outro

On the way out, we went into the western basin through the southwest ridge. It was slushy snow by the time we got down on the south slopes. By then, it was hard to keep plunge-stepping. At last, we connected with our old tracks at 3600′.

Glad to be on snow while it lasted. Soon, we were back on the road to finish the last 3.5 miles of the uneventful walk.

Iron Mountain 5245 topo track
Iron Mountain 5245 topo track

See more trip photos here.

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