ROMAIN WACZIARG

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IRON MOUNTAIN


Ascent of Iron Mountain (Southeast Ridge from Anona Lake, class 2), with Simon Wacziarg, August 5, 2017.


Timeline:

August 4, 2017. We woke up early in order to reach Minaret Summit before 7:00, since cars are no longer allowed to enter after that. At 7:19, we started hiking the Fern Lake trail from the overnight hiker's parking lot at Devil's Postpile. The crux of the hike was crossing King Creek, which we did barefoot and without incident. We reached Fern Lake at 11:25, finding it full of mosquitos, so we proceeded on to Anona Lake. We found a suitable campsite at 12:45, after searching for quite some time for a dry and flat spot. We settled for a nice open campsite North of the lake's outlet, with an outstanding view of the striking glacial cirque around Anona Lake. After a late lunch, we spent the afternoon reading and playing cards. It started raining around 18:00 and rain continued for part of the night. (A 5:26 hour day).

August 5, 2017. We woke up at 6:00 and left camp at 7:05, heading up the ridge rising between Anona Lake and Fern Lake. Our chosen route up Iron Mountain was to circle the ridge that tops the Anona Lake cirque, clockwise. We did this at a good pace, staying mostly on the very crest of the ridge until reaching the base of Peak 3,288. There, we dropped down to a notch and climbed directly to that peak's summit on a class 2-3 face. We reached the summit of Peak 3,288 at 9:39 am. It was covered with wildflowers, and by then we had a great view of the summit of Iron Mountain, about 0.8 miles northeast. We continued along the ridge, on easier terrain, passing several gendarmes on the left (Southwest). We saw a coyote descending the slopes near the very crest of the ridge. Simon led the last section to the summit, arriving at 10:52. We took a long lunch break on the summit, signed the register, and took numerous summit pictures. Despite worsening weather, we had outstanding views North toward the Minarets, Mount Ritter and Banner Peak, as well as Northwest toward the peaks of southern Yosemite (including the Clark Range). To avoid having to descend Peak 3,288, we decided to come down a different way, heading down the grassy slopes toward Corral Meadow. I intended to skirt the south slopes of Peak 3,288, but ended up going too far South into forest and granite slabs. In retrospect this was a mistake - it would have been much quicker to simply retrace our steps. We headed back North to regain the ridge above Anona Lake, under worsening weather. A thunderstorm was developing and it started to rain. We reached the crest of the ridge around 17:00 and made our way down toward Anona Lake. We were in camp at 18:08, had dinner, played cards, and went to bed early. It rained again that night. (An 11:03 hour day).

August 6, 2017. We woke up around 6:30 to wonderful morning sunlight, and took our time having breakfast, drying our gear in the sun and packing camp. We left at 8:30, making our way back to Devil's Postpile at an easy pace. This time, we wore our camp shoes to cross King Creek, which made the task much more comfortable. We were back at the Ranger Station at 12:30 and in the car at 12:45. We stopped on the way at Minaret Summit to take photos of the Ritter Range, and were home shortly thereafter. (A 4 hour day).

Photos:

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