Iron Peak (July 6, 2012)

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iron_pk_coverConditions: day hike
Map: USGS Mount Stuart
Area: Teanaway
Reference: 100 Hikes in Washington's Alpine Lakes
Stats: 6.8mi, 2537' gain (round trip)

Finally, I tagged myself a new Teanaway peak. I'd tried to do Iron several years ago from the Beverly side as a snow scramble (running the "ridge" down from Bills Peak). But, that ridge was steep and snow covered and it just didn't look pleasant so we turned round. The option today was to go in again from the Beverly side (north) or from the DeRoux side (south). Hmmmm...this time of year north means snow, south means more melted out. Guess which one won?

I wanted a really early start because temps in the area (summit) per NOAA said 71F. I wanted to be back in my way down before the worst heat hit. I was the second car in the pullout. The first car was a Mtneers car waiting for the rest of the group. I packed fast and headed up, up, up the trail. It's shaded at first, then dappled...then more or less open as the trail heads up the ridge. Most of the trail is bare dirt. Down low lots of spring beauty, glacier lilies and anemone blooming. Mid way...when the grade temporarily levels out, there were some minor patches of snow...and some muddy muck holes. Higher up towards the pass...a few larger snow patches but nothing of consequence. Just right up and over most of them. It's easy to find the trail on the other side.

I got to the ridge and was already HOT...damn hot. I managed to out run the Mtneers to the ridge and I wanted some alone time on the Iron summit so off I went. There was more snow along the ridge. Down low easiest to just go up and over it...then find the trail on the other side. A bit higher up I found the trail to the right (right on the way up). Lots more flowers blooming. I found one interesting purple colored one and I stopped to take a few photos. I heard some footsteps nearby and wondered how the Mtneers group caught up so quickly. I looked up towards the noise and found myself staring at a very large mountain goat which was only about 30 feet away. The goat appeared to want to hold it's ground. I wasn't comfortable with either the goats attitude or how close it was. I yelled at it, banged my trekking poles and kept a large tree between me and the goat. Finally, slowly, reluctantly...the goat edged away. I continued up the ridge and very soon heard the voices of another party. They were coming down from the top. I suspect they heard me yelling at the goat and came to see if they could help. The goat had stared them down a while as well.

It's an easy walk to the Iron summit from the minor saddle. I love those Teanaway ridge walks. Today was no excepting. Rainier was very clear to the south. Stuart was cloud free and so were all the other Teanaway peaks. Fun spotting all the other peaks I've been to in the area. I had the summit to myself for about 30 minutes and then headed down (retracing my steps).
Iron Peak Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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