Iron Bear Mtn & Jester Mtns (May 24, 2014)

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iron_bear_jester_coverConditions: Day Hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Liberty
Area: Teanaway
Reference: n/a
Stats: 8.85mi, 2528' gain (round trip)

Bigger plans for the weekend fell through (weather). Late evening call to Jim...got plans...can I talk you into a trip? Let's head east, I don't know where. Meet at the P&R at 7am and we'll decide on the way...

Weather definitely looked better east. Even closer to Roslyn or Salmon la Sac it was expected to be mostly cloudy and maybe some rain. Further north and east it got better. Jim had some suggestions, ideas we'd tossed around the night before. Earl...Navaho... I'd done both of these in several seasons. In my mind I was thinking a dirt hike with some flowers. He suggested Iron Bear and Jester. I think we both knew that's the trip we wanted to do.

We parked Gertie at the first parking area after the creek crossing (the lower parking area). We were the second car. We opened our doors and hmm...was a bit chilly. We'd start out in long sleeves and with pant legs on. I walked around the back of he car, flipped open the hatch and...Jim...where is my pack? I was puzzled. I'd filled it up with water, stuffed my lunch into it and...LEFT IT ON THE WASHING MACHINE BACK AT HOME! My first real knucklehead move of the year :) Good thing we'd picked a relatively easy trip today. At least my boots and sock were in the back of the car. Jim said he'd take his pack and would carry anything I had that I wanted to take...I didn't have much. And, he was nice enough to share his water and lunch.

The TH is at about 3636'. The trail starts flat and we barely broke a sweat hiking up to the pass (where the trail for Teanaway Ridge heads off south. Getting to the pass (216mi, 4459') is all snow free. Train is in good shape. Lots of flowers out but alas...no scarlet gilia yet.

From the pass the trail heads north and slowly does a few long zigs and zags to get to the top of Iron Bear (3.8mi, 5480'). There was one minor patch of snow just before the top and the top still has some snow on it but nothing that makes getting up there hard. We found a nice sit rock and stopped for lunch.

After Iron Bear we decided to head over to Jester (4.5mi, 5508') . The route likely closely follows the summer trail and stays a bit on the north (left) side of the ridge. There was snow most of the way from Iron Bear to the saddle and then patchy from the saddle to Jester. We had a real lunch on Jester and both of us, enjoying the lack of crowds founds spots for our summit naps. We had plenty of time on Jester before deciding to head back. Nearly back at the saddle Jim realized he'd forgot his camera on Jester so he dropped his pack and went back to get it. Timing was perfect because when he got back and we hiked back over to Iron Bear, we hadn't been there long before Jim said "isn't that Izzy?". Sure enough, up and over the snow came Izzy, Elle (Snowdog) and Barb (BarbE). What a nice surprise to run into them on this trip! More summit time on Iron Bear and then when Jim and I headed down, Izzy and her human companions headed over to Jester.
 
Iron Bear & Jester Mtns Slideshow

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(click on map to view a larger version)

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