Cone Peak - Iron Mountain

June 19, 2010

The weathermanís prediction of rain did not come to pass, but we did encounter fog, clouds, snow banks and cool temperatures on this loop hike, but none of which diminished from another great day in the mountains with a pleasant group of people. Departing the Iron Mountain lower trailhead off of FS Road 15 about 10:00 a.m. we hiked counter-clockwise to get the uphill to Tombstone Pass out of the way at the beginning, rather than the end of the day. While not the earliest in the year that I have done this trip, the flower season had just barely gotten underway, with an abundance of trillium and glacier lilies (I donít think I have seen glacier lilies before on this loop). There were many other flowers coming on, but it will be a couple of weeks before the big show starts. I found it a real treat to see what happens early in the growing season in the area.

We did not go up Cone Peak as planned due to the fog (no view) and the wet grass (making an already steep, difficult cross-country slope even worse). So after a brief lunch (due to the chilly conditions) about 11:45 at the rocks on the ridge to Cone Peak, be headed around the north side of Iron Mountain. While there were patches of snow along the trail and visible on the mountains, the area on the north side of Iron Mountain, which can often have considerable late snow on the trail, was relatively snow free, with the snow banks remaining easily traversed. As we approached the summit of Iron Mountain on the northeast side we again encountered quite a bit of snow, but again it was relatively easy to cross it.

The view from the summit of Iron Mountain, while not extensive, was not too bad since the clouds had lifted some from earlier in the day. After a leisurely stay at the summit platform, we headed down to the cars via the Iron Mountain Trail, arriving back at the trailhead about 3:00.

Hikers were members Janet Jacobsen, John Jacobsen (leader), Ed Lichtenstein, Sarah Praskievicz and Susanne Twight-Alexander; and nonmembers: Robyn Barthel and Evan Onaclea.

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