Ascent of North Iron Mountain on 2019-01-22
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Tuesday, January 22, 2019|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
|Peak:||North Iron Mountain|
| Elevation:||2703 ft / 823 m|
Ascent Trip ReportTrailhead is at Ellie Lane off Highway 67 between the Iron Mountain Trailhead and the Mount Woodson Trailhead. Trailhead is basically a residential cul-de-sac. Folks on the north side raise horses and llamas. On the south is an open pasture with sheep. There are plenty of signs, a kiosk with map and instructions. Trail follows a straight line, presumably coinciding with property lines and right-of-way. Then it takes a right-angle turn past some llamas horses and a couple of Great Pyrenees dogs and a sign not to antagonize the dogs. There is a prickly pear cactus which, today, is producing edible fruit. Trail at this point is well marked but not particularly well maintained. Still, it's a steady climb to Table Rock. Incidentally, there is a picnic table to the left of Table Rock, underneath a giant Coast Live Oak. Table Rock sits at the bottom of a giant slab of granite. If you follow the slab of granite to its apex you will find a discernible trail. Trail meanders a bit among the bushes and boulders. Views get dramatic at this point. There is some minor bushwhacking and scrambling until you get to the top.
The top of North Iron Mountain is an elongated near-oval shape. It is punctuated by Class 5 and Class 6 monoliths. I chose to circumnavigate the top. I'm not up to any technical climbing, so circumnavigation is the best way I know to prove that I was there. I explored among the rock clusters and chimneys, scrambling and bushwhacking as I went. I eventually found a climbable rock cluster at the west end of the oval. Standing on it, I seemed to be higher than any of the monoliths or Class 5 or Class 6 boulders. I touched one more "tooth" and tried to return to the downhill trail. The trail or south side of the mountain was quite temperate; however the northern edge is quite brisk and windy. I put on a jacket at that point. View were excellent, though hazy. I could see the Ellie, Iron Mountain, the Coronados, Downtown, Point Loma, Mt. Soledad, Black Mountain, San Clemente Island, Catalina Island, San Jacinto, and Cuyamaca.
Lessons learned: 1. Use super glue to fasten the rubber tips to the poles. This was my first trip where I didn't lose a rubber tip. Good suggestion, Vern. 2. Wear a vest with lots of pockets. Between iPhone (my GAIA tracker), iPod (music device), and my Nikon Coolpix camera, the extra pockets kept them from getting lost and banging around. 3. Carry a helmet. True. I'm not doing any technical rock climbing, but I have banged my head more than once in this pursuit.
Trail gets less discernible going down, but at least I had gravity in my favor. More bushwhacking until I got back to Table Rock, the Ellie Lane Trail, and the Trailhead. I'm calling this a Class 4 because of the scrambling involved. Roping up would be superfluous. Because of the adventure exploring the various rock clusters, I found this hike quite enjoyable.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||1062 ft / 323 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||1062 ft / 323 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||3.5 mi / 5.6 km|
| Quality:||5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble|
| Gear Used:||Ski Poles|
| Weather:||Pleasant, Windy, Clear|
Clear, sunny, hazy, and windy on top.
| Gain on way in:||1062 ft / 323 m|
| Distance:||1.7 mi / 2.8 km|
| Route:||Ellie Lane Trail past Table Rock.|
| Start Trailhead:||Ellie Lane 1641 ft / 500 m|
| Time:||2 Hours 48 Minutes|
| Loss on way out:||1062 ft / 323 m|
| Distance:||1.7 mi / 2.8 km|
| Route:||Meandering goat paths, Table Rock, and Ellie Lane |
| End Trailhead:||Ellie Lane 1641 ft / 500 m|
| Time:||2 Hours 47 Minutes|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Jeffrey Swain
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.
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