Electra Peak, Iron Mountain
By: Campy Camphausen
The eight of us met at the Mammoth RS on Sunday at 6 am to obtain a wildeness permit and, again an hour later, at the Devil's Postpile parking lot. Rick Jali was assistant leader and we had with us Judy Ware, Delores Holladay, Dave and Mary Ann Campbell, Owen Maloy, George Peck, and I. This was billed as a "leisure" trip for Iron, Foerster, Electra.
George had a bathroom scale set out to weigh our packs; they were 47, 50, 40, and other heavy pounds. "But this trip was supposed to be a 'leisure' trip!", some-body said, and we pondered this leisure trip question over the following 6 days. We got started and crossed the bridge over the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River near the famous basalt columns. Passing the devastation of the recent Rainbow fire, we soon came to green meadows and showy displays of wild flowers. We wet-crossed the full-flowing King Creek (upon our return we found an upstream crossing log).
Our pace slowed during the 1700-foot trudge up the Granite Stairway. Several halts allowed "out-of-shapers" to rejoin us. Group integrity hallmarks a leisure trip, although, admittedly, it's not as critical on other climbs where the lead group may reach camp hours ahead of the slowest. We arrived at Corral Meadow at 4:30 pm. Eight-mile trail, 8 hours.
Iron Mountain (I1,149')
Camp was moved to Llvingston Meadow via an 8 hout trek along a fairly used but negligently maintained trail. We came to Hemlock Crossing and the bridge spanning the North Fork of the San Joaquin. Staying east of the river, we made camp at 4:30~ pm after 9 miles of trail through the old growth forest. No thought of fun and games; we were bushed! Tents were pitched, sleeping bags were laid out, and after dinner and a brief camp fire, we were ready to "hang up our feet".
Electra Pk (12,442')
The next morning everybody tried to look like they were still sleeplng. I said "It's 7 am, people", and there was a slight stir. The leisure trip idea had finally caught hold. A rest day was available, but too few wanted to climb Foerster afterward. Reasons were given for ditching it and returning some other time. We left, and it took us 2 days to be back at The Mogul in Mammoth for dinner. Thanks go to Rick Jail for his excellent assist.
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