Iron Mountain #2, Condor Peak, Fox Mountain #2
12 January 1991
By: David Jensen
Leaders: David Jensen, Ray Riley
On Saturday, a group of eleven hikers gathered at the Sylmar Carpool Pt from the far reaches of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Our mission, which we all chose to accept, was an excursion to Iron, Condor, and Fox via the Trail Canyon Trail. After a short meeting to get driving instructions to the trailhead, we were off, bidding a fond farewell to Denny's.
By the time we had all arrived at the trailhead and completed our pre-hike preparations, it was nearly 0800 and past time to be on our way. In the absence of David Eisenberg, who was under the weather, Ray Riley "volunteered" to assist on the hike.
We started up the road, avoiding several territorial minded dogs from some nearby homes, until we reached the trail marker. Then we continued up the canyon, crossing the stream many times as advertised. However, being a dry year, we did not get our feet very wet. After some five miles and 3,000', we reached the Condor Peak Trail. From there, we went on to Iron Mtn first. After a short but peaceful respite on the summit, we returned to the Trail Canyon & Condor Peak trails junction for a short lunch break. At this point, Hal Rice signed out, as he had the other peaks.
Rested and raring to go, we left for Condor Peak, our next stop for the day. All too soon, or so it seemed, we were at the saddle just east of the peak. At that point, hiking became a bit more difficult, finding our way up the steep slope and past the false summit to the top. As we relaxed and passed around the register to sign and receive official credit for the climb, we also had the opportunity to look at all the nearby peaks. Unfortunately, the only snow to be seen was on Mt. Baldy, a bad sign this late in our so-called rainy season.
Our last peak for the day, Fox Mtn, seemed so near but was further away than it appeared. As we hiked along, there was a nagging thought about all that downhill from Condor. Did we really have to come back up this way? After the short but steep climb up Fox and our subsequent return, we found out that yes, indeed, we did have to go back up that additional 600+' to get back to the saddle near Condor. Oh well, just another character-building HPS trip.
To save some time and distance, we went down the ridge from point 4,949, arriving back in Trail Canyon near the Tom Lucas Campground. As it was getting late in the day, we did quicken our pace to avoid spending any more time hiking in the dark than we had to. However, it was still after 1810 when we reached the cars. With an earlier start, we would have had no trouble in returning while it was still light. As it was, we went over 17 miles and 5,700' during the day!
We had a good congenial group who all stayed together. Other participants were Carol Breyde, Tim Krisher, Roy (second-time) Stewart, Martha Flores, Doug Demer, Phil Weinreich, Devra Wasserman, and Robert Baldwin. Again, thanks to Ray Riley for helping out on short notice.
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