Hiram Peak Hike
See also my photo album from
(Saturday, October 26, 2002 in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness, CA)
Continued from Folger Peak...
Nicely warmed-up from our hike up Folger Peak, we
moseyed past Highland Lake, following a pretty obvious trail climbed steeply
southeast towards the northeast ridge of Hiram Peak. This leg was pretty
darned steep, but was pleasant enough, and before long, we reached the
ridge and enjoyed the views. What I thought was the route up Hiram Peak
looked very arduous, and I secretly hoped there was an easier way, though I
certainly didn't let on to my companions! We had nice views of Folger Peak, and other, unidentified
peaks. After following a faint use trail
(actually several of them) southwest, we came to the lakelet described in my
guidebook, and then knew for sure that the ridge we'd been eyeing suspiciously
was indeed our route to the summit.
Fortunately, as we approached, it continually looked less intimidating!
We stopped for a bit at the lakelet to enjoy the views of Arnot Peak, Folger
Peak, and the surrounding countryside. Stanislaus and Sonora Peaks (the 3rd
and 1st tallest in Carson-Iceberg, respectively) were visible in the distance
as well, although some smoke blowing north from Yosemite was still making
things a touch hazier than they'd otherwise have been.
After spending a few soaking in the nice views at the lakelet, we started
up the fairly steep talus slopes. There was an obvious use trail snaking its
way up the mountainside, but it was loose, and seemed more difficult than just
walking up the crunchy talus. After a little while, we came to a larger
volcanic outcropping, traversed around it, and then came to the knife-edge ridge that my guidebook warned
acrophobics of. I found it to be just fine, and but a short spot of exposure,
but Sarah wasn't too pleased by it, and Denise was tiring, so Ralph and I left
them at the bluff and continued along the ridge towards the summit.
As we approached, the summit loomed impressively, and offered no obvious
routes. I started a class 3+ route to the summit blocks when Ralph, wisely
following the Carson-Iceberg guidebook, contoured left and found a
trivially-climbable path to the summit (as described in the book, silly me).
We soon thereafter summited and found a
rain jacket covering the highest summit rock - how odd! The summit views
were pretty darned good, especially given the relatively minimal effort
required to attain them! A bit of scrounging revealed the summit register (in
a ziplock bag), which we signed.
Some clouds were gathering over the Airola/Iceberg summit massif, making
for some nice views. After taking in our fill of the summit, we moseyed back
down the ridge towards Sarah and Denise. They'd already headed down the
mountain by this point, probably wanting to go somehwere less windy, and after
slipping our way down the mountain,
we again met up with them at the lakelet.
It was an easy hike down the ridge
towards the car, and in short order, we
were done. From the parking area, we had an impressive view of Hiram Peak,
so we took a group picture and headed back to the cabin after a good long
stretch. This was a pretty easy, and very fun peak overall, and I'll
definitely have to do it again (probably again with Folger Peak, or perhaps
with Airola and Iceberg peaks) come spring.