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    Hiram Peak Hike
    (Saturday, October 26, 2002 in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness, CA)

    See also my photo album from this hike

    Continued from Folger Peak...

    Highland Lake 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.

    Hiram Peak's 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.

    Adam, Sarah, Denise, and Ralph in front of Hiram Peak 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.

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    Hike Stats:
    Distance: 2.4mi
    Total Time: 2h 55m
    Difficulty: 3
    Scenery: 4
    Trail condition/markings/etc: n/a
    Total climbing: 1,115ft.

    Last modified 08 February, 2011 MST
    Copyright © 2009 Adam R. Paul
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