Ascent of Iowa Peak on 2009-08-28

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Bryan
and Miguel. Scott stayed back at campsite 2
Date:Friday, August 28, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Iowa Peak
    Elevation:13831 ft / 4215 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was the best day of the backpacking trip. Only Scott decided to stay back as his legs were sore from Belford the day before. He elected to stay back, explore the mines and nearby alpine lakes and finaly scrambled Point 13,762 by himself and signed the log. The rest of us went after Missouri along a path we scoped out the day before from the east benches near Belford.

The trip required us to climb out of the alpine lakes where our Base Camp 3 was located and class 3 scramble along the steep cirque upper bowl of Pine Creek between Silver King Lake and Emerald Peak. The material above the boulder field was crumbly and we had to be careful in the few placed we had to upclimb to avoid steep ravines and class 5 outcroppings. We were forced to make one class 4 move. Once around the cirque we found the western bench below the east face of Emerald Peak and contoured the beautiful grassy landscape just above the timber line and just below the talus slopes.

Marc and I bushwhacked-open country trail seeking ahead of the others to find the ascent of the saddle between Iowa and Emerald. We climbed to the saddle at EL 13,430 and then elected not to try Emerald as we knew we would not have time to get Iowa and Missouri and get back to camp. We watched a father and son with stronger legs and more adapted lungs from Colorado bust up Emerald while we scrambled on some great outcroppings overlooking all of the area west of the mountain range. Spectacualr views and photos. Fun class 3 scrambling. Miguel and Bryan made it up to the saddle and Bryan decided his new record elevation of 13,430 was good enough and he sent Miguel up to join Marc and I.

Marc and I summited Iowa signed the log and met some other day hikers and watched Miguel climb up to join us. He elected to head straigh for the saddle between Missouri and Iowa so we downclimbed to join him. The views from Iowa were very impressive.

Additional gain was minimal as we tried hard to maintain altitude with out path finding all day. I estimate no more than 130 feet of gain was necessary in our backcountry navigation of the area. Then off to grab Missouri (see separate report).
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2461 ft / 749 m
    Elevation Loss:531 ft / 161 m
    Distance:4.8 mi / 7.7 km
    Grade/Class:1,2,2+,3 primarily
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Sunny to Cloudy with some drizzle
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:2461 ft / 749 m
    Extra Loss:130 ft / 39 m
    Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    Route:Twin Lakes bushwhack to Iowa-Emerald Saddle
    Trailhead:Campsite 2 at TH Junctions  11500 ft / 3505 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:401 ft / 122 m
    Distance:0.4 mi / 0.6 km
    Route:Ridge between peaks
    Trailhead:Saddle of Iowa-Missouri   13430 ft / 4093 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Collegiate Wilderness (4 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Belford2009-08-27 a
2Iowa Peak2009-08-28 b
3Missouri Mountain2009-08-28 c
4Mount Harvard2009-08-29 d

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