kdonaldson. It was a great day, beautiful weather. It was nice to hike as a team. I usually go solo.
A long arduous climb. 6000' is a lot to go up, but down was even nastier being worn out from the hike up. Made it to the top from the saddle in ~2.5hrs the use trail was in pretty good shape,not hard to follow. Couldn't have done this without my buddy Dave(thank you my friend).
Phew! Reached the summit at 1:30pm, and didn't see one person the entire day! I've never done a hike with 6,000 ft. of elevation gain, especially when almost half of that is on steep crumbly terrain! I was exhausted.. I thought those "bumps" would never end! But I did only get 3 hours of sleep the previous night, and I haven't done a big peak hike in a few years. :O I was originally planning on doing the entire ridge hike from Iron Mountain, across the Ridge to Baldy and down. But that idea quickly vanished once I collapsed at the top of Iron Mountain, and realized that I didn't have enough energy to attempt the ridge.
Amazing views from the peak though. In fact, I stayed up there for an hour and a half, took a nap, refueled with food & water, and gazed longingly at the ridgeline connecting Baldy with Iron.. I'd like to hike it another time, perhaps approaching it from Baldy instead.
Penelope May and I hiked up the Main Trail, one of the longest, nastiest hikes in San Gabriels. 14 miles Round trip, 6,000+ feet of gain. We took 10+ hours car-to-car. As a joke, we ran the last mile downhill and the flat road to the car. Great, strenuous trip.
My strategy was to go for the bumps then summit:
Bump 5385', 805' gain, .52m
Bump 6138', 753' gain, .57m
Bump 7292', 1154' gain, .73m
Summit 8007', 715' gain, .42m
This worked wonderfully since it broke down the climb into manageable sections..
I did profiles for each of the four segments with Topo! and this made the hike essentially four climbs which were easy to handle rather than one huge climb.
Also with Topo! I found I could read how the grades changed throughout.. for instance the first leg to Bump 5385' starts out steep for the first quarter mile, then levels for for the second quarter mile.
It was a cloudy day with a 30% chance of Thunderstorms in the afternoon. I started early and fortunetely, there was no rain or lightening. It took me about 2 hours, 5 minutes from Heaton Trail top to the summit ( time of day time).