Hiked from the 6950' saddle, staying left of the ridge line lower to avoid brush and downed timber, then traversed right following a boot track as the slope steepened in talus. A handsaw was handy on the drive in to remove small trees leaning across the road. Excellent views in all directions.
I headed over from Boise thinking I might be able to do some snow climbing but as with most of the northwest there simply isn't much snow this year. I drove up to the saddle- I think most people would want a high clearance and four wheel low to get there. The hike itself was trivial with only a few patches of snow. What hiking I did involved deadfall and unpleasant talus. Overall, the drive was fun and the views were good but the hike was forgettable
I drove from Eugene that morning hitting Fields Peak, Dixie Butte, Vinegar Hill, and ending at Ironside Mountain. Thus I was pretty tired of driving when I left the hwy. This road though, really woke me up! I agree, do not attempt this unless you are sure of you're vehicle and you're driving ability. A couple of times I wondered if I wasn't driving out of there, but then again there were a couple of times I couldn't help but have a huge grin on my face. The truck did fine and I made it to the north col. Then I looked up and saw the massively steep "45min" hike to the top. I'm in pretty good shape and sure enough I was back at my car in 50 min dripping with sweat, so you might want to budget an hour or so. I was a great view from the top, with perfect weather.
This was a great peak, one of my favorite hikes this year. Without 4WD/high-clearance, I decided to approach via the Northwest Ridge. What a great choice! The hike was very direct, straightforward, and scenic. It only took me 2h0m from car to summit and then 1h30m from summit to car, and that is with starting further away than I had wanted. A small wildfire was on a nearby hill to the base of the Northwest Ridge, but a fire prevention crew had already contained the blaze and allowed me safe passage per my intended route. The ridge is very open and had no bushwhacking. The loose talus slopes of the false summit required some following of faint paths and careful walking. The true summit had great views in every direction. Highly recommended peak and route. YDS Class 1+, in my opinion.
On a side-note, one of the next future summiters should bring a container, pencil, and paper to the summit. The original register is in VERY bad shape.
The weather in Idaho was crummy so my partners and I headed for Oregon to Climbe Ironside. The day turned out to be great and Ironside was a very interesting mountain. There were a few very low clouds that came in around us but all they did was make the day more interesting. It was also my first Oregon Peak.
This was a long drive. Had to pull one tree off the road and cut another with a saw to get to the trailhead. Dean was with me, but he had the Prairie City tomain.
I drove my 4Runner to the saddle east of the peak, then hiked the remaining ~900 feet from there. The weather was perfect, but the views were limited by the haze from wildfires. Remote and interesting area, and nice mountain. It was my 59th Oregon P2K.
Although snowstorms were whipping over the Strawberry Mountains and Monument Rock to the west Ironside Mountain sat in an island of blue sky for me all day making the hike cold and windy but at least under blue skies. Hard to believe I was hiking in shorts and a tank top two weeks before this! Great view from here, especially to the west and south this day where I could watch the snowstorm brushing over the nearby mountaintops. The drive in was a little disorienting, roads in this area are basically unmarked, especially the further from the pavement you get. Didnt see any wildlife whatsoever, however the bowhunters were pretty thick around the bottom of the mountain. Anyway, loved this hike, a fitting close to my summer of Blue Mountain's hiking.