Iron Mountain #2, Condor Peak, Fox Mountain #2, Mount Gleason
By: George Schroedter
Leaders: George Schroedter, Frank Goodykoontz
As we headed for La Cañada that morning, Frank was concerned that we might not be able to drive the Mt Gleason Road because of snow. Later, as our group approached Mill Creek Summit it did not appear that there was too much snow on Gleason.
We found some deep ruts a short distance up the dirt road turn-off near the probation camp. The driver of one of the two cars in the caravan decided to park and ride the rest of the way with the others. After another half mile we came to an icy patch of snow where it was clear that only the 4WD trucks would be able to pass. The group in the remaining passenger car decided to turn back and climb Fox and Condor from Tujunga Canyon Rd. The 3 remaining trucks continued, but about 1/3 mile from the gated turnoff to Mt Gleason the snow became too deep to proceed. It was decided that we would hike from there-approximately 2 miles from our intended parking. This meant that we would not have time to do Fox.
We hiked up the road to Gleason and then after a brief stop we went down the west ridge to the paved road into Lightning Campground. (We made no attempt to find the missing register on Gleason.) Past the campground we encountered more snow and also big rocks on the road, so had we continued in our trucks, we still might not have made it all the way to the locked gate.
The rest of the hike went smoothly. The next peak was Iron (no register) and then down the south ridge to the Condor Peak Trail. We had lunch on Condor about 1 PM (and again found the register missing). Knowing we had the hardest part of the hike ahead of us, the lunch break was fairly short.
When we were almost back to our trucks, we were surprised to see a . Plymouth Voyager up ahead stuck in the snow heading toward our trucks. At first, we couldn't figure out how the driver had made it up there. The driver and his wife explained that they had come up the other way and were trying to get to Angeles Forest Highway.
We spent 20 minutes or so trying to get the van free, but with no success. They then squeezed in with us and we dropped them off at the Cal-Trans equipment yard at the summit. Fortunately, an employee was still there and he let the driver phone and ask his brother-in-law in Palmdale to come and get them. We were told that everything was fine and that they would come back up with shovels and chains the next morning. I hope they took a lot of help with them and got the van out before dark.
The participants who completed this hike were Eddie Mickey, Howard Gross, Bruce and Paula Peterson, Emma Burd, Theresa Glover, Asher Waxman, Basil Anton, Patty Kline, Peter Doggett, and Dolores Holladay.
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