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“Iron Creek Mountain” from the slopes of Hailstone Butte.

After summiting Hailstone Butte, Jeff and I headed toward the diminutive, GR808674, or as Bob Spirko has named it, “Iron Creek Mountain”.  It’s not an official peak but it’s still fun to climb.

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Jeff crosses a small creek. Not only does he look like a ninja, he has the moves too.

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Lunch break on the slopes of Iron Creek Mountain.

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The summit of Hailstone Butte is in the distance behind the rock shelter where we ate lunch.

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The scramble up to the ridge on Iron Creek Mountain was fairly straightforward, but we did have to be careful as some sections were slippery.

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Jeff hikes up over the ice covered rock.

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Heading to the summit of Iron Creek Mt.

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A beautiful wintry scene greeted us we neared the summit.

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Looking over the ridge to the east.

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Another pretty winter landscape.

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Jeff on the summit of Iron Creek Mountain.  Someone had built a very small cairn that we could pose beside – I mean they knew we were coming and made it just for that right?  😉

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On the summit of Iron Creek Mountain. So far, this is summit number 10 for this year (and yes, I count even the unofficial ones).

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My GPS reading on the top of Iron Creek Mt.

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Iron Creek summit view looking north. Sentinel Peak is in the foreground and Mt. Burke is in the background. We contemplated doing Sentinel Peak, but we didn’t have enough time.

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Icy rocks near the summit.

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The wind was strong and had carved paths in the snow.

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Jeff comes down from Iron Creek Mountain.

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Some kind of Blair Witch Project contraption on Hailstone Butte.  Does anyone know what this is?

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To get back we almost had to regain the summit elevation of Hailstone Butte. We decided to traverse the avalanche slopes under the summit but first we had to cut across a stunning snow covered landscape.

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Walking in a winter wonderland.

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The snow was a little deep in some places and we ended up post-holing through it.

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Looking down the avi slopes beneath the summit. As Jeff said, “it’s just a crazy carpet ride to the afterlife.”

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Jeff traverses the avi slope beneath Hailstone.

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Almost across the avi slope with our ascent gully just behind the ridge in front of me.

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Another look down the avi slopes.

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I decided to bring out my inner artist/child and make a snow angel.

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My snow angel beneath the summit of Hailstone Butte.

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One thing about hiking in the snow is that you can save some time heading down.

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Another shot of a wolf track that we had come across that morning. This is at the end of the day so some melting had occured, but they were definitely fresh that morning.

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Another picture of Hailstone Butte. We came up to summit from the left. Those snow covered slopes beneath the summit are what we traversed on our way back from Iron Creek Mountain.

On our way back we came across a herd of sheep on the road.

On our way back we came across a herd of sheep on the road.  It’s hunting season and there is a pack of wolves running around the area, but they didn’t seem too worried…. Nor did they appear to understand me when I tried to communicate with them using a Vulcan mind meld. Somehow they took that to be offensive and tried to kick me. Oh well, I tried….

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