From the Iron Peak/Teanaway Peak saddle iraman and I took the Class 3/4 direct south ridge route up to the summit of Teanaway Peak while the rest of our party took the more traditional Class 2 east ridge route.
While the south ridge route is considerably shorter than the east ridge route, it took us 20 minutes longer to reach the summit than the others. I shiver at the thought of a person being forced to downclimb the south ridge and I told iraman very early on the ascent that having to go back down the south ridge was not an option (see photo #15 for my thoughts on this).
The crux move on the south ridge occurs at ~6550 feet where the ridge becomes very narrow... requiring a 10 foot, Class 4 downclimb (see photo #18 for the downclimb) where there is no room for error. After dealing with the crux it is clear sailing to the Teanaway Peak summit (6779') with nothing more involved than easy Class 2 scrambling.
iraman and I joined the rest of the group in going down via the east ridge until we reached the lone tree (or is it a snag)... signaling the spot where we started to traverse the SE side of the peak on an obvious path that took us back to the Iron/Teanaway saddle.
From the saddle we did the three-quarter-mile ridge hike out to the summit (6510') of Iron Peak before returning to the saddle and tracing our steps back down to the cars.
7.5 miles roundtrip, gaining 3256 feet of elevation.
While access to the Iron Peak Trailhead was very easy two days ago, it might become very problematic in the near future due to the snowy weather forecast.
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