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Thread: Iron Chest

  1. #1

    Default Iron Chest



    I got off the hook with the in-laws being in town, so I ran for it. I wanted to do Iron Chest this year, and with Tye's Rover down, it was easy to talk him into riding shotgun with me. The day started out early, good thing because we got the directions all crossed up. First, we blew past Rt. 162. Came back, spotted the sign and turned off. Now on Hancock Road, we blew past the trail head for Iron Chest. (easy to do) On the way up we stopped to look at some of the old mining structures. The Allie Belle mine was a neat sight. Looks like it is going to slide over itself. From there we passed the old Hancock town site, and continued our way up to Hancock lake. At that point we knew we were really past the mark. On the way back down we talked to a few people about directions, but they weren't any help to us at this point. Back down we go, past the trail head again... We shot down to St. Elmo to get some bearing as to where we were on the map. Back up we go again, but this time we cut it short and wound up on Grizzly Lake. I figured it out when we came up to the Gatekeeper. Back out, hung a left, went up a little ways more and Tye spotted some signs to the left and behind us at about our 7 o'clock position. Very easy to miss... Now we're on track. The trail had started out just like the description - a large tight boulder field for the first 1/2 mile. I'm glad I had someone with me because it would have been a lot of in and out, in and out looking at where the rocks were in relation to the frame and axles. Tye did a great job spotting and taking pictures for me!!! After the boulder field the trail gets easier. A little lumpy, but very narrow!!! There is an old log structure worth looking at on the way up. We probably spent 15-20 minutes looking around. After a switchback and some curves the trail was heavily shaded. There was some packed snow with icy spots. (fun for the way back down) Still very narrow, and a cliff to the passenger side... After the shelf, the area widens, but the trail itself is still narrow. You can see a mine structure way over to the left. There's a little bit more to go. The snow was drifted and deep in some spots as we were getting closer to the Iron Chest mine. We had to negotiate one of the last snowy switchbacks. Now at the mine site, we decided to put a timer on our exploring because we didn't want to be going back down in the dark. There's a lot to look at and the buildings are mostly intact. If you're like us, you could easily spend a couple of hours looking around... Iron Chest is a great place for pictures. You're up really high in a wide open area. The elevation where we parked the Jeep was 12,002 feet. The time really flew, but we knew we had to go. The trip down was a little hairy with the ice on the trail. At one point I had the back side sliding over really close to the abyss. It was a tense pucker factor moment... The boulder field wasn't as bad on the way down, but Tye still spotted me through it. The trip (even with the mix-ups) was a 10+. We can't wait to go back up next year. The Rubi made it through with only few scrapes to the underside, but no body damage. Now for some pics! Most of them are Tye's...

    The Allie Belle mine on Hancock Rd.


    The boulder field


    Looking up the boulder field


    Iron Chest mine site


    One of Tye's excellent shots from inside of of the cabin


    Same window, my shot

  2. #2

    Default Re: Iron Chest



    Looking down at the Jeep


    Lichen on the outside of the window


    Bunks in the cabin


    Getting a little too close for comfort...




    A little reference shot

  3. #3

    Default Re: Iron Chest



    All smiles




    A little flex?


    More pics--> http://s27.photobucket.com/albums/c1...IronChest2008/

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Iron Chest



    As usual GREAT PICTURES!:clap:

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Iron Chest



    Great pictures! Glad that you and Tye got out and the weather looked perfect!

    I spent the day under the Jeep, under Danny's rig, and relocating my spare tire, jack and plate holder. Got the center of gravity down a bit. The new tires obviously weigh a lot more as 1) I can just (and I mean just) lift one onto my truck and 2) when we ran Wheeler, my heap was wallowing a bit more than it used to. Now less room, but tire, etc, tucked in nice and tight...

    And I got to enjoy the pictures of a trail I have wanted to run for awhile...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Iron Chest



    Very cool, you know you are gonna have to go back with me though right? Great pics guys, wish I was there!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Iron Chest



    It was a great time, we will have to go back when theres no snow so we can spend more time next time...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Iron Chest



    Tye previously posted:
    "It was a great time, we will have to go back when theres no snow so we can spend more time next time..."

    And with our rigs!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Iron Chest



    O that for sure...

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