Round trip up to camp Muir for a summit attempt up the Disappointment Cleaver climbing route (aptly named for my outing). This is a hard hike. The lower portion from Paradise to Pebble Creek is up paved paths, transitioning to dirt paths, and eventually, rock. You will pass beautiful alpine meadows, skirt glacial ravines, see wildlife – chipmunks, marmots and mountain goats during your hike. The trail becomes significantly more difficult past Pebble Creek onto the snowfield. See the photos for some perspectives of the length and elevation gain from the expansive views. Our plan was to hike up to Muir with the goal of a 1 mph or 1000 feet per hour pace which we realized. It is very hot out on the trail and there is significant sun reflection, so please bring plenty of sunscreen, sun protection clothing, and water.
The trail beings with the Skyline trail which meanders up alpine meadows, glacier viewpoints, and stone steps cut into the rocks to ascent to Pebble Creek crossing at approximately 7200 feet. Here the snowfield begins, with an additional 2800 feet in elevation gain up the mountain to Camp Muir. The snow is soft, crunchy on the surface, but soft below. Easy for kicking in steps up the many paths upwards. The trail can seem unrelentless at times, as it gains in elevation with a series of hills with various inclines in the elevantion. You will join day hikers and climbing parties going up and coming down. Glissading will be a mixed bag – standing glissades are possible for stretches. I found that sitting glissades will require a hard shell or other low friction surfaces to gain any velocity downhill. The snow is dirty on top and reflects a lot of sunlight. It took my party nearly 5 hours to reach Camp Muir with 50+ pound climbing packs. The way down is much faster with glissading or large steps helping to cut the time.