Adventurer | 451 pts
Well where to start? My topo from REI was not the most accurate but, in all fairness what did I expect from a 24,000:1 scale? If I had a topo with a better level of detail I would have felt more comfortable ad libbing as I approached the peak.
It is ascent from the git-go with few level or descents along the way. Some of the ascent is quite challenging, or at least it was for me. This is a good shade trail even as the sun is vertical in the sky. There are plenty of side treks to the west that offer some nice views of the valley down to Twin Bridges. To the east of the trail starting about half way up is a steady creek flow that offers nice background sound to the hike.
close to the peak at about 9000 ft. the trail is suppose to wrap around to the west (left) but it appears the remaining snow pack has that blocked off. Instead, it appears that some hikers blazed a new trail straight up toward the peak with weak zig-zags. Unfortunately, there is a 40+ yard snow field between the trail and the peak. I was in hiking shoes and shorts and not equipped should the 4 foot thick pack decide to give way under my weight. I estimate I was 100 yards and about 200 vertical feet from the peak.
Still, the view was awesome. You can clearly see Sierra at Tahoe and behind it, Kirkwood. I am told that the view of the lakes and valley leading to Horsetail Falls is quite beautiful.
I recommend starting this hike no later than 11 AM in the mid summer period to ensure ample time to enjoy the trek and return before nautre's dinner bell rings.
It is definitely a good work-out and if you are a trail runner this would be quite the challenge.