As many other trip reports also mention, the trail starts from the back side of the fire station near the Squaw parking lot. We started at 7.30 am on Sunday, 30th April. After about a mile or so the trail vanished in the snow though it seemed to appear in bits every so often. We identified Granite Chief and then decided on a line to it and stuck to it. This line took us near the ski area boundary and then to the right hand ridge line of Granite Chief. Once at the saddle, we had a small amount of somewhat steep snow climbing to do but the snow was not icy nor was it soft and deep and we managed without crampons though ice axes did give added security. We were at the summit in four hours. We retraced our steps for the most part and were back to the cars in less than three hours making it a seven hour day in all including a lazy lunch break at the top. We did not take snow shoes and did not seriously feel their need enroute, either.
The group consisted of Rick Booth, Dee Booth and myself, Arun Mahajan.
Rick Booth adds:
We made it up and back to GC. 7and 1/4 hours round trip. It was neato...we stayed on the trail as much as possible and then cut over to GC just at the boundary of the ski area. The weather was perfect and we ran into "the dudes" (ask Arun) on the top. Arun pointed out Tinker Knob and it lookes like a worthy target also. We were home by 7:30 or so.
Arun Mahajan adds:
We had a very good time. We were impressed by the fact that the side of TK that was presented to us from GC was so devoid of snow.
Yes, we ran into the dudes. If they are our future, then god help us.
Dee Booth adds:
It was a beautiful day for a peak climb on Sunday. Climbing the peak one set out to climb makes it even better. The snow had melted quite a bit since Arun and I were there few weeks ago but there was plenty left above 8,000 feet. We didn't set a blistering pace but enjoyed the views.