Mount Muah, Trail Peak
By: Wayne Norman
This trip was originally scheduled as a day hike, but since I needed a backpack for my provisional 'I' lead, it was converted to a backpack and an extra peak was added to make the weekend more fun. Unfortunately most of the participants could only afford a day for the trip so there were a lot of cancellations. The trip was almost was canceled at the trailhead when the leader (me) suffered a migraine headache. A two hour delay and lots of Advil allowed me to attempt the trip.
Thankfully the path up to Trail Pass is easy. There had been a downpour the previous day so the trails were not dusty as is normally the case this time of the year. We made the pass about noon and dropped our packs for the trip up Trail Peak. We followed the PCT up the mountain and around to the north. After awhile we left the trail and contoured up the side of the peak. Our route stayed below the ridge and out of the wind, avoiding the false summits, until we broke through the trees just below the summit plateau. Five more minutes and we were on the summit. Trail Peak offered magnificent views of the Southern Sierras and has, in my opinion better views than nearby, listed, Mt. Muah. Whitney, Langley, & Olancha all stood tall on the horizon.
Back at the packs we traversed around to the east, past Mulkey Pass, then south to Dutch Meadows where we hoped to camp. Hoped because of the rumored problems with water in this area. Once again we had reason to be thankful for the rain from the previous day. We found a good flow of clear running water in the creek and very little evidence of cattle.
The next morning we left for Muah, following the basic route description in 'Exploring the Southern Sierra, West Side.' The cutoff for Muah from the PCT is at Diaz Meadow. There is a faint use trail that heads east from the PCT just before the PCT turns west, north of Muah. The use trail contours around the meadow and heads up towards a saddle west of Muah. The use trail disappeared on the way up the saddle. We headed east up the slopes where the route to the saddle levels out and made our way towards the summit. We went around the north side of the summit rocks and along the east side working our way to the top. This was my wife's first SPS peak and my first SPS lead so we celebrated with a kiss on the summit.
We hiked back to our camp, packed up and were back to the cars by 2 p.m. Sunday. This is a fun leisure trip in an under used section of the Sierra. (From the time we left the trailhead until we got back to the cars we only saw one small group of four people on horseback.) Thanks to Luella Fickle for assisting.
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