There are elements of this hike you may not be comfortable with. Please read the description first. Not for beginners.
Physical Level: Moderate
Technical Level: Moderate
Time: 5+ Hours
Distance: ~6 miles
Elevation Gain: ~1500 ft
NOTE: The segment from the top of the Shield to above the head wall of the Knife Edge is a Class 3 scramble, but well protected. The trail from North Peak to the top of the Shield is incredibly steep.
The Hike in a nutshell:
• Assemble at Smiths on Tramway
• Carpool to Crest House
• Hike out to North Peak stopping along the way for photo ops
• Take a faint very steep trail down to top of the Shield.
• Hike down the Knife Edge onto the top of the headwall above the "W" This is where we will have lunch.
• Hike back to Crest House via the little used Royce trail.
This is an awesome hike with lots of photo op, so expect multiple stops along the way. We are going to mosey a bit. This is basically a walk/hike. I am not particularly interested in making a dash for the peak. Personally I want to enjoy the day and scenery.
There will be some difficulty once we get to North Peak. The trail down to the top of the Shield is very steep, keep in mind what goes down must come up. Getting down to the top of the headwall above the "W" requires class 3 scrambling. The exposure is minimal as long as you stay in the center of the Knife Edge when it narrows. People with height issues might not be comfortable with the environment.