DISASTER PEAK (10,047') CLASS 2
Location: 10 miles NW of Sonora Pass
Drive: Take Highway 108 to the paved, signed, "Clark Fork Road," which is 17 miles west from Sonora Pass. Drive northeast 9.3 miles to the signed trailhead, "Disaster Creek Trailhead" with a large sign, "Carson-Iceberg Wilderness." This will be about 100 yards before the end of the road. Park.
Climb: Proceed north up the trail, and switchback up past a "welcome" board, then a "wilderness" sign. Above on your right (northeast or east) is the "Iceberg," a prominent granite cliff. Continue up the main trail, crossing a few small creeks, then come to a large meadow on the left. Follow the trail to another smaller meadow. Just before an indistinct point where the trail passes between two large boulders, head back and right up an unmarked trail which starts, in a few feet, at a fire ring/campsite. This may require some searching. This unmarked, dusty trail becomes better further along, and climbs back south up the southwest slopes of the peak. Climb up to about the 8,740 foot elevation, then head cross-country north up an open, steep, sagey slope. You should top out on the west ridge of the peak. To the east, the summit rises indisputably up. Head for the highpoint, hiking up open slopes, then climb the unstable, shale-like, class 2 talus. Continue up east to the highpoint.
ROUTE A ALTERNATE
Drive: Same as Route A, Drive.
Climb: Instead of taking the unmarked trail from the two large boulders (see Route A), proceed north on the main trail and pass shortly through a wire fence gate. A few feet beyond, go right at a junction signed, "Paradise Valley" and "Clark Fork Rd Gardner Mdw." Climb up the trail to a fork past an aspen grove. Go left, but either way will go. This trail continues to climb through another gate and climbs, after about three miles from the signed junction, to an unsigned pass which may be blocked by a large, uprooted tree. Head right (south) cross-country to the visible rock mass which is the peak. The easiest climbing seems to be on the left side.
WINTER SKI ASCENT: Neither Highway 108 nor the Clark Fork is plowed, so the approach would be abominably long. I have never heard of cross-country skiers making even a trans-Sierra tour here.
TRIP STATS: Route A, 3,600 feet gain, 3.5 miles one way; Route A Alternate, 3,600 feet gain, 6 miles one way.
Notes: The trails are very dusty, and grazing had been allowed in the area. The trail on Route A could be followed further to the southeast ridge of the peak, which appears to be more open and less steep than the direct route.