I climbed the NW peak on July 8th and Granite on July 9th and conditions were perfect and no one around the entire weekend. I wore light hiking shoes for the whole thing and the snowbridge only needed a few steps chopped with an ice axe. In fact, the mountain goats had beaten a pretty good path across the snow bridge already. It looked like there hadn't been a human footprint on it for some time. There was plenty of water along the Plateau.
For people reading this thread in the future, the month of July is a great month for Granite, depsite popular belief. As some of you know, August gets really crowded. The snow travel early to mid summer is not as bad as it's reputation. Personally, I prefer some snow covering a few of the infamous Beartooth rocks. There will be a new "all-in-one" guide and 1:24,000 topo map published next month. I'll leave another post later when there is more info available.
On another note, a group from Billings has started "The Friends of Granite Peak" and will be spending some time around Granite promoting the use of "Pooh Bags." Many of us are familiar with these since they are required in places like the Tetons, Rainier, and Whitney. The Forest Service is contemplating what to do, if anything, about the increasing activity around Granite and it is fair to assume if we don't manage the area wisely ourselves, it will likely become a permited area some day. THE single best thing we can all do to prevent this would be to pack our our shit. Not to mention saving the water and essence of the place.
PLEASE help us in our efforts to intiate this proactive solution and conservation of this alpine gem!