I need some advice. I am leading a group of twelve Boyscouts and dads from White Wolf to May Lake in July. 5 days Backpacking and fishing. We would like to summit Tuolumne Peak. The Ten Lakes trail passes within 1/2 mile (600ft vert) to the north of Tuolumne Peak, but the only route i have seen on discussion boards have been coming from the South (May Lake). Looking a the Topo and Sat images it looks pretty easy from the North. Just wondering if anyone has approached from Ten Lakes Trail due north of the Peak?
I don't have any specific information on the route, but as it happens when I did Tuolumne Peak a couple of years ago I ran into a ranger who had just done it from the north, just as you are considering. He had a pretty tremendously large pack, so although I didn't get any route information from him, at least you know one fellow was able to do it even with all that weight bogging him down.
I went up that route in Sept of 2000. From my notes:
"I left the trail and started up the ridge towards the summit. It is an enjoyable climb over some easily navigated terrain. At first it is a series of slabs and ledges, but about 500 feet below the summit is a small, beautiful meadow ..."
Beyond the meadow is a somewhat steep boulder field leading to the rounded north summit. The south summit, of nearly equal height, is about a quarter mile further. All of it is no more than class 2.
It is a pretty nice hike from the pass - class 2, maybe class 1. There are a lot of options.
I did this peak from the north with a out-of-town friend on his first hike in the Sierra (Oct 2010). I believe we descended to to small lake just west of the pass, then found a large wide gully to gain significant elevation. The summit area was attained by some talus. I could probably dig up some pictures of the general terrain later.
Some years ago I descended the north side after ascending from May Lake. There was no particular difficulty. The hardest part (for me descending) was not to overshoot the trail - not a problem for you.
On second thought, I just assumed you would be descending a different route for some reason. If you descend from the north as I did be careful to look for the trail. On the descent line I took the trail was concealed until I was on top of it. In fact, I had almost convinced myself I had descended past the trail and was about to turn around when it appeared.