up the hiking trail and down the Solstice Couloir
climbed with tom grundy.. good for only 2 hours of sleep! got off just before nasty
weather moved in
A really fun hike.
The view seen from the summit was AWESOME - definitely one of my favorites! I was literally speechless while up there...
Somehow I missed the view of Dana Lake on the way up... ...heard it was amazing. It's o.k. I will be back. :)
Oh yeah, and we saw people snowboarding down. That certainly made a fast, I mean, really fast descent… ~_~
Soloed the Dana Couloir yet again, enthused by PellucidWombat's beta.
Sure enough, the couloir had lots of good neve, some blue ice in the upper half of the couloir in streaks and patches, some relatively new snow pockets, and some aerated white ice here and there. Schrund was most easily passable on left side.
Cold and windy day, but relatively clear. Dana Lake had a layer of ice, and I could see small icefalls forming on the north side of the peak.
In the summit register someone had noted an FA recently (within the last two weeks), something about 5.10b, crappy rock, WI5 ice ... hmm ...
Route Climbed: Solstice Couloir
Date Climbed: 9-Sept-2006
Started from Tioga Lake at 5am, got to moraine above Dana Lake around 7-ish, and had originally planned on soloing the Dana Couloir. But the Solstice looked filled in from bottom to top, and looked clean - none of the usual nasty rockfall I'd seen in it before.
Entered couloir around 7:30 at 11500'. Bottom half was ho-hum hard snow. Top half steepening neve, probably 45-50 degrees. The leftmost finger had a dramatic finish, maybe 75 degrees (?) for about 10-15'. To the right looked like some stuff that was overhanging, maybe the remains of a cornice...
Exited couloir around 8:45 around 12500', got to summit around 9:15 or so. Added new notebook to summit register.
Beautiful day, excellent views. Took the trail down to Tioga Pass and hoofed it back to the car (about a mile), returned before noon.
Route Climbed: Dana Couloir
Date Climbed: 25-September-2005
Solo. Got kind of a late start - didn't get to the moraine until 10am, bergschrund by 11, topped out around 12:15.
Couloir was still mostly good solid neve, but did have a nice patch of hard brittle water ice in the middle that stretched all the way across. There were also few patches of fresh powder from a small storm that had passed through earlier in the week.
Bergschrund could be crossed on left and right still - I tooled a bit on the schrund and then crossed it on the right, then traversed left to climb roughly the middle of the couloir. Took a rest on the ice around midway with an ice screw anchor (of course I'd also brought a harness and some slings just for that purpose).
The ice was hard. No wonder, my thermometer at Saddlebag Lake read around 20 deg F. It had to be in the teens overnight up there.
Instead of heading up to the summit, I intended to contour around to the Dana Plateau and descend from there. Somehow I got off the ridge and headed down a scree / talus gully back into the cirque, which wasn't too much fun. Next time I'm staying on the ridge ...
Solstice couloir looked like the top was melted out.
Date climbed: 12-Aug-2005
Route: Dana couloir
Started at oh-dark-thirty from Tioga Lake, bumbled around, but made my way up the boulderfields. A big patch of ice was exposed on the glacier, and I spent some time reviewing abalakov anchors (v-threads) in anticipation of this year's alpine ice season.
The bergschrund was open, though good snowbridges existed on the left & right sides. I went right, and began climbing the couloir proper at 9am.
A small strip of ice was present, maybe about 100', in the center left, high in the couloir. Got a couple of swings in with my ice tools to start the season out right.
Exited the couloir around 10. The summit register looked like it needed a new notebook. Took the tourist trail down.
Route Climbed: Dana Couloir
Date Climbed: 26-Sept-2004
Backpacked in to the lake below the glacier for a Fall Ice Seminar run by Sierra Mountain Center. Started next day around 5am, short-roped up the steeper part of the glacier to an anchor at the bergschrund, which we crossed towards the climber's left (crossing on the right looked hairy). The couloir itself was mostly neve on the right and left, but water ice in the center. Climbed up the left side in about 7-8 pitches to the scree on the saddle, had an early lunch, then went up the short scramble to the summit. Coming back down we descended a scree-filled class 3 gully to the lake, again short-roped. Fun !
A variety of conditions (from neve to thick brittle ice) made the climb quite interesting and fun. Being sick was not, as I was lethargic the entire day and could barely eat anything!
GREAT views! starts w a trail, then free for all to the top by hopping rocks. well worth it.
Just a day hike, good exercise. I'd like to come back and do the couloir.
2nd ascent - stopped only long enough to sign the register (surprised to see one on Dana - had to sign the cover since it was so full), then proceeded on to Gibbs, then back to SR 120 and 3mi of road-walking back to Tioga Pass.
Slogged up the talus from Tioga Pass. Slept 30m on summit, then descended. Climbed w/3 others. Lunch at the Whoa Nellie.
Great neve climbing.
The most amazing views of Mono Lake from the summit plus the added fun of a 20.3% average grade!
Nice half day hike. Easy way to experience some great views. Was particularly impressed by Dana Lake. Who knew a lake could be that blue?
very cool route. My partner led everything. My first tuolumne climb!
Fun walkup from Tioga Pass. I imagine this is the easiest 13000 foot peak in California.
Beautiful views from the summit
Great dayhike with incredible views of Mono Lake and the Yosemite high country.
On a random day about six weeks after Mom died, I left Modesto at 6 in the morning, reached Tioga Pass at a little before 10, and was on top of Mt. Dana before 1 pm. The reason I chose Dana was because Mono Lake was one of Mom's favorite places. She loved to watch the light change, and feel the clouds and shadows creep across the lake. The view of Mono Lake from Dana is sublime. The wind was howling that day, the cloud ceiling to the west was about 12K feet and a few snow flakes fell. I was physically cooked on top. I can't explain the peace, contentment, total relaxation and state of bliss I felt as I let myself finally emotionally unwind on top and on the walk down.
Tough little hike, but the views make it all worth it.