June 20, 2011

A Double Dose of Dana

Looks like this is going to be it for me this year: a double descent of Mount Dana via Solstice and then Dana Couloirs. Tioga Pass opened on Saturday, so we hit the road and skinned up Glacier Canyon to access the couloirs. Accompanying Trevor and me this time for some backcountry fun was very special guest...Howie Schwartz of Sierra Mountain Guides, who was kind enough to join us on his day off.

Howie taught the Level I avalanche course I took last winter, and we also ran into each other (not literally) on Split's South Face later that year. As you'd expect Howie was a force to be reckoned with on the uphill, so we put him right to work punching out the boot pack up Solstice, which didn't seem to slow him down one bit. When we got to the top of Mount Dana, Howie and I schemed about some possible future trips together, and promised to do a better job keeping in touch.

As for the skiing, it was pretty good for June 18! Not quite as much snow in the Tioga region as I was expecting, given all the hoopla, and sun cups are definitely beginning to form below 11K or so, but both couloirs should be in shape for at least another few weeks. Delightful!

  1. Bill says:

    Nice job Andy. great year for you.

  2. Dan Conger says:

    Fantastic trip! Looks stunning up there.

  3. Gary Kleiger says:

    Hey Andy, given your comments, I’m wondering if the lower stuff (eg. Coke chute and powerhouse) are still in?


  4. Andy says:

    It looked pretty burnt to me, but a couple guys did it the same day and they said it was fine. With the sun and the temps now, you’d really need to get your timing right to avoid trouble, though…

  5. Matt says:

    Looks like a great way to end an awesome season! Your trips this spring have been motivating me to keep getting out for more turns as the season (such as it is in New England in June) winds down. Waiting to see where next year takes you!

  6. Joseph says:

    How deep is the snow @ TPR?

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About SierraDescents

When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

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