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, 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!

— June 20, 2011

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents

Bill June 20, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Nice job Andy. great year for you.

Dan Conger June 21, 2011 at 6:50 am

Fantastic trip! Looks stunning up there.

Gary Kleiger June 21, 2011 at 10:45 am

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


Andy June 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm

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...

Matt June 23, 2011 at 6:01 pm

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!

Joseph July 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm

How deep is the snow @ TPR?