Skiers: Matthew Reagan and Ben Shefftz
After the previous week's trip to the summit of Dana, I felt ready to tackle the lower reaches of the mountain, particularly the beautiful strip of snow know as the Dana Couloir. Yes, we hiked all day for a few dozen turns on old snow. What's your point?
After a quick ascent through the woods, the Glacier
Canyon Trail crosses the high alpine meadows below the Dana Lakes. We
got an early start after camping at 7,800' down in Lee Vining Canyon,
avoiding the crowds at the Tioga Pass campgrounds.
Ben pauses at the end of a another brutal talus scramble
to enjoy the amazing view. It was another three hours of scrambling
back to the trailhead, but the experience was worth it.
Talus, Scree, Talus, Scree
Above the meadow, the trail becomes less distinct and
climbs over the moraines that hold back the various Dana Lakes.
Despite the easy entrance to the canyon, the last mile to the glacier
was quite a scramble.
west of the Dana summit, the Solstice Couloir provides a steep and
exciting descent in good snow conditions. In these snow conditions,
it provides a fast and efficient (and probably fatal) route to the
took different routes to our turns. I dropped down onto the glacier,
hiked over to the snowy Couloir runout, then hiked up and skied two
runs on the glacier. Ben took the high traverse along the bergshrund
to hit the full skiable vertical of the snowfield. The gaping 'shrund
can be seen at the bottom of the Couloir.
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