Friday, March 27, 2009

The Silence of Mt. Dana (Part 2)

We continued that morning at our very slow pace. I was not used to doing a hike this slow. It was really hard for me to speed my legs up. We were right on time though because it takes about an hour for the average person to go up a 1,000 ft. vertical like this. In the picture above you can see the rocky peak that was to the left of Mt. Dana coming up. It was in the first picture in the last blog. Another route one can take is from that direction starting out near Tioga Lake. I tested it a few years ago and it is a good class 2 route, but you eventually come to this point anyways. As far as I can tell it is the same amount of work either way with maybe some more rock scrambling on that side to get to this point. The picture below again shows how steep this area is. With something like this you just have to tell yourself to keep moving and not think of it. Slow, but steady is the attitude one should have. Usually, I get to the top of where this picture is and then see that I have more to go until it flattens out a bit. That was only partially true here.
This is looking back down. You can see two men coming up on the trail. If you look way down there you can see the eastern entrance station to Yosemite, the trailhead, and where we parked.
Eventually, about half-way up, there is a plateau with a rocky cairn (you see this in the video with my backpack and hiking pole against it; also, part of it is visible in the last picture below). It does not really flatten out too much here, but this is the resting point that marks a few things. One, you are half-way, but more importantly, two, the clearly defined trail is about to end. The scramble over rocks is about to begin.
The above is more toward the west. This does show the plateau is big! The picture below is again looking back down.
Mt. Conness is the high point to the left in the following picture. If you look closely you can see Saddlebag Lake in the middle right side of the picture.
After all the work it took to get here we still had to get to the top of this, but the bad news is most of this would be a rock scramble.
I should have up the concluding video and pictures over the weekend.