Trekking Yosemite Valley > Mt Dana > Mono Lake - June 4 - 7


Original Post
Chris McCarthy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

I am planning a four day acclimatization trek through the Sierras. I will hike out of Yosemite Valley, go to Tuolumne Meadows, ascend Mt Dana, and hike out to Mono Lake.

Right now, snow conditions are my largest concern. I am planning to go with snow shoes with and a trekking backpack. I also plan to start every day before sunrise when the snow will be firmest. Will I need crampons and an ice axe? Will highway 120 be open? Has anyone been to the Tuolumne Meadows area recently?

I am toying with the idea of hiking down the east side of Mt Dana through Lake Kidney. Has anyone tried this route before?

PS I had posted earlier about climbing Mt Lyell. After some super helpful advice, I had to revise my previous plans.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Do you have experience traveling in snow? Are you proficient with an ax and crampons?

Ryan Nevius · · Estes Park, Colorado · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 904

Also, do you have experience travelling in avalanche terrain? I haven't looked at the east-facing slopes around Kidney Lake this year...but that would be prime loose wet avalanche territory if it's still holding snow.

David Fogel · · Lake Forest, CA · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 1,200

Hwy 120 is currently closed and will most likely remain closed through your travel dates.

Chris McCarthy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0
FrankPS wrote:

Do you have experience traveling in snow? Are you proficient with an ax and crampons?

yeah, Ive climbed several glaciated peaks in the Andes. Ive also trekked in the New England winter including a blizzard ascent of Mt Washington.

Chris McCarthy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0
Ryan Nevius wrote:

Also, do you have experience travelling in avalanche terrain? I haven't looked at the east-facing slopes around Kidney Lake this year...but that would be prime loose wet avalanche territory if it's still holding snow.

I do not have any formal training with avalanche safety. If there is any risk of an avalanche in Kidney Canyon, I wont go. Going off trail is fun but inherently riskier for such hazards. 

Tapawingo Markey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75

I'll just say that if you have to ask, it is probably better to have them than not. A basic lightweight mountaineering ice axe and crampons aren't really much more weight. Check out the CAMP Corsair or something similar. 

Also, Id say make sure you're familiar with orienteering and navigation as there won't be much of a trail once you get out of the Valley. And I'd kick that thought of yours that avalanche danger is somehow higher if you're on a trail as opposed to off of one. Plenty of trails switch back slopes that are steeper than 30 degrees and if the conditions are right with warming and lack of freezing then wet slides are possible. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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