Mount Dana, Mount Gibbs, Tioga Peak
By: Pete Yamagata
Six of us met at 7 a.m. Saturday at the wide graveled shoulder just to the east of the Entrance Station at Tioga Pass. After trying to arrange to consolidate the participants to save some $20/vehicle fees, I got us started by 7:30 a.m. from the Pass up the use trail headed for the summit of Mt. Dana.
I led the way, holding back Jason Pair, Kevin Doyle, and Tom Eng while David Underwood kept pace with Lynn Robinson. We took a standard clothing break after 16 minutes, then took a break about every hour of hiking. We reached the summit of Dana by about 10:35 a.m. I left a new notebook in the plastic jar, which contained three spiral notebooks signed-in all within the last year, as well as sheaves of paper and business cards.
On the traverse to Gibbs, we scrambled down deeply sun-cupped snowfields and class 2 rubble on the south side of Dana, and rested at two points for regrouping.
We passed around the Roach's group descending our up route just below the summit of Gibbs, and we topped out at about 2 p.m. After more pictures and rest, we descended the west ridge, which was easy class 1, all the way to the Mono Pass Trail. I walked along 120 east to the Pass on the dry, grassy meadow while the others straddled the asphalt. The day's climb covered about ten miles with 4,200' gain.
Finished by 5:30p.m., three of the group decided to leave, so I went into Lee Vining for 2 chicken tacos and rice at the new 'Walking Taco", a mainly take-out Mexican restaurant. I met David and Kevin at the Roach's group's camp in Lee Vining Canyon.
Sunday, I took mercy on David's blistered feet and grinded knees as well as Kevin's "chronic laziness" so instead of doing the 18 mile, 3,500'gain round trip for Koip Peak, we climbed Tioga Peak after coffee. We encountered 60+mph winds on the WNW ascent ridge. I was surprised to see my register from four years ago and not yet full. This was a 1,900' gain hike over about 2 miles round trip. Back to the car by 1:15p.m., we left our own ways to drive home. Thanks to everyone for this opportunity to get some great exercise!
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