Dana Couloir
(Oh No!! Not pile of rubble again!)

22 Jun 2003 - by Ron Karpel

I left home around 8:30 PM and got to Tioga Pass 00:30. The night was windy and cold with temperatures in the low 20's. Leaving the trailhead at the entrance station at 6:30 I went left towards Glacier Canyon. I took my time taking pictures and lollygagging, hoping the snow will soften as the day grows warmer. It didn't.

Finally at the bottom of the couloir, the bergschrund was still bridged over. Just to be safe, I stayed near some rocks on the right side in an area where I thought we crossed last year. The snow was soft enough for good cramponing, but not soft enough to kick steps. Also in some places it was hard to get the spike of my ice axe to sink more then a couple of inches in, but I always felt I could self arrest if I needed to, which I didn't have to verify.

It was very cold and windy. I am sure that is part of the reason the couloir didn't soften as much as I expected. It was good on one hand not to have to kick steps, but I prefer to have a bit more of the spike to sink in for safety. The angle of the couloir really eases off about half way up, where I was able to relax a little bit. I used my French technique the whole way up.

Out the top around 12:30, I got to the summit of Dana by 1:30. I was getting pretty tired by then, so had a nice long break on the summit, and return to the car around 4 PM.


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