T2, or, "Hasta La Vista Baby!"
(Tenaya Peak, Tioga Peak)

9-10 Aug 2003 - by Debbie Benham

So many peaks, so little time. From our summit view, a panorama of Yosemite's high country beckoned us to hurryhurry and clmb each and every high peak. All agreed that the best part of both climbs, Tenaya on Saturday and Tioga on Sunday, was the incredibly awesome and perfectly unbroken views from the top. From Tenaya's summit, we saw Matthes Crest, magnificent Tenaya Canyon, Mt Lyell and its glacier, Hoffman and Tuolumne Peak. From Tioga's top, we had a direct view of the Dana Couloir and Dana Plateau, Conness, North Peak, Shepard's Crest, Virginia Peak, and the White Mountain Range.

The camaraderie present was savored by all and most enjoyed the lively repartee and joke-telling at stops along the route. As a matter of fact, one peak climber commented that his favorite part was the 'Hare Joke' at the top of Tioga Peak (first introduced by Dot Reilly and told by Debbie Benham). Another summarized the climbing weekend as, "It's really all about the vegetables...!" Other hikers were delighted with the delectable appetizers or "five o'clock follies" which included my personal favorite, Tapenade. One group was late for happy hour because they went swimming in Tenaya Lake! Roger, Allen, and Lynne agreed that the swim in the clear, cold water refreshed and revived their tired bodies.

Flora and wildlife were plentiful. Chris MacIntosh provides this list:

1) Tenaya Peak birds: black backed woodpecker (rarely seen), yellow rumped warbler, mountain chickadee,Clarks nutcracker, red tailed hawk. Tenaya Peak flowers included tiger lily sp., Lewis and seep monkeyflowers, white mariposa lily, cinquefoil, yarrow, golden triteleia, spiraea.

(2) On Tioga Peak, in the meadows around Gardisky Lake, w. blue flag iris, wild onion, elephanthead, a couple of species of buckwheat, and many low alpines, such as a small catchfly, hikers gentian, and a downy-leaved lupine. White crowned sparrows and American pipits made use of the creek flowing through.

One word of warning: a bear ripped Michael's duffel bag in their search for food. We were all surprised that the curious bear didn't take the bestseller book, "Absolute American: Four Years at West Point." He only jabbed it with his claws.

Many thanks to all who came and made the trip so marvelous. Kudos to Elizabeth who climbed a high point, Tioga Peak.

Participants: Debbie Benham and Chris MacIntosh (leaders and scribes); Leo Alaniz; Roger Dettloff; Tom Driscoll; Nancy Fitzsimmons; Allen Hu; Lynne Pedersen; Nick Pilch; Chris Prendergast; Dot Reilly; Tina Schiffman; Laura Sefchek; Linda sun and Harry Xue;John Wilkinson; Elizabeth Wilson; and Michael Wong.


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