Mt. Conness and Mt. Dana

It all began with a email sent out by George Wysup. George had a birthday coming up and was planning on visiting relatives in the Northwest. "Why not bag some peaks?" he thought. And out flew the message across the great Internet.

Well wouldn't you know, some folks took him up on his suggestion. Who'da thunk it? Tom Connery, Zobeida Molina, Jim Kalember, Kathy Brown, Mary Jo Dungfelder and Gary Schenk were the willing baggers.

Mary Jo and I drove up Friday night to Saddlebag Lake, close by the entrance to Yosemite National Park. There we ran into George Tom, Zobeida, and Jim fresh from their attempt at Morrison. That tale is for George to tell. We agreed on a meeting time and place, and went our separate ways. MJo and I drove down to Lower Lee Vining Campground and met Kathy there. We established our basecamp for the weekend and settled in for the night.

We left bright and early from Saddlebag Lake. We hiked cross-country to the Carnegie Institute station. From here we had a pretty good view of our route to the south ridge of Conness.

The view towards the south ridge of Mt. Conness

This is a lovely hike. You might be able to tell that from the looks on George and Zobeida.

A smiling George and
Zo in the meadow.

Kathy, being our most qualified mountaineer, did the route finding to the ridge. All that experience paid off this day. There was a snow field leading to the ridge. Those of us with ice axes took the easy way up, the rest were forced to stay to the rocks. The ridge revealed quite a lot of scenery. Tom and Zobeida were quite impressed.

Zobeida and Tom on the

It is easy to see why Mary Jo and Kathy had such big smiles!

Mary Jo nad Kathy on the ridge

George, needless to say, was having a great pre-birthday.

George on the ridge

The ridge was easy going, and we soon saw the summit. We were not the first to top out that day.

First view of the summit

As Mary Jo found out, the sides of the ridge leading to the summit were quite vertical in places.

Some exposure above a lake.

The final ridge was fun scrambling enjoyed by all. The summit held fine views all around. Especially of the coming storm. Here Mary Jo and Gary enjoy the peak while Tom contemplates acrophobia.

Tom, Mary Jo and gary
on the summit of Mt. Conness.

We hurried down to beat the rain. Glissading proved fast and easy on the snow field. Only a small amount of rain caught us before our return.

The next morning we met at the Tioga Pass entrance station. From here we climbed Mt. Dana.

Mt. Dana

Three hours of steady trudging brought us to the summit of Mt. Dana. Nice views here. All in all a nice weekend was had by all. These are two moderate and fun climbs well worth the effort.