Mt. Dana Couloir Ski Mountaineering

  • 04/26/2019
  • 8:00 AM
  • 04/28/2019
  • 8:00 PM
  • Mt. Dana, Ca
  • 0


Registration is closed

Join MAA members at Mt. Dana Couloir for ski mountaineering. This is an ascent and ski descent of couloir with a steep line and a long approach since Hwy 120 will most likely be closed. Avalanche skills required. 

SCREENED EVENT: Please join the waitlist. Attendees will be selected based on skill proficiency and experience shown on MAA profile. Those registered will be notified.


  • Event Leader: Richard Nguyen (415) 570-7269
  • Location: Dana Couloir is a steep couloir on the south east side of Mount Dana about 500 feet below the summit and is located just outside Yosemite NP on Tioga Road, west of Lee Vining on HWY 395.
  • Route: From Lee Vining, turn west on HWY 120 to the road closure gate about 2 miles up the road.  From there, it is about 8-9 miles up a long, gradual incline to Tioga Lake. From there, we will take the easier trail from the entrance station up the northwest side of Dana to the summit and then drop down to the Couloir. Our descent route will be out through the drainage to Tioga lake and then back down the road.
  • Skills Requirements: In order to be best prepared to climb safely and effectively, participants should have advanced skiing skills with the ability to link turns in the fall line in wild snow conditions.  They should be comfortable and in control in advanced terrain (black diamond off-piste ski trail rating). The couloir is steep with other seen and unseen hazards.  All participants must be AIARE Avalanche Level 1 certified and be proficient in snow climbing and winter camping. If anyone requires additional assistance in planning, I will be more than happy to help you prepare for the trip.
  • Min / Max: 3/4
  • Personal Gear: Members are encouraged to use your own equipment. If you’re missing something, club loaner gear may be available (except footwear). Please let the event leader know if you need something.
  • Getting There: Take HWY 395 to HWY 120, Tioga Pass, at Lee Vining and turn west.  Park at the road closure gate. Rideshare from Sacramento is available Friday evening, will coordinate further over email.
  • Accommodations and Food: We will be winter camping, and packing in our food and packing out our trash.  Bring food with lots of calories and snacks.   Also have a stove and fuel to melt snow for water.  There might be running water available depending on conditions.
  • Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center: Backcountry travel and awareness of risk should be discussed as part of the planning process for any backcountry ski tour.  Sierra Avalanche Center and Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center provides avalanche advisory for most areas in the Sierra range.   A recorded avalanche advisory is available at (530) 587-3558 x258 and their website contains detailed reports on avalanche problems, observations and weather conditions. and
  • Emergencies: Always dial 911.  Mammoth Hospital, 85 Sierra Park Rd, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546 (701) 934-3311.  Mono SAR (760) 914-4669.  I have WFA certification and will have an InReach satellite communicator for emergencies (life, limb, eyesight).  Make sure you have fresh batteries for your beacon and know how to use your equipment.


  • Day 0: Friday, April 26th  – I will be at the meet up location Friday evening and camping in the field.
  • Day 1: Saturday, April 27th – We will get started at 8:00 am to organize gear and go over group details, discuss the avalanche forecast, backcountry hazards and complete a beacon safety check.  We will hit the trail around 9:00 am and hopefully be at Tioga Lake before night fall.  We will camp here for the night.
  • Day 2: Sunday, April 28th – After breakfast we will ascend Mount Dana to the summit and then drop down the south side to ski the couloir one at a time watching for changing conditions.  Once down the couloir, we will head down the drainage back to Tioga Lake and then down the road back to the cars.  We will probably grab dinner in Lee Vining before driving home.


  • In order to register you must be a Base, Peak, or Apex member.
  • Event leaders are experienced volunteers, but may not be certified guides.
  • This event is free of charge. MAA receives no direct financial gain for organizing and supporting this event.
  • Participant safety is our top priority. The itinerary described is the plan; however, circumstances beyond the leader's control may necessitate changes.
  • The event begins and ends at the trailhead. MAA does not insure ridesharing or other travel arrangements and bears no responsibility for them. Carpooling, ride sharing, or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among individuals.
  • MAA event leaders carry communication devices and a medical kit; The primary event leader has current wilderness first aid and CPR training as well as MAA policy training.

(916) 692-0005

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