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Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question

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Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 08:41AM
Hey guys, I have been over at www.yosemite.ca.us for a while and bill-e-g got me to migrate over here... Anyways, I normally do several Tenaya Canyon day trips in September and October each year. I start at Tenaya lake and go to the Valley. I will be leaving California in July and I would like to do one last run before I leave.

How is the water level during the summer? Anyone done it? I know it varies and all of that, I just want to know how feasible it will be. I don't want to look forward to it if I can't do it before I leave...
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 08:53AM
If the snowfall continues to stay at this high level there very well could be lots o' water flowing in July. We'll know by late May.

There is a site with historical data on the flow rates through the park. Eeek or somebody will post them I'm sure.



Old Dude



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2011 08:55AM by mrcondron.
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 11:12AM
Here is what Pywiack looked like July 11, 2010:


Zoom shot (one day prior):
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 11:23AM
So... you are the expert on the canyon... maybe you can extrapolate...
I've only been down Airplane Gully to the engine. Even with Pywiack like above...
there are other small tributaries that flow into the canyon lower down...
(unfort. didn't blast thru shrub to get a pict. last year of the main one)
Anyway, I'd really worry about the big squeeze area.. and worry about
doing some of the rappels and then determining that it's a no go and be stuck.

Once Aug. rolls around the water is way down so it's gonna depend on how late
in July you can do it. Typically by mid-Aug the creek is down to a trickle.

Even mid-July... another idea that I think would be neat is to go from Tenaya Lake
down to the first rap. pt. and then come back up Airplane Gully. Even with snow & water
like last year I would think you could probably do that safely. Even so you would know
as you go since you're going down canyon.

That's about all I know... thanks for answering queries in the past about the Canyon,
you are the expert as far as I'm concerned. I was bummed I couldn't join you
last year. Definitely doing it this year!
Bummer on leaving California, hope you can do what you want before you leave.
Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 12:39PM
I have come across some pictures of others doing the rappels in what I would consider epic conditions. The photo below was uploaded on June 6th 2008 so I was thinking that they went shortly before that. I would do the canyon if it was like this. I would like to speak to someone who has done it just to get the inside knowledge. A wilder canyon would be phenomenal!



avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 04:01PM
Comparing his photo of Pywiack to mine I'd say that if those are the conditions
you want then about mid-July last year would have been about the same...

2008 was a low snow year... Tioga opened on May 21. And conditions the first
week of June were nice (i.e. not a huge melt).
I highly doubt any/many would have attempted such a feat in 2006 or last year
early June (Tioga wasn't even open yet).

You can look on cdec and do plots of river flow to get an idea.
And/or you can email/pm roman and ask him more.

wherever has been in the canyon and has this sweet shot:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,27226,29250#msg-29250

Based on that and other gunk I know... is why I made the comments w/r to going to
first rapel, etc.
Conditions are soooo different every year until prolly end of July time-frame... it's
pretty impossible to tell yet... again, thus my comments for the idea of doing first part...

Good luck
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 04:14PM
We're still learning your English language. We weren't aware that "epic" and "masochistic" are synonyms.
(Non-epically Yours)
The Marmots



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2011 04:15PM by szalkowski.
Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 05:12PM
Thanks for all the info Bill! I normally do airplane gully. The first trip I did into the Canyon was in 2009 when Tioga road was closed due to the fire. We backpacked from the Valley to Tenaya lake and went down Pywiack Cascade with full packs, not something I ever want to do again! Maybe I will fly over it the week before I go and check it out.

My other "want to do" is the Snake Dyke route on Halfdome, any takers?! smiling smiley
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 05:56PM




The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 06:45PM
Quote
Wickett
I have come across some pictures of others doing the rappels in what I would consider epic conditions. The photo below was uploaded on June 6th 2008 so I was thinking that they went shortly before that. I would do the canyon if it was like this. I would like to speak to someone who has done it just to get the inside knowledge. A wilder canyon would be phenomenal!

If that was taken in early June, then the water was close to freezing, and there were still piles of old snow down in the depths of the canyon. People have died of exposure near that spot...check the deaths in Yosemite book. The guy in the photo shows a lot of bare skin, and no wet suit....

A second comment: The bushwhack down airplane gully to Pywiack Pool is moderate-to-difficult ( I wouldn't care to do it going uphill with a heavy backpack), depending on what this winter's avalanches did). It is an avalanche chute, and it can get really choked with vegetation when it hasn't been well flushed out by a big avalanche recently. And you still have to cross Tenaya Creek a number of times to get to the rappels.

I thought that I had posted some stuff about airplane gully, but I can't find it. Here are a couple of photos of airplane gully. The circle shows the engine, the x is down by Pywiack Pool.



Here is a link to someone else's trip down to Pywiack Pool:
http://www.tuolumnemeadows.org/smf/index.php?topic=209.0
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 07:11PM
wherever,
Thanks. I was hoping that you would post.
You never posted about Airplane but we "talked" about it a bit.
Larry has been down there.
smiling smiley

Just for the record, I would wait until end of July before attempting...

Wickett, help Burro Boy and I get up Starr King and I'll give Snake Dyke a go...
(I'm total noob at climbing though)

Frank, so many people go down Tenaya now I guess they removed that
disclaimer/warning off the map. There are warning signs on both ends
of the creek though as you enter the canyon and/or leave the trail.
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 07:49PM
Quote
bill-e-g

Frank, so many people go down Tenaya now I guess they removed that
disclaimer/warning off the map. There are warning signs on both ends
of the creek though as you enter the canyon and/or leave the trail.

It is still on the big park map available at:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/maps.htm

Besides being steep, narrow, with loose rock and smooth granite, no formal trail and a lot of water at times, isn't is also particularly subject to rock falls from the walls (eg, recent landslide east of Mirror Lake)?



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 08:13PM
Quote
Frank Furter
Quote
bill-e-g

Frank, so many people go down Tenaya now I guess they removed that
disclaimer/warning off the map. There are warning signs on both ends
of the creek though as you enter the canyon and/or leave the trail.

It is still on the big park map available at:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/maps.htm

Besides being steep, narrow, with loose rock and smooth granite, no formal trail and a lot of water at times, isn't is also particularly subject to rock falls from the walls (eg, recent landslide east of Mirror Lake)?

It's no longer on the map they give you on entry into the park.
(soon to be scanned and added to the "map set" )

Probably the big issue is getting stuck in the canyon...
That's why one of the signs says something to the effect of
"if you don't have climbing equipment, turn around".

Have a nice weekend.
Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 09:33PM
Quote
Frank Furter
Besides being steep, narrow, with loose rock and smooth granite, no formal trail and a lot of water at times, isn't is also particularly subject to rock falls from the walls (eg, recent landslide east of Mirror Lake)?

No, the big rockfalls downstream aren't a problem. The recent ones have all been on the southeast side of the creek, and the route below the gorge is all on the northwest side. But there is a more serious danger above the first rappel, where you are walking in the creek alongside steep slickrock that goes smoothly from the creek bed all the way to the top of Clouds Rest. There are some interesting anecdotes from people who camped in that area, and heard rifle shots through the night. They were just pebbles from Clouds Rest arriving at terminal velocity. There is plenty of evidence of impacts in this area. I haven't seen any rock falling there myself, but it's fun to ski to Mt Watkins in March, and watch the avalanches come down the face of Clouds Rest as it warms in the sun...

You might mention the poison oak which has sprung up below the rappels after the great flood of January 1997 completely rearranged the river banks there. And the biting bugs near the creek, even when it's dry. And what all that creek-cobble hopping does to your legs.

You really shouldn't go there. Besides, it's more enjoyable for me when I don't see another party on the route...
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 15, 2011 06:53AM
Quote
wherever


You might mention the poison oak which has sprung up below the rappels after the great flood of January 1997 completely rearranged the river banks there. And the biting bugs near the creek, even when it's dry. And what all that creek-cobble hopping does to your legs.

You didn't mention sunburn, rattlesnakes, and rodent plaque infections!



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
July 22, 2011 12:19PM
Is this thread still open? Has anyone done the trip yet this year? I am thinking about having a go tomorrow, but don't really want to pack a wetsuit.
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
July 22, 2011 04:20PM
Judging by recent photos of Cathedral outlet and the webcam...

My best guess is that it is still a bit early. I'd wait a couple weeks yet... You may need flippers.

Would be worth it though to cross the creek and follow it down to Pywiack to take a peek.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 14, 2011 08:29PM
Quote
Wickett
I have come across some pictures of others doing the rappels in what I would consider epic conditions. The photo below was uploaded on June 6th 2008 so I was thinking that they went shortly before that. I would do the canyon if it was like this. I would like to speak to someone who has done it just to get the inside knowledge. A wilder canyon would be phenomenal!




I remember when I was planning my solo trip a few years back, a coworker tried to talk me into hiking Tenaya Canyon. He said that "there are only a couple of rappels you need to do down waterfalls". I knew he wasn't kidding, but that looks absolutely nuts. He's an experienced SAR and tells me that he sometimes uses his SAR ID sticker on his vehicle to get into places that would normally be shut down due to bad conditions.
Re: Tenaya Canyon peak summer conditions question
January 15, 2011 09:19AM
Thanks for all of the tips and advice guys. I have done the whole run a lot, often leading parties of about 6 people through. I just normally do it in September and October. I did three trips through Tenaya this year.

Those black flies can be horrible! I bought a head net just for the trek from the inner gorge to the Mirror lake trail.

The poison oak was everywhere in september, it was changing colors so it was easily identified, but it was all around the small trail from the gorge exit to the main trail, just like the annoying flies.

As far as the avalanches go, I saw one that literally shook the ground and we thought it was an earthquake at first. We were traversing the slab next to hidden falls when the whole rim above us erupted into a ginormous avalanche, complete with huge boulders. We were sure we were dead but the ledge above us was a lot bigger than we thought. I love sitting at the falls in the sun and watching all of the mini-avalanches coming off of all the cliffs around us.

On another note, I just booked a week in Lower Pines for May 22-29, so maybe we could meet up then Bill. I am working on getting some strong lead climbers that are familiar with Yosemite for that trip. I will be going before then but I had to book the combat camping now...
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