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Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic

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Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 02, 2011 10:41AM
Three of us attempted Tenaya Canyon yesterday (Wickett, Ross and I).

We started at Tenaya Lake/Sunrise Trailhead and entered at Pywiack Cascades. Took us 6 hours to reach the bottom of the slabs. We are pretty sure we started the descent too close to Lone Boulder and the Cascades (stupid Beta!). So we ended up setting up three rappels-anchoring on a two different trees and a jutted out rock.

Ross (an 18 year awesome climber) free soloed the entire thing and set up the anchors for us. Exposure was huge!

Finally after reaching the bottom of the slabs at 2 pm and then making some progress to the Inner Gorge, Wickett realized he usually is at that point at 10 am. This meant we would probably finish at 10 pm and include wet rappels at or just before dark.

So we turned back. No, not up the Pywiack Slabs! We headed up Airplane Gully. This was quite a climb and involved a few climbing moves requiring exposure that scared me to death. At some point we ran out of water so that didn't help either.

We reached the Airplane Engine and not long after that finally reached mostly level ground. We made it to Olmsted Point at 6:50 and waited 20 minutes for our ride.

I have a ton of pictures but won't be able to post until sometime later this week. I will also post a more detailed trip report.
Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 02, 2011 12:25PM
Ah well, the most memorable trips are the ones where the planning went wrong. No harm done. You shouldn't need any rope work until you reach the inner gorge....

But I am mystified about exposure in Airplane Gully. When I have done it, it has all been bushes and talus. Maybe one or two places where you stretch from one huge boulder to another. Did you climb the rock walls, or try to get up the western branch of the gully (where the water comes down), instead of the main gully to the east of it?
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 03, 2011 06:46AM
Well... no I'm really sorry I ended up not joining you. 2am was just too #$#% early to get up for this bird.
Did this same thing Aug 27. (down lone, up Airplane... but hiked back to Sunrise TH via domage).
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,45714
All the Beta one would need was in that thread. So mystified how you went wrong way.
Also as I conversed with you... did the entire Canyon on Sunday after doing some dayhiking
around Hoffman with Old Dude and sleeping above the "bowl" along Tenaya Creek.
The down via Lone was fairly simple this time for me... def. no rope required...
Went just to the right of the "Brush Dog" and stayed higher this time and further west.
(higher and a bit right of this route):
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,45714,45755#msg-45755

Here's some in the Inner Gorge in case you think I'm pulling your feathers:
rap 2: You ARE getting wet!


at rap3:




You'll have to come back next year and try again. The Inner Gorge is spectacular. Without question the best part of the canyon.

Half Fun
Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 03, 2011 08:58PM
so you did run the canyon. Did you do a write up or can you link me to your photos? start from airplane gully or from tenya lake?
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 06:49AM
I put a bunch more photos here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/TenayaAgainCompleteRun

Sunrise TH start... down past Lone Boulder. For me... honestly since I really do
a lot of this bouldering and xcountry stuff... I thought it was fairly simple.
Very easy route finding. Gorgeous day... and the black flies present down to
the first rappel were not present this time. Black flies didn't appear until exiting
the gorge. So the trek all the way thru the gorge was fantastic.
Near Watkins Pinnacles there is a trail the rest of the way down...
if you stay on that... there is v. little poison oak exposure.
My two somewhat interesting tidbits would be... at end of Aug... my feet were
soaked by the time I got to first rap and turned back... this time... less water..
was pretty happy that feet were dry to first rap. Was thinking .. sweet..
maybe I can do the whole canyon and not get my feet wet. Uh... oopsie...
maybe I should actually read trip reports... har har... 2nd rap is WATERFALL rap.
into a pool o wawa. Got soaked completely... and pool was up to dingleballs.
On 4th rap (another waterfall)... there is a worn out hole about 1/2 way down...
uh... I didn't let out enough rope and fell into that hole and flopped around
like a fish in there. Next time I will put my extra stuff into a dry bag. wink
I'll do this canyon again. The Inner Gorge is worth it.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 12:01PM
Quote
chick-on
I put a bunch more photos here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/TenayaAgainCompleteRun

Sunrise TH start... down past Lone Boulder. For me... honestly since I really do
a lot of this bouldering and xcountry stuff... I thought it was fairly simple.
Very easy route finding. Gorgeous day... and the black flies present down to
the first rappel were not present this time. Black flies didn't appear until exiting
the gorge. So the trek all the way thru the gorge was fantastic.
Near Watkins Pinnacles there is a trail the rest of the way down...
if you stay on that... there is v. little poison oak exposure.
My two somewhat interesting tidbits would be... at end of Aug... my feet were
soaked by the time I got to first rap and turned back... this time... less water..
was pretty happy that feet were dry to first rap. Was thinking .. sweet..
maybe I can do the whole canyon and not get my feet wet. Uh... oopsie...
maybe I should actually read trip reports... har har... 2nd rap is WATERFALL rap.
into a pool o wawa. Got soaked completely... and pool was up to dingleballs.
On 4th rap (another waterfall)... there is a worn out hole about 1/2 way down...
uh... I didn't let out enough rope and fell into that hole and flopped around
like a fish in there. Next time I will put my extra stuff into a dry bag. wink
I'll do this canyon again. The Inner Gorge is worth it.

Looks like lots of fun. Agreed that the blue route is the correct one. Stay high for a while after the lone boulder, to avoid some brush, then head more or less straight down the slabs to the big pine tree at the bottom. The close-in route finding is very easy if you are on the overall route, but going down too soon after the lone boulder has been deadly for a least one party. You can easily exceed your rope and anchor supply.

I've never gotten my boots wet, though I always remove my boots if I am going to cross the pool at what you call the second rappel. I've never rappelled there...we've either passed the boulder on the left (right in your photo) and scrambled down into the pool, or climbed around the whole thing on the left bank. There's a ramp going up to a ledge (have belayed beginners on the way up there for one rope length), then an easy friction walk back down beyond the ledge. Check it out next time. It keeps your crotch dry. Depending on the year, the pool can be waist deep or deeper.

The big pothole on the last rappel is always a fun surprise for first timers, but there is no need to fall into it if you know it's there. However, I always thought that the guy who set the rappel anchor had a sense of humor. He could easily have set it ten feet farther towards northwest bank and avoided the whole pothole problem. For those of you who haven't seen it, this is not your usual highway pothole. Bigger than a hot tub. (cold tub?) It swallows you whole and has water at its bottom. It's a bit hard to make out in your phone "rap 4", but it is the whole darker area under your rope. It has a sharp lower edge, and is invisible when you start the rappel. You have to rappel far to your left (left in the photo), using maximum sideways boot friction, to avoid the pothole and to hit dry ground at the bottom.
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 02:19PM
Quote
wherever
I've never gotten my boots wet, though I always remove my boots if I am going to cross the pool at what you call the second rappel. I've never rappelled there...we've either passed the boulder on the left (right in your photo) and scrambled down into the pool, or climbed around the whole thing on the left bank. There's a ramp going up to a ledge (have belayed beginners on the way up there for one rope length), then an easy friction walk back down beyond the ledge. Check it out next time. It keeps your crotch dry. Depending on the year, the pool can be waist deep or deeper.

The big pothole on the last rappel is always a fun surprise for first timers, but there is no need to fall into it if you know it's there. However, I always thought that the guy who set the rappel anchor had a sense of humor. He could easily have set it ten feet farther towards northwest bank and avoided the whole pothole problem. For those of you who haven't seen it, this is not your usual highway pothole. Bigger than a hot tub. (cold tub?) It swallows you whole and has water at its bottom. It's a bit hard to make out in your phone "rap 4", but it is the whole darker area under your rope. It has a sharp lower edge, and is invisible when you start the rappel. You have to rappel far to your left (left in the photo), using maximum sideways boot friction, to avoid the pothole and to hit dry ground at the bottom.

The pool on the 2nd rap (1st waterfall) was over the dingleballs on the left. I know what you mean on the right... but it's even deeper on that side.
I didn't test it too much... but it looked a good 5ft. deep on that side. I know that more or less on account I chucked my hiking poles
into the pool from above and had to retrieve them from that area. At that point it didn't matter though... on account I was completely soaked
by the waterfall.

I knew the hole was there after going down about 5 ft. on the 4th rap (2nd waterfall)... I just screwed up and didn't let out enough rope
and fell foward into the Cold Tub! (I was walking down JUST to the left of the waterfall).

In both these I'm talking about looking back up canyon/up stream.

On these two pools for this year... there was no way you weren't getting your feet wet. Both were from mid-calf to over waist deep.
Next time I'll consider bringing another set of shoes (climbing or other) so am not boulder hopping in wet shoes...

Talking about it makes me wanna do it again sooner rather than later.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 09:41PM
Quote
chick-on
Quote
wherever
I've never gotten my boots wet, though I always remove my boots if I am going to cross the pool at what you call the second rappel. I've never rappelled there...we've either passed the boulder on the left (right in your photo) and scrambled down into the pool, or climbed around the whole thing on the left bank. There's a ramp going up to a ledge (have belayed beginners on the way up there for one rope length), then an easy friction walk back down beyond the ledge. Check it out next time. It keeps your crotch dry. Depending on the year, the pool can be waist deep or deeper.

The big pothole on the last rappel is always a fun surprise for first timers, but there is no need to fall into it if you know it's there. However, I always thought that the guy who set the rappel anchor had a sense of humor. He could easily have set it ten feet farther towards northwest bank and avoided the whole pothole problem. For those of you who haven't seen it, this is not your usual highway pothole. Bigger than a hot tub. (cold tub?) It swallows you whole and has water at its bottom. It's a bit hard to make out in your phone "rap 4", but it is the whole darker area under your rope. It has a sharp lower edge, and is invisible when you start the rappel. You have to rappel far to your left (left in the photo), using maximum sideways boot friction, to avoid the pothole and to hit dry ground at the bottom.

I knew the hole was there after going down about 5 ft. on the 4th rap (2nd waterfall)... I just screwed up and didn't let out enough rope
and fell foward into the Cold Tub! (I was walking down JUST to the left of the waterfall).

In both these I'm talking about looking back up canyon/up stream.

On these two pools for this year... there was no way you weren't getting your feet wet. Both were from mid-calf to over waist deep.
Next time I'll consider bringing another set of shoes (climbing or other) so am not boulder hopping in wet shoes...

No. No. If you are anywhere near the waterfall, you are on the wrong side of the pothole. See photo below. You do have to strain to stay that far to the left on rappel. Or right, if you are one of those guys who rappels facing forwards. If you are good, which I am, you can also keep the rope dry, by feeding the coil out below you as you go down, until you can toss the rest onto the dry bank (behind the boulder in the photo foreground) and rappel straight onto dry ground.


I know that you are an elegant fowl. Why would you want to get your feathers wet?
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 10:57PM

Ledge Trail, Tenaya Canyon, Sentinel Bridge Meadow, Ranger Rock, Valley View - Sep 19-21, 2003

Looks like it hasn't changed much in the last 8 years.

This was as far up canyon as I got the one time I was up there. I managed to climb up to the edge of the 'pothole' and was going to work my way up the cascade to the right when I stepped on what looked like a good traction point. This was the day I learned beyond a shadow of a doubt that that there is no such thing as traction on wet rock. Don't know if it was covered in something or just plain slick, but I lost it and slid down the slide into the pool. Would have been fun if it had been the intent to slide but . . .

Spent the rest of the day drying me and the contents of my bag out before heading back out. Pretty amazing day. Slot canyon!

Would I have been able to get much farther up canyon?
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 05, 2011 07:06AM
Quote
qumqats
Would I have been able to get much farther up canyon?
You would have been easily been able to get up to the slot of the 3rd rap.
That rap is a good 100 ft. (much like the first). To that spot coming down
canyon you are off the creek for about 1/10th of a mile I would say.
Lots o monster boulders... so not sure how easily it would be to bypass
that rap by staying in streambed. ... but looks do-able wink
(others have done it)
Looks something like this:

I put a couple more in my set for you to contemplate.
What you did was kewl. A great slot canyon and great views of Quarter and Watkins.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 05, 2011 06:45AM
I know I know I know... wink
I worked my way way over to left to your little red dots after getting past the pothole.
It would have worked out just fine... it's just at the pt. the rope was wet and
when I leaned forward to let more out... sploosh into pothole.
Regardless... my fedders were getting wet... or at least me feets.
smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 06:51AM
Here's the brush doggy I'm blah-ing about:







Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 08:03AM
The Circle is the Lone Boulder right?

On your picture about halfway between the circle and where your red line meets the green stuff is where we went straight down. If see see the slanted green stuff almost at the bottom (right below a black mark in your picture) is where we ended. Fortunately we had someone with us who was great and basically free soloed the whole thing. Going back and forth to set our anchors and then retrieve the rope.

Regarding exposure on Airplane Gully: It was only 3-4 spots that required a momentum type rock move---but lose your balance is no good! Took pack off and lifted it up but remember I was a total newbie. I haven't rock climbed outdoors in 20 years. (But the next day at the Grack I flew up with ropes on. It was fun. I might be hooked.) And before Friday, I had NEVER done a rappel. (I don't think you can count being belayed down off a rock climbing wall a rappel.)

I'll give a few more details later. Crazy busy at work.
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 02:27PM
Yup. Circle is lone boulder. Of course you know you dropped too early. It really is an easy friction
walk down further west.

Airplane Gully is a non trivial up due to all the shrub you have to deal with.

Glad you had fun. Looking forward to your pix.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 03:56PM
I have to finish Tenaya Canyon sometime. Just so I understand doesn't this week's storm shut the season down?

The shrub on Airplane Gully really wasn't my problem. I didn't care about a scratch here or there. The freakin' problem was the moves to get up and around rock which required a momentum move and to keep your balance without hand holds or face a 15-20 foot drop onto rock--mostly likely flat on your back or head! The guys I was with seemed to have no problem either but it really scared me. I just did not want to get hurt in Tenaya Canyon. I was much less scared going down Pywiack, the wrong way! Believe me though, I wouldn't trade anything for the experience. To climb up Airplane Gully was just awesome.

I haven't even looked at my pictures yet. But I just found the picture of where we started down. I CANT WAIT to show you that one. I also got pictures of two of the three rappel anchors and Wickett rappelling so I want you to see those also. You will probably have a good laugh and you will say "they came down that!". Wickett is there another week so he won't be able to chime in until then.
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 05:38PM
You should hit the reply button so the conversation is indented, etc.

Wherever talks about Airplane gully a bit. I went up the water course... which was shrubby to say the least.
I will try the east gully someday to see how that is...

Typical October storm rolls thru... and we get some snow... it certainly doesn't mean the season is over...
but it is the main reason there is no overnight parking on Tioga and GP starting Oct. 15th.
With the storms the Sierra gets you need to be smart about what you get yourself into though...
I'll leave it at that.

I'd imagine your photo something like this:


This is looking straight down at the big Triangle Shrubbery...

I can imagine what occurred... went too low... and rather than bush whacking up and across the shrub... the rock
climber just said "we can just rap down"... Totally understandable.

Please post ur pix. With peeps in the pict. it really gives scale to the it.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 07:26PM
Chick-On I don't mean to flatter you but that is incredible. For you to identify the exact spot with the limited information I gave is really cool. Trying to get pictures done before I literally fall asleep with the computer in my lap.

But something you said is interesting. At that point we really felt very uncomfortable and didn't see how bushwhacking up would get us anywhere because it still didn't look any better over to the immediate left. I can't wait for Wickett to weigh in because I can't quite remember how they made the decision.

(I see all the posts in chrono order and every new post says "New". I will hit reply now though)
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 08:25PM
No worries... I'm not any fatter. (I did enjoy a Strawberry Cupcake Sat. night though) tongue sticking out smiley

That picture was taken at the spot that is a little blip in the red line above.

With regards to the first water rapel... this is what you look down at:


(or at least what I looked down at)
(not getting wet at this point was not an option)



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 08:33PM
Chick-On's Picture:


My Picture:

Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 09:08PM
Quote
chick-on
Wherever talks about Airplane gully a bit. I went up the water course... which was shrubby to say the least.
I will try the east gully someday to see how that is...

Typical October storm rolls thru... and we get some snow... it certainly doesn't mean the season is over...
but it is the main reason there is no overnight parking on Tioga and GP starting Oct. 15th.
With the storms the Sierra gets you need to be smart about what you get yourself into though...
I'll leave it at that.

(photo)
This is looking straight down at the big Triangle Shrubbery...

I can imagine what occurred... went too low... and rather than bush whacking up and across the shrub... the rock
climber just said "we can just rap down"... Totally understandable.

Please post ur pix. With peeps in the pict. it really gives scale to the it.

With respect to the season, be careful late in the game. I remember one trip in October about ten years ago. Just before the dawn light hit us. Walking down the great open granite bowls above the lone boulder, nice friction stuff, and I stepped on an absolutely invisible paper-thin ice coating on the rock. I though that I had broken my jaw for a while. An hour later it would have been gone.

If you look at some of my previous comments on the route, you will note the great pine tree that is right below the descent route. It's very visible, and the only big one down there.


As Chick-On points out, this picture is too low and too far to the right to be on-route. You should never be headed down straight at the big triangle shrubbery.
Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 09:17PM
As you look down we traveled down to the point of the green triangle and then went right. That said it wasn't the original intent to head straight down at the triangle. We were trying to traverse sideways but it was wet in spots which really caused problems.
avatar Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 05, 2011 06:43AM
As for the season.... maybe I was not answering correct question.
If just this trek... ya... that one you gotta really be careful... storm above = lots more wawa below...
and COLD water
This storm that is rolling thru now... will end up bumping up Yose Falls and all the others.
I have photos of Vernal in October that looks like June...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 05:54PM
Quote
chicagocwright
I have to finish Tenaya Canyon sometime. Just so I understand doesn't this week's storm shut the season down?

The shrub on Airplane Gully really wasn't my problem. I didn't care about a scratch here or there. The freakin' problem was the moves to get up and around rock which required a momentum move and to keep your balance without hand holds or face a 15-20 foot drop onto rock--mostly likely flat on your back or head! The guys I was with seemed to have no problem either but it really scared me. I just did not want to get hurt in Tenaya Canyon. I was much less scared going down Pywiack, the wrong way! Believe me though, I wouldn't trade anything for the experience. To climb up Airplane Gully was just awesome.

I haven't even looked at my pictures yet. But I just found the picture of where we started down. I CANT WAIT to show you that one. I also got pictures of two of the three rappel anchors and Wickett rappelling so I want you to see those also. You will probably have a good laugh and you will say "they came down that!". Wickett is there another week so he won't be able to chime in until then.

Being honest with my own abilities, I don't think there's no way I could finish something like this. Going down to the Airplane Engine would be adventurous enough. I suppose with enough research and going with someone with superior route finding skills, it might be worth a shot. Glad to hear you made it out safely. It must have been a real thrill. Perhaps giving you an indescribable type of rush?
Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 04, 2011 08:28PM
Tenaya Canyon, The Grack, Mt. Dana

Here is my picture album.

The first few pictures are practice rappeling in the Devil's Bathtub.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2011 03:26PM by chicagocwright.
Re: Tenaya Canyon Epic
October 05, 2011 05:09AM
Love the pix, chicagowright. I was especially fascinated by the many changing angles of Half Dome from Tenaya Canyon. Very cool, indeed (although this trek is definitely beyond my abilities (or at least my experience) unless I was with some people who I really trusted to show me the ropes (literally in this case!)).
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