Forums TR Archive California Dana Plateau TR 4-10-05
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  • #566648
    4150 Posts

    Dana Plateau
    gimpy, buddy, sierra cement (aka joesnow), bcd, bcrider
    photos by bcrider and sierra cement

    This is day two from a weekend trip to the eastside with gimpy, buddy, and sierra cement. Our first day was a blast (see TR here ) and we anticipated a big day two.

    We left the Sawtooth Range behind us and headed south an hour to Mammoth to hook up with my buddy BCD (a ripping splitboarder who has been killing it this year).

    The Sawtooths.

    After some Giovanni’s pizza in Mammoth we headed to BCDs. He was gracious enough to open his door to three stinky bc skiers and a dog. Special thanks for the hospitality BCD (and Brian).

    BCD shows sierra cement some of the local lines.

    Sleep came easy and soon it was morning. After a good cup of coffee a couple hard boiled eggs we were off to the pass.

    Getting our first glimpse of Dana Plateau and some of its legendary ski lines. Our up route would take us up the Cocaine chute with our down route being split between the Ripper and Third Pillar couloirs.

    We parked on the Powerhouse road and started skinning our 4-5000vft ascent. The nice thing about today’s tour over Saturday is that there is virtually no slog approach, you literally start climbing from the car.

    We skinned up the right side of this snowfield to the obvious saddle and headed left out of sight to the Coke chute.

    At the top of the saddle the scale of these mountains stare us in the face.

    Bcr doing his part to break a little trail too. 😉

    bcd makes his way up with Mono Lake in the background.

    After the saddle it’s a mellow little skin over to the base of the Coke chute. Gimpy, bcd, bcr.

    And then the slope angle picks up and it’s not so mellow.

    Gimpy and bcr.

    Gimpy, buddy, bcd.

    4150 Posts

    The conditions allowed us to skin ¾ of the chute (making the longest swithback ever) before having to switch to boot mode. The last ¼ would prove to be the most difficult and was my sketchiest ascent of the season. The snow conditions were mixed between windboard, firm snow, and pockets of windbuff and the pitch was fairly steep. The thing that made the climb scary was my stupid decision to only bring an ice and not my crampons. Not only would this decision slow down my pace but it subjected me to much more risk than needed. A fall could have been ugly, live and learn (don’t do that again!).

    bcr making the most of it.

    Eventually we had better luck climbing on the rock than the snow.

    sierra cement stoked to have some Vibram soles.

    Gimpy on the last pitch.

    Looking back down.

    The Cocaine chute.

    bcd and gimpy having a look around on top of the plateau.

    I think bcd was pointing to this. Mt Dana and the Solstice couloir. Nearly 5000vt to here and there is still more to climb if you want it. 🙂

    After some snacks we head over to the Ripper couloir for a look.

    bcd is nuts! 😯

    gimpy peers over moments before doing an impression of a drunk sailor.

    The lower portion of the Ripper.

    4150 Posts

    bcd does the honors and takes the line with speed.

    sierra cement is next.

    The crazy fin in the middle that leads you to believe the line doesn’t “goâ€Â

    4150 Posts

    gimpy and I decided to hit the Third Pillar couloir a little further down on the plateau. For the climbers on the board you may have heard of this classic climbing route. The Powder mag subscribers may also remember an article from last year showing the line shot by Christian Pondella.

    On the way over to the line we could see Mt Conness and North Peak…two other classic springtime spots.

    And some other sickter ricter lines. Photos don’t give the steepness justice.

    Here is a shot of the Powerhouse chute from last year.

    At the top of the Third Pillar it was a little intimidating. It just keeps getting narrower and narrower…definitely not a place to fall. 😯

    And the view was awesome.

    Gimpy and buddy went first while I filmed and they ripped the line together as usual. I had to give them a few minutes to clear the line so I didn’t rinse them out with sluff. Sitting up there all alone was scary and rad at the same time. We didn’t have radios so finally I had to just let her run. The line took more mental strength than I anticipated with each turn being very carefully thought out. Once through the choke I could see gimpy and buddy pulled off to the far side of the apron and I could also see bcd and sierra cement at the bottom of the bowl. My legs were shot but I couldn’t help to open it up now that the hard part was over. 🙂


    At the bottom of the bowl we all regrouped with huge friggin’ grins and high fives.From the bowl we still had a nice slope to ski back to the car. (see pic 4)

    sierra cement harvesting Sierra corn and powder in the same day. 🙂

    Back at the cars we grabbed some brews and soaked up the sun.

    bcr glad he brought the board bag.

    Eventually the party would be over and it was time for us to head home. We said our goodbyes to bcd and his brother and hit the road.

    And we just had to stop at the Mono Cone for some chocolate dipped soft serve. 🙂

    Thanks again boyz for an epic weekend!!!

    288 Posts

    right on! The TRs just keep getting better! Those lines look like a good time.

    158 Posts

    Wonderful TR … again …! I always fall in dreams watching those pics! Thx for it!

    80 Posts

    Damn Boys ! You guys are killin it this year. Can I hook up with you for one of those trips?


    740 Posts

    Another sweet one bites the dust…I don’t remember getting a call on Friday…maybe next time ❓

    88 Posts

    more stoke – thanks for the crampon reminder. sick stuff per usual!
    ShitYeah the MonoCone is OPEN!!!!

    42 Posts

    Nice score…last year (albeit there was tons LESS snow) I looked down each of those lines your group did, and passed to do Ellery Bowl…your TR gave me that old butterfly feeling…Ripper and 3rd are extremely steep…simply looking down bottoms out one’s belly with a gut check. Pictures do them no justice as to how steep they actually are all the way down to the choke. “Intimidating?” I would use “Scared the shit outta me”…damn dude, sweet lines and grande huevos, bro.

    Turns out we are going to likely stay in the Cloverleasf Cirque region this whole w/e, and do Mt. Dana from the top in three weeks (May7-8)…we decided that if we were going to hike so damn close to Red Slate Mtn, that we were going to have give it an attempt on Saturday. I hope to score the North Couloir if conditions and mettle permit…if not, we will peak out and do the long flowing west slope…

    Thanks for the crampon clue from your Dana experience…I was not going to bring mine this w/e, but now I think I will just in case.

    Btw, any shots of Buddy doing 3rd? I cannot imagine a dog coming down that line…talk about balls…


    1421 Posts

    That is totally, completely, indescribably awesome! I don’t know what else to say… except that I want somma that! 🙂 Way to go guys.

    46 Posts

    What a great weekend huh? Views of mono are ridiculous!

    35 Posts


    That’s some pretty proud stuff. Good job all!

    You know, there’s been so many SICK lines done this year.. so many sweet pics, so many great TR’s. Thanks for postin’ EM!


    Mountain Freak
    23 Posts


    Sierra Fred
    1 Posts

    Hey, just a shout out to all you guys for all the sweet TRs. They are really appreciated. I’ve been saving pics to my hardrive regularly over the past few weeks.

    Chris, I think my claim to fame in this world is taking your avatar pic.

    2068 Posts

    I used to think I was a pretty decent snowboarder. Sweet lines, sweet pics.

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