Eastern Sierra, CA Backcountry Report: Mt. Dana → Dana Couloir → Power House Chutes | Tioga Pass

Miles Clark | BackcountryBackcountry | Conditions ReportConditions Report
Tall Carl celebrating great conditions in Dana Couloir. image: snowbrains

Report from June 6th, 2019

Brought to you by Scott Sports

Skis Used:  Scott Super Guide 105 & Scott Scrapper 105

Yesterday morning, we awoke to high winds and building clouds in Mammoth Lakes, CA.

Our plan was 13,000′ Mt Dana to the Dana Couloir to the Dana Plateau then down the Power House Chutes.

The weather decided to fight us every step of the way…

Miles dropping into perfect conditions in the 40º steep Dana Couloir. image: Tall Carl

As we walked up Mt. Dana from Tioga Pass the wind increased, the clouds increased, and we ended up in a socked in cloud with very little visibility.

We decided to “put ourselves in a position to be lucky” and “not turn around until we are turned around.”

We summited at about 11:30am, put on our skis and bam! the skies cleared, sunshine hit us in the faces, and we could see.

Tall Carl in the 45º steep eastern Power House Chute. image: snowbrains

We zipped down the upper slopes of Mt. Dana to the entrance of the Dana Couloir in good light, which is key because there is a big, scary edge on the skiers left.

At the top of the Dana Couloir, we were concerned with the couloir being icy due to the cloud cover and high winds.

I told Tall Carl I would make a few turns then stop and communicate.

Miles on the upper slope of Mt. Dana with Yosemite in the background. image: Tall Carl

Instead, I made one turn, realized it was money, and ripped turns and hooted my head off all the way to the bottom.

The snow was absolutely perfect.

1″ deep corn that skied great, skied fast, and didn’t sluff.

Tall Carl and Dana Lake and Dana Couloir directly above his head. image: snowbrains

After a little celebration for the great snow, we scooted down Glacier Canyon, the clouds rolled back in the hail began to fall and we traversed onto the Dana Plateau.

After crossing the Plateau to the Power House Chutes, we were tired and happy.

We skied the eastern Power House Chute (we skied the western one on Wednesday) and it was steep and consequential.

Tall Carl and art. image: snowbrains

The snow was a bit soft and slushy, but it didn’t sluff badly and it skied great.

This eastern chute definitely has a bit more ‘no fall zone’ than its western counterpart.

After the chutes, we slid across the flats to the lower gully and it had great, newly exposed to the sun corn.

We splashed fun turns to the end of the snow tongue then walked the casual 15-minutes back to the car.

Miles about to drop the eastern Power House Chute. image: Tall Carl

What an amazing tour this was!

4 fun runs, 8-miles, topped out at 13000′, and 5500-vertical-feet of skiing!

NOTE:  The cornices on Solstice Couloir and Unknown Chute on Mt. Dana still appear to be too big to mess with.

If you’re interested in skiing the California Backcountry, please contact Alpenglow Expeditions for a guide and all the local knowledge.


June 5th: Eastern Sierra, CA Backcountry Report: Power House Chutes | Tioga Pass, CA

June 4th: Eastern Sierra, CA Backcountry Report: 12,500′ North Couloir of Mt. Emerson

June 2nd: Eastern Sierra, CA Backcountry Report: The Third Pillar Chute | Tioga Pass, CA

June 1st: Eastern Sierra, CA Backcountry Report: 1″ of Snow in 20-Minutes at 12,300′ in Zebra Chute


Miles and a Dana Lake. image: snowbrains
Tall Carl in the Dana Couloir. image: snowbrains
The Power House Chutes. image: snowbrains
Tall Carl, Mt. Dana, Dana Couloir in background. Dana Plateau in foreground. image: snowbrains
Miles atop the Power House Chutes. image: snowbrains
Tall Carl on the last bit of the snow tongue at the Powder House. image: snowbrains
Tall Carl leaving Glacier Canyon for the Dana Plateau. image: snowbrains
Miles dropping into perfect conditions in the Dana Couloir. image: Tall Carl
Happy at the car shuttle at the end of a big day. image: snowbrains
Dana lake and a chute we should ski..? image: snowbrains
The large Cornice on Unknown Chute. image: snowbrains
Tall Carl and Dana Plateau. image: snowbrains

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