Tim and I went up Tenya Peak in Yosemite near Tuolumne Meadows today. Like most anywhere along hwy 120 in Yosemite, this was a really beautiful area. We were lucky with perfect weather and flowers blooming.
We started about 8am and got back to the car 6 hours later. We hiked at a brisk pace up and down, but took our time to enjoy the climbing and views. We used the rope for about the top 1/3, but only felt we needed it on the last 2 short pitches. I'm not suggesting you skip the rope however, it all depends on how fast and safe you want to go, and details like footwear choice and partners... This climb is rated 5.5, which only comes up in a few moments. I felt we hit 5.7 near the top, but that was by choice. The route is about 1500'.
Tenya Peak looks moderately steep from the highway, but is really low angle. This is a super big and friendly, clean granite bike path of a climb! Totally worth it! The route climbs the obvious ridge starting on the left and angling up to the right. You need to hike around the left side of the lowest rock slabs on the left of this pic, they are steep and wet. A bit bushy and wet, but pretty straight forward. Go up and get onto dry rock as soon as you can.
The northeast buttress route looks a little more difficult from this angle. Don't get me wrong, you can blow it and get into steeper terrain if you're not careful, and with no protection. If you do this climb, go to supertopo.com's forum and read what people say. One guy said just climb up to the huge, freestanding boulder halfway up and then climb straight up from there. This was pretty good advice, although we were left of that.
The climb starts at the parking lot for Tenya Lake. We hiked straight for the toe of the buttress, and had some careful stepping on wet rock down low.
We didn't try to follow the Supertopo route, you can see how easy it's going to be when you get on the rock, and it would have been a lot slower to micro analzye the route. My advice is just stay on what is clearly the Northeast Buttress (name of the route), and look for pro opportunities.
We used the rope to simul climb starting about halfway up.
This kind of terrain is incredible to look at. These large boulders are 20' feet high.
This was about 200' below the top of the climb (not the actual summit). Felt like 5.6 for about 30'. We found some large loose boulders and carefully stepped around them.
Tim choose the whole route up. I was very content just leading the 5.8 crack at the top. It felt a little easier than that, but it did have some fun figuring out. You have to avoid loose boulders and traverse into a steep crack. There were nice handlebars to grab onto after a few easy hand jams on this short last pitch. Here's Tim coming up to the top of the climb. You can see the entire route behind him.
Tenya Lake is a little piece of paradise. I look forward to bringing the SUP next time. (that's stand up paddleboard for those out of the loop) We sell and rent em now as well as kayaks.
Looking west from the summit at Yosemite Valley.
Looking southeast from the summit at Matthes Crest.
Looking east from the summit at some of the Tuolumne Domes.
There is some internet and guidebook talk of tricky route finding and dangerous, dirty slabs to cross on the way back to the car. We found it easy to both see and feel the line around this ledge system. Just walk a little further down the west side of the mountain to where you can see low angle slabs hitting the forest. Once you feel your way down SAFE terrain, angle down towards the east end of the lake. In this pic you can see tim walking the line, where the slab angle is just right to descend care free.
Looking accross the highway at Stately Pleasure Dome.
In the afternoon we did a few climbs on the south flank of Daff Dome. We did Great Circle and Alimony Crack.
Fairview Dome on the south side of the highway.