Northwest Buttress 5.5

  • Currently 4.0/5

Tenaya Peak

Tuolumne Meadows, California USA

Trip Report
SUP Approach across Tenaya Lake to Climb Tenaya Peak
Saturday July 23, 2016 9:48am
Here's a much more entertaining way to approach Tenaya Peak: start at the west end and SUP across. There is usually a slight tailwind in the morning. We used inflatable SUP's. Then deflate, stash in the trees, and recover later. We did a variation on the descent that took us more west. Trail gets more and more faint and there was a little cross-country right before Tenaya Lake. You end up at the west end of the lake which is much more wind-sheltered in the afternoon for a beer and dunk in the lake.

Here is the track on Strava -

And the track on MotionX -

We used inflatable SUPS - here is our Inflatable SUP Review and our SUP Paddle Review

@torlow getting ready to SUP across Tenaya Lake.
@torlow getting ready to SUP across Tenaya Lake.
Credit: Chris McNamara

SUP across Tenaya Lake
SUP across Tenaya Lake
Credit: Chris McNamara

@torlow on the summit of Tenaya Peak
@torlow on the summit of Tenaya Peak
Credit: Chris McNamara

The GPS track
The GPS track
Credit: Chris McNamara

  Trip Report Views: 3,266
Chris McNamara
About the Author
Climbing Magazine once computed that three percent of Chris McNamara’s life on Earth had been spent on the face of El Capitan – an accomplishment that left friends and family pondering Chris’s sanity. He has climbed El Capitan more than 70 times and holds nine big wall speed climbing records. In 1998 Chris did the first Girdle Traverse of El Capitan, an epic 75-pitch route that begs the question, “Why?”

Outside Magazine called Chris one of “the world’s finest aid climbers.” He is the winner of the 1999 Bates Award from the American Alpine Club and founder of the American Safe Climbing Association, a nonprofit group that has replaced over 5000 dangerous anchor bolts. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and serves on the board of the ASCA and the Rowell Legacy Committee. He has a rarely updated adventure journal, maintains, and also runs a Lake Tahoe home rental business.

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  Jul 23, 2016 - 10:30am PT


Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jul 23, 2016 - 11:21am PT
Looks gorgeous!
the Fet

  Jul 23, 2016 - 01:32pm PT
Great idea!

Did you use a leash lock and lock the boards up while you climbed? These kind are great

And/or hide them well?

Social climber
Lida Junction
  Jul 23, 2016 - 02:14pm PT
cool idea.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
  Jul 27, 2016 - 07:39am PT
Pretty cool, Chris. Beautful shots.

I love gps tracking!
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Author's Reply  Jul 26, 2016 - 09:33am PT
The fet, we just hid them. Not well.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Jul 26, 2016 - 10:01am PT
Yes! Been to the Meadows a couple of times this summer and every time think about how much fun it would be to SUP on Tenaya. Awesome way to insert a little more fun into an already worthwhile adventure.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Jul 26, 2016 - 10:33am PT
Looks like fun, Chris. I've taken a descent that actually goes more to the east rather than the west, and hits the ground nearer to Pywiak dome. Although it looks improbable, I didn't consider anything we did harder than Class 2.


Sonoma County
  Jul 26, 2016 - 10:45am PT
great idea Chris. I dig the inflatable SUPs.

Where else could you do this to access climbing? Hmmm? - Lake George in Mammoth, Convict Lake to access Morrison or Laurel, Sabrina or South Lake for some peak bagging.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
  Jul 26, 2016 - 01:11pm PT
Cool idea, but why does the track look like you hiked back to your paddling starting point?

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
  Jul 26, 2016 - 04:08pm PT
Really fun idea.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Author's Reply  Jul 27, 2016 - 07:35am PT
Jon, yeah you hike back to the starting point to grab the car, jump in the lake, drink beer. Then on the way to fish tacos at the Mobil Mart, you stop by and grab the boards from East end of Tenaya Lake

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  Jul 27, 2016 - 08:56am PT
Beautiful summer days!

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
  Aug 1, 2016 - 11:23am PT
You should have hauled the boards up to the summit.
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Tenaya Peak - Northwest Buttress 5.5 - Tuolumne Meadows, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Greg Barnes