"William Brewer and Charles Hoffmann, members of the Whitney Survey, made the first ascent of Mt. Dana on June 28, 1863. Josiah Whitney accompanied Brewer for the second ascent the following day. They named the peak after James D. Dana, a professor of natural history and geology at Yale during the mid and late 1800s, declaring, “We give the name of Mount Dana to it in honor of J.D. Dana, the most eminent American Geologist.” This ascent was one of the survey’s first in the Sierra, and they speculated at the time that Mt. Dana might be the highest peak in the range. However, the view from the summit showed that Mt. Lyell was higher and that there were many tall peaks to consider to the south. They continued their surveying efforts in the southern Sierra the following year, climbing many peaks including Mt. Brewer and Mt. Tyndall. The ascent of the 1,000-foot Dana Couloir is an excellent introduction to Sierra gully ice, with about 7 pitches of moderately angled ice. This broad gully also provides a fine spring ski descent and has become something of a pilgrimage for many skiers. It is possible to ski from the top of Mt. Dana to the couloir, ski the couloir, climb onto the Dana Plateau, and ski down one of the steep couloirs above Ellery Lake."