I recently hiked up Tenaya Peak in Yosemite NP. I'm not a peakbagger, but sometimes I see a particuar hill so often that I end up visualizing a route that I could take to the top. My previous hikes in the area south of Tenaya Lake led me to think I could walk up the southwest ridge without much difficulty. Summitpost describes a couple routes, including the one that I took. They rate the SW ridge route as a class 3 requiring half a day. I think most people take the west face route which is rated as class 2-3.
I started at the south end of Tenaya Lake and quickly left the trail heading NE up the rocky slopes. The route alternated between open granite slabs and small forested areas. It was reassuring to come across the occassional footprint.
Near the top I came across a well used trail. That made it easy to find my way to the summit where I found a young couple enjoying the view. They had no backpacks or water but one had a chalk bag hanging from his waist. With a smile I remarked that they must have come up the short way and nodded toward the sheer cliff on the west side of the summit. They laughed and agreed. We sat a while trying to name all the hills and domes visible from there.
I enjoyed this hike. It wasn't difficult at all and the views were terrific. I started the hike at 8 am and got to the summit at 10:20. I left the summit at 10:45 and returned to my car at 12:20 pm. My GPS receiver said it was 4.8 miles round trip with an elevation range from 8,114 fo 10,331 ft. The weather was great on that trip, with a high that day of about 80F and lows at night around 46F. I was camping in the Tuolumne Meadows campground.