Travels with Tucker

Travels with Tucker

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hiking Whitney Portal

Mt. Whitney, 14,505 feet
Mt. Whitney is the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states and a very popular climb. Leaving from Whitney Portal it is a 21-mile round trip hike with 6,000 feet of elevation gain. Most people take 3 days to do it and once the snow melts, the climb does not require technical climbing skills. But we aren’t going to do that hike for a couple of reasons: it’s too early in the season, still lots of snow; we don’t have backpacking gear; but mainly because we are wimps. But we did do the hike up TO Whitney Portal because the road from Lone Pine campground is still closed for the winter. There is a great 4-mile, 2,500 vertical foot trail that give some great views of Mt. Whitney and the Alabama Hills below and we took most of one day to do that. We ran into some hikers who did try to reach the summit the day before, but were chased off the mountain by a big thunderstorm. These people were impressive—29 miles round trip, 8,500 feet of elevation gain, much of it IN THE SNOW! Makes me want to put my feet up and have a beer just thinking about it.

On the trail, Mt. Whitney ahead

Looking back down at Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills
Taking a quick lunch break, almost to the Portal
High country around Mt. Whitney

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