Saturday, November 13, 2010

Trip Itinerary

APR 01: Fly from Seattle to Las Vegas, car poll with other climbers or rent a sweet ride (perhaps the Cadilac of mini-vans?), drive to Long Pine, CA and bunk for the night at Dow Villa Hotel.

APR 02: Meet at the Mt. Whitney Cafe in Lone Pine for breakfast at 7:00 a.m. Drive to the end of the Whitney Portal road around 11:00 a.m. as a team after issue of group gear and individual gear checks. The road is not plowed to Whitney Portal in the spring and there is usually a mile or more to hike to the road's end. In normal conditions, we will leave cars at a parking area near the road closure sign and then shuttle the group as far as we can get. We will likely use snowshoes from the start. The way from Whitney Portal (8,400') will be all snow, with some steep snowshoeing terrain through pines and around exposed granite slabs. The day will be a long one, 6 or more hours, with a heavy pack. Our evening camp will be in the vicinity of Lower Boy Scout Lake, at about 10,300' in elevation.

APR 03: We will move up to a high camp somewhere below Iceberg Lake (12,240'), another very full day. It may be cold at high camp, in the range of +20°F to as low as 0°F overnight.

APR 04: Summit day. The Mountaineer's Route ascends a large, snow filled gully up to a notch just north of the summit. The gully may be firm snow or knee deep step kicking, depending on conditions. It is 30-40° in angle. From the notch, a short, steeper gully will be belayed or anchored with several fixed ropes to facilitate our ascent to the summit. The guides will lower the team from anchor point to anchor point back down to the notch. We will descend the route to our high camp.

APR 05: Pack up and return to the road head. End of trip. We will hope to be back at our vehicles by mid-afternoon, noon to 2 p.m. depending on conditions. We normally meet for lunch as a team down in Lone Pine to celebrate our success.  Overnight again at the Dow Villa Hotel in Lone Pine.

APR 06: Drive to Vegas, baby!  Hop a plane back to Seattle.

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