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White Mountain

Was planning on doing Vivian Creek Saturday but the permit was recinded after folks in the "Picnic Grounds" were feeding bears, so I was talked into going up to Owens Valley, Big Pine and up to White Mountain.

Went up Saturday arrived around 4 PM, made camp, walked around taking pictures, talked to all the folks coming off the mountian, went to bed early and hit the trail around 5:35 AM, made the summit by 9:30 after hitting the one just to the north (I think it's called White Mountain Peak 13,980 on Summit posts board) of the actual White Mountain Summit at 14,246.

Waited just below the summit for Bryan and his wife to give them the "Honors" of being the first hikers up for the day as it was their first 14er. Weather was windy, partly cloudy, but plenty of sun through out the day as my face is fried. Made it back to car by 1 PM packed up and hit the highway before 2 PM, home by 7:30PM.

Things to be aware of, the late afternoons are bringing in lots of "Lightning and thurder storms" in the Sierra's and the White's this time of year. Marmots are everywhere and will chew on anything rubber under your hood, lot's of folks are leaving their "Hoods" up as the Marmots don't like the "exposure" and only tend to get into cars with hoods down - that's at least the theory.

There were at least 40 people heading up as we were heading down, more than I seen or heard of from past experience and trip reports I've read. Remember that the "Bancroft Research Center" is doing the open house on Sunday August 2nd, so if you want to know what the "Crazy People" are doing at 5150 Bancroft Road you can go in and find out for yourself Smile

See pictures here -

Gotta love those "suicide" trips.  Drive up one night, hike next morning then drive straight back.  I did that 6 weeks ago.  Drove 7 hours, slept 2.5 hours, hike/climb 9 hours, drove 7 hours back home.  I heard there was some severe lightning storms on the eastern side of the sierras (I was in the western side) but your pictures don't look too bad.  We were hit one night by some high, warm (sorta monsoon type) winds with high white cumulous clouds and the occasional thunder claps.  Or as you call them "thurder".  LOL.

Sounds like you made some good time to the summit.  Your knee must be doing better.

~En Fuego


There's a big fire going from lightning strikes just north West of Bishop. It looked like it was dying out on Saturday night (smoke was getting less and less and as night fell we could see the hot spots from that high (12,000) across the valley) but on Sunday while we were hiking it was getting worse as the winds picked up. If you look close at the west facing pictures you can see smoke, it's not clouds. The smoke was hanging over the Owens Valley and it was very thick, went all the way up past Mamoth and into Nevada as it cleared the end of the White Mountains.

There was plenty of lightning and thunder both days late in the day, it rolled in hard at 2 PM as we were driving away from the gate and out of the National Forest.

On the way home we saw numerous fire trucks heading up the 395 and at Kramer Junction I had a conversation with one guy (a fire chief) coming up from San Diego to help, said they are worried about more strikes to come. Hopefully the can contain it quickly, it's dry out there right now with plenty of fuel.

Summit time, could have gone faster but woke up with headache from the elevation, so we took it easy for the first two hours, then I kicked it in gear, that last thousand feet will work anyone, it's just over 1,200 feet in a mile, but the views are some of the best when it's not raining, snowing, fires in the area or cloudy - would like to go back sometime and do the whole ridge from Nevada north end all the way to the Summit of White, three or four day trip?

Knee is so much better, still hurts to land heavy on it when rock hopping, so I wear the brace for that stuff. Shocked

It sure is a nice mountain.  Bit underrated on the pleasurometer, I suspect.
Been wanting to ski it on skinnies.  But never caught the weather window/work schedule right -- yet.

Glad you're back on the saddle!
Richard N.

Good thing to know if one wants to shave 4 miles off your hike up White Mountain.

On August 2nd, its Open House. The gate will be open so you can drive to the Barcroft Station. They have tours there as well.

On September 6th is Open Gate day. Once again you can save 4 miles of hiking this day as well. No tours of the station but there are hosts to greet you.

Both dates the gate opens @ 6:00am. It may be 6:30am so check their web site. All the 411 is there.

We took advantage of the Open Gate date last year. There were a lot of hikers but nothing all that unusual. The weather was perfect and we had the herd of Big Horns cross right in front of us, maybe 50 yards from us. It was great. Forum Index -> California
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