Album: Whitney Portal & The North Fork
- Outdoor Adventures
- Album Date
- Date Added
- 1/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
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Though not that obvious from this photo there was quite a bit of debris on the road. Fortunately the road was cleared up to our vehicles by the time we returned from the Portal. Many thanks to the road crew.
Approaching the Meysan Lakes parking area. We parked lower just below the usual rockfall section.
Snow was falling when we started and it continued to fall most of the day.
Mount Whitney Trailhead. Snow depth here was about a foot.
Whitney Portal Trailhead and Richard's snowshoe tracks
I follow Richard's showshoe track up the Whitney Trail
Carillon Creek sign. Snow depth here was about 18 inches.
Richard Piotrowski. I finally managed to catch up with him at the North Fork Lone Pine Creek crossing.
We decided to proceed up the North Fork as far as we could
North Fork Lone Pine Creek. Snow depth here was from 2 or 3 feet with even deeper drifts.
Richard struggles to break a path. At this point it was becoming a futile endeavor.
At this point we acknowledged that it would be fruitless to continue. We had little chance of reaching LBSL before dark. We also realized that at the time this photo was taken we were standing on top of a tree. Our poles poked through into large air pockets below.
We're actually standing on the tree tops here. This is typical in the winter however at this point the snow is fresh powder that is barely being supported by the trees. Underneath are large air pockets.
Richard reveals his badly frostbitten hands. Can his fingers be saved? Have no fear, this is actually just a case bleeding dye from cheap gloves.
Want to know what severe frostbite looks like? Ok this isn't it but it probably got your attention.
North Fork Lone Pine Creek Crossing. Having made little progress up the North Fork but with some time left we decided to head up the main trail as far as we could.
This is the log crossing shortly before Lone Pine Lake
This is one of the logs at the log crossing shortly before Lone Pine Lake. Though most water sources were completely frozen the water here had ice that was no more than an inch thick.
Just shy of reaching Lone Pine Lake and close enough to our goal we turn around. We have only an hour of daylight left and only one headlamp between the two of us.
Large amounts of spindrift were flowing down from above
Spindrift flowing down toward the Portal from Candlelight Peak
5:12pm. Now dark, Richard and I struggle back to the Portal. It would take us another 40 minutes to get back down the road to our vehicles.
We return to our vehicles shortly before 6pm. My door was frozen shut and took a good yank to open it.