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#47170 - 07/29/16 01:01 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Halfdomer Homer Offline


Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 43
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Doug at Whitney Portal Store has reported that signs on the road are posted warning of 3-hour closures.

Doug also posted that the delays don't go into effect until Monday the 1st. Glad I'm going tonight and not next week! Hope to see some of you on the MT tonight and tomorrow.

-Dan

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#47173 - 07/30/16 09:24 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 437
Loc: Reno, NV
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Doug at Whitney Portal Store has reported that signs on the road are posted warning of 3-hour closures.


3 hours! I'll be leaving a vehicle in Lone Pine 8-10 and plan on ending my hike mid day 0n 8-16 at Whitney Portal with 3 others in my party. I planned on hitching down, getting my vehicle, and going back up to the Portal to pick up the other 3. Of course it would be ideal to find a kind soul who would take all 4 of us and our gear on the first trip.

Worst case: a 3 hr delay as I go down to get my vehicle, another 3 hr delay on the way back up, and another 3 hour delay going back down with the rest of my party. Any suggestions?

I need a trail angel to pick us up.

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#47174 - 07/31/16 07:27 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: RenoFrank]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 437
Loc: Reno, NV
I may have a friend come to the Portal just to shuttle us down to Lone Pine. Now, how to make sure he is there when we get there. Can he camp at the walk-in sites the night before even without a hiking permit? If so can he hang around the Portal waiting for us? They do have "Day use" parking he could use without a parking permit, right?

I guess he could get a walk-in Whitney day hike permit but he won't be hiking so if not necessary why bother? However that might provide a parking permit. As I asked before, maybe he can use day use parking.

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#47175 - 07/31/16 02:04 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
TB40 Offline


Registered: 07/31/16
Posts: 9
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Dayhike permits would be good only for the (extended) day of the hike. The parking permits will have dates written on them.

You get the parking permit at the Visitor Center from the same people that hand you your hiking permit.


Taking our first trip to Whitney next month, really appreciate all the information shared on this forum.

My wife and I have a single day use hiking permit for Friday 8/15. We were planning on driving up to the portal the evening before around 5pm, catching an open parking spot (or waiting for someone coming off the mountain and leaving) in the permit area, then sleeping in our Tahoe until we start hiking around 3am. We are not concerned about sleeping in the car, all indications are that this is generally acceptable.

The information we have read online seems to indicate that the corresponding parking permit that gets issued with the single day hiking permit is valid from midnight to midnight on the day of the hike. Obviously we would be arriving before this window of time.

* Does anyone know if they are allowing day hikers to arrive and park the night before?

* How serious has parking enforcement been this year?

* If our plan won't work, can anyone propose a workaround that would allow us to be at altitude for at least a half day before our hike?

Any information would be greatly appreciated!

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#47176 - 07/31/16 08:22 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: TB40]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7874
Loc: Fresno, CA
RenoFrank, I'd try to get down before 11 (maybe hustle ahead of the rest) and hitch down in the 11 am - 1 PM window. If you get lucky, you could be back to the portal in that same window. Then head down after the 1-4 PM time.

If your friend comes to pick you up, he should try for a walk-in Day Use permit before the VC closes the day before (get there before 4 PM). The N.F. has said Day Use permits are allowed to park overnight the night before to use the walk-in sites. Then he could guarantee your group all got the ride down in the appropriate time window.
- - - - -

TB40: (from the first post in this long thread...) We have been informed that Day hikers are allowed to park overnight the night before so they can use the trail head walk-in campground the night before their hike. So it should be just fine sleeping in the car, too.

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#47177 - 07/31/16 09:30 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 437
Loc: Reno, NV
Here's an email I received from Paul from Eastside Sierra Shuttle:

Hi Frank,

We have availability to schedule this.

Fare for 4 passengers is $125 in all.

You can be pretty sure that the Forest Service and the Contractor will
not be on the same page. This means that nobody has any idea of when or
where the flagmen will be or how long the delays will be or how many
times you will be stopped or where you will be stopped.

Lately I have been stopped about 2 times going up for about 1/2 hour
each time and 2 times going down for about 1/2 hour each time. Those
delays are occurring at what seem like random locations anywhere below
Lone Pine Campground.

Above Lone Pine Campground they have started the 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 3 hour complete closures.

But don't infer that 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or after 4:00 p.m. or
before 8:00 a.m. will be clear sailing. Those times are when I have been
getting stopped for 2+ hours in 1/2 hour increments.

Do the math . . .

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#47178 - 08/01/16 05:52 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
TB40 Offline


Registered: 07/31/16
Posts: 9
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C

TB40: (from the first post in this long thread...) We have been informed that Day hikers are allowed to park overnight the night before so they can use the trail head walk-in campground the night before their hike. So it should be just fine sleeping in the car, too.


Thanks very much Steve. We might just snag a campsite anyway. Do those walk in camping spots typically fill up on a Thursday? Much Appreciated!


Edited by TB40 (08/01/16 05:53 AM)

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#47180 - 08/01/16 10:14 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: TB40]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7874
Loc: Fresno, CA
They never fill up.

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#47181 - 08/01/16 11:32 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7874
Loc: Fresno, CA
Found a report on Facebook saying they got held up near Whitney Portal on Friday until 4:30 PM, and then another stop farther down. So it took an hour to get down to Lone Pine.

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#47182 - 08/01/16 12:46 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
dawnamorse Offline


Registered: 08/01/16
Posts: 1
Loc: san diego, ca
My friends and I (total 7) hiked Mt. Whitney July 27-July 29th, staying at Trail Camp the 27th and 28th. We were extremely concerned with the parking situation and ended up renting a passenger van after our shuttle service dropped us due to fear of getting stuck in traffic.
We arrived at the trail head at 4am with more than enough parking spaces available! As a matter of fact, there were only a handful of cars there when we got there; confirming what we heard at the visitor's center the day before when we grabbed our permits and wag bags- parking has not been an issue for those arriving early.
Things to keep in mind:
- Arrive before 5am to beat crowds, heat, and parking issues.
- You are only issued one wag bag a person (holds up to 3 poops), so if you are staying multiple days on the mountain and are a frequent user, you may want to consider buying extra. They sell them at the visitor's center for 3.50 a piece. We bought 2 extra a piece and we each used them all. The altitude does a wonder on your digestive track so don't go into this thinking you will hold it. You won't- and if you do- you'll be uncomfortable and it will make your hike terrible. Just keep in mind- you MUST carry it out. Don't be the guy who leaves your wagbag on the trail-nobody likes that guy.
- Marmots will tear into your wagbag (this happened to us!) so be sure to put a rock on it or hide it well when leaving camp. It's a mess to clean and the last thing you want to arrive to after an amazing summit!
- Expect afternoon rainshowers/hail storms- even when the weather shows clear with no chance of rain! We all checked the weather the morning of and it showed 0 chance of rain and we were hit hard with a storm and about an inch of hail. Luckily we all brought our gear (just in case!)
- We left the trail head at 11:30 to head back to Lone Pine and had a 30 min delay, total. Once at the beginning and once toward the end. Expect delays regardless of the time you leave. The 11-1 window we all have been reading about will still produce a delay, plan accordingly.
- START EARLY, BRING A LOT OF WATER, ELECTROLYTES, and pop aspirin if you don't live in high altitude. I had to give electrolyte tablets and water to some people who were not prepared to drink as much as they did. Always happy to help a fellow hiker but preparedness will get you to the summit, being IL-prepared will get you sick. This is especially true for the day hiker.
- Lastly, when you do get to the top- walk around the entire peak. People get excited and stay on one side-forgetting the entire world around them. Let yourself feel humbled. Enjoy what you just conquered.

Happy Trails!


Edited by dawnamorse (08/01/16 12:52 PM)

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#47191 - 08/02/16 09:00 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
VertC Offline


Registered: 04/08/16
Posts: 4
Loc: Iowa
Hello, Thanks in advance! I am hoping that someone can help me understand the road construction issue. I have read through this entire thread and am throughly confused at this point. Having never been out there makes it hard to understand if I can't visualize what is being talked about. We are flying into Vegas on the morning of 8/12 and driving out that afternoon through Death Valley. We have camping for the 12th & 13th at the Whitney Portal. Have overnight permits for the 14th for MWMT. Not sure what we are doing the nights of the 15th & 16th, but we'll figure that out depending on what kind of shape we are in. Fly out of Vegas on the 17th.
Is there any reason not to drive through the Death Valley? And if not advisable, what route should we take?
I think we are good on parking with camping at the portal and having an overnight permits. Am I correct? Getting there on Friday, we should miss the construction, right?
Will, we need to go back into Lone Pine on the 13th to pick up our wilderness permits?
Can, we rent bear cans, buy trail food and any miscellaneous stuff we forgot at the Whitney Portal Store? If not what's the best place to do so?
What other logistics things should we be aware of?
Side note, my other hobby is Professional BBQ Contests. http://www.pitch.com/food-drink/article/...-grand-champion
If someone reading this, will be out there on Sat 13th, bring a smoker or charcoal grill and I cook up ribs.
Thanks, Don

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#47192 - 08/02/16 09:31 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: VertC]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7874
Loc: Fresno, CA
Go ahead and drive through Death Valley. Enjoy the amazing landscape and views! Just in case of a break down, make sure you have at least a gallon of water in the car. Most rental cars should make the drive just fine. The worst stress on the car is when you climb the grade out of DV -- you could ease off on the speed, and if it shows signs of overheating, turn off the AC.

No problem getting past the construction after hours on Friday, 8/12. You will need to drive back down to pick up the permits... only they MIGHT leave the permits in the overnight kiosk along the road in front of the Visitor Center. You would call the Wilderness Permit office (day before, I think) to arrange that: 760-873-2483.

But you might want to drive back down to pick up stuff in Lone Pine. Check out the Orientation Notes (link on the left) for more info. The Elevation store would have good supplies. I think you can get bear cans both at the Visitor Center and Whitney Portal Store.

The ribs sound good. But I ain't carrying the BBQ. smile

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#48090 - 08/12/16 01:34 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
psykokid Offline


Registered: 07/28/15
Posts: 58
Loc: Pasadena, CA
So when is the construction expected to wrap up? Looked around a bit and didn't see anything in regards to an estimated time of completion.

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#48094 - 08/12/16 04:24 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: psykokid]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7874
Loc: Fresno, CA
They will likely take the full season -- through Sept, I think. They will still need to add finishing touches like center line painting, etc.

The original announcement put the completion at Nov 7.

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#48101 - 08/13/16 08:50 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
TB40 Offline


Registered: 07/31/16
Posts: 9
Loc: CA
My wife and I day hiked and summited (barely) yesterday. We arrived around 6pm on Thursday night and slept in the parking lot. PLENTY of parking in the permit area, maybe 50% full around 6pm, some cars started showing up around 2am (day hikers), but never saw anything close to full. This was in the main area right in front of the trailhead, I would guess that the overflow lot was empty.

As far as the construction, on Thursday we drove up the portal road twice. Once at about 1pm to visit Movie Road about a mile up, and the 2nd time around 430pm to drive all the way to the portal. In both cases, we got stopped very close to the main road for about 15 to wait for a pilot car. There is a 2nd restricted sections further up the mountain, we got lucky and only waited a couple of minutes for a pilot car that time. When we drove off the mountain yesterday/friday around 6pm, it was wide open with no construction or delays.

I took a picture of the noticed posted at the permit office. It says as of Aug 1st, construction runs M-F 6am-730pm, with extended delays 8-11am and 1-4pm.

I am convinced that I would not have summitted if not for the assistance of this board, so if I can answer any questions or share my experience, please feel free to email me thomasbaumann [at] gmail dot com.

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#48155 - 08/18/16 10:23 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: TB40]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7874
Loc: Fresno, CA
I received a notice that road construction -- and so the delays -- will extend to Saturday this coming weekend. That is Saturday, Aug 20.

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#48158 - 08/20/16 10:48 AM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Raj Ammanur Offline


Registered: 08/20/16
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
Hi Steve and others,

This site is very informative thanks to you and others, appreciate it.

I & my wife's cousin have permit for monday night.
Our plan was to drive up to portal tomorrow, camp overnight and start the hike
to trail camp on monday and attempt the summit on tuesday by starting at 4AM.

Checking the weather at http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mount-Whitney/forecasts/3500, it says that .5inch rain with thunderstorms for monday
PM at 11500ft elevation and 0.2" overnight. its 2.4" of snow forecast for monday
night and clear sunny skies in the tuesday AM.

Questions:
- the two of us have no experience hiking in snow. I am assuming hiking in
snow is going to be very hard on tuesday?
- we haven't camped when it was raining with thunderstorm. so, I am guessing
trying to sleep at 12000' elevation is also going to be a problem with rain and
storm. is it possible to stay at that elevation with thunderstorm?
- what kind of gear would we need to hike in snow on tuesday? would we need
microspikes/crampons?

We are thinking of pretty much cancelling our permit as we think we have
no experience in this kind of weather. Comments?

thanks
--Raj

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#48159 - 08/20/16 09:05 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Raj Ammanur]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7874
Loc: Fresno, CA
If it snows, it will be a dusting. It will NOT amount to anything that would slow you down, except the cold and the moisture.

You need to check the NOAA weather site links on the Mt Whitney Weather page (link is above on the left). Mountain-forecast.com always over-estimates and over-predicts snowfall.

But you may very likely see thunderstorms. The usually only last an hour or two, and if you have a tent to stay in you will be fine. If you are out hiking, then rain gear is what you will need.

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#48181 - 08/22/16 05:33 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Steve C]
Okclimber Offline


Registered: 08/21/16
Posts: 4
Loc: CA
One of the posts above mentioned road construction thru 8/20. Does anyone know if the construction (and more specifically the associated delays) is complete?

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#48182 - 08/22/16 05:52 PM Re: 2016: Whitney Portal parking & Road Construction [Re: Okclimber]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7874
Loc: Fresno, CA
Road construction and delays are continuing. The delays have been about a maximum of 30 minutes -- about the time for the pilot car to make a round trip from one end of the zone to the other.

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