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#49237 - 02/15/17 08:14 AM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Steve C]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 446
Loc: Saugus, CA
All the futility, all of last year's driving delays, all the hubbub about this slide...

All that said, what a beautiful pic of a beautiful place.

The Mountain Strikes Back.
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#49242 - 02/15/17 04:12 PM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Snacking Bear]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7192
Loc: Fresno, CA
From Inyo National Forest, today:

Quote:
We are trying to get word to winter Whitney Hikers that they need to stay clear of the rock fall area. They may still be allowed to use the NRT, but need to stay off the road.

Inyo County is actively clearing rock off the Whitney Portal Road. This involves scaling, heavy equipment work, and blasting (as early as next week).


Yay!!!

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#49243 - 02/15/17 06:55 PM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Bob West]
Wiff Offline


Registered: 07/23/14
Posts: 24
Loc: LA
Haul the rocks up to the top. Make it taller.

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#49244 - 02/16/17 09:12 AM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7192
Loc: Fresno, CA
Feb 16 FB post by Inyo County Sheriff:

Quote:
Inyo County and CalTrans will be performing rock demolition operations on Whitney Portal Road today (7:00am-3:00pm). We are asking the public to please stay clear of this area; the demolition operation cannot be performed if there is a threat to public safety.

Additional demolition days are: Wednesday February 22nd through Saturday February 25th, weather permitting. We will keep you updated!

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#49245 - 02/16/17 09:50 AM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Steve C]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 446
Loc: Saugus, CA
Can we see the rockfall spot on the webcam? I can't tell.
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#49246 - 02/16/17 11:34 AM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Snacking Bear]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7192
Loc: Fresno, CA
I am pretty sure it is about where the "M" is in the time text of the webcam picture.

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#49247 - 02/16/17 02:53 PM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Steve C]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Sierra Geotechnical Services has been contracted by Inyo County to do the survey work, which began today. They will look at the rock slide, and safety/stability issues. They will also assess the structural concerns of the road itself, once the rocks have been removed, which won't happen until the weather patterns are stabile enough to allow work to begin in safety.

There are still a lot of rocks that haven't come down, as can be seen in the pictures of the slide, and these will have to be removed first by "scaling", which is a mining term. Scaling can be done manually or by spraying with high-pressure water hoses. This is often dangerous work.

Once that work is done, the larger rocks can blasted into smaller pieces and removed by heavy equipment.

Inyo County has received permission from the Army Corps of Engineers, because of the proximity of Lone Pine creek. Permissions also have to be obtained from the USFS before pushing the debris off into the canyon. The rock debris will be spread over a 1,000 foot space at the bottom of the canyon. Wouldn't be a good time to be at the bottom of the canyon!

Foot traffic past the locked gate is not recommended, due to the very unstable conditions around the rock slide.

It's uncertain when the rock removal will begin because of incoming weather (more snow tomorrow).



Edited by Bob West (02/16/17 03:00 PM)

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#49248 - 02/16/17 03:42 PM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Wiff]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 179
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Wiff
Haul the rocks up to the top. Make it taller.


Are you volunteering to carry it up? smile

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#49249 - 02/17/17 01:49 PM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: WanderingJim]
Wiff Offline


Registered: 07/23/14
Posts: 24
Loc: LA
There are various size rocks. I promise to bring one up!

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#49269 - 02/22/17 06:50 AM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Bob West]
A. Wheeler Offline


Registered: 02/22/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Rochester, NY
Hi Bob,
I'm planning a trip up Whitney the last week in April. It sounds like my two options for getting to the portal are to park near Lone Pine Campground and hike the road, or take the Whitney National Recreation Trail.

I noticed the trail crosses Maysen Creek just prior to arriving at the Whitney Portal group campgrounds. Does anyone know if there is a bridge or reasonable crossing at that location? I'm worried about snow melt/ high water flow preventing us from crossing. I am trying to avoid hiking 3/4 up the trail to find we can't cross, even if it means hiking the road.

We will be arriving after work hours and I would imagine progress on the road will be pretty far along by then. So hiking the road may be OK by then, but I'm trying to get a feel for what my options will be.

Any info on the creek crossing would be very helpful.

Thanks,
Aaron


Edited by A. Wheeler (02/22/17 06:54 AM)

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#49270 - 02/22/17 07:08 AM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: A. Wheeler]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Hi Aaron. You might consider delaying your trip until after June 1st. Work on the road will probably be going on in April.

As you probably know, we are having a record-breaking amount of snow, which will lead to a lot of high water at most stream crossings when the runoff begins; you'd be right in the middle of runoff season. I don't know if there is a bridge at Meysen Creek. Besides that, you can expect a lot of snow travel regardless.

If there is rock removal work occurring, the Rec Trail might be closed off and on. They're going to be pushing rocks off the road into the canyon.

You might have to bite the bullet and walk up the road when allowed by the rock-slide removal project. A lot is in doubt just now.



Edited by Bob West (02/22/17 07:11 AM)

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#49271 - 02/22/17 07:53 AM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Bob West]
A. Wheeler Offline


Registered: 02/22/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Rochester, NY
Ok Thanks.

Yes, I've been tracking the snowfall and am expecting and looking forward to nearly 100% snow travel. I will keep checking the conditions and road work progress as the dates get closer.

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#49278 - 02/23/17 07:16 AM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Bob West]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
From the Inyo County Sheriff's Department this morning:

Inyo County and CalTrans will be performing rock demolition operations on Whitney Portal Road today through Saturday (weather permitting). We are asking the public to please stay clear of this area; the demolition operation cannot be performed if there is a threat to public safety. Thank you!

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#49284 - 02/23/17 01:50 PM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Bob West]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7192
Loc: Fresno, CA
Posted today 2-23-17:
Quote:
Caltrans District 9, Caltrans District 8, and Inyo County are making significant progress on Whitney Portal Road. Rock demolition operations are expected to continue through Saturday (weather permitting). However, the demolition operation cannot be performed if there is a public safety concern, so it is essential that the public stay clear of this area.

The road is currently gated just above Hogback Road on Whitney Portal Road to prevent both vehicle and foot traffic. This closure is in place for your safety.
We will keep you updated!

*Picture of this morning's blasting



Inyo County Sheriff's office posted a short video of the blast:
https://www.facebook.com/InyoCountySheriffsOffice/videos/730518917130678/


Edited by Steve C (02/24/17 09:02 AM)
Edit Reason: video link

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#49308 - 02/28/17 07:13 AM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Steve C]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Progress!

According to local media, the rock removal might be completed by the end of next week. The work is being done by Inyo County, Caltrans, a scaling company, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the USFS. They are focusing on drilling, blasting and clearing the road by pushing the rock over the edge of the road.

The rock pile is about 100 feet long, 30 feet wide and up to 50 feet in height. This is of the rock that has come down so far; estimated volume is 5,000 cubic yards.

After the rock has been removed, road damage will be evaluated. Until then it will be difficult to estimate a time for road repairs to be complete.

The initial cost to the County is about $1 million.

The slope above the initial rock slide is still unstable; hopefully we will not have another. This is very promising, but don't get too excited. More news as it develops.


Edited by Bob West (02/28/17 07:15 AM)

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#49314 - 03/01/17 09:13 AM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Bob West]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7192
Loc: Fresno, CA
From FB, Sierra Elevation store in Lone Pine:

Quote:
Whitney Portal Rd Update:
The road is closed. They are currently prepping for more blasting on Thursday. There is big Equipment moving big piles around. The Recreation Trail will be closed through their work due to potential landslide and rock fall.

The crews have been very nice and have verbalized a goal to have their equipment out of the way by end of day on Friday. "Goal" is to let folks walk the road or trail for access.
THIS DOES NOT MEAN THE ROAD WILL BE OPEN OR THE DEBRIS FIELD WILL BE GONE.



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#49315 - 03/01/17 11:31 AM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 411
Loc: Reno, NV
Good news! I'm guessing (hoping) the road will be open sooner than most expected.

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#49317 - 03/02/17 04:14 PM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: RenoFrank]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7192
Loc: Fresno, CA
CalTrans District 9 posted this on YouTube:

It appears (starting at 1:30) that they have already blasted through the mess and have a single lane open.

Enjoy the blasting!

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#49318 - 03/03/17 01:15 AM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Steve C]
Whitney Fan Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 213
Loc: Las Vegas
Dang! That's more exciting than my one and only day hike summit of Whitney!

Well . . . maybe not.

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#49323 - 03/04/17 05:09 PM Re: Whitney Portal Road Damage [Re: Steve C]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1097
Loc: NorCal
One of the funnest parts of civil engineering.

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