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#55909 - 08/08/19 09:41 PM White Mountain Peak Road
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 291
Loc: California
Anyone been up and know the conditions past Schulman Grove?

The Inyo website only lists it open to there and 4wd required after that.
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#55911 - 08/09/19 08:15 AM Re: White Mountain Peak Road [Re: WanderingJim]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7952
Loc: Fresno, CA
They had open-gate day last weekend. I read there were at least 50 cars going up.

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#55913 - 08/09/19 08:30 AM Re: White Mountain Peak Road [Re: Steve C]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 291
Loc: California
Thanks.
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#55914 - 08/09/19 09:16 AM Re: White Mountain Peak Road [Re: WanderingJim]
Lewis Van Atta Offline


Registered: 02/14/19
Posts: 5
Loc: Livermore, CA
I was up there for open-gate day last weekend as well; a four-wheel-drive high-clearance vehicle would be ideal, but I saw folks making it up successfully in compact 2WD cars, too.

My evaluation is somewhat colored by the vehicle I drove: a 2007 Honda Ridgeline, which has on-demand 4WD. The dirt road between Schulman and Patriot groves was not bad, just not advisable to go faster than about 15-20 mph: washboardy in spots, occasionally dodging larger rocks in the road. 2WD taken slow should be fine IMHO. The 4 miles from the Patriot Grove to the gate was a good bit freakier and adrenalin producing, but as long as I was careful and went dead slow, I got in and back out just fine. Several spots where one and only one car can traverse the road for a few hundred feet; 2 or three washout-like spots where you have to pick your path to avoid high-centering.
Mostly, just don't be in a big hurry on this road.
Unfortunately I started showing AMS symptoms, so I didn't make the hike up to the summit; bailed out on Sunday morning.

Lewis

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#55915 - 08/09/19 12:29 PM Re: White Mountain Peak Road [Re: Lewis Van Atta]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 291
Loc: California
Thanks. I've been up there before in my Jeep (and got a punctured tire to prove it), so mostly was concerned about the snow and if it was open all the way to the trailhead.





Edited by WanderingJim (08/09/19 12:30 PM)
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#56118 - 08/25/19 09:46 PM Re: White Mountain Peak Road [Re: WanderingJim]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 291
Loc: California
Well, against my better judgment and I know I shouldnít have done this before a even bigger hike, I drove up yesterday and climbed White Mountain Peak today.

Successfully this year. smile

Very tired and sore and it took me a lot longer than I thought it would.

But I was amazed at the condition of the road. Compared to last September it was a breeze. No flat tire is this year. It looks like they did some work on it. I was well past the spot where I got the flat last year before I realized that the former bed of rocks was now joined by sand and dirt. smile

Anyway, the bad judgement is that Iím hitting Shepherd Pass tomorrow morning. So doing White Mountain Peak could affect that trek and isnít what I normally would do for a warmup hike. But at least Iím used to 12k to 14k now.

Tyndall and Williamson await me (hopefully). Iíll decide in Russell and Whitney as conditions unfold.
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#56144 - 08/29/19 09:03 PM Re: White Mountain Peak Road [Re: WanderingJim]
soop Offline


Registered: 08/06/19
Posts: 13
Loc: SF
great! Any tips on White Mtn road, or the peak? I have a permit for 1st week of October and plan on doing a few hikes there to acclimate.

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#56148 - 08/30/19 12:38 PM Re: White Mountain Peak Road [Re: soop]
sumptimwong Offline


Registered: 03/15/19
Posts: 35
Loc: Bay Area, CA
The road itself is not in terrible condition in my opinion, but for those who have never driven on a dirt road before it may seem intimidating. Be sure to have a spare tire with you, as well as a pump (12v pump ideally), and the knowledge to change it should you need to. The main concern with the road is the prevalence of slate rocks which can have quite sharp corners. Try not to roll over anything that looks like it has a knife edge and you'll get there just fine.

The road turns from pavement to dirt once you pass the visitor's center at the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. From there, it is about 16 miles to the locked gate/trailhead, which will take about 45-60 minutes depending on the car you take and your comfort level. The first 12 miles of the dirt road is in pretty good shape, while the last 4 will require you to slow your pace a bit. The visitor's center is a good place to "take care of business," as they have a very well maintained set of pit toilets there. Aside - if you have a chance to visit the ancient bristlecones (oldest non-clonal organisms alive on the planet), it is well worth a stop either the day before your White Mtn hike to help with acclimatization, or as a fun side trip on your way out. There's a ~4.5 mile loop with minimal gain that floats around 10k ft elevation that I recommend.

The actual hiking trail up White Mtn peak is somewhat unspectacular, as it is mostly a 4wd road. It's rocky and barren almost the entire way, and exposed (the entire hike is above tree line) so bring a good wide brimmed hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and CHAPSTICK with SPF. I forgot that last part and roasted my lips. Remember, risk of sunburn increases substantially at higher elevations. There is no water anywhere on the trail, so pack everything you'll need. I believe most people take 7-10 hours to complete the 15 mile round-trip hike. White was the first 14er for me and my buddy, and we did it in about 5.5 hrs moving time and 7 hrs total time.

Everyone has a slightly different opinion on best course of action for AMS, but in general if you can afford to spend 1-2 nights at elevation before the hike, it will help you. The more, the better. We stayed at Grandview Campground at 8.5k ft for one night, which is only about 1 hr from the trailhead. Nice sites, but no running water so take plenty with you.

I also recommend bringing either ibuprofen or acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) to treat AMS symptoms on the trail should you need it. Ibuprofen has been the standard for treating symptoms, but needs to be taken with food and can be a little tough on your gut while you're already exerting yourself. Tylenol is another good option without those side effects. Recent research (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28479001) found that Tylenol was about as effective as Ibuprofen for treatment of acute AMS symptoms. Of course staying hydrated prior to and during your trip will help as well. You may also consider consuming some form of caffeine prior to your hike, as it's diuretic properties work similarly to Diamox to alleviate some AMS symptoms. If you're not a coffee drinker, they make some pretty tasty Cliff Bloks with varying amount of caffeine in them. They make for great high-calorie high-carb trail fuel and come in a variety of flavors.

Well this was probably far more info than you wanted or needed but hopefully this will help some folks out there looking to bag their first 14er =) Good luck and have fun!

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#56151 - 08/30/19 06:11 PM Re: White Mountain Peak Road [Re: soop]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 555
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Sumptimwong's description/recommendations are excellent. The only thing I would add is that the ranger will strongly recommend not exceeding 12 mph, or else risk a flat tire, and if you do exceed 25 mph, you will most likely have a flat. The road has been graded, but as Sumptimwong points out, there are many sharp rock sticking up from the roadway.

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#56154 - 08/30/19 09:18 PM Re: White Mountain Peak Road [Re: sumptimwong]
SoCal Jim Offline


Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 31
Loc: Southern California
Just to be clear about Diamox (acetazolamide), it's only a mild diuretic (as is caffeine). The mechanism that makes Diamox work is to cause a shift in bicarbonate ions in the body that is related to respiration at higher elevations and respiratory alkalosis (changes in the acid-base balance in blood). More frequent urination as well as possible numbness/tingling of the lips and fingers are bonus side effects. Caffeine doesn't work like Diamox --- but it will give you a little extra buzz to help power you up the mountain.

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#56176 - 09/01/19 09:26 PM Re: White Mountain Peak Road [Re: SoCal Jim]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 291
Loc: California
Here's the White Mountain Peak report and pictures:

https://wandering.earth/index.php/2019/09/02/white-mountain-peak-2019/

And the Shepherd Pass report and pictures:

https://wandering.earth/index.php/2019/09/02/shepherd-pass-2019/

I had a new camera, so went even wilder with the number of pictures. While I like the quality of most of the pictures I took, it was a learning curve to get the pictures to be in focus and the sunset and sunrise pictures were a little trickier to get like I like them (i.e. to look as close to real life as I could get them).
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