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Original Post (Thread Starter)
Whitney Portal/Trail Opening #57242 06/14/2020 6:48 PM
by Jim Lasos
Jim Lasos
When are they opening the gate and trail? Multiple campgrounds in Inyo have opened already so there aren’t any excuses on the lack of communication.
Liked Replies
Re: Whitney Portal/Trail Opening #57281 Jun 17th a 07:27 PM
by retrofan
retrofan
Originally Posted by Big Pine
I called the County Sheriff department and asked whether I could drive all the way up Whitney Portal road for a reservation at the Portal campground. I was told that the all campgrounds were open, so the road should be open, and to check with Inyo Parks & Rec (?!) to confirm.

So I called Parks & Rec and asked whether the road was open all the way to the Portal since the campground was open. The person said "I don't see why not", but said that I should check with the Forest Service.

Calling Inyo Forest Service went as expected (no one picked up), so I tried my luck and called the Inyo Sheriff again. A different person picked up this time and told me to contact the Inyo Roads department since they were the ones in charge of opening that gate. The Roads Department told me that "the gate won't be opening any time soon" and to contact the Forest Service. I was given two numbers, 760-876-6222 and 760-876-6200.

I think this is what most people are so frustrated about. None of the authorities seem to know who is in charge of what or who is making the decisions. The only information they give is to contact someone else, who then tells you to contact someone else, and on and on. Good on you for actually attempting to navigate the labyrinth, but obviously still no real answers. I will concede that complaining on a message board doesn't really help solve the problem, but it's cathartic!
1 member likes this
Re: Whitney Portal/Trail Opening #57315 Jun 19th a 02:28 PM
by Bob West
Bob West
Thank you Bob, for a dose of reality. The selfie crowd have ruined the enjoyment of many beautiful places all over the world, just so they can show their friends and relatives what wonderful travelers they are. The last time I visited Paris, the river cruise boat was crowded with people at the rail to get a picture of themselves with a Parisian view as the background to a picture of THEM! The same situation in Russia last year: people from a certain Asian country pushing and shoving to get their selfies. During a performance of the ballet Swan Lake in St Petersburgh (I was a witness to this), Chinese tourists had to be warned against taking selfies and talking loudly. We later learned that this is normal behavior in their home country.

Will most Whitney selfie baggers, and bucket listers, ever do any thing else in the Sierra Nevada range? Probably not. This is the crowd that leaves trash and wag bags along the trail. The whinners and complainers that can't get their permits in time to fit their travel plans.
1 member likes this
Re: Whitney Portal/Trail Opening #57311 Jun 19th a 05:39 AM
by bobpickering
bobpickering
I’ve been watching this circus for months, but only commenting occasionally. I just got an email from a girl I met on Whitney eight years ago. She encouraged me to “unleash my wisdom”, so here goes:

The problem isn’t the closures, your power-hungry governor, or the local Forest Service employees. It’s the COVID-19 pandemic. In case you haven’t heard, we have enough dead people to reach from the visitor center in Lone Pine to the visitor center in Lee Vining. Some fools don’t care because they think they are invincible. Just open up the economy and give me my Whitney permit. I don’t care how many more people die. But the economy isn’t going to recover until we beat the pandemic. We need testing and contact tracing to do that.

I read a lot of comments about incompetence and lack of leadership. There is plenty of blame to go around, but the real incompetence and lack of leadership begin with the guy who won’t wear a mask and doesn’t want more testing because it makes him look bad. Ignoring the pandemic won’t make it go away.

For too many of you, “leadership” and “competence” mean nothing more than giving you your permit so you can take a selfie holding a “Whitney 14,505” sign. Whitney Portal is an overcrowded zoo every summer. People get hurt or lost all the time. Many people leave their crap bags along the trail for the rangers to carry out. Opening it up while making it safe for everyone is no easy task. You haven’t heard anything from INF for one simple reason: They haven’t made a decision, largely because so many stakeholders haven’t agreed. Actually, you HAVE heard from INF. They posted weeks ago how they would handle all permits except the Whitney Zone. They are giving you the information they have.

Penny, you are definitely part of the problem, not part of the solution. You have posted the most toxic comments and done the most name-calling. You even started a thread for the sole purpose of bashing the Forest Service. Yesterday, Ben asked a question about the rules, and I explained the rules. You responded with “Follow the rules???? What rules????” You seemed too hysterical to see the irony. I see from one of your earlier posts that you want to avoid having to learn how to use crampons or an axe. You have no interest in mountaineering; you just want the selfie. That’s too bad. There are literally hundreds of other worthy peaks in the Sierra. While you were obsessing about your Whitney permit and trashing the Forest Service, I tagged 86 other summits, snagged six wilderness permits, and secured two passes to Yosemite. Maybe you should spend more time hiking and less time posting.
1 member likes this
Re: Whitney Portal/Trail Opening #57359 Jun 22nd a 12:30 AM
by Big Pine
Big Pine
I went up yesterday (6/20) to check out that area and can confirm that all of the gates on the road are open. Although it's possible to drive right up to the Portal store, I saw at least 5 cars parked in the dirt area just before the lower gate. Perhaps they arrived there earlier in the week when the gate was still closed.

The parking lot just outside the store was a bit less than half full yesterday afternoon and almost completely empty by the evening. The restroom/outhouse that's closest to the trailhead is open. I also noticed that the lights in the Portal store were on, and that there were handwritten paper signs placed on cones outside the store that said "entrance" and "exit". I assume that it's open even though no food is being served at this point, but I didn't investigate further and cannot say for sure.

As far as the trail goes, it's fairly easy to cross both Carillon Creek and the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek without getting your feet wet. There were also some flowers and even a few snow plants along the trail. Pictures are at: http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/galleries/57358/whitney-portal-area-6-20-2020 for those who're interested. I didn't see any rangers that day but chose to respect the closure and turn back at Lone Pine Lake.

edit: Bugs were a problem when standing still but not a big problem. I didn't get bitten or use insect repellent or a head net, but I did wear long pants, hiking gloves, and a hoodie to keep the bugs away.
1 member likes this
Re: Whitney Portal/Trail Opening #57352 Jun 21st a 01:17 PM
by Jim Lasos
Jim Lasos
Is this WebMD or WhitneyZone? I just want to know when the trail will open.
1 member likes this
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