Mt Whitney Zone

750 acres , zero % contained.

I was headed up there Thursday. Not looking good...
No!!!!! We are headed up tomorrow! How can we find out current status?

The Georges Fire has grown to 2,000 acres and is 0% contained. The Inyo National Forest, CALFIRE, and Inyo County Sheriff are in Unified Command for this fire.

Fire growth yesterday was to the north and west, driven by winds. The fire is north of Lone Pine, west of Manzanar National Historic Site, and south of Bairs Creek. Last night, the winds died down, and crews were able to begin initial line construction for the fire. The forecast today calls for additional lightning activity as well as continued erratic winds and dry conditions. A Type II Team has been ordered and arrives this evening for a briefing. Numerous crews from the Inyo National Forest, BLM, CALFIRE, and local fire departments are responding. There are nine crews, 20 engines, three dozers, six helicopters, three air tankers and a very large air tanker (VLAT) assigned to the incident and additional resources are ordered and en route. The Hogback and Whitney Portal Roads are closed to uphill traffic at this time. Additional road closures include the Foothill Road and Moffat Ranch Road as well as any other roads that enter the fire area. There are no evacuations in place at this time. However, campers and residents in the Whitney Portal area have been advised to be prepared for an evacuation. Please avoid the fire area for your safety and for our firefighters’ safety. Today, the Inyo National Forest is contacting permit holders for the Whitney Portal Trailhead and the Shepherd Pass Trailhead to notify them that they cannot begin their hikes today from these trailheads. The Inyo National Forest is also working with campers who hold reservations at Whitney Portal. The forest will re-evaluate access to these areas on daily basis upon fire behavior. It has been determined that this is a lightning-caused fire.
Oh man, we're supposed to hike on the 15th. I sure hope it's contained by then.
I called the Whitney Permit office and they told me to call tomorrow to see if the roads will be open.
I received a call from the Inyo County Forestry Service regarding our permit for tomorrow. They said they are calling all permit holders who start their trips in the next few days, He said to check the Inyo County Forestry Facebook page for the most frequent updates. Really hoping the road opens. I'm sure like others we have been preparing for one year for this trip and have packed our gear last night and were so excited to head out tomorrow. Not to mention how heartbreaking it is to see the devastation wildfires cause. I'm assuming the road is closed to provide firefighters access and not because the fire is immediately near the Whitney portal?
Yeah, brush fires, in the right conditions can virtually explode faster than a person can run. Even though it isn't right near the Portal road, they are closing it just in case.
And, it isn't Whitney... but climbing Mount Langley is a similarly difficult day hike, and I think it is even prettier!

That can and should be a good backup for those whose plans will be thwarted by fire.
Thank you for that. We are headed up anyway tomorrow on the hopes that we can still access the trail. Any other suggestions would be greatly welcome. We were planning on a three day backpacking trip and have food/packs prepared for that amount of time.
I did *part* of Langley last year and loved it, we stayed at Long Lake and made it to the top of New Army Pass before the wind got too crazy to summit. Gorgeous lakes and views and still get a 14er.
Try Langley via the Cottonwood Lakes TH. I'd recommend maybe doing a 3-day loop!

Day 1: TH to Cottonwood Lake 3 or 5 (about 5 mi and 1100' gain).
Day 2: Lake 3 or 5 up Old Army Pass, drop your overnight pack, climb to the summit of Langley, return to the pack, descend via New Army Pass, camp at the lakes at the base of NAP.
Day 3: NAP lakes to TH.

If you don't like the idea of humping your pack up OAP and NAP, then just leave your base camp where you want it and day hike up and down Langley.

Langley's TH is 1700' higher than the Portal, and her summit is 500' shorter than Whitney. So if the short first day leaves you with too much energy you might even consider doing the short climb up Woollyback, a sub-peak of Langley that hovers above the Cottonwood Lakes basin.
If doing Langley as a multi-day, check with the VC for any permit requirements. Have done Langley many times, always as a dayhike, and have been stopped a couple of times near a lake and asked if I was planning to spend the night. It's been a few years since I've done Langley, so don't know if the overnight permit requirement is still in place.

In the interest of clarity - if doing Langley as a dayhike, am quite sure you DON'T need a permit.
Yes, you do need one for overnight... but I have never had an issue getting one.

IF you want a more challenging alternative to Whitney, Williamson and or Tyndall from Shepherds Pass are worthy and butt-kicking alternatives.

Of the CA 14'ers, the only ones I haven't climbed are the Palisades from Sill to Thunderbolt, but I think Tyndall is my favorite 14er summit. Middle Pal is a close second.
Originally Posted By: Snacking Bear
IF you want a more challenging alternative to Whitney, Williamson and or Tyndall from Shepherds Pass are worthy and butt-kicking alternatives.

Except the Shepherds Pass road is affected by the current fire as well.
Is it? I thought it was Hogback and Whitney only.
This just showed up, Wed, July 11, 12 noon:

Georges Fire Wildfire
Announcements – 4 min. ago

Whitney Portal Road, Whitney Portal and Trailhead to Re-open

Shepherd Pass Trail also Re-opening

The Inyo National Forest is planning to re-open the Whitney Portal Road and access to the Mt. Whitney Trailhead at 6:00 pm today. The Shepherd Pass Trail is also re-opening.

The evacuation is also being lifted for the Whitney Portal area, including campgrounds, residents, and the Whitney Portal Store.

The opening is tentative and could change if unexpected fire behavior were to occur...
Everything is reopening later today.
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