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Thread: Lone Pine Peak and East Face of Whitney July 7-9 20111

  1. #1
    Trail Master RAM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Out on the edge of the bell curve

    Lone Pine Peak and East Face of Whitney July 7-9 20111

    Back story.....What would have been the 20th annual July North Cascade trip
    didn't appeal. Heck, they are still skiing up there and camping on snow. We
    searched "western snow pack" far and wide. Decided on the Sierra Nevada,
    starting south by Whitney and working up to Toualamme Yosemite, over a three
    week period. Snow pack ranged from 120% of normal down south, to over 200% up
    further north. Likely to feel like a normal Cascade trip!

    Sixteen hours of driving. A squatter camp at the edge of Death Valley. A
    flirtation with doing Styx Canyon. FryFest? It intrigues. Alas, the mountain
    calls. We enter the lottery for Whitney permits. We win the 11 AM drawing for
    the next day. But what to do today? Lone Pine Peak, of course! Only a 5,000
    foot, warm up ascent for a 12:45 PM start. Back just after dark. Then the 4,700
    foot full pack ascent to high camp the next day.

    From our camp at frozen Iceberg Lake, we head up toward the eastern face of Mt.
    Whitney. My calves are sore, as is my hamstrings. Any movement beyond the
    stretched out point snares me in what feels like mud. Add snow and I am
    suffering. Lungs barely function. Then the altitude. Fifty vertical feet below
    the rope up spot I collapse. Half and hour later I am no better. An hour later
    and I limp up to the spot. All other parties on this Saturday are on the East
    Buttress. My being sick, Aaron and I decide for the privacy of the historic East
    Face route.

    Full of famed features, the Tower Traverse, The Washboard, the Fresh Air
    Traverse, the Great Staircase....I limp up the 13 pitches to the summit at 4 PM.
    Down the Mountaineers route and into camp in the early evening. One more route
    dreamed about for decades is now firmly in the memory.

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  3. #2
    That made my afternoon. Great photos. Thanks, Ram.

  4. #3
    Sweet pictures. Glad the alternative worked out for you.

  5. #4
    Wow. Some amazing photos, almost felt like I was there!

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