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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son and I made a trip to Owens Valley. We hiked the High Sierra and suffered the usual assault of mosquitoes and smelly pack animal droppings.
Friday July 9 we left the comfort of Lone Pine (never - ever eat at the Mt. Whitney restaurant) and headed for the Bristlecone Forest. At the end of the pavement we went another 16 miles over a washboard dirt road (picture 1, with a view of the distant peak) to the closed gate (picture 2) and unloaded our bikes. This starting point is at an altitude of 11,680 feet. We started here so we could ride up the mountain and return to LA that night. The big sign says Foot Traffic Only but the Forest Service post shows bicycles allowed. So up we went. The grade to the research station is about 9% and the dirt road well maintained (for the research staff of course). --- multipart posintg ----
 

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pacman said:
My son and I made a trip to Owens Valley. We hiked the High Sierra and suffered the usual assault of mosquitoes and smelly pack animal droppings.
Friday July 9 we left the comfort of Lone Pine (never - ever eat at the Mt. Whitney restaurant) and headed for the Bristlecone Forest. At the end of the pavement we went another 16 miles over a washboard dirt road (picture 1, with a view of the distant peak) to the closed gate (picture 2) and unloaded our bikes. This starting point is at an altitude of 11,680 feet. We started here so we could ride up the mountain and return to LA that night. The big sign says Foot Traffic Only but the Forest Service post shows bicycles allowed. So up we went. The grade to the research station is about 9% and the dirt road well maintained (for the research staff of course). --- multipart posintg ----
I too, love the Owens valley, except of course for the Mt. Whitney restaurant. The wife and I had a bad exprience there also. At least theres a McDonalds in Lone Pine. Next time try Rossi's Steak and Spaghetti in Big Pine. Surprisingly good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
White Mountain Peak (2)

After the research station the road becomes a rocky steep jeep track until a small summit is reached. From there one has a clear view of White Mountain Peak. We paused for pictures (picture 1 - son), (picture 2 - old guy on an SS). Notice the snow? It's two shirt layers already. A closer look at the mountain shows the road clmbing off to the right (picture 3). A 10x telephoto (picture 4) shows an unmanned weather station on the summit. Finally a look to our left shows Mammoth Mountain (picture 5) and its ski slopes, we're 1700 feet higher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
White Mountain Peak (3)

The ride to the foot of the climb was on the rough Jeep road with plenty of rocks and occasional sand but we made good time by choosing good lines. There were plenty of marmots (picture 1) to dig up any soil around and create their own potholes. The climb was rugged and with some stretches that were hike-a-bike (picture 2). After making the interim summit (13,200) we were rewarded with the oh sh!t view (picture 3). You have to descend a steep section and climb all over again. All this time the wind (cold) was blowing very hard. As we went up the switchbacks facing South we had to duck our heads and push the bikes. When we faced North we could ride with a wind boost. The switchbacks were not really switchbacks, when the road changes directions the vehicle goes straight up (or down) the mountain. That made climbing hard but the descents fun. Eventually we reached where the snow blocked the last loop and had to take the hiker's detour to the left (picture 4).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
White Mountain Peak (4)

We made the summit! Then climbed on the roof of the shack for a panoramic view (picture 1). The rocks in the foreground mark the edge of the cliff, one misstep and you're gone. Bishop is in the distance. Pictures of the riders again (pictures 2, 3 (focus?)), by this time the fleece jackets were on. The benchmark (picture 4) and someone who wanted to share lunch (picture 5).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
White Mountain Peak (5)

The trip down was the reward, we were riding down wind or not. It was too much fun to stop, but I had to take a picture of the edge of one turn (picture 1). The entire track was made of this loose broken rock, no smooth baby-heads here. The steep climbs turned into descents that we sped down, thankful to be getting more and more oxygen. Passing by the research station you see sheep (picture 2). What kind of cold weather research is that? Then there is one last view before plunging down to the cars (picture 3).
 

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amazing. I like driving on highway (6?) that goes easy from Mono Lake and cuts over to 95 eventually, but it dumps you out at the foot of the White Mountains, it's between 8 and 10,000 feet of vertical from the bottom to the top, the scale of size is just amazing. I really like that part of california.
 

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Lone Wolf
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wow

Amazing pics! And to think I had trouble catching my breath yesterday on a trail that was only 1000 feet above sea level! I'm blaming it on the 90%+ humidity.
Looks like a great ride..How many miles?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
distance

When traced on a map it's a 15 mile round trip. You can always start lower if you want an "epic" but the altitude and dryness can surprise people. One year I drove up partway and saw a dehydrated and almost incoherent biker (alone!) and had to argue that he get in and hitch a ride down with me.
 

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pacman said:
When traced on a map it's a 15 mile round trip. You can always start lower if you want an "epic" but the altitude and dryness can surprise people. One year I drove up partway and saw a dehydrated and almost incoherent biker (alone!) and had to argue that he get in and hitch a ride down with me.
I'm going to Yosemite July 7-14. I may have to ad this ride to itinerary. :cool:
 

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Occidental Tourist
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Nice to see some real passion posts instead of the mtbr reality show bs.

Nice pics and sweet climb.

Keep em coming
 
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