~ California 14'r ~
I list this as an extreme day hike due to the altitude. Class 1 with some route finding. We will be climbing the highest peak in the White Mountains which is also the 3rd highest peak in California. This is not recommended for new hikers. Though we will not be hiking at a super fast pace it is important that you know the way (or bring a GPS) in case you have to turn around as hikers will not be able to slow down or turn around with you without sacrificing their own attempts at the summit. I can send you more detailed information about the route (email) if you request it.
This is my first time attempting White Mountain and Mount Barcroft. The plan is to leave South Lake on Saturday morning, and make the 4.5 hour drive to the White Mountains where we will setup camp at Grandview Campground. I figure some of us will carpool, and others will meet there. Let's discuss this below. The plan is to take a few hours to tour the groves in the Bristlecone Pine Forest. Click here for PBS article. Click here for Schulman Grove Info.. In the morning we will pack up our equipment, and then depart at 6:30am to drive (much of it on a dirt road) to the trailhead which should take about an hour and fifteen minutes.
We should be hiking down the road/trail at about 8:00am. We will hike north 7 miles with about 2250 feet of elevation gain to the summit of White Mountain (14246'). We will enjoy the summit for awhile, rest, and eat lunch.
After that we will hike back 4.5 miles south to the observatory. We will follow the ridge WSW for .75 miles to Mount Barcroft (13040'). The view should be fantastic, and after spending some time up there we will head ESE back to the trail, and then follow that back to the car (2 miles).
The estimated totals for this hike: Distance 15 miles, Elevation Gain 5000' or less, Hiking Time 8-9 hours, Driving Time is 5.5 hours back to South Lake and 6.5 back to Bako. We should all be back at a reasonable hour.
Regarding the weather, and what to wear. We will be far above the tree line all day so we will have little cover from the sun. It may be very warm so sunscreen and hats are important. On the flip side it has been an odd year, and the weather can change very quickly up there. That being said it is important that we bring some protection against the cold just in case. Here is a link to the current weather.
There is extensive information available regarding the region, and you can have much of it mailed to you. You can call the White Mountain Ranger Station at 760-873-2500.
As long as the weather holds this is going to be a really fantastic hike. Here is a link to some awesome photos of White Mountain take by Snow Nymph on July 12th.
It is important that we all understand the rating system that organizers use on their hikes. For my hikes I generally use something close to the Yosemite Decimal System. I have seen many different versions of this system, and many are adamant that their version is the right version and etc.. The best description I have seen of the five classes that seems to encompass the most general idea may be found at Climber.org under ‘Five Classes of Climbing Difficulty’ ( click here ).
So how long will it take to get there?
We all wonder this when we are heading out to go hiking so wouldn't it be great if we could keep track of this information in a centralized location that we can all reference? To further this cause it would be great if you could keep track of where you started, where you stopped, and the time it takes for you to get there. Over time, and if we all contribute, then we will have a very complete list. Please email this information as you keep track of it to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will update the list. Please let me know also if this information isn't consistent with your experience so that we can adjust this information for future hikers
*** WAIVER OF LIABILITY *** The Organizers, and members in this group are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Kern Tulare Peak Baggers and Trail Hikers Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities.
~ California 14'r ~