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Mt. Whitney and its surroundings

The above photos of Mt. Whitney were taken within 5 minutes of each other from the Alabama Hills area near Lone Pine.

This page contains photos from Mt. Whitney and its surroundings, California, USA. The photos were taken during my two climbs to the summit of this peak, which towers at 14,505 ft and is the tallest peak of the lower 48 US states. Because of its relatively lower latitude, the hikers get a two month window during the summer months to climb this peak without requiring any snow equipments. In other words, it is categorized as a non-technical climb during those summer months. Note that "non-technical" does not mean "easy". On the contrary, it is a gruelling hike and can be treacherous, depending on the weather patter. The hike is especially hard for those who attempt to climb the summit and return to the trailbase (at Whitney Portal), a 22mile roundtrip, in the same day. The altitude of Whitney Portal is about 8300 ft.

Despite this, many hikers like me, must try to complete the whitney circuit in one day, simply because all I won in the lottery was a 24 hour limit permit during which I must enter and exit the so called Whitneyzone.

I quote from the Wikipedia:

The most popular route to the summit is by way of the Mount Whitney Trail which starts at Whitney Portal, at an elevation of 8,360 ft (2,550 m), 13 mi (21 km) west of the town of Lone Pine. The hike is about 22 mi (35 km) round trip with an elevation gain of over 6,100 ft (1,900 m). Permits are required year round, and to prevent overuse a limited number of permits are issued by the Forest Service between May 1 and November 1.[15] Most hikers do the trip in two days. Those in good physical condition sometimes attempt to reach the summit and return to Whitney Portal in one day, thus requiring only a somewhat easier-to-obtain "day use" permit rather than the overnight permit. This is considered an "extreme" day hike, which normally involves leaving Whitney Portal before sunrise and 12 to 18 hours of strenuous hiking,[16] while struggling with altitude sickness, cold air, and occasionally treacherous surface conditions (because snow and/or ice are normally present on parts of the trail, except for a short period from early July to late September.)

Mt. Whitney is interestingly located within less than 100 miles from the Death Valley, which is the lowest point of the USA,.

Mt. Whitney

Here are photos of Mt. Whitney. Click on any image for larger version.

Alabama Hills

Next, we share some photos of the Alabama Hills. Click on any image for larger version.

Cottonwood Lakes

Cottonwood Lakes is a nice area dotted with 3 high-altitude lakes. The area is located above 10,000 ft and a hike here is ideal for acclimaitzation as a preparation for Mt. Whitney. Click on any image for larger version.

Onion Valley

Here are some photos from the Onion Valley. This is also an idyllic location. SImilar to the Cottonwood Lakes this valley is located above 10,000 ft and is also well-suited for acclimaitzation. Click on any image for larger version.

Last Revised August 20, 2012

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