Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1-28-2009 Whitney Portal

I got a hankering to check the conditions above Whitney Portal, so I got up early and headed up.

The road is driveable to the trailhead. Fourwheel drive and some clearance is helpful. The road is essentially free of snow up to the first campground.

I don't know the name of this formation, but it looked great in the early morning light.

This is one of the east facing chutes of Thor Peak. It's a real beauty, but awfully thin right now.

I got above Lone Pine Lake to near Bighorn Park. This is one of the views from near my turnaround. The big face on the right is the south face of Thor Peak.

With a few more storms these slopes will be in play. The chute angling up and to the left appears to go all the way to the ridge. Hmmmm!

Snow sculpture is a wonderful part of the winter landscape.

The best turns of the day were in these glades below Lone Pine Lake. There was an inch or two of new snow over a firm, supportable crust. Below this it was down skinning (hey a "new" term!) to the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek on the packed trail. There were a few small bare patches and a few rocks. Below the North Fork the trail was mostly dry with ice & snow patches.

Another fine way to start the work day!

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