The White Mountains are a discreet range of peaks considering their 14,000 foot height. As you travel up or down the Owens Valley, your attention is inevitably drawn to the eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada with its high serrated peaks and bold relief. But eventually you begin to see that the range to the east also looks quite high, though you didn't notice it at first. And the more you look at it, the more of itself it reveals, until it becomes quite compelling.
The White Mountains are far less often visited than the Sierras, even though there is a good road to the top. The road was built by the park service to provide access to the bristlecone pine forest at the top of the range. Twenty miles beyond the bristlecone pine area, the University of California runs the Barcroft Laboratory, a small high altitude research station. The station includes a small facility at 12,000 feet, a stone hut at 14,242 feet atop White Mountain Peak, and an astronomical observatory dome at 12,500 feet.
The week before the hike I developed a sinus infection that laid me low and I was going to call off the trip but instead... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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