Videoblogging Mt. Whitney

Here are three short YouTube videos I made by splicing sections of GoPro videos filmed while riding from Lone Pine, California to a trailhead on the eastern side of Mt. Whitney.

My riding companions were Dave, a friend from Tucson who rides a BMW RT1200, and my son Gregory, riding a rented Indian Chief. We started our ride in Lone Pine (elevation 3,727 feet) and stopped at the end of the road, a trailhead called the Mt. Whitney Portal (8,000 feet). From there, hikers can climb to the top of the mountain (14,505 feet, the highest elevation in the continental USA), a round trip my friend Dave says takes 22 hours … he’s done it, so he knows.

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We left Lone Pine at three in the afternoon and quickly rode into shadow of the eastern Sierras, which explains the twilight appearance of the videos. We weren’t able to carve our way up the mountain because a flagman at the foot of the road made us wait our turn on a long one-way section closed off for road construction. Once traffic coming down had passed and it was our turn to go up, we found ourselves at the end of a slow-moving train of cars.

When we arrived at the Portal, we met a young woman from Moldova (there’s a brief glimpse of her at the end of the first video above) who was getting ready to sleep in her car until 3 AM and then start up the mountain. She and Dave exchanged information about the route, and she kindly took our photo.

Yours truly, Greg, Dave

The way down was a bit more fun, since for a good part of it we had the road to ourselves, and when we got to the top end of the road closure we were first in line and got to have a nice chat with the flagwoman while we waited (you’ll see her in one of the videos below).

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And here is the last spliced video, descending into Lone Pine.

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By the time we got back to Lone Pine and started north on Highway 395 to the WWII Japanese internment camp at Manzanar, it was too dark for video and I shut off the GoPro. The next day we rode from Lone Pine down into Death Valley, the lowest point in the continental USA, and on into Las Vegas. I taped most of that day’s ride and will share some more YouTube videos in a later post.

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