I’ve added another example of focus-stacked selfies:
Fujifilm GFX100 Focus Stacking Examples, Eastern Sierra
Includes images up to full camera resolution.
The boundary sign on the main Mt Whitney trail is seen below. This is as far as one is allowed to go without a Mt Whitney zone permit. The Mt Whitney zone is an area surrounding Mt Whitney in which the forest service retricts the number of people per day to no more than 100. Apparently a permit is required for anywhere on the trail, but this is not enforced from what I could tell, and I realized this only a few days later—and I don’t think most people are even aware of it, as many people just drive up to Whitney Portal and then hike up the trail to LonePine Lake or so, not far down the trail from here.
Jim G writes:
The difference in altitude between White Mountain and Mt Whitney is about 275 ft. I’ve climbed both and agree that the top of Whitney is more interesting, albeit a lot more crowded.
When my son and I exited the JMT there we had started up from Guitar lake at maybe 3:30-4:00AM only to find the summit already crowded with yahoos from Southern California, including what looked like an entire Boy Scout troop. The guys coming up from Lone Pine pretty much had brand new pristine gear, sharp haircuts and lots of hair product. The women were wearing perfume, makeup and brand spanking new white sports bras to match their acrylic nails. My son and I smelled like two unwashed mountain goats and were probably just about as scruffy. Interesting contrast.
As far as I can tell the Whitney Zone enforcement is pretty much limited to not being able to get a wilderness permit after the daily quota has been exceeded. But I suspect a lot of the hikers break the rules and summit (or try to) without one. I would love to see the rangers kick somebody out of there and blacklist them from getting a permit for 1-2 years, but I’m not holding my breath.
One interesting thing about the Whitney Zone permits is that they are all issued by the Inyo National Forest jurisdiction. And Inyo does not communicate (yet) with Yosemite NP or Humboldt-Toiyabe NF rangers. So if you get a wilderness permit from either one of those agencies and indicate that you will be exiting through Whitney, Lone Pine, or anywhere else in the Whitney Zone, the non-Inyo jurisdictions will issue you the permit and you are not restricted by the Whitney Zone quota. So if the Inyo rangers stop you and ask for your permit, the one you got from Yosemite or Humboldt is just fine. Helluva long way to hike just to climb Whitney, though.
My son and I actually ran into an Inyo NF back country ranger, whose only question was “what’s the name on your permit?” He never looked at it. I guess he liked my response. The top of White Mountain is it’s own reward. A great view if the weather’s good and the solitude can’t be beat. Plus you can drive to maybe 11,600 ft or even higher if the gate to Barcroft is open.
DIGLLOYD: I saw some of the same—large groups of sheeple needing herd comfort. They should not be there IMO—no experience and they cause endless work for rangers rescuing someone.
In my experience, rangers *do* check permits along the upper part of the route. Indeed, I heard one person being asked right at the entry to the Mt Whitney zone while photographing there. I’ve never seen any rangers when going up/down the Mountaineer’s Route.
As for White Mountain Peak, it is a great view, and you can go to 11600 feet to the locked gate any time the road is open. The gate to Barcroft is only open two days per year. The best solution is to ride up on your mountain bike, starting at the gate if the hard-core route intimidates.