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Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2: Panoramas in the Eastern Sierra

See also Gigapixel Stitched Images and Panoramas with the Really Right Stuff PG-02 on the Really Right Stuff TFC-24L Tripod and panoramas.

I’ve added several panorama/stitched examples for the Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2:
Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2: Panoramas in the Eastern Sierra (GFX100)

Includes images up to 826 megapixels. Image below presented in color and black and white.

Below, entering the Mt Whitney zone, which is restricted to those with a special permit, limited to 100 people per day. The trail winds its way up from here at 10080 feet a few thousand feet higher to a popular 1st camp for the next day’s summit attempt. I’ve never stayed overnight, always doing it one one day, preferably via the Mountaineer’s Route (I’ve summitted 4 times, 2 times via each route—it’s a looong day!).

The boundary sign on the main Mt Whitney trail is immediately 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 restricts the number of people per day to no more than 100. Apparently a permit is required for anywhere on the trail (right from the start), but this is not enforced from what I could tell. 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 Lone Pine Lake or so, not far down the trail from here.

Mt Whitney zone trail cutoff area
f8 @ 1/60 sec electronic shutter stitched from 8 frames (4 X 2), ISO 100; 2019-08-12 16:47:53
Fujifilm GFX100 + Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 R LM WR @ 87mm equiv (110mm) + polarizer Zeiss
ENV: Mt Whitney zone trail cutoff, altitude 10080 ft / 3072 m, 65°F / 18°C
RAW: LACA corrected, distortion corrected, vignetting corrected, USM {10,50,0}, SmartSharpen{80,1.0,20,0}

[low-res image for bot]

Jim G writes:

The difference in altitude between White Mountain Peak 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 ranges 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 and camp there too—no permits needed. 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.

Lloyd at Summit of White Mountain Peak (elevation 14252' / 4344m)
f11 @ 1/50 sec electronic shutter focus stack 21 frames, ISO 100; 2019-08-17 17:42:07
Fujifilm GFX100 + Fujifilm GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR @ 36mm equiv (45mm) + polarizer Zeiss
ENV: Summit of White Mountain Peak, altitude 14252 ft / 4344 m, 52°F / 11°C
RAW: LACA corrected, distortion corrected, vignetting corrected, USM {5,50,0}, diffraction mitigating sharpening

[low-res image for bot]
Saddlebag Lake and Greenstone Lake with view to Mt Dana, from Twenty Lakes Basin
f3.6 @ 1/160 sec electronic shutter panorama 9 frames, ISO 100; 2019-08-20 18:51:38
Fujifilm GFX100 + Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 R LM WR @ 87mm equiv (110mm)
ENV: Twenty Lakes Basin, altitude 10300 ft / 3139 m, 60°F / 15°C
RAW: LACA corrected, distortion corrected, vignetting corrected, USM {8,50,0}

[low-res image for bot]

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