Traffic in Seattle sucks. It took me over an hour to get home. My normal commute is maybe 30 minutes. There wasn't anything special just heavy volume. I was so tense when I got home. I had been hoping to get some web reservations done but it had to wait until after dinner.
So here are our plans. We will fly down the Saturday before the climb to Ontario, CA. That is the closest major airport to Eastern California. We will rent a car and then drive up Hwy395 to Mammoth Lakes. This is about 300 miles. We are taking the early flight so we should have time to make a leisurely drive. We are staying 4 nights at Village at Mammoth in a 1 bedroom condominium. The Village at Mammoth just opened last year so this is a new condo resort just at the foot of the ski resort. Important to us is it is at 8800ft. This will help us acclimate.
While at Mammoth, we plan to do some day hikes and drives. Little Lakes Valley and Mono Pass sounds great. The trailhead is the highest in region at over 10,000ft. Little Lakes Valley trail is pretty easy going to 11,000ft but Mono Pass is more strenuous going to 12,000ft. Perfect to get used to the high altitude. We may also go out of Bishop to Sabrina Lake and there are a couple of hikes in this area such as Chocolate Mountain. Another option will be to drive over to Mono Lake and up to Tioga Pass.
On Wednesday, we will move to Lone Pine and stay at the Best Western. We will need to get there in the early afternoon so we can get to bed early.
On Thursday, we'll get up early (3am!!) so we can get an early start on the trail. It is 15 miles from Lone Pine to the trailhead at Whitney Portal. We will start at dark so we can make it to the top sometime between noon and 2pm. It will probably take about 6 hours to come down so we need to get there by 2pm. We'll be back in Lone Pine with a long hot bath.
Friday, we'll drive back to Ontario and stop at Rancho Santa Ana. Nope... we can't go on a trip without seeing some type of botanical garden. Our flight is out in the evening and we'll have Saturday and Sunday to recover.
I wasn't certain if we needed permits for days hikes. I was so confused by the trailhead quotas. I called Inyo FS and we do not. Yes! This makes it much easier to decide what we are going to do depending upon our energy. We were so wiped out on our trip to Phoenix with the flight, heat and drive. It may be the same here so we may need to not do much on Sunday and plan to hike on Mon/Tues.
I'm getting excited. I also probably need to step up the training a notch.