This is located in a wonderful historical building. First I thought the hotel was still in business, but saw the sign and thought, how wonderful.
Located at 120 South Main Street, in the historical building of the Lone Pine Hotel. The hotel rooms now house small businesses.
Monday through Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
We are closed most Legal Holidays.
P.O Box 749 Lone Pine, CA 93545
Our Main Local Events:
Early Opener Trout Derby.
Wild Wild West Marathon
Lone Pine Film Festival
The Chamber Board Meetings are held at 7am the 1st Tuesday of each month at the Chamber Courtyard Conference Room.
The last part was a series of gentle switchbacks that seemed to stretch for an eternity. My feet and legs were so shot that what would ordinarily be an easy walk was agony. I so wanted this to be over.
At 12:36 p.m, we walked off the Mount Whitney trail. Our mission was completed. Strangely, there was no feeling of relief when we finished. No celebration. Just a round of weak congratulations. I was too numb, too exhausted. I think we all were. One foot was so blistered that walking had become difficult. On some level, I'm sure I was glad that it was over. But, consciously, I just didn't feel much of anything. Much like my level of hunger, the feeling would return gradually.
We drove down Whitney Portal road to Lone Pine where the group said its goodbyes. I began the drive back to Bishop and the road that would eventually lead me back home. I'd been pretty miserable up on Whitney. But now, just hours after finishing, the rush I'd expected to feel at the summit hit me. I'd climbed Mount Whitney. I looked at the beast of a mountain in the distance and felt this rush of triumph. I couldn't wait to tackle another one.
Was that really true? I was pretty muddled in my own thoughts. I swore, I really, really swore, during the maddening, never ending, stumbling over rocks, inching up, down and around, over high steps, trying not to lose balance while the damn pack would swing in the other direction, nearly toppling over, quads straining to the point of popping, fatigue so severe I wanted to cry but couldn't, hungry yet too nauseous to eat and wondering what the hell I was doing. I swore up there that I'd never do this again. But, driving away, one foot so blistered I knew I wouldn't be wearing shoes for days, legs a mass of black and blue bruises and hands scratched up from the rocks, something in me wanted to do it again? Was this normal?
Fondest memory: I've always felt that the best hikes hurt like hell at some point. You ascend, you hurt and you question why you do things like this. The you stand at the summit, on top of the world, and those questions are answered.
This does not happen at 14,000 feet. You stand at the summit, too queasy to eat your trail mix, dizzy from altitude and only vaguely aware that you have actually made it. It doesn't hit you until after you're finished. Everything is magnified at this altitude. Its that much harder, wears on you that much more and takes that much more mental energy. And there is no instantaneous reward at the top. But, thinking back to the summit, with the clouds floating above and the Sierras stretched out below, I realize that the reward was there and that it is that much sweeter reliving it here in my memories.
Before I went on the trip, people kept showing me photos of the ledges. I received countless emails from friends in California with the subject line "they are not as bad as they look." They looked pretty bad to me.
We went up and around this set of ledges. Going up wasn't so bad. The trek back down was far worse. There were some spots where you needed to jump from one rock to the other and some pretty tight spots to get around, but nothing too hair raising at this point. Just a little bit of a gut check here and there if you happened to see the exposure off to the side. It was mostly an endurance test, especially with the weight of a full pack. But the path is pretty wide. There are no knife edges here and its not a "one wrong move and you fall" scenario by any stretch of the imagination.
Fondest memory: After crossing the ledges, we passed a group heading back towards Portal. I asked how far is was to Iceberg Lake. Actually, what I think I said was "please tell me Iceberg Lake is not much farther." The guy did not answer, but gave me a look of such pity that made it clear that a long journey remained. Normally, hikers will try to encourage you, and say things like, its not much farther. But they usually say that when you are getting pretty close. We had longer ways to go and no one was going to sugarcoat that for us.
Favorite thing: The last 3/4 mile of the trail where it rejoins the walkup trail is the easiest part of the descent. There is an actual trail and far fewer rocks. We were so beat when we got to this part, legs aching and mentally willing this to be over. Knowing that there wasn't so far to go was making things worse.
Favorite thing: There are few level sections of this trail and they seem to end before they even begin. The meadow is the one exception. After crossing a field of rocks and winding around the boulders, we wandered past the wide open meadow. It was a beautiful sight, especially given the absence of rocks. I couldn't appreciate it at the time. Instead of enjoying the moment, I kept thinking that the ledges were coming soon.
Favorite thing: Heading down was so much harder than up. Its tough to keep your balance when descending, picking your way over and down loose rocks. Crouching down, feeling the heavy pack inch up over your shoulders as you plant your feet on a hopefully stable surface, lower yourself and then heave back up to a standing position. During the hike back, I realized that I wasn't enjoying this. The feeling was one of complete misery. I really, really just wanted it to be over.
Favorite thing: It was time to head back out over the dreaded rocks. The pack felt like it weighed a thousand pounds. I woke up on morning 3 realizing how sore I was. But this wasn't the time to focus on that. We had three miles over loose rock and down boulders. Whitney Portal seemed really far away at this point. I tried not to think about all that, but it was getting harder and harder to do.
Favorite thing: Night two brought some pretty strong winds. I heard them whipping outside, rattling the tent for the better part of the night. Even the mice seemed to hide from them. But our good weather karma was holding and day 3 dawned with a beautiful sunrise. Everyone slept in a bit, until about 6:30 a.m., exhausted from yesterday's trek. There was more work to be done today. Mountains never let you out easy. But, for a moment, all of that was suspended. It was a brief bit of respite and a moment to enjoy the beauty of the scene. A grand reward for all the hard work it took in getting out here.
This was truly the longest day. 13.5 hours roundtrip. Granted, it took us longer because of the belaying and due to slow folks like myself. But I still couldn't imagine doing this trip in 2 days, as I'd originally hoped. I think my pride took as much of a beating as my body when it sunk in that I didn't have the physical stamina nor the ability to do that. Those are dangerous thoughts during the last mile. Actually, all thoughts are dangerous during the last mile.
If we'd taken much longer, we would have had to break out the headlamps. It was rapidly turning to dusk. We'd lost the route more than a couple of times, which only served to further delay this dreaded endless las mile. It was time to dig even deeper into the mental reserves and employ a trick of mind. Thinking of this part as a mile was making it worse. To me, a mile is 15-20 minutes of walking. 30 if you're taking your time. Ever notice how time goes more slowly when you think that you're almost there? It certainly does for me. The exhaustion seems to catch up with you even more, as though your mind, knowing its almost over, stops blocking that persistent tired feeling that has only been getting worse and worse. To combat this, I told myself that we had 3 miles to go. Even tried to mentally calculate it. I was pretty happy when we arrived 1.5 miles early. Actually, I was too tired to feel anything at that point, even relief. We all just crawled to the campsite and began making dinner. It was about 7:30 p.m. and we'd set out at 6:30 a.m.
Fondest memory: Brad and I shared a stove for this trip. Actually, he brought one and I didn't. We were too tired to cook, but Dawn kept insisting that we eat something. Surprisingly, no one really felt hungry. But Brad dug up a sub he'd brought with him and shared it with me. I wolfed it down, thinking it was the most delicious cuisine I'd ever tasted.
The facial expressions pretty much tell the story. We took a break after the gully and I tried to choke down a power gel. My stomach wasn't happy about that, partly because powergels taste pretty awful to begin with and also because the altitude was killing my appetite. But the section from the end of the gully to Iceberg Lake was probably the worst part for me. My balance isn't strong to begin with, and the dizziness, again part hunger and part altitude, was not helping. This was the point where I really began to question whether this experience was worth it. It was only a mile back to camp from this point, but I knew it would be like no ordinary mile.
Dawn, our guide, gave me some tough talking on the last section of rocks. The words slapped me back into the reality of the situation. I took a deep breath, mentally willed myself to ignore fatigue, and focused on moving one step at a time. But the sun was low in the sky and, looking at all those rocks which stood between us and our campsite, there was defintely weariness mixed in with resignation as we soldiered on.
Favorite thing: Descending the gully was a nightmare. It was much tougher picking our way down the loose steep rocks along the slope. Fatigue was beginning to set in. We were probably 10 hours into this hike and eating had been out of the question as the altitude made everyone queasy. We kept traversing back and forth, slowing forward progress considerably. The end of the gully didn't look that far away, but the painfully slow progress made this part of the journey extremely frustrating. I'd kept all thoughts of soreness shut down and really just couldn't feel my legs. But it was getting tougher to push past the fatigue.
On the cold and windy morning of Day #3, we were all about the business of packing up and leaving. Everyone was still weary from yesterdays 13.5 hour roundtrip trek. Feeling somewhat humbled by having underestimated the difficulty of the day before, we all wanted to get going as soon as possible, now very aware that 3 miles wasn't just 3 miles. So we packed up our things and checked out of our Upper Boyscout Lake retreat.
The worst part was putting that heavy pack on. We knew the route was going to be difficult. Fortunately, we couldn't really remember the hike in two days before. All we really knew was that we were heading back. I think we were all pretty happy about that. Tired, sore and eager for the creature comforts of cheesburgers and hot showers, the two things you anticipate the most when returning to civilization.
How long do I have to climb
Up on the side of this mountain of mine?"
Getting to the top of this ledge was a total buzz kill. The ledges are shaped in such a way that you can't see straight up. As I followed the rope, I hoped and prayed it would lead to the summit. It was cold and windy and sitting on each ledge waiting for the next belay while staring down filled me with increasing dread. But this push was definitely the last one. The seemingly endless trip to the top was all but over. At last, the summit was within reach. Just one more climb and we'd be on America's Roof.
Fondest memory: Even the last 100 feet were never ending. We were sure pitch #4 to the summit would be it and were quite disappointed that we had to make yet another upward pitch. The mountain seems to go on forever. One of the people in the group made a comment that the mountain used to be taller, about 14,800 feet, but that it had eroded. I responded that, on this particular day, I was quite grateful for that force of nature.
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will that says to them hold on
People often ask, why do this? I asked myself that question quite a few times en route to the top of Whitney. I wasn't physically prepared for this hike, was weakened and ill from altitude and pretty much suffering the whole way. There were more whys on this trip than there normally are.
The reasons why are different for everyone. But most will agree that, when you reach the summit, you answer the question for yourself, and for anyone else who simply gets it. There's a rush of emotions- relief, happiness, satisfaction. Its practically inexplicable but for the sense that, somehow, it was worth it. Simply put, its your moment on top of the world.