White Mountain Peak (Elev. 14,246 feet)

On Saturday, October 22, I left the City of Angels at 0645 hours in my 1988 Jeep Cherokee Xj and proceeded N/NE for approximately 300 miles, arriving at the road terminus to White Mountain Peak, elevation 14,246 feet.  Travel to the end of the road includes 17 miles over mildly rugged terrain that should at a minimum be traversed using a high clearance vehicle.  The terrain around the peak is very unique, being approximately 600 million years old, and as such very worn down by the elements.  It is also home to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, which hosts the oldest known tress in the world.  

I left my Jeep and began hiking to the summit at approximately 1335 hours.  By 1745 hours, however, I was pretty fatigued, and I believed (correctly) I would need at least one more hour to reach the summit of the mountain.  My intent had been to sleep on the summit.  Rather, I found a nice flat spot in a mountain meadow to pitch my tent.  I did so, and used my newly acquired DeLorme InReach satellite device to ping the outside world to my location.  I prepared some Top Ramen, and tea, and had some whiskey and then turned in around 2145.  I slept ok.

The next morning, I left my tent and traveled for a little over one hour to the summit of White Mountain Peak.  It was 0845 when I arrived.  The temperature was around 24F.  I contacted the outside world again with the DeLorme, and then descended back to my tent. I broke down my tent, and descended back to my Jeep, arriving at approximately 1240 hours.  On the way down, I was fortunate enough to see a Big Horn Sheep, who seemed indifferent to my presence.  My knee and right foot were sore, more than I expected.  I then traveled back to Los Angeles, and arrive at approximately 1830 hours. 

This was a simple training event to give myself a sense of my ability to move from sea level to 14000 feet over a short time period.  I felt comfortable with my effort.  I think I should be able to ascend Kilimanjaro, 19500 feet, in 3 days total, up and back.  

Anthony McClaren