Friday, September 27, 2013
Eastern Sierras - Whitney Portal
Ah, Whitney Portal. Last year, with lots more photos for your viewing pleasure, I almost had a break down on this climb. I think any cyclist will tell you that this climb (second to Bristlecone) is far more challenging physically and psychologically than Onion Valley.
It's only 4600 feet of climbing in 13 miles to the summit (elevation 8371) but the last 5 miles range from 9-11% and so it is grueling. It wears you down if you're not prepared. I was determined to conquer this beast, which meant no flirting (well, save for the many motorcyclists and cars who waved and cheered me on). Thanks to lots of singing and staring at the pavement, I shattered last year's time to the top. Unfortunately, the winds began to kick up and the descent for almost everyone except The Boyfriend (he came down much earlier) was difficult. Winds, what winds, he asked. I was blown sideways, feeling as though I had no control of the bike. The best part was yet to come -- Alabama Hills. Next post.