Late Trail Update Orion Valley to Whitney Portal
- Hello All,
Sorry for the delay on this trail report. I came off trail about a week and a half ago. We went from Onion Valley to Whitney Portal. Although, we had allowed for 5 days, it took us only 4 days with the last day being about 15 to 16 miles. The weather was absolutely beautiful and virtually no clouds in the skies even in the early afternoon. Hmm...that probably accounts for the sunburned nose. Even with a wide brim hat I got sunburned. Make sure you apply sunblock is you burn easily and do it often. As for the weather, the lowest temperature we saw was 43 degree based on my old trusty Timex. Apparently, that thing does take and licking and keeps on ticking. The altimeter was always within 1 topo line on the map and had a 17.75 mm Hg reading on my barometer on top of Mt. Whitney. I live where the barometer normally reads 29.95 mm Hg. The mosquitoes were thick everywhere and they were extremely aggressive. I was bitten 3 to 4 times on the back of
my neck through a buff on. I've found that deet stops those critters. We buy nearly the 100% deet at REI aka Jungle Juice. As for the water filter, we had along with us a brand new MSR Hyperflow. I know Barbara has commented on this filter on this forum before. Initially, it worked well. The flow was amazing. At Bullfrog Lake we were about to fill a 1 quart bottle with only 11 strokes. However, after only about 2 or 3 days, we noticed that the filter became more and more difficult to pump albeit still useable. Back flushing the filter per manufacturer's instruction did not seem to resolve the issue. Upon my return, I spoke to someone at my local REI and it seems like this is a common complaint (see MSR Hyperflow reviews at REI's website). The guy at REI also said that he had heard that some of their other stores were receiving returns because of cracked handles. I think this is because when the filter gets hard to pump, people are putting it
against the ground and trying to filter that way. My REI rep called his MSR rep and the MSR rep stated to switch my filter out. Apparently, MSR may have rushed this product to market a bit and there may have been a bad batch is what I was told. As for the stove, we carried a MSR Windpro that uses the mix isopropane/butane fuel. We found that a 220 gram cannister of fuel lasted us (4 peoples in my group) 2 breakfast and 2 dinners. We boiled a lot of water and had a dry lunch. As for all that talk about an alcohol stove......I say I'm not cut out to be an ultra-lighter. Our last night on trail, we camped on a ledge/ridge above the small unnamed lake that is above Guitar Lake. It was pretty windy there and I'm glad we didn't have an alcohol stove then. Lastly, people please use the WAG bag. We saw lots of human waste around the Guitar Lake area and some people didn't even bothering to bury it!!! I for one think those people SUCK! No one likes
the idea of the WAG bag, but it's really not that difficult to use and it's just sometime you deal with. Ok, I'm off my soapbox now. No bears spotted on trail and toward the southern end there were several locations that had bear boxes. I'm not sure why, because if you've hike that far in, you're carrying a bear cannister (or at least you're suppose to). Questions?
Be safe on trail!
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