May 13, 2013
White Mountain Is White
Passing Olancha and entering the outskirts of Lone Pine on Highway 395, what should my wondering eyes see but snow—and lots of it—dusting the high peaks. Apparently last week's thunderstorms did a little more work than I gave them credit for. The Whitney Zone seemed to catch a good piece of it, but farther north, say Bishop area, there wasn't nearly as much in the Sierra. But look at White Mountain!
What was a week ago a big pile of brown dirt is now a gleaming white fin dominating the entire eastern horizon. Naturally I took one look at this and immediately wondered if the road to Barcroft is open. Here is yet another of the many, many California roads that shut down in winter and open just too late to offer skiers any kind of reasonable access to the snowline.
Paul Richins talked about this issue a lot in his guidebook (he recommended writing your Congressman), but all across California's high country, year after year, the story remains the same: we've got lots of mountains. We just can't (easily) get to them.