Background photo - U.S. #5 Pikes Peak CO.
Mt. Whitney (just to the left of "Mt.") as seen while we ascend Whitney Portal Road
Note: Click on “View full route" (top left) which opens the Whitney Portal RideWithGPS page. Hover over the distance line at the spot you would like to begin a sub- segment for this climb. Click your mouse on the start point and drag the vertical graphing line the distance you wish to obtain sub-detail from, then release the mouse at the end point. This will give you the following sub-detail for the selected segment in the “Metrics” window top right of the page: (a) distance, (b) elevation gained and lost, (c) max grade, (d) average grade (e) that segment's climb category – e.g. Cat 1, HC, etc., and (f) FIETS score for the segment.
Hover cursor over segment slices, below, for exact grade of a particular segment. Map route (bottom) colors correlate with elevation legend colors.
Start (click and drag for 360 degree view; double click to move forward)
Whitney Portal Road is the 13th most difficult climb in the United States (per Fiets Index) and one of the 9 Top 100 rides that begin in the Owens Valley on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the central/eastern portion of California. The first half of this ride is tame at 5.4% and 1,770' of climbing, while the second half pitches up to 9.0% with 2,757' gained. Along the last 3-4 miles of this climb we are treated to incredibly gorgeous and stark views of the central Sierra Nevada mountain range which continues on up to Mt Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States at 14,505'. At the top of our climb is a beautiful pond and very nice grill and store (Whitney Portal Store and Hostel).
Weather - it can be very, very hot at the start of this climb (temperatures average 100 degrees in July, for example).
Traffic and Roadway report: The roadway surface is in decent condition but fairly bumpy (as is seen from the descent video) and does have some ocassional sand/gravel spots at the upper levels. There is some fast moving traffic along the lower section, but the traffic seems lighter and slower as we reach the switchback at mile 7.7 and begin in earnest our climb up towards the portal. (note - the road is repaved as of August, 2016).