Frank’s Peak & Mt. Whitney

With the long holiday weekend ahead of me, I decided to try to test my foot a bit more. In case I did overreach, I had some time to let it recover. I reached out to Rick and Andrea Sarpolus to see if they might be up for something. We had chatted a few times online, sharing trail beta, but had never hiked together in real life. Rick suggested we try the hike up Frank’s Peak and then over to Mt. Whitney. I had never done these, so I had to do some research to see if it was within my current capabilities. It was a little more gain than I wanted, but I knew that if after the first peak I needed to bail, I could.

We met at Ridgeline Park, and low clouds still hung in the air, obscuring the peaks to our south. We introduced ourselves and quickly set off. The route took us along a semi-private road before turning onto an abandoned dirt road. We chatted away, swapping stories and plans for upcoming adventures.

We reached the saddle between the two peaks and opted to do Frank’s Peak first. The clouds were beginning to burn off. We found ourselves at the summit, and an American flag hung from a pole with a register box placed beside it. We signed in and grabbed a few photos. Mt. Whitney stood just to the east of us. I commented that was what Sawtooth was like from atop Red Top. The big difference was we will be at its summit in about 20 minutes and it took us over 3 hours for Sawtooth.

Our route continued along an old road until it reached a fence. We passed to the side and made a U-turn onto the paved road that goes to the summit. A very nice home was just on the other side. Their view must be something amazing. The day was warming and asphalt was certainly not helping, but soon we were at the summit. This peak has a large tower and support equipment, which gave us some nice shade while we had a short break and a snack.

After snapping a few photos, we headed back down. The foot was still doing ok, so I was pleased with that. We reached the trailhead and the clouds had all disappeared, so I was able to get a photo of the peaks.

We chatted some more in the parking lot, enjoying a cold drink before heading our separate ways. They are tackling San Gorgonio tomorrow and I will wait and see how my foot does for the rest of the day. All told I logged 4.2 miles, just slightly longer than the hike yesterday. But the biggest difference was the 738 feet of elevation I did.

I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, Central Coast, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest. 

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