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  1. #21

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    I just returned from Bristlecone on July 23 and I agree with all of what tim said. I would like to add, bring and drink lots of water!! At that altitude I got a headache and stomachache within an hour. The water seemed to relieve the symptoms. The road leading up to the Bristlecones is winding and one needs to be careful. Maybe Tim, you would be interested in sharing rental costs next time for a off road vehical.

    I am ready to go back.

    Gary
    "He who expecteth nothing,
    Shall not be disappointed." Robert Willingham, 1907

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary892
    I just returned from Bristlecone on July 23 and I agree with all of what tim said. I would like to add, bring and drink lots of water!! At that altitude I got a headache and stomachache within an hour. The water seemed to relieve the symptoms. The road leading up to the Bristlecones is winding and one needs to be careful. Maybe Tim, you would be interested in sharing rental costs next time for a off road vehical.
    I am ready to go back.
    Gary
    So am I. But not with Alamo!
    There must (I imagine) be some local hire facility that will hire vehicles that are suitably equipped for the terrain, as opposed to the Alamo 4x4s that are intended for shopping only!!
    Anybody know?
    Tim

  3. #23

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    "There must (I imagine) be some local hire facility that will hire vehicles that are suitably equipped for the terrain, as opposed to the Alamo 4x4s that are intended for shopping only!!
    Anybody know?"

    Well it isn't Avis or Hertz, both of whom fit street tyres. Admittedly though when I got a puncture up near Eureka Dunes a few weeks ago Avis were very flexible about how it got fixed (I wanted to buy a tyre at Stovepipe Wells rather than wait for their roadside assistance). They agreed to this and even paid me for the tyre when I got back to SF, which amazed me.

    I do agree that the tyres fitted to most rental SUV's are inadequate for many gravel roads. But of course the rental companies will say that they aren't, according to their contracts, taking responsibility for the performance of the vehicle on that terrain so why should they need to equip them for it? I guess I'd love to find a rental company that will guarantee proper switchable 4wd and a contract that accepts that you're going to drive on dirt or gravel. I bet those vehicles would come with decent tyres.

  4. #24

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    Warning! It's an incredibly beautiful area for photographing, but I nearly died (literally) while going to Per Valquartz's first free workshop in nearby Mammoth. Although I allowed a week in Reno to readjust to altitude before driving on up into the high Sierra, I suffered severe altitude sickness, which eventually took six months to completely recover from.
    <p>If you're not in perfect (youthful) health, be aware of the possiblilties.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Henderson
    "There must (I imagine) be some local hire facility that will hire vehicles that are suitably equipped for the terrain, as opposed to the Alamo 4x4s that are intended for shopping only!!
    Anybody know?"

    Well it isn't Avis or Hertz, both of whom fit street tyres. Admittedly though when I got a puncture up near Eureka Dunes a few weeks ago Avis were very flexible about how it got fixed (I wanted to buy a tyre at Stovepipe Wells rather than wait for their roadside assistance). They agreed to this and even paid me for the tyre when I got back to SF, which amazed me.
    .
    You were luckier than I.
    The other thing I argued about with Alamo was that they insisted that I drove north from Lone Pine to Reno for them to replace the tyre. I pointed out that I was heading south and on a schedule, Reno would give me a 400 mile round trip (if I remember correctly) the wrong way - and without a spare! they wouldn't budge so I got a replacement in bishop and argued at the end of the trip that they were being irresponsible.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimgalli
    Contact Per Volquartz to see when his free workshop in the Eastern Sierra falls. If you are lucky enough to be there at the same time you may run into a bunch of the nicest people with big cameras and like minds on the planet.
    Per's workshop: Eastern Sierra and Owens Valley (California) Free Workshop, October 23 - 27.
    Now Full. To get on the waiting list: volquartz@volquartz.com
    Matt's Photo Site
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim rudman
    Just to add to what others have said about the Bristlecones - keep going right to the top but be aware that the track is rough and consists of sharp flinty stones for some miles. If you take highway tyres they may not survive the trip.
    I went in a hired 4x4 and had a completely shredded tyre. Local people who stopped (always very briefly!) as they passed me changing the wheel all advised at least 6-8 ply tryes and 2 spares. My 4x4 had highway tyres. Alamo were very unco-operative and pointed out that according to the small print on the contract I shouldn't have taken the 4x4 off a tarmac surface, (which seemed rather pointless to me to pay all that extra to stay on a sealed road!) and that 'violating' these conditions made all the insurance void - so be warned on both counts. It's worth it when you get there though and when I go back I will explore the possibility of hiring a true off road vehicle by the day.
    Tim


    Was this the Schulman grove you were navigating to? It looks like the closest "grove" to civilization, looking at the maps, but something I read said there was another one, (maybe more scenic?) 12 miles or so past schulman grove. Anyone have any insights here?

    After all the discussions about tires, I'm kind of paranoid, but I'll probably attempt it anyway. Sounds like the road is not truly 4x4 in the classic sense, but, rather, sharp rock. Or maybe there really are clearance issues? To bad I can't drive my Toyota T100 there, but, from Atlanta, that might be a rather long drive!

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD
    Was this the Schulman grove you were navigating to? It looks like the closest "grove" to civilization, looking at the maps, but something I read said there was another one, (maybe more scenic?) 12 miles or so past schulman grove. Anyone have any insights here?

    After all the discussions about tires, I'm kind of paranoid, but I'll probably attempt it anyway. Sounds like the road is not truly 4x4 in the classic sense, but, rather, sharp rock. Or maybe there really are clearance issues? To bad I can't drive my Toyota T100 there, but, from Atlanta, that might be a rather long drive!
    Schulman Grove is easy to get to with (as I recall) a sealed road either all or most of the way. From there begins to unmade flinty road to the top at about 11,00 feet (from memory) so air is a bit thin and you may notice this if you hike up and down hill from there (ie down the other side and back up again) with a heavy pack(s).
    Both are worth a visit. You have more freedom of movement and thus selection if you go on to the top. The road is OK if you are careful and have adequate tyres. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again properly equipped. It's been on my list for a prolonged return visit ever since my first one, but I couldn,t take that car back up for obvious reasons
    Tim

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