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Whitney Portal Falls by chateaugrief Whitney Portal Falls by chateaugrief

Mt Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous US at 14,505, and it’s right next to the lowest point in the US Death Valley at -282 ft. So you get the general idea about the surrounding terrain. One word: formidable.

Unless you have some balloons. And a lawn chair. And a rifle. Beer optional. 

This urban legend, believe it or not, is absolutely true, and it happened right overhead.  

In 1982, Larry Walters USAF, did the thing. pic related and he doesn’t look anything like you’ve been conditioned to think he will. I love those shades, very very cool cat here. He used 1485 cubic feet of helium. So apparently, he aimed to fix the lack of zeppelins in the Air Force all on his own. He wound up at 16,000 feet, where he sat munching sandwiches, drinking beer, and causing LAX pilots to start believing in UFOs, for 14 hours, whereupon he shot out a few balloons, drifted gracefully into a set of electrical wires in Long Beach, unbuckled himself from his lawn chair, and buckled himself into the back of an LAPD cruiser. When asked why he did it he said “a man can’t just sit around”. In 1993, he was found dead in a remote canyon near Mt. Whitney, shot through the heart of an apparent suicide at age 44. Bummer way to go when you did something so awesome before. 

Anyways, Whitney Portal Falls is probably the easiest place to get to in this area, meaning, you can practically drive to it, and there’s a campground, and a restaurant. Everything from there on out is uphill. If you decide to hike it, you have to file your flight plan so the rangers know when to go out searching for your decomposing remains if you don’t return. I think you have to weigh your backpack too so they can yell at you if you don’t pack out every ounce of your trash…remember that old sci-fi Douglas Adams take on such things?  Once past the red tape, you get to hike into the barren moonscape of the famous 99 switchbacks, which lead to a 50ft section of an ice cliff ledge that you have to edge your way across (they put in iron cables to try and keep you from dying) Then you climb through the stabby jagged peaks called the Windows and scramble through a 45 degree angled shale field to the top. Again, follow the rules, the main rule being ‘don’t die’. Here’s a hiker’s slideshow, it’s truly an impressive climb.  Once at the top, there’s a little stone house to keep you sheltered from the wind, and for you to try to catch your breath, because you gotta get back down again somehow.  

Xander is too busy enforcing environmental regulations to pop in and teleport you down.

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:iconalicornangel-34:
AlicornAngel-34 Featured By Owner 1 hour ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Love yr artworksheart balloons Heart for you Free Choc Heart Icon Purple Heart of Love Mini PLZ Unlike Comic - Pink Heart 707 Heart Emote Heart Of Love Mini lovey heart kitty 
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:iconalfazil:
Alfazil Featured By Owner 13 hours ago
That looks beautiful.
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:iconrobert-kim-karen:
robert-kim-karen Featured By Owner 20 hours ago  Hobbyist Photographer
It's on my bucket list to do the "Lowest to Highest" hike from death Valley to Mt. Whitney peak. But that is going to be after a couple other warm up hikes.
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:iconlunageek520:
lunageek520 Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
cool
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:iconkyr-kun-chan:
Kyr-kun-chan Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I love the shiny effect on everything!
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:iconivladislaw:
Ivladislaw Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice work :)
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:icondynastywarriorsjin:
DynastyWarriorsJin Featured By Owner 3 days ago  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
Fantastic!
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:iconcarouselofdreams:
CarouselOfDreams Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice job! it looks really good!:happybounce: 
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:iconjohannaegeria:
JohannaEgeria Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, what a fantastic art work.
I really like it. Good job. :)
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:iconglennschoch:
GlennSchoch Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Traditional Artist
Excellent:) (Smile) 
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:icontarlanx:
tarlanx Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Love the light and color in this piece
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:iconbubblegun98:
bubblegun98 Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is just amazing. Ima call you Bob Ross from now on. 
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:iconnelehjr:
nelehjr Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
This is why I gave you $2 that one time.♥
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!  Was much appreciated, I can assure you. <3
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:iconfireblazedragon5:
FireBlazeDragon5 Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The pictures from the hike just don't look real; they're too beautiful... O.o
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
It looked like quite a hike, didn't it!  On a clear day, I'll be you could see all the way to the ocean...or at least to Yosemite. 
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:iconfireblazedragon5:
FireBlazeDragon5 Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, no kidding! That must be incredible.
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:icondarkarchangel96:
Darkarchangel96 Featured By Owner 4 days ago
Interesting, dark and hilariuos. a nice place definitely
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:icongnoll-el:
Gnoll-El Featured By Owner 4 days ago
Been there, done that as 14 year old Boy Scout and they didn't have the cables up then.  Slipped a bit on loose shale and had to sit a minute or five to get the heart to calm down.

Don't know if it is still there, but there use to be a wrought iron cross some Mexican climbers who came up the east face hard way had planted to give thanks.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Yikes!  Sounds crazy scary! And at that elevation with your head all muddled and everything...  I'm the worst hiker in the world, I cannot can not do the high altitude thing, at least not anymore.  I grew up in high altitude.  I was about 13 or so when I went up from 7 to 12,500 and I was flash passing out on my feet from oxygen deprivation and stuff.  And 12,500's like, nothing, haha. I'd plant a cross to give thanks for getting up Whitney.  Dang.  Congrats for doing it!  That's an accomplishment!
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:icongnoll-el:
Gnoll-El Featured By Owner 3 days ago
Give that I have a fear of heights, I think so.  Kind of a high point in my life. :D  

You have to do it right by spending a couple of days at the Portal to get acclimated to the altitude.

But for crazy, they used to foot race from the Portal to the summit and back down for time under a day.  It is definitely a different world from then. 
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:icond-e-w-p:
D-E-W-P Featured By Owner 4 days ago
This piece seems to be far more vibrant than your other works, the combination of colours all sliding and angled against each other is really eye catching!
The slickness on the rocks is clay like and moldable whilst still looking solid, the water is as wonderfully reflective as per usual,and the soft green trees on the left is a nice contrast to the bold reds on the right. This whole picture feels hand shaped and within reach. I want to step into this place.

Honestly one of my favourites from you yet.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!  I really liked how the colors came together on this one...it's all about balancing saturation and stuff.  I (hope) I learned a lot on this piece!
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:icondamongdw:
DamonGDW Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
awesome
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:iconfalconasart:
FalconasArt Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Student Traditional Artist
So beautiful... wow
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:iconzliva:
Zliva Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Breathtakingly beautiful! The lights, the darks, and that sun caught in the falling water, everything is working magic together.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:iconsenseidraco:
SenseiDraco Featured By Owner 4 days ago  New Deviant Hobbyist Writer
Beautiful
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:iconsenseidraco:
SenseiDraco Featured By Owner 4 days ago  New Deviant Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome nya
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:iconmark188:
Mark188 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Artist
That's a lovely image! :) :)
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:icondragondoodle:
dragondoodle Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Gorgeous! Love your description as well :nod:
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:icondeathzerr:
DeathZerr Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
oh god, THIS IS BEAUTIFUL.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:iconacdramon:
acdramon Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
insanely beautiful! Love the colors and contrast in this piece.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:iconkartsman16:
KArtsman16 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
This is some amazing detail. I wish I could paint like that!
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:iconarrog:
arrog Featured By Owner 5 days ago
Awesome colors, truly lovely scene.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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