The 2019 Whitney Classic – September 27-29, 2019

The 2019 Whitney Classic – September 27-29, 2019

[dropcap style=’box’]T[/dropcap]he Whitney Classic is an endurance bicycling fundraiser for Summit Adventure. The funds raised in this annual event further the ministry of Summit Adventure. Over half of Summit Adventure’s annual budget is raised through donations.

Summit Adventure is a non-profit Christian wilderness organization that uses adventure programming as a tool to challenge people of all ages and backgrounds to a spiritual, physical, emotional, and relational adventure. Funds raised will go directly toward Summit Adventure’s programs for youth, families, schools, churches and individuals with disabilities.

Each rider is required to raise a minimum of $700 in pledges, which goes toward Summit Adventure’s annual budget. Fundraising incentive prizes, including bicycle components, gift cards, apparel, and other gear, are awarded at the evening closing event.

Route Description

The ride begins at the Lone Pine Comfort Inn. Ride north on 395 and continue north into Lone Pine. Take a left on Whitney Portal Rd; follow briefly to the west to a left on Tuttle Creek Rd. Follow Tuttle Creek Rd until the junction of Lubken Canyon Rd. Take a right on Lubken Canyon Rd and then a left onto Horseshoe Meadows Rd.

Climb Horseshoe Meadows Rd to the end and then back down Horseshoe Meadows Rd. Take a right on Lubken Canyon Rd. then a left onto 395. Ride north on 395 then take a right onto Route 136. Take 136 East (it will become Route 190) until a right at Darwin Rd. Follow Darwin Rd. southeast to the town of Darwin and the turnaround at Main St. Follow Darwin Rd back to 190.

Take a left on Route 190 then stay right on to Route 136. Follow 136 to 395. Take a right on 395 and ride north to a left on to Whitney Portal Rd. Follow Whitney Portal Rd up to the west to the finish at the Whitney Portal Store.


Recap of Recent Years…

Well, who won? It’s a natural question for most of us. There are teams and it’s an athletic event—we’ve seen the Tour de France on television—but we assure you, it’s a ride, not a race. Snickers abound whenever someone mistakenly says “race” rather than “ride,” but really, we’re not keeping track (most of us).

So if you want to know who “won,” check out the times and recaps below. But, if you ask most of us, when generous funds are raised towards fathers and their kids growing closer, towards developing communities in Ecuador, towards people growing closer to God, most of us would say that the biggest winners weren’t even at the Whitney Classic—they are spread around the world. So here’s to the winners of the race…er…I mean ride.


[column size=’1/3′]


[column size=’1/3′]


[column size=’1/3′]



The Early Beginnings…

We were lucky enough to get some detailed history from David Macpherson, a former Summit instructor who scouted the idea of riding from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney before it became the Whitney Classic. Macpherson passed along some of the early route maps and course descriptions, as well as the picture of riders in Lone Pine above.

The original route went from Badwater in Death Valley all the way to the summit of Mt Whitney! That’s the lowest point in the contiguous US (-282′) to the highest point in the continuous US (14, 505′). Unbelievable!

Have a look!

Here’s an elevation map of the bike ride portion…

As you can see from the course description below, the route didn’t stop at the Whitney Portal. Instead, riders dropped their bikes and climbed the rest of the way up Mt. Whitney…

Although some of the details have changed over the years because of safety and regulations, the spirit of the Whitney Classic lives on. It’s still an amazing physical feat that riders will remember for the rest of their lives!

In addition to the physical component, it’s also a time for people from all over the country to reconnect. Former Summit instructors and staff, previous course participants and friends and family all come together to celebrate the ministry of Summit Adventure during the Whitney Classic.

Please help us continue this tradition by donating now! 

Share this post