From searching around it looks like the only open road to that side is rt 88, is this correct? Any other tricky local ways people might suggest to get over to that side? We have a wedding on the west side and would really like to climb some ice post wedding thanks!
Hey! if you google it you'll find that the quickest, shortest route is to take 120 through Yosemite and BINGO! you're there, easy as ice.
A few years ago I met two Berkeley Ph.D's who both recently moved from the east coast, seemed to have a lot of mountaineering experience and wanted to do Whitney. It was, I think, January.
Since they impressed me so much and seemed to have it all together, I decided to just let them do it all and I would show up, hop in the car, relax and get to whitney.
Of course they googled the directions and when we got underway at about 8 p.m. I decided that these guys knew what they were doing––THEY were frickin' PH.D's at Berkeley . . . they had hairy scary stories of climbing on the east coast . . .
So naturally they knew something, some highway across the sierra that I didn't––one that was plowed, perhaps and very close to Yosemite . . . well, we got up there, into the valley and things started to fall apart and suddenly they realized their mistake and I . . . well, I finally spoke up. (no, we never made that trip)
ANYWAY, Yes, you have a long drive from gilroy to Lee Vining via bakersfield. Drive safely.
The usual route we take in the winter to Lee Vining from the south bay is 88 over Carson Pass. In times of heavy snow, 88 can close at the Carson Spur for avalanche control. 50 has been known to close for avy control too, but it has to be a pretty big dump.. when was the last time, 2006 ?