Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Assistant City Manager Conquers Mount Whitney Again

Perris Assistant City Manager Ron Carr and his wife, Barbara, hold an American flag on the summit of Mount Whitney, which they climbed July 4.
Perris Assistant City Manager Ron Carr and his wife, Barbara, hold an American flag on the summit of Mount Whitney, which they climbed July 4.

Perris Assistant City Manager Ron Carr spent his July 4 on top of California.

For the second Independence Day in a row, Carr and his wife climbed the highest point in the Continental United States—the 14,508-foot tall Mount Whitney at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Getting the opportunity to climb Mount Whitney involves winning a lottery of sorts. Hikers select dates that they can make the 23-mile round trip ascent and the U.S. Forest Service randomly selects names and assigns winners specific dates.

“Somehow, we’ve gotten July 4th two years in a row,” Carr said.
The ascent in 2012 was uneventful compared to this year’s hike, thanks to full moon that reflected light off the granite and lit up the trail fairly well. Once at the summit, Carr and his wife, Barbara, stayed for over an hour and enjoyed lunch.

This year, conditions proved more challenging. Only a sliver of the moon illuminated the night sky so the Ron and Barbara Carr relied on headlamps a lot more. They began their climb at 2:30 a.m. and reached the Trail Camp just after sunrise. From there, they climbed 97 switchbacks that took them to the 13,000-foot mark

Carr credited workouts on the City’s stair-master at Bob Glass Gym with helping conquer the switchbacks, as the air at that elevation is pretty thin.

Upon reaching the summit, Ron and Barbara Carr stayed only about 15 minutes because they saw lightning and heard thunder closing in on the peak.

“On the way back, we got pelted with marble-sized hailstones and then got rained on for two straight hours,” he said. “Thunder and lightning were occurring simultaneously so we knew we were in the center of the storm.  Parts of the trail washed out and the rocks were very slippery which slowed us down considerably.”

They finally completed the hike after 16 hours. Despite the challenges, Carr said he would “absolutely do this hike again.”

“But if I do, the most difficult part won’t be the actual climb but getting my wife to go with me,” he said.