Whitney with newbees
Successful summit during a 3-day trip starting June 6. Hiking partners included two couples. One couple went through the same training I did, hiking with 40-50 pound packs in high elevations (about 10,000 feet). The other couple wasn't so prepared. They usually trained with day packs (10-20 pounds) at high elevations.
Weather was great for the two days at Whitney Portal, our base camp to acclimatize. Then out of nowhere a wind storm came through bringing 70 mph winds at trail camp and a few inches of snow. It dampened our climb since we were expecting much warmer and less windier conditions.
We were originally going to camp at Trail Camp, but our plans changed after the storm came through. We ended up camping at Outpost Camp instead. I loved this move. We only had to carry our heavy 3-day packs 3.8 miles opposed to 7 miles if we decided to make camp at Trail.
I suggest others (especially first-timers) to camp at Outpost. It's a nicer camp and it makes a 2- or 3-day trip nice.
I wrote about the trip on SqueezeOC.com. You could check out the entire story, some video and pictures here...
Day 2: Summit day
Weather was beautiful when we woke up at 5:30 a.m. Not a cloud in the sky and winds were calm. We planned on leaving Outpost at 6 a.m. but we had some newbs on our team that still weren't ready at 7:40 a.m.
I lost all patience and took off on my own. We haven't seen one ranger during our entire trip so I wasn't worried about getting checked for a permit. I wouldn't recommend doing this at this time of the year 'cause rangers are more vigilant from mid-June to mid-August.
Trail is well-maintained, but rocky. Nice walk through the Sierras. I moved at about 1.5 mph, the pace most people say to go for your first time.
On 99 switchbacks, I was moving at 1 mph. A bride with cold feet probably moves faster down the aisle. Cables were still frozen. Damn natural spring. I chopped up the ice with my trekking poles for the people behind me.
Summited in 8 hours from Outpost camp. Great feeling to be up there. I eventually met up with two people from our team. Those two left the other couple 'cause the other couple was moving too slow.
We made a choice to either wait and not summit, or go ahead the other couple and summit. We trained for three months so we decided to summit.
You could read more about our trip to the summit here.