I had so much fun last month, that I had to come back and summit a second time. It was even better the second time. 9 August 2003
Beautiful weather. I did get a Altitude Sickness above Consolation Lake, but I pushed on to summit.
Hiked Mt Whitney, starting at Horseshoe Meadow, via Cottonwood Pass, Soldier Lakes, Crabtree Meadow, et al, and out at Whitney Portal. The weather was quite unstable throughout, and we got chased off the mountain by thunder/lightning/hail... very exciting! An incredible trip!
Headed up the NFLP on Saturday hoping to get Whitney/Muir on Sunday. Saturday night came crashing in with an early Sierra storm. Camped at Upper Boyscout without much wind shelter. Struggled through the early morning snow and departed for the couloir about 6:30. The hike up to Iceberg gave little warmth. Entered the chute a little before 8 am. The wind and the 15 deg temps made life tough going up the chute. Made the summit by 10:45 after taking the Class 3/4 gulley just past the top of the chute. Great climb, would be much more fun if it was warmer!
Mt. Whitney was my first SIerra summit (well, after Pothole Dome). Even by the tourist route, I was impressed by the sheer verticality of the cliffs, the huge foxtail pines, & sparkling white granite that seemed to glow in the dark under a full (or close to) moon.
1st time: w/ my buddy Zathan from college (who was stationed in SD at the time). We left our camp (slightly below the standard one at the lake) @ 11.10 (8 October, 2000), summiting Muir ca. 13.45, & Whitney @ 15.03. We left the summit at 15.43, & arrived back in camp @ 17.54. Beer & burgers were enjoyed upon our return!
2nd trip: w/ homeboy Gordon. Only roping up for 3 pitches, we were slowed by excessive route description review, but things went at a good pace aside from that. Leaving Iceberg Lake @ 7.00, I started up the first pitch from the 1st Tower notch @ 8.40. Tower traverse was the psychological crux of the climb- easy, but well-protected (by 2 pins & somebody's unrecoverable Alien!) & exposed!! Roped up again for the Fresh Air Traverse, which I dreaded leading due to its infamous reputation. Luckily, I cruised right through it with no problems- over-rated (Tower Traverse was more stimulating!), but still fun! Roped up for the strenuous off-width- by far the crux of the route, with the most interesting climbing. Dicked around with some fairly easy 5th above that, before weaving our way to the summit. Summited @ 14.58, & chilled for quite awhile. Started descent @ 16.24. After almost getting killed by rockfall in the Garbage Chute- I mean, Mountaineer's Route, made it back to tent @ 18.30. Great route, great company, great day!!
Did the E Buttress with my man Eric. Deciding to camp at Upper Boyscout meant the approach was longer, but it still went smoothly (great place to bivy, btw). I wonder if the squirrel who raided our food bag survived his trip??? >:) Although we belayed every pitch, we made decent time. Started the route at ~9.10, summited at ~18.15. Great day, spectacular location, & a fun climb! Climbing a great route with a good friend is what it's all about. The Moose Burger (& beer, of course) upon our return was off the hook!
Another climb of the Sunshine Peewee route, with Faith (who'd never been up Fisherman's before & was stoked to do it). Was again reminded of what a great route it is! Coincidentally ran into Mike D's friend Sailor on the route with his girlfriend, whom we'd happened to meet ~a week prior. Small world! Beautiful, cloudless sky, & a great climb (& summit) with a wonderful partner!
Big day car to car. five hours on the route. Descended the trail, not recommended. Descend the Mtn'eers route instead.
left portal at 2:45 AM, didn't see anyone until trail camp - a nice hike under the stars. trail crest 7:00 AM Muir Summit 8:30 (really poor routefinding) Whitney Summit 9:50, back at car 14:30. 14er #3 for me after Russell then Muir. Will do MR next year - just wanted to guarantee the summit this time.
What a beautiful day for my Birthday hike! Got sung to by a motley and throughly nice bunch of guys. Took highest altitude piss ever likely to. Mount Whitney has the crapper with the best views!
First 14-er for me. Learnt some lessons the hard way. Two novices going straight at Whitney mountaineer's route coming from sea-level. Got sick due to altitude, still pushed to the summit, and had to return by the main trail. If you're an experienced hiker/backpacker thinking of making that next step, better save some time (two nights at high altitude) for acclimatization, even if you're super-fit. Climb was enjoyable still (till the altitude hit me at 13,500 ft:)
Wasn't planning on bagging Whitney after Muir but decided I'd rather decend the Mountaineers route than have to deal with any nagging rangers.
Our party of 6 summitted about 10:00AM. Real cool thing was the high altitude helicopter rescue to retrieve a climber that darkness trapped on the summit. Helicopter takeoff from the summit was something to watch.
2-day trip to Mt. Whitney after winning the "Mt. Whitney permit lottery".
Great climbing with Dirk (Diggler) from Iceberg Lake. We roped up for 3 pitches and free-solo'd the rest. The weather was perfect and we made good time since there were no other parties on the route. On the way down in the Mountaineer's chute tons of rocks rained down from the East Buttress, we were lucky to escape uninjured.
Incredible trail. Left whitney portal campground at 2:00 AM, returned to the parking lot right at 4:00 PM. Amazing hike
Summited on 20 August 2004 with 2 friends. Big dark cloud gathered above us and forced us off the peak at about 12:30pm. Began to hail as we ran down to treeline and poured at Outpost camp until 5:30pm. Beautiful, non-technical summit. Watch out for the begging marmot at the top.
Nice dayhike of Whitney and Muir (up MR, down trail). The mountaineers gully was easier than expected but the icy ledges above the notch made the route exciting.
Flew in the night before from Kansas, met my brother from LA at the airport and drove to Lone Pine and stayed at the Dow Villa Hotel that night. Day hiked up the Mt. Whitney Trail with my twin brother the next morning. Started at 5am. Summitted a little after 1pm. Left summit around 1:30 and was back to the trailhead by 6:30. 13.5 hours...very long day, but well worth it. Check out my picture of Lone Pine lake taken at about 6:30 am. Obviously more spectacular in person but the pic is pretty good. Got snowed on at the summit. Awesome hike!
Wow, great dayhike, awesome experience... anyone in California who is in decent shape can and should do Whitney... got a late start (almost 6:30), took almost seven hours to reach the summit, managed to get back down before dark... getting up those famous switchbacks was really the only part that was particularly tough (well, that and beginning the descent), and even that was manageable... I had never done anything comparable to this before and I'm not in perfect shape, but I spent a day acclimatizing and was well-hydrated, and had no problems whatsoever, except that I forgot to reapply the sunscreen often enough and had a slight sunburn afterward... but altogether a great experience, the kind that can hook someone...
Hiked to Trail Camp the first day. Summited the second day and returned to Trail Camp and stayed another night.
Well the day finally came and we all made a successful trip out of it. We arrived in Lone Pine on Friday morning and ate breakfast in town, then went to the ranger station and picked up our permits and asked a few questions. We then headed up to the lone pine campground at around 5500 feet. This was supposed to be our camp for the next 2 nights. It was pretty much dessert terrain that looked almost like a lunar landscape. We decided to drive up and check out the Whitney Portal campground and we were lucky enough to get the last spot available. The camp host was also nice enough to switch our reservation for a different site that we had reserved for Sunday night. This was all great news because the sites we beautiful. Huge pine trees, a stream 30 feet away, bathrooms about 150 feet away, plenty of trees for shade and the altitude is around 7500 there. The temperature was perfect also, mid 50's at night and maybe 80's during the day. We were also thrilled that we wouldn't have to pack up camp at 3AM on summit day.
After we got all settled in we went for a hike to see where the trailhead was and to get familiar with the area. We followed a stream up for a while which had many waterfalls and very clear pools. Took lots of pictures on different parts of the falls. Unfortunately Brad's camera decided to take a swim while we all posed for a self-timer shot. We tossed a Frisbee around for a while too. Afterward we went back to camp and Brad made us some great steak and potatoes dinner. We relaxed and played card for a while, and a small Bear decided to go fishing about 30 feet from us. So I got my camera and tried to get what pictures I could but unfortunately it was too dark and they didn't come out that great.
The next day we got up and had breakfast at the Whitney Portal Store. They have a pancake that is $2.74 and is about the size of two large plates. It could easily feed three people. After breakfast we walked up to the falls for a few more photos, then went back to camp and relaxed for an hour or two. We knew we needed to get acclimated a little better so we went out to Cottonwood Lakes which is only about an hour away. It was a nice hike that started at about 9500 ft and at the 1st lake which is where we stopped the elevation was 11,000 ft. It was a nice easy 5 mile hike each way with a destination I would move to California for. We ate lunch there played toss with the Frisbee a bit and headed back. It took us 2:05 to hike in and 1:50 to hike out. I think we would have liked to hike this on Friday instead of Saturday because we all didn't exactly want a 10 mile hike the day before a 22 mile one. We all felt really good for being up at that altitude.
When we got back to camp Brad made some great chili and cornbread for dinner. While Brad was cooking someone spotted a bear so I grabbed the camera and chased after the bear again. It was a little more interested in fishing that it was me though but I did follow it about a 1/4 mile down the stream. It was just about dusk again so the pictures didn't really turn out but there still in my head. It was the same small bear from the night before so I wasn't too worried about it. I was more worried about Momma bear around the corner somewhere not liking me as bear paparazzi. I did get within about 15 feet of it numerous time though. Back at camp we all got all out packs ready for an early morning departure.
We awoke at 2:45 and were on the trail by 3:45 and the weather was a perfect 56 degrees. There was a scale at the trailhead so we all weighed our pack. Rob came in the lightest at 15 lbs and mine the heaviest at 20lbs. I was pretty mad about that. Why in the he** is a daypack 20lbs?(Lots of extra food) We got just high enough to get some sunrise pictures over lone pine lake. I really really regret not getting a tripod for this trip because some of those sunrise pictures could be a lot better. It was an amazing site. If I only had Glen (Boynhisdog) with us we all could see how truly beautiful it was. We got to consultation lake pretty easily and filtered water and eat some lunch there. This was the half way point to the peak at 6 miles. After a long break we go back on the trail and started the dreaded 96 switchbacks. We started off at a great pace but that was a bit much for us so we just slowed it down to a good conversational pace and we made much better progress. At the top of the switchbacks is trailcrest at 13,600 feet. But just around the corner you drop about 400 feet which has to be gained again. I found this to be the hardest part of the trail. We finally made our way to the summit 7 hours and 45 minutes after we left. We took a nice break up there and took lots of pictures. Talked with some other people that we met along the trail. I had brought my phone and it did happen to work up there so we made some celebration phone calls. (Verizon) We then started heading back down. Brad and I had also intended on bagging Mt. Muir while we were up there but we were unsure of which one it was. We got some information from some people that said it was right were we were, so we climbed up 100 feet or so and I knew it wasn't it so we headed down. I found it about 10 minutes later but had no energy and Brad had already started running down to catch up with Marissa because she didn't have a water filter. Rob and I made out way down a little slower and finished about 40 minutes after they did. Brad and Marissa finished at about 13 hours and Rob and I around 13hours 45 minutes. The trail is pretty rocky half of the way so it's pretty hard on your feet, but we all did pretty good. Only a few small blisters between all of us.
We all enjoyed our $5 shower at the Whitney Portal store and ate some burgers and picked up our I hiked Whitney souvenirs. We went back to camp and called it a pretty early night. For whatever reason I was having a very hard time catching my breath and didn't sleep much at all. A bear decided to visit us also and tried to get into our trailer but it ran away after Brad yelled at it from inside his tent about 5 feet from it. It hung out around our tent for a while that night but unfortunately I left my headlamp inside my pack in the trailer so I never got to see a good view of it that night. It was really a great trip but I could have been in far better shape for it. This hot summer thing is killing me. Got on the scale when I got home finding myself the heaviest I have been in my life. So I need to do some major conditioning before I set off on any other adventures.
Thanks to Brad, Marissa and Rob for making the trip memorable. It was a blast!!!