Slept in a little and didn’t leave for our Whitney climb till close to 8am. Some folks had left as early as midnight to catch the sunrise from the summit. We had heard that the views on the way up were great so we didnt want to miss them hiking in the dark, nor did getting up in freezing temps have much appeal. There was ice in JJ’s water bottle this am.
Blue skies and only a slight breeze made for great walking weather…we are so spoiled at this point, we only expect great weather. Views were outstanding all the way up the mountain. We were walking along small ponds at the beginning and then seeing them from above as the trail zigzagged up the western face. Much of todays walk felt like we were in the places where outdoor product photo ads are shot.
Saw golden trout in the ponds as well as many marmots running around on the rocks.
The climb was quite steep in some sections, but it was a very well built trail. Lots of switchbacks. None in our group suffered from the altitude.
Many hikers on top of the summit. With the sun out and little wind, it was easy to lounge on the rocks for a couple hours chatting with folks and taking in views. Mt Whitney is the highest point in the continental US. There are two ways up. The PCT side and the Portal side. All of the day hikers are coming up from the portal side.
On the way down we ran into Sunny D and Purple Stuff, as they were fishing for trout with some panty hose. They were driving them into the hose down a narrow, shallow part of the stream. They had caught 3.
Once down to camp, we packed up and got ready to hike four miles out to get a little headstart on the next two days. Just before leaving, a helicopter landed in the meadow and picked up a hiker and took him away. We don’t know what hapened. It looked like a search and rescue helicopter, but we can only speculate.
Mosquitoes are crazy tonight at the area where we have decided to camp. While eating dinner, I had 20 on one leg at the name time. Was planning to cowboy camp, but put up the tent because of the bugs.
Daily Distance: 18
Trip Distance: 705.4