Top of the Trail

Day 55: Mt Whitney

The clear, warm sunny weather gave in to a mounting black cloud over the first two days’ entrance into the high Sierra.  Cold settled over the morning and sharp wind exploded the afternoon.  Then the sky broke open and hail pelleted the land.  Skittles-sized ice balls filled the shallow U of the trail.  We scurried faster toward the base of Mt. Whitney, eager to set up camp.

 

After a final river crossing that dashed any hopes of dry feet for the day’s finish, we headed to the ranger station.  Anvil crossed our path and gave us harrowing advice about the conditions of the mountain.  Then he told us that Sunshine and Ferrari had cowboy camped on the top of Whitney.  We were beyond impressed. Later, with bows and accolades, we congratulated Sunshine as he sat wrapped up in his sleeping bag in the Adirondack chair on the porch of the ranger station looking fatigued but content.  He laughed out loud.  Of course he did not cowboy on the summit!  Oh, how fish tales get big so quickly here!

But the next day we summitted and it was phenomenal.  14,505 feet.  Snow chutes.  Bitter cold.  8 miles and 4000 foot gain.  Ridiculous fatigue for the elevation.  Amazing 360 views.  Stunning feeling of accomplishment.  Would do it all again.  Absolutely!

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