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TR: Mt Whitney (second time is the charm)

 
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kristo5747



Joined: 15 Sep 2009
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Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:56 am    Post subject: TR: Mt Whitney (second time is the charm)  Reply with quote

Permit was approved for 8/1 so I drove up from LA to Lone Pine last Monday.

I stopped by the VC and picked up my permit that day. Got the usual speech on bear awareness and proper use of wag bag.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent at Horseshoe Meadow going from Mulkey pass to Trail Peak to Cottonwood pass. Beautiful weather all along, sunny and hot.

Off to bed early (7pm) on Wednesday. Woke up at midnight. Gulped down 2 cups of coffee and drove up to the portal. Surprised two deers (well, they surprised me too) in the parking lot. Started at 1:37am.

My wife got me a Nike GPS watch so I decided to use it and map out my jaunt. Sadly, I'd forgotten that (some) electronics and cold don't mix : it went bye-bye around 12,400 ft. I went minimalist on my gear: light pack, two 24 oz bottles, 4 gels, one Steripen, space blanket, satellite phone (rented it) and wag bag.

Uneventful climb to Consultation lake. Got to watch the sunrise and started the switchbacks in a sea of orange and pink. It was real neat.  

Nearing Trail crest, the wind coming over the side was incredibly cold. Saw two wag bags that got dumped down towards Guitar lake. I tried to see if I could get to them but it was too steep for my taste. Legged it to the top and summitted at 9:35am. Very, very windy with wind chill temps in (I'm guessing) the low 40's. Compared to last year, the summit was almost deserted. Two guys and myself were there.

Started back down after taking down two gels. Once I got past Trail Crest, temps jumped up considerably. I went from wearing a wind breaker, gloves and ski hat to t-shirt, cap and shorts.  

I ran out of water around the last switchbacks. Water was gushing out from under the rocks so I decided to refill my bottles. Problem is that my Steripen would not even turn on (fresh batteries -- cold+electronics?). The heck with it. Looked for a clean spot and refilled my bottles anyway. Minimal silt in the water but was so refreshing (I am still waiting for the after effect of unfiltered water. Nothing).

Then I screwed up between Consultation and Mirror lakes. Not sure how I managed to do it but I ended up bushwacking (sp?) down a nasty incline for what felt like an hour.  Finally found the trail after coming down the side of a cliff under the puzzled looks of a couple of hikers.

Near the portal, a guy asked me for my permit. He said that the VC had given away all the walk-in permits for the day. I gave him mine. I figured no harm done.

Got back to my car around 3:50Pm.

The bacon cheese-burger/beer from the portal store was a blessing.

Pictures below were taken with a GoPro camera. They probably suck (still learning how to use it) but I wanted to share:

--HorseShoe Meadow




 

--Mt Whitney



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tekewin



Joined: 11 Apr 2013
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Location: Aliso Viejo

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on your summit.  I take it from your title that the first trip didn't go as well.

I saw at least a dozen discarded wag bags from Trail Camp up, many thrown into ravines or over the edge of the trail.  I can't imagine what the problem was like before the wag bags were added.  One in my group had to use the bag between switchback 66 and 69 (I wasn't there at the time), but he packed it out and threw in the nicely labelled "Human Waste" cans.
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RichardK



Joined: 30 Sep 2007
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Location: Florida East Coast

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:21 pm    Post subject: Whitney Reply with quote

tekewin wrote:
I saw at least a dozen discarded wag bags from Trail Camp up, many thrown into ravines or over the edge of the trail.


I have been pondering doing Whitney for a sixth time next year in honor of turning 65. Now, I'm not sure that I want to. I'm really, really tired of seeing heavily traveled areas being trashed. Damn It! It's not Disneyland where someone comes in at night to tidy up. The Forest Service needs to admit that the wag bag experiment is a failure and bring back solar toilets. Or cut the number of permits way down. Or flood the trail with enforcement rangers carrying handguns, billy clubs, and a thick ticket book which they have no money for.

Sorry for the rant.
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kristo5747



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Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tekewin wrote:
Congrats on your summit.  I take it from your title that the first trip didn't go as well..


That's one way to put it. I did make it to the summit last year. But I got caught in the nastiest thunder-lightning-hail storm I ever experienced in my life.

Not this year tho. Weather was perfect.
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Uncle Rico



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Location: Pleasantville

PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaih...0200131606348122_1025622578_n.jpg

Cool shot kristo. A little love shining down on the summit.
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Beantown



Joined: 21 Mar 2012
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Location: Big Bear City, CA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kristo5747 wrote:
tekewin wrote:
Congrats on your summit.  I take it from your title that the first trip didn't go as well..


That's one way to put it. I did make it to the summit last year. But I got caught in the nastiest thunder-lightning-hail storm I ever experienced in my life.

Not this year tho. Weather was perfect.


Congrats.  I just completed the jmt and camped in the nastiest thunder and lighting storm at guitar lake the night before completing at the top of Whitney.  it gets crazy there!

I can't believe that people discard their wag bags off the trail.  what the hell is the big deal, carry out your poop jeez.  I did it and its not so bad.  some people are just unbelievable!
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kristo5747



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Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uncle Rico wrote:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaih...0200131606348122_1025622578_n.jpg

Cool shot kristo. A little love shining down on the summit.


That's what my kid said when she saw the pic. "Daddy, the sun made a heart for you".... Smile

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