Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mt. Whitney 2009

First of all, I need to explain how I got roped into this adventure. Back when Luke and I had just barely started dating, I got invited to a family tradition of going to Carl's Jr. This is where I met Luke's brother and sister and their families for the first time. Luke's sister Tina proposed a summer trip to climb Mt. Whitney. Now, keep in mind that Tina was pregnant at the time! I agreed to be a part of the trip because I honestly didn't think Luke and I would be dating 7 months down the line (Sorry Luke.)

Summer came and I was still with Luke and still signed up for the excursion. Mt. Whitney is a serious mountain, so I started training hikes. I got to do a lot of these hikes with my Dad and my sister, which was really fun. One of the most memorable was climbing Mt. Baldy. I honestly think climbing Mt. Baldy was much more difficult than Mt. Whitney. On this hike, you gain about 1,000 ft of elevation per mile. Ouch...I was in serious pain for the next 3 days. And I made the mistake of wearing basketball shorts; now at sea level during a hot summer in Southern California, this seems like a completely rational decision. But as you get closer to 10,000 ft, it gets icy and windy. Both my Dad and I were freezing! We only spent a few minutes in our glory at the top before hurrying down!

Finally in July, was the real trip to Mt. Whitney. We decided to hit the trail at 11pm and we were such a sight! Carrying all our gear with our headlamps! It was fun to hike all together (Me, my Dad, Luke, Tina, Mike and Kaleb) single file line in the dark. As time went on, the mountain bested each of us. She left Kaleb with blistered feet and sent Luke back down with her cold winds. Mike and Tina turned back with altitude sickness. My Dad also was a victim of altitude sickness (couldn't we have decided to turn back before we started those switchbacks? Come on!) All in all, the trip was a success and very fun. I can't wait for our next attempt!

I'll photo blog my favorite highlights:

Oh the joy of WAG bags! (no human waste can be left on the mountain, so we were kindly supplied with these lovely bags to *ahem* poop in.)

My pack weighed 22 lbs!