We completed the Mount Whitney climb last Wednesday. All the half marathons and other training paid off, because this hike wasn’t half as difficult as our 2015 failed attempt.
We hiked in from the Whitney Portal (8,360 ft) on Tuesday to the Trail Camp (roughly 12,000 ft.) Despite nasty patches of snow in several places, we were able to set up camp, eat, and rack out at 2000.
We actually slept in and didn’t start the ascent until 0800. Landon had struggled with altitude during the previous day, so he decided to not summit with us. Blake was feeling the effects of the altitude, which translated into fight a headache for most of the day.
We had a choice between taking the chute or using the switchbacks. The chute really required crampons and an ice ax, so we took took the switchbacks. Roughly a third of the switchbacks were covered with snow, which required some easy scrambling. There were a few crossing over snow that were beyond sketchy. Blake and I used our walking sticks to keep from falling.
Once we cleared the switchbacks, it was a fairly easy shot to the summit. We reached the peak a little after 1300. After some quick pictures and a moment to take in the view, we headed back.
The hike was totally worth it, and Blake and I can scratch the highest summit (14,505 ft) in the contiguous United States of our adventure to do list. And since Landon didn’t make the summit, I know we’ll climb Whitney again.
And our next climb is Telescope Peak. At 11,048 feet, Telescope Peak it is much smaller than Whitney.However, it is located in Death Valley and should pose a new set of climbing challenges.