Mt Whitney 1999


The road to Mt. Whitney, as seen driving toward the camping areas from the direction of Lone Pine
About 2.5 miles and at about 12,500 ft (Mirror Lake, I think)
My Trailhead campsite (#3 Trailhead). A prime spot. I just used a sleeping bag, no tent. The ceiling was the sky, 464A53, glittering with stellar glory and intermittently criss-crossed by shooting stars. I even watched a satellite make its unblinking linear path across the sky as a tiny, barely perceivable spot of light. The altitude here is over 8000 ft. The ever-present creek, cascading down the mountains is an awesome, yet not at all uncomfortable "white noise" backdrop, that by no means impedes sleep.



At the top and backside of the "99 Switchbacks". One of the better moments of the climb. From here on it is back down and then back up. 2 1/2 more miles, all above 13000 feet altitude. That's when for many the problems related to Oxygen deprivation set in



Arrived -the shelter at the peak


Happily signing the log on the top of Mt Whitney
The gentleman next to me is a 56-year old marathon runner, who did the hike with relative ease



Eileen, signing the log-book at the peak

She didn't want to go on anymore. I saw her sitting on a retaining wall, at around 12,500 feet, with the peak in sight, and just under 2hs away. We chatted lengthily and I suggested dropping our packs where everybody else dropped their packs when the air got a little thin. And we pushed on to the top. Sweet, and possessed of a strength that did not become apparent until it was time to go back down. Tired as we were, she pushed us relentlessly back down, all the way. The fourth one of the team of five. Also a marathon runner in training.

One of the marathon trainers and kinesiologist (I think). Tough, happy spirited and fun to have around. Next to her you can just see the building at the top of the mountain. The trail? You're looking at it. From here on everyone scrambled over the boulders and rocks and made their own trail



That's a bit of an overhang with a multi-thousand foot drop behind me
Scenic views from the top at 14500 feet



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