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andyandbriar.com - 7-27-07 Mt Whitney Summit Hike, CA

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Home > 7-27-07 Mt Whitney Summit Hike, CA

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44 views2nd break- sun about to rise. Lone Pine lake in background. Facing East.
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21 viewsSun up, 10,000 ft. Marshy area with rain/snowmelt runoff. Water is COLD!
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45 viewsTemps in 60's, warming as sun rises. The sunlight hasn't hit us yet; it is slowly creeping down the canyon walls- very cool to watch!
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34 viewsClimbing hill away from Mirror Lake, 10,640 ft, 6:27AM. As you climb up from Mirror lake, it becomes obvious how it got that name.
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30 viewsConsultation Lake, 11,680 ft, 7:30AM
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57 viewsClimbing switchbacks up from Outpost Camp and Consultation Lake- 12,400 ft, 8:30AM. Facing East.
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33 viewsFinally, a waypoint. "Trail Crest:" 13,600 ft, 9:54AM. Air very thin, extremely hard to keep your breath. Camera facing N-NW
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39 views"Trail Crest" Facing West. Hitchcock Lakes in background.
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44 views"Trail Crest" Facing East. Laugh all you want at my "glacier glasses" - the sun was glaring, and they helped quite a bit!
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43 viewsBeyond Trail Crest, the trail cuts North to the summit. 13,700 ft, 10:43AM (Yes, it took hours to climb the last few hundred feet.) The views are breathtaking, but the exposure is treacherous. One misstep, and you would have plenty of time to think about it on your way down. Note the clouds heading West, slamming into the face of the summit, and curling straight upwards to the sky.
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29 viewsThis picture faces East in between the pointy ridges near the summit. Complete exhaustion, I could barely force a smile. The trail is very narrow here, and a wrong step in either direction means quite a plummet.
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25 viewsDoug & Heather, 3 ridges from the summit. The rocks were loose under our feet. Not to be overly dramatic, but there is no wonder how people fall to their death here. Note the clouds, still billowing upward like steam from a cauldron. Again, the size of and distance to the clouds is deceiving.
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22 viewsOn the edge of this ridge, the air was clear and cold. Only feet away, zero visibility in the billowing cloud. Surreal.
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24 viewsThe summit, camera facing South. Utter exhaustion. 12:11PM, 14,505 ft. 8 hours & 11 minutes of hiking. Approx. 10.2 miles distance to summit. Almost 6200 feet of altitude gain. 94 switchbacks (one way!). Just shy of 100 oz of water consumed thus far.
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83 viewsJuly 25, 2007 12:15PDT - Summit Mount Whitney, California. - 14,505 ft above sea level - N36 34.722 W118 17.529
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12 viewsMarker plaque at summit. The summit height has since been re-evaluated, and according to Wikipedia is currently listed at 14,505 ft.
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21 viewsStarting down, just off the peak. Remember, the goal wasn't the summit, the goal was back where we started! Doug & Heather, camera facing North.
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13 viewsJubilation, just off the summit. For the final short push to the summit we had stashed our bags and took only water, cameras, and the GPS. Camera facing NE.
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15 viewsSwitchbacks look just as evil on way down... Even more so when ice storm rolls in...
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37 viewsNote the weather change in only moments. Minutes later, yes, that is water rushing down the trail. Unbelievably slippery.
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26 viewsFirst drizzle, then sleet, then ice pellets/hail, then SNOW mixed in! Soaked to the bone in minutes. I tucked the camera away and ran down the hill. What took just over 8 hours to climb took just under 5 hours (!) to descend!
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41 viewsLeaving Whitney Portal, still over 7000 ft altitude.
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34 viewsFacing West towards the Whitney Portal canyon.
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36 viewsDriving back to Las Vegas through Death Valley, about 14,700 feet lower in altitude (!!) than 24 hours previous...
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