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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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29 viewsDid I mention it was rocky? Heather picks her way along. My mantra the last few miles: Slow & Steady.
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18 viewsExposure like I've never experienced.
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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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22 viewsQuiet contemplation at summit. Call it cliché if you want, but it was spiritual.
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29 viewsHeather dangles her feet. After what we had just traversed, hanging from the edge seemed like childs play.
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46 viewsDoug at summit- camera facing North. The small hut is for emergency lightning protection. Hikers die every year from lightning strikes. On the West side of the hut, a geo-cache and logbook for hikers. The entries and notes were interesting. They would make a good book!
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28 viewsAll of us at summit. Camera facing South, Ice storm rolling in from West! We didn't realize how this would affect our decent until an hour later.
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27 viewsBrian and Chris at summit.
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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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23 viewsBreakfast at the Whitney Portal Camp store early the next morning. Biggest pancakes I've ever seen!
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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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32 views...and about 72 degrees warmer!
     
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