Sorry for the delay in posting, my friends.
Victor, Casey, and myself set out to hike up Mount Whitney a couple weeks back. We stayed at a couple of the Whitney Portal drive-in camp spots and attempted unsuccessfully to get a bit of sleep before the start. Sleep FAIL. Nonetheless, we were out at the 8600′ trailhead come 3:31 a.m. with our Black Diamond Spots illuminated.
The first couple miles were fairly tame. We had fun skipping across the high streams that have covered the trail from the recent snow melt. As we approached Outpost Camp at 6 a.m. or so, a few miles in, the sun had begun its ascent in the sky, and everything was illuminated with a beautiful golden glow. Outpost Camp was crowded and loaded with mosquitos…so we blew through there.
My breathing issues and fatigue began really kicking in after Outpost and I began to get worried. We continued onward at a steady but slow pace and I hoped I’d start to feel better… but I didn’t. My headache I’d woken up with became much worse. I took aspirin but it didn’t help. I started to see brown spots and felt dizzy. I thought of lots of four letter words throughout all of these symptoms.
We crossed a few snow crossings 5-6 miles in and were treated to some beautiful views of waterfalls, Lone Pine and Shadow Lakes, and the frozen Consultation Lake. 7 miles in or so, we arrived at 12,000′ Trail Camp and I decided my body was not going to improve and I’d need to stop. Casey and Victor have summitted Whitney multiple times and didn’t really care about getting to the top. We hung out there for an hour and then went home.
I was bummed about turning around when we did. I know I could have reached that summit but I also know that I’d be in bad shape if we’d have gone on. I did the right thing and the mountain will be there next time… but it still is a bit frustrating. At least we had a good hike, though 🙂
Distance: 14 miles
Elevation Gain: 4200′
Time: 9:00:00 plus about 2 hours of resting in between
Calories burned: 5700
Calories consumed: 2,000
Water consumed: 2.5L
Electrolyte drink consumed: Hammer HEED, 24 oz.
Food consumed: 10 hammer gels, 1 pack of honey stingers, 2 pro bars
Footwear worn: Salomon Quest 4D boots
Backpack: Gregory z35
Temps: low 50’s at night, warmed up to 60 or so
Weather: clear skies, absolutely perfect
No snow gear besides trekking poles was required