Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mt. Whitney Take 2

Coming off the mountain last year I was thinking that I wouldn't want to hike Mt. Whitney again. Approximately 2 days later I had changed my mind and decided, of course I would! Call me crazy, but there is something about starting off the day in the dark, hiking for 2 hours before the sun even comes up, and getting to view the gorgeousness of a sunrise while surrounded by a massive mountain that makes me want to put up with the LOOOONG day, sore feet, and back aches that follow.

So, we hiked again on August 3, 2010. There were six of us starting the adventure, (missing Susan and Dennis). Matt, Tina, Mark, Laurent, Paul, and I started out at 2:48 a.m. We could tell from the start that there was much more water than last year because there were more streams to cross and the sounds of the waterfalls were much more intense. The most pleasant surprise this year was the perfect weather. It really could not have been any better. I was completely prepared for the cold after last years hike, but found myself zipping off my pants into shorts, removing my jacket, and actually enjoying the warmth of the sun. There were a few times where we had to get our warm clothes back on, but on the way down we were down to shorts and tank tops. So different and so much more enjoyable than hiking and freezing!

The view from the top was so clear with the bluest sky I've ever seen. The pictures don't do it justice and that is what makes doing the hike so special. Only those that actually make it to the top get to experience all the beauty of it up close and personal.
Some of our group were actually napping (and snoring) on the top because it was so nice! Of course the snickers bar, thanks to Tina, at the top made it well worth it too!

Then of course there is the joy of going down. As beautiful as the hike is, on the way down much of the beauty is passed by as the hours drag on. We were still able to enjoy seeing the waterfalls that we missed in the dark, view some deer, and look at the lakes and meadows, but as those last two miles continue on and on it's all I can do but to make up songs in my head and hope that the trail head is just around the corner. Thankfully, we got there eventually....a mere 16 hours after starting! Always good to be down and look back up at where you just came from and wonder how the heck you did that all in one day. :)

So now a few weeks have passed and I'm thinking.... ok, I'll do it again!
Early morning, looking up to what we are about to conquer.

At Trail Camp, before the start of the 3 miles of switchback.
At the top. Tina carried a picture of Grandma Bev, her inspiration,
who recently passed away.
A little snooze before going back down.

Mt. Whitney Summit!
We borrowed the sign from some other group on the top.


Let Freedom Ring said...

Great post Tasha and very descriptive on your journey to the top. It's sounds like this climb couldn't have been more perfect. I hope you will be up for number 3.
We missed you all too, more than you will ever know. BUT we WILL make it one day. Love ya

Garrett said...

" When I walk beside her, I am a better man"

Eddie Vedder--Hard Sun from Into the Wild Soundtrack

That's what I am thinking about when I picture you hiking congrats on number two and we have to make it a point to do half dome are the awesomest and I love you so much!!

Let Freedom Ring said...

Wow...............that brings tears to my eyes, Garrett. Very, very touching. Love ya

dole2obama said...

It was so fun to hike up to Whitney with you for the second time. I am looking forward to doing it again next year.

Anonymous said...

You summed it up perfectly! I also really enjoyed getting to be with you for four days. I wished we lived closer!

love, Tina

Paula said...

You did it again, Tasha! A wonderful memory of a great feat that you will always have with you. What a blessing that the weather was so great this time, too.
Huge congratulations to you!!!

Sandy said...

Tasha, I loved your post. Beautiful description of your day.

Garrett, Your love for each other is incredible. So beautifully said.
Love, sandy

Jason, as himself said...

You are such go-getters! Good for you.