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Tuesday, July 29 2014 Navigation -> about -> pictures -> Mt. Whitney mountaineer's route

Mt. Whitney mountaineer's route

On July 29th 2007 I left work early to get an early start on my trip to Lone Pine, California. Before I hit LA traffic I ate a Subway sandwich its good to fuel up before a long way ahead. I had around 230 miles to go. I left Culver City at 5:20PM. For over an hour I was moving very slowly in LA traffic. After it was gone things got better until I hit a sobriety checkpoint. They didnt test me for illegal substances but gladly taken over 1h of my time. I arrived at Whitney Portal at 10:30PM after around 5h of travel time. I was tired and decided to skip setting up a tent. I just unpacked my sleeping bag and went for a nap. I have waken up at around 4:20 AM and found one of our hiking partners already up he has found my car and parked beside it. The other two people that were to hike with me also got in late they left me a note that they will be by my car at 6AM. I realized that they didnt get the new hiking time of 5AM from the outdoors club website. Fortunately they posted the time they got to Whitney Portal midnight. I was waken up by two hikers setting a tent right beside me at midnight so I sort of knew where they were camping. At 5:50AM we started hiking towards our target Whitney. I quickly realized that even a good book is a poor substitute for a good guide. I was fortunate that Tom Brown has joined my hiking party. Without him it would be quite rough the route is almost completely unmarked. The first challenge was a ledge that was about 4 inches wide and about 40 feet long. The exposure was about 40 feet. We all went through it smoothly. After this there was very little climbing and mostly it was just hiking. There was one spot where we had to climb up close to waterfall which was class 2/3 but nothing major until we all reached mountaineers route. The MR starts at the ice lake which is the third lake we passed, the first one is lower boy scout lake, the second is upper boy scout lake. The route itself looks rather impressive and steep from a distance. I was to find out just how steep it is very soon. The standard approach is through the middle of the opening through a lot of loose scree. This route was not chose by us. Instead we opted out for the left hand side approach which did not involve any scree but did involve class 3 climbing. After doing this for about 400ft (elevation gain) we moved over to the scree part and continued class 2 scrambling until we reached the notch. At the notch we rested. Then, just before a little water drop-off we had to do 10ft of class 4 scramble up to start the last 400ft of ascent. The last 400ft is class 3 scramble. Time flew by and I together with my three other climbing partners were on top. We took pictures and rested. I took a short nap. After approximately 1h we headed down using the same way we came up. This was a bit scary (I thought at first) but soon I discovered that using ones butt as a descent tool is a cool way to go down. The last mile or so of the MR we done in the dark, including the narrow ledge. It seemed even more narrow when lights are turned off. At 9PM we decided to use the Main Whitney Trail to descent the last few hundred feet. This decision was taken based on the runners knee that Brandy has develop while descending. Overall this was a great trip. I took many pictures and posted over 140 of them. This was a true adventure with plenty of adrenaline going through my veins. I will definitely continue my mountaineering career and I am looking forward to bagging new peeks. I am planning to take on Middle Palisade next.

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Album created on 2007-07-01 and last updated on 2007-07-01