Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mt. Whitney Part Two

Sept. 24th we set out for Mt. Whitney, an overnight stay at the Whitney portal campground to acclimate then the hike to Consultation Lake to camp. The elevation at the lake is around 12,000 feet. The hike from the portal was brutal carrying the packs, but the training was paying off. We didn't need to stop often and we were making pretty good time. After passing Outpost camp at 10,000 feet the hike seemed to get harder. The air was pretty thin and the climb steeper.
We passed and were passed by a group of men, they were going to Trail camp to spend the night. They'd done this climb before and knew that the lake was just over the ridge. After what felt to be an eternity, the lake came into view. The group of men decided that trail camp was just a few too many steps too far and headed down to lake with us.
The sun was setting and we rushed to set up camp. After a fast, dehydrated, dinner we tried to get some sleep. 50 mph winds swirled around us for most of the night. I kept waiting for the tent to completely blow apart. I imagined my pack, which was outside in the vestibule, flying into the sky, a scene out of the wizard of oz!
After an endless night and maybe 1 hour of sleep we got up to make our attempt on the summit.

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