Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mt. Whitney

Now that Long Beach is over for 2008, i'll backtrack a few months.
Early 2008 a few of us in the lab were tossing around the idea of climbing Mt. Whitney. The permit lottery opened in February. After some planning we put our names into the lottery and hoped for the best. April mail brought our winning a Sept. 25-28th permit to hike the mountain.
It was better than Christmas! We spent hours scouring the internet for info, what to pack, the weather, how to train. Every free weekend we tried to hike the local mountains-Baldy, San Jacinto, Baden-Powell, Saddleback and San Gorgonio. Hiking took the place of running, for the most part, however I tried to get involved with the OCTR to increase leg strength for the uphills and build up stamina. Matt and I trained for, and ran a marathon to help with our chances to summit.
After months of researching gear and living at REI we finally took some backpacking trips to try it all out. An overnighter, then climb up to the top of Baden-Powell was encouraging. Pack was good, stove worked and sleeping bag was warm.
The next overnighter on San Gorgonio was not so good. I was way overpacked-my pack weighed 40lbs without water. The trail was alot steeper than the one to Baden-Powell. 3 hours and I was ready to give it up. We never made it to the summit. Discouraged, I renewed my efforts to train, did some great cardio hikes with Irvine Ranch Conservancy and bought a beefier backpack.
Next post-the trip to Mt Whitney.

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