One Week Until Mount Whitney
Since moving to California nearly a year ago (WOW time flies), I've been fortunate enough to see some truly amazing places. Since I was a kid I've been fascinated by the mountains, and where I lived in Delaware, well...we didn't have any of those. Pennsylvania had mountains that were fun to visit to play in the snow, but none were too tall or intimidating. Here in California, we've got some treacherous terrain. I've gotten lost in the San Gabriel mountains, have climbed Mt Baldy (3 times now), and have hiked and climbed so long I needed a full day in bed for my knees & ankles to recover.
Next weekend I'll understake my toughest challenge yet. Myself and 2 friends were fortunate enough to be selected for this years Mount Whitney lottery. Mount Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States, with the summit sitting at 14,505 ft above sea level. To this point, I've never been above 10,064 ft without the help of 2 wings, jet engines, and a seat I wish would recline just a little bit more.
We'll be doing an overnight trip, starting off early Friday morning, exploring the mountain area and a few of the scenic lakes along the trail, attempting to summit in time to catch the sunset, before hiking down 3000 feet and setting up camp. With any luck (and the cooperation of my knees), we'll be getting up to summit again for sunrise, before heading down the mountain and leaving Saturday afternoon.
I've been camping, but have never been hiking overnight with a tent packed in my bag. In preparation for the trip, REI has become my new favorite store on the planet, as I had to get new hiking shoes, a hiking backpack, walking poles, and a water filtration system since we'll be getting most of our water from natural sources.
With 22 miles and over 12,000 feet of elevation change round trip, it's safe to say I'll be sleeping pretty well Saturday night. While I'm excited for this trip and will enjoy the journey, it's a babystep toward a bucket list goal of climbing Mt McKinley (the highest point in the US, located in Alaska). We've all got to start somewhere, right?
Those that work with me know that normally I'm an evening & weekends kinda guy, but next Friday & Saturday, I'll be offline and climbing mountains.
One of my favorite parts of living on the west coast is all of the nearby opportunity for adventure. What's the greatest adventure you've been on?