Monday, June 27, 2016
Monday, June 27
Although not on the Pacific Crest Trail, Mount Whitney is a side trail that almost all PCT hikers do.
A side trail from the PCT leads to Crabtree Meadows, with lots of camping space and a luxurious outdoor toilet. Crabtree Meadows is about 8 miles from the peak of Whitney.
It is about a 4000 foot elevation gain to the peak. At 14,505 feet tall, it is the tallest mountain in the 48 states.
Mighty Mouse, Share Bear and I left camp at 6am for the walk. We left our tents and most of our gear at camp. Carrying just 4 liters of water, snacks for breakfast and lunch, and extra clothes for wind and rain, out packs were very light.
Passing beautiful streams and lakes, we walked along, admiring the tall stone walls around us as the sun lit them up.
The elevation made for slow climbing, plus lots of photo breaks meant that it took 6 hours for the climb.
We enjoyed the great views from the top of the mountain for an hour, eating our lunches and resting our feet.
On the way down, I moved a bit faster than Mighty Mouse and Share Bear and ended up catching a small rain shower at Guitar Lake while I waited for them. I was entertained by the marmots who were all around.
We got back to camp around 5 o'clock and met up with Audible who didn't climb with us since he wanted to climb Whitney with his sister, Bear Bait and her husband, Max, who were a day behind us when we left Kennedy Meadows. Max and Bear Bait got to camp about when we did, and will climb Whitney tomorrow.