Friday, February 27, 2015

the longest day ever

Climbing Mount Whitney - June 20, 2014

We started our day early, had to pack up camp by 3 a.m. to be on the trail dark and early in the brisk, cool wee hours of the morning.

This is the first sign you get to... (FLASH ON because we were night early morning darkness hiking)

Watching the sun come up while hiking was such an amazing experience!

There is a part of the trail with this log bridge... It wasn't difficult as long as you aren't too clumsy!

Finally made it to Lone Pine Lake
By the way, you can hike to this lake without a Mount Whitney pass... Do it, it's pretty!


And after this pic, we sat on a log, my phone slipped and the screen cracked.
Whitney takes her first victim.

I kinda like this silhouette looking picture of us!

"Entering Barbietown!" JK
Entering the Whitney Zone, have your passes visible at all times!

Can you tell by this picture how difficult this hike is? 
It's basically stone stairs and a constant uphill battle

Handsome mountain man

The first Whitney camp site: Outpost Camp

Not too far up was Mirror Lake which at the time of our visit wasn't very mirror-y

Please understand that even though this hike was very difficult, it was the most beautiful hike ever!

Beginning to get above the tree line and no more shade = Mountaineer hats to stay cool

Trailside Meadow where snow literally melts into a small stream

Convict lake which we thought looked like it could've been Mirror lake

After Convict lake you get to the last stop (and last source for water) before you hit the 99s

99s = 99 switchbacks

Can you even tell there's switchbacks?

This part of the hike still haunts me to this day

Can you tell that we didn't have many photos during this part of the hike?
That's because it was the most difficult part of the hike... We were focusing on not dying.

Finally, after hours of switchbacks, we reach the Trail Crest also known as: tiny little trail next to a cliff of jagged rocks that could easily be your deathly demise with one misstep.

The lake to the right is supposed to be "Guitar Lake" which is supposed to look like a guitar.

4 miles to get to Mount Whitney, but they felt like 20 miles
Let me tell you, the 99 switchbacks were scary and tiring, but it was in NO WAY as physically, mentally, and emotionally tiring as the Trail Crest to the summit

Started from the bottom now we're here, literally.

I could not (and would not) have done it without this man!



I feel like they should have had a buffet in that little cabin thing... 
I mean that's the least they could've done!

We signed our names and booked out of there to beat the sun from going down while we were on the scary part of the 99s... 
Side note, I had a mental breakdown while on our way back down... I started to cry because the exhaustion started to set in. I also got a touch of altitude sickness on our way down the 99s (which magically disappeared when we got to a lower altitude)

So that's it! If you are ever thinking about doing something that is difficult and almost seems impossible, give it a try and push until you get it... It's completely worth it!

Thank you to my favorite park ranger, Calie, for convincing me that this hike would be a "good" idea because I would have never done it without you! 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

pre-Mount Whitney camping

Camping heaven before the longest hike of life

In case you didn't know, in June 2014, I climbed Mount Whitney with CJ and four of my best Frayno frenns - Calie, Jamie, Esther, & Thai.
The idea came from Calie who had been wanting to do it and we decided to join her!

In order to somewhat acclimate ourselves to the altitude, we camped out a few nights before our big hike at a campground close to Whitney portal.

What are men compared to rocks and trees?

Sometimes I like feeling like a giant person on a tiny bench

Handsome setting up a fire for din din

Our little chair set up

Pictures never do nature justice... This was a little stream a few steps from our camp site.

Northface models

Tahi found a good use for all those straps on his backpack!

I love these girls, so so much! My soul sistafrenns for life.

S'mores could very well be the best things in life

...I rest my case...

Making the perfect marshmallow

Us girls lovin on some s'mores!

When Calie & I went shopping for camp food we found these and HAD to get it
We got a few to surprise JLG & Estee too!


FUN/CRAZY story: It was pretty much pitch black at our campsite and I took off the heart glasses because I couldn't see. Well when my eyes finally adjusted I looked past into the shadows of the adjacent campsite and thought I saw a bear. I said to the rest of the group "I think I saw a bear" and they didn't believe me. I figured they were correct since I don't have the best eyesight of the group (not to mention that I was the only one without a headlamp!) Well I kept looking and could have SWORN I saw something hunched over in the next campsite so I mentioned it again and CJ pointed his headlamp in that direction and YEP, THERE WAS A BEAR! We all started yelling and the bear just nonchalantly walked away into the darkness...

When we went to bed that night Calie was afraid to sleep in her tent alone

The next morning we found that estee & JLG's tent was empty...

...and three little heads all in Calies tent.

We had to pick up our Mt Whitney passes so we drove down into town

Smiles now

We both said to ourselves, "Can't believe we are doing this!"

Tahi was SO amused by the puppets!

Even the tiny finger puppets. haha

Seriously, the blue sky, the white mountains, the brown hills and the green trees... perfection!

Later that day we decided to hike up a bit to tire ourselves out to prepare for the next day

Hitting up the first 1% of the trail

Glad we took pics of this because we would never see this sign during the daytime again...

The Mount Whitney hike was the most beautiful, rocky, picturesque, grueling yet rewarding hike of my entire life... Stay tuned for our longest day (and hike) ever!