Miles walked: 22.3 (side trip up Mt. Whitney)
We left camp early around 5:15 am with the goal of climbing Mt. Whitney. The scenery was simply stunning all day long. It started to get really scenic a couple miles before Crabtree Meadows and continued to be amazing all day long.
We started our fun with two adventurous creek crossings a few miles into our day. All of us somehow managed to stay dry though barely.
|Kate, Ziploc, HoosierDaddy|
We took a short break around 12,200 feet which was above the picturesque Guitar Lake which is aptly named since from above it looks like a guitar. Towers of granite rose from all around us. The sky was a pure blue with nearly no clouds to be seen.
|Taking a break|
At 14,200 feet, I had stopped to wait for my friends after another burst of energy. I wanted to summit with this amazing group of people. We all walked to the summit together and pictures were taken. It was so nice on the summit. There was almost no wind, and it was even warm enough for me to walk around barefoot while drying my socks in the sun.
We had made it to the summit by 1:30 pm after leaving the Crabtree Meadows ranger station just before 9:00 am. We spent almost two full hours on the summit just enjoying the views, each other, and the perfect weather. It was much different than my last visit to this summit in November of 2014.
|Circus Act with Kate on Mt Whitney|
|back to camp|
|Happy Birthday Opera!|
Ziploc and I are trying to find a tough balance between waiting for the rest of our trail family, and not running out of food and toilet paper. Additionally, I am having another related dilemma. I really want to enjoy the Sierra with my trail family. At the same time, I really enjoy hiking with Kate and would love the opportunity to do that. She however cannot wait for my trail family since she has a fixed timeline on when she has to finish the JMT. All I know is that more tough days in the Sierra are ahead. Yet the toughest thing, for me at least, is making a decision on what to do with regards to my hiking plans.