Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 59: on top of the world!! :)

Saturday 6/16/12
Mile 770 (15 miles total including Whitney summit)
Elevation 10,500'

Before I describe the Whitney summit experience, I just gotta say, the PCT is a really funny trail, in the sense that, it likes to tease you once in a while. Tomorrow we are going to walk over Forester Pass which is the highest point on the PCT at 13,000+ft (Whitney is not technically a part of the pct, it's a side trip). Forester Pass is quite infamous, and for the last hour or so of hiking ive been staring at it, because the trail is headed right towards it. I'm currently around 8.5 miles away from Forester, and it is looming in front of me like a gigantic grey fortress of doom. So that's what I've been staring at for the last hour. A big grey wall of rock that is taunting me. Lol.

Anyhow, enough of Forester, I'll deal with that tomorrow. Lol. Whitney was awesome. :D. It's funny, hiking amongst mainly day hikers, we were able to tell how much more trail-conditioned we were. We passed by a lot of people on the way up the switchbacks. When we got to the trail junction (where the Whitney portal side meets the PCT side at around 12,800'), we left our packs there and slackpacked the last 2 miles up. At that point we were flying past the day hikers. Whee!! Oh man it was quite cold and windy up top. People were tucked away in all the crevices trying to hide from the wind. Lol! We pretty much just stuck around long enough to take a few pics and then left. Lol. I have a pic of Kyle looking in the register box, we didnt sign the register because the pen didnt work. Oh, and that hut is full of snow. Lol. That was the only snow up there. :D I got some pics of the USGS markers they had on top too.

We went back down to where our packs were, cooked some food, and headed down the other side of Whitey. By the way, my caldera cone stove system, is a little *too* efficient. It doesn't really work above 11,000', because not enough oxygen can get into the stove. It ends up snuffing itself out. So I used Kyle's stove (he has a pop can alcohol stove like mine but different design).

Anyhow, summiting Whitney was fun, I'm glad I got to see both sides and experience both trails. I don't think I'd ever intentionally summit it again, it was cool but not *that* cool. Lol. To me, the experience of it all was way more exciting than the views at the top. Coming from Hawaii my standards for what makes a great view is ridiculously high. :D

Walking down, we pass by guitar lake (it looks like a guitar), I have a bunch of pics of it, you can probably guess which one is guitar lake. There were a bunch of pct hikers there basecamping.

Oh, at the summit we ran into Carpenter and Creeper. Carpenter has the most awesome outfit on the trail. I too a pic of him, it's like Raiden meets William Wallace. Lol. It's sad there aren't more dudes with kilts on the trail. Where's all my Team Breezy people at?!

Speaking of William Wallace, as we descended from Whitney, we went past a really awesome meadow with a river flowing through it (that's the pic of Kyle and I, the other one where we have our jackets on is on top of Whitney). Kyle said it looked like something right out of Braveheart. As if he expected William Wallace to come charging across the field at any moment, claymore in hand. Lol! Gosh the scenery here is amazing. Although I think I've been saying that everyday. :) <3

We only did 15 miles today but whew! I'm freakin tired. Lol. I wonder if my butt is going to be sore from all that uphilling. By the way, our campsite today is pretty darn amazing. The view is so incredible!! I took a pic, it's the one overlooking the valley with trees. The world is so incredibly beautiful when you remove humanity and civilization :)

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