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Banner Peak (2009)
Big Margaret Lake (2009)
Dinkey Lakes (2009)
Graveyard Lakes (2009)
Kaiser Wilderness (2007)
Darwin Canyon (2006)
Upper Twin Lake (2006)
Redwood Canyon/Big Springs (2006)
Upper Twin Lake (2005)
Mt Whitney (2005)
Dinkey Lakes Wilderness (2005)
Cliff Lake/Dinkey Wilderness (2005)
Kaiser Wilderness (2004)
Blaney Meadows (2004)
High Sierra Trail (Mt. Whitney) (2003)
Mt Whitney Day Hike (2002)
Hell for Sure Pass(2000)
Marie Lake/Selden Pass (1999)
Sandbeach Lake (1994)
Big Spring (1994)
Graveyard Lakes
Hidden Lake and Kaiser Peak
Darwin Canyon via Lamarck Col
Redwood Canyon/Big Spring
Twin Lakes
Dinkey Lakes
Cliff Lake
Kaiser Peak
Blaney Meadows
High Sierra Trail
Mt Whitney Trail
Hell for Sure Pass
Sandbeach Lake
Selden Pass

Mount Whitney Day Hike and Backpack Trips

Trail Description

Trip Summary (August 2002): I went on this trip with my mom, her cousin, and my friend Richie. We got to Whitney Portal a couple days early and went on a couple warm up hikes up the trail to get acclimated. But when they day finally came, we woke up at about 3am (after staying up until about 11pm I think) and headed up the trail in the dark. I had my mini-maglite, which worked pretty well and wasn't too cumbersome. The sky was getting a little light when we got to Lone Pine Lake. We were doing pretty well at this point. We continued up the trail and got to Outpost Camp and took a fairly long break. The sun rose during our break, not where we were, but it was showing on the peaks. We started up the trail some more as the sun started to get higher and the peaks less orange. Richie started getting a little tired shortly after the climb above Mirror Lake. By now quite a few people have passed us. We soon got to Consultation Lake and I waited a little while for Richie to catch up then we continued on up to Trail Camp. We took our longest break on the trip here to wait for my mom and her cousin to catch up. It took about an hour for them to get there. A little while after they got there, we started up. This time it was just Ticket (my moms cousin), me and Richie (my mom decided to stay behind at Trail Camp). We began our slow ascent to Trail Crest. This seemed to take a long time and we were going at a pretty slow pace. I could have gone a little faster, but the pace was fine for me. We took frequent breathers and rests a long the way, but we finally made it to Trail Crest around noon, maybe a little later (possibly closer to 1). This would be our final stretch up to the peak and turned out to be a long one. I was doing pretty good. Although the altitude was getting to me a little. But after a little while Richie really started to slow down. Probably about half way from Trail Crest Richie really slowed down (He hadn't been above 9000ft before) and we were all running low on water. Finally about 3pm we reached the top. Richie wasn't feeling very good, but he made it. We stayed there for about an hour. The sun was very hot and I got a really bad sunburn from it. After are rest at the top we headed back down. This went quite a bit faster. We got to Trail Crest late in the afternoon. This was when the huge fire was burning in Sequoia (so the view from the peak wasn't very good) the smoke had filled up the entire valley we had come up. After the sun went behind the ridge there were streaks of sunlight in the smoke. We met my mom about 2/3 up the switchbacks and the headed down to Trail Camp. The sun was almost down by the time we got down to Trail Camp and had completely gone behind the ridge. Some people offered to loan us a tent since it was starting to get dark, we thought about it, but then continued to the mountain. We were going down pretty fast now. Shortly before Outpost Camp is when it was starting to get dark and had to use our flashlights. We were all getting tired, my mind was set on getting back so I could sleep. I wanted to sleep on the trail, but I knew I couldn't, so I kept going. A couple times toward the end of the trail Richie fell asleep while waiting for my mom and Ticket. We finally got to the trailhead at 11pm and were so relieved to get to the car and go to camp.

2005 Trip Pictures

Trip Summary (8/2/2005-8/4/2005): Instead of climbing to the top of Mt Whitney in a day like weGroup at the Trailhead did last time, this time we hauled our backpacks up there and stayed overnight up at trail camp. This made it roughly 6 miles in one day instead of about 22 and allowed us to acclimate at a higher elevation. We started from Fresno and drove around the mountains and got to Whitney Portal around 3pm. We set up camp in the campground and the took a warm up hike up the Meysan Lakes trail a short distance. We met the rest of our group back at camp Lone Pine Lake(there were eight of us all together), had dinner and went to bed. The next day would be our first day on the trail. We packed up at the campground and got started on the trail around 10. After going up the steep switchbacks at the beginning of the trail, we got to Lone Pine Lake and stopped there for about an hour for lunch. It was very beautiful up there and was slightly cooler than Portal (it was a little on the warm side down there). There was also a very friendly chipmunk up there. It looked like it had been fed too much. We left Lone Pine Lake and headed on up past Big Horn Park and Outpost Camp. I was starting to get pretty tired after Mirror Lake and Richie ran on ahead of me. We eventually got above tree level and came to Trailside Meadow. With the wet winter we had, the meadow was very green and a lot of wildflowers,Trailside Meadow as well as quite a bit of snow above it. After passing by Trailside Meadow I climbed the steep climb to get to Trail Camp. Eventually I got up there and met back up with Richie and waited for everyone else to catch up. We set up camp and while doing so the sun went behind the ridge and it got quite cold. After a long while the rest of the group came in. We had dinner and sat around for awhile and after the sun set we looked at the stars. I saw a few meteors and quite a bit of lightning out Hitchcock Lakesto the southeast. I was nice and warm in my sleeping bag, but in the morning, there was ice on the lake that was about a quarter inch thick. That morning, five of us headed on up the switchbacks while the other three headed back down to Lone Pine Lake. I was definitely feeling the altitude up there, but I was making pretty good time going up despite being short of breath. Its always amazing to come to Trail Crest and see the views on both sides of you. After about another hour of hiking, we made it to the top.Mt Muir silohetted against the sun We stayed up there for about an hour taking pictures, calling home and resting and then headed down. We got back to camp ate dinner and hung around for a while. Some clouds started forming and it looked like it might rain, but after a little while the sky was clear again. The following morning, we packed up and started heading down. I met up with the group that stayed down at Lone Pine Lake and then continued on down to Whitney Portal. I got back around noon (the rest of the group slowly got in during the next few hours) and I enjoyed a good (but expensive) cheeseburger from the store. We were lucky we didn't get any rain on this trip (although it would have been kind of nice). It was raining the week before we went, and after we left, the clouds were getting heavier.

External Links: One of my pictures from this trip can be found on mytravelbackpack.com
All original images and content Copyright ©2004-2009 Benjamin Zastovnik
Email: webmaster@jamin86.com

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