PCT 2007 Day 74
Day 74 / 6-7-07 Tarp 10,405′
Crabtree Meadow – Wallace Creek via Mt. Whitney
3.4 (15.8) miles; 771.5 (31) total miles; 2634.6 trip miles (adjusted, it was off)
60’s, sunny, clouds in PM
Marmot count is 25
Pika count is 1
Today I stood on top of Mt. Whitney (14,496.811), the highest point in the continental United States. The day started off cold but not as bad as at Chicken Spring. We got started around 7:30 or so. You start your ascent by climbing up a drainage valley for the west side of Whitney. Along the way we passed Timberline, Guitar, and the Hitchcock Lakes. As you climb you are just heading up into a bowl that appears to go nowhere. As you approach the wall at the end, you start switchbacking up the boulder field until you reach the junction of the Whitney portal trail. At this point you are already at 13,484′ and only 1.9 miles from the top. The rest of the climb offers you views through ravines to the east and Lone Pine.
I reached the summit at 11:26 AM. It was a great feeling to be up there. The weather was great and I could see for miles in all directions. I hung out up top for a while, had lunch, and took lots of pictures. I also gave a couple headed out my card and asked them to call my folks and have them send my warm top and long johns. I’m tired of freezing at night.
On the descent I took lots of pictures. I stopped at Timberline Lake and attempted to fish; but without a pole, it proved too hard. I did see 16 marmots during my hike though. I heard some Pikas but never saw them.
Once back to Crabtree we cooked dinner then move on to Wallace Creek. Along the way I saw 2 deer. I also heard my favorite bird call. I know it from the AT and the mountains of both New England and Washington. It put a smile on my face.
I felt good going up Whitney; but, I currently have a dull headache. I hope it’s just from the long hard day at altitude and will be gone in the AM.
Todays views and scenery can’t be put into words or photographs. All I can say is every time I looked around it took my breath away. It was simply awesome!
Scatman 2011- The day was simply amazing! The last sentence in my post say’s it all. If they ever see this I want to thank the couple who called my folks. They really helped me out even if the temperatures did go up I still needed the items they called about. Yet another example of Trail Magic!
This was a magical day and I think about it often. Mt. Whitney was one of the major places I didn’t want to miss on my trip.
Get out there!
You can check out my Appalachian Trail or Continental Divide Trail journals too!
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