Mount Whitney Trail

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Mt Whitney elevation: 4421 m / 14,505 ft

the highest summit in the contiguous United States and lower 49 states.

Length: 37.21km/ 23.1mi

Elevation gain: 6657 ft/ 2029 m

Duration: 16:33:19 hr

Moving time: 7:35:36


Mt Whitney is my first 4000 m mountain; it's also the tallest peak in the lower 49 states of the US. Because of that, it's always a dream mountain I would like to climb.

In the first day we camped at the trailhead, the whitney portal. There is a shop at the trailhead with provision of the food |||. Around the trailhead there is a very big waterfall too.

Next day we waked up at 1am, packing everything and began to hike. Originally I planned to hike 3 more peaks so we asked each other to meet at the top at 10am. In order to hike 3 more peaks along the whitney trail, I got conclusion that I need to build up a two-hour lead.

Therefore, I hiked really fast in the beginning. Hiking at night is always not easy, especially for the trail I've never been. But the whitney trail is really wide so it's not scary at all. I might feel I walked along the cliff, but since it's dark, I can't really feel the scariness lol. The really annoying part is crossing the river. Lots of water appear on the trail indefinitely and it's difficult to see water at night, not to say if you try to cross it without drying your foot. Some crossing is tens of meters long, I just worry about what would happen if I slide down from the log.

I hiked very fast in the beginning and surpass lots of people. I regret I didn't stop right away when I feel hungry. I try to save time by skipping resting and eating time which in turn costs me way more time in the end. Get a little lost in the middle of the trail. Glad I met a girl who hiked here before. But she is really a good hiker and following her takes me out more energy.

I thought the ultimate challenge is the 99 switchback. After that everything will be flat and easy. But I was totally wrong. I used up all the energy to finish the 99 switchback. I was shocked when I saw a steep downhills. Lots of up and down, which almost kills me. It took me 3 hours to finish the John Muir Trail part.

However, it's also my first time to enter the Sequoia National park. Three big lakes and many huge mountains catch my eyes. Even surprising is that those mountains are only a little lower than Whitney.

When we going back, we finally have a chance to see the trail we can't see in the dark. Lots of waterfalls (I saw at least 7), lots of lakes and lots of river crossing. Lots of snow, but none of them are in the trail. Snow has blue and pink color. Lake has green and orange color. Surrounding by lots of 4000 m mountain while seeing lots of snow and lake, this is the place I've dreamed to come long time ago.

It's pity that I didn't perform well on this trail. But at least I finished it. I did many crazy things in that last 5 years. This is my last craziness in my graduate life. I hiked all the tallest mountain in the southern California and now in the contiguous US. That's enough for me. Hiking is not always easy. Most of time I'm dying. I don't wanna move, I wish I can give up. But the view always asked me to go more, and take more photos. Overcoming a peak just like gives me a badge in my resume. Considering I don't have car, what I've done is even more amazing.

view from the Whitney Summit