Day 14 – 186miles, 4170ft ascent
I had prepared everything for the morning before going to bed. I’d gone through what I needed to do and in what order. I was packed up 20 minutes after my alarm went off. I even had time to have a quick coffee while I waited for Robbie to get ready.
We started hiking with headlamps. Night-hiking was a new experience for me. It was so quiet and peaceful. The night sky was magical. I even saw a few meteorites. The temperature was nice and cool for climbing. I’m definitely going to night-hike more in the future.
I stopped for breakfast at the last water source after Guitar Lake. I wanted to fuel up before starting the final 3000ft push for the top.
The ascent was gradual, and the trail surface was smooth. The climb felt much easier than Forrester. I kept my pace to a slow shuffle to avoid getting sweaty and out of breath.
We left out bear canisters at the trail junction to Whitney and continued up with nearly empty packs. The trail became a bit rockier, but the grade remained comfortable all the way to the top. There was a small snow patch just before the top.
It was freezing at the top, but the views were amazing. 360 degrees of mountain views. We stayed at the summit for a while, sending some messages and eating snacks. What an adventure it had been. As much as I was ready for a warm burger, I knew I’d miss being out on the trail.
After picking up our bear cans again, we headed down towards Whitney Portal. The descent started with 100 switchbacks.
The trail was rocky and demanding a significant portion of the 8 miles down. We were glad that we were not going up this trail.
When we got to the trailhead, we celebrated with burgers and beers. Robbie’s dad came to pick him up and gave me a ride to Lone Pine.
In Lone Pine, I got a motel room and showered. I had an early dinner and fell asleep at 7. A fellow hiker gave me a ride to Bakersfield 5 am the next morning, so I could catch the train back home.