After HIKING AT TRAIL CAMP during yesterday, today we're climbing the Mount Whitney, the highest summit in the continental USA and one of the busiest in North America.
It's not a techcnichal climbing at all through the Mount Whitney Trail. During the winter is relatively easy due to it almost has no scrambling at all. Instead, it's important to care about the long distance that is involved, as well as the possible altitude sickness that can be suffered if one doesn't get acclimated.
Spanish version in this link: MOUNT WHITNEY (4.421 m / 14,505 ft)
Find here the summary of our "Mount Whitney Expedition" and all the information regarding fees and permits to climb in this area: EXPEDICIÓN MOUNT WHITNEY (4.421 m / 14,505 ft) - WHITE MOUNTAIN (4.342 m / 14,246 ft). HIGH SIERRA OR SIERRA NEVADA OF CALIFORNIA (USA) - WHITE INYO MOUNTAINS OF CALIFORNIA (USA)
Inyo National Forest. High Sierra or Sierra Nevada of California. USA. North America.
Trail Camp, also named the Mount Whitney's "advanced base camp”.
Click here to check out the hiking to the Trail Camp: SUBIDA AL TRAIL CAMP
Mount Whitney 1:24.000. www.whitneyportalstore.com
Mount Whitney Zone 1:31.000. Tom Harrios Maps.
Sequoia Kings Canyon National Parks California, USA Nº 205 1:80.000. National Geographic.
UNEVENNESS: 1.000 m/3,280 ft (+); 2.000 m/6,561 ft (-)
TOTAL DISTANCE: 21 km/13 miles.
TIEMPO TOTAL: 12:45 hours (including 03:00 hours in standstills).
DIFFICULTY: Easy (Class 1).
Itinerary on trail all along the way.
Care about the long distance, high unevenness and altitude sickness which can get very disturbing and can seriously limit your strength.
WILDERNEES PERMIT: MOUNT WHITNEY TRAIL-JM35 Overnight Permit.
The permit is COMPULSORY to climb the Mount Whitney or even to get closet o it.
GEARS: Bear Food Storage or similar must be carried as a precaution with the bears. You must carry as well a human Waste Disposal Bag to pack out your poops.
WATER: Water sources shall be founded all the way.
TRACK LOG GPS
Click on: WIKILOC 20120807 MOUNT WHITNEY
It was a nice rest at Trail Camp. Near 04:00 AM we wake up.
Time to breakfast.
Mane's is making use of his "Human Disposal Bag", so we check what the pooping-pack contains.
There's an odor absorbable sand within it.
Some hygienic stuff for self-cleaning.
We decide to left our tent settled up on site.
But we'd better get all of our food into the can and left it away from the tent, as well as our "human disposal".
"Save the Bears".
By 05:15 AM we're moving up. A few minutes later find a group of tents apart from where we placed yesterday.
Close to this little lake.
Observing the needles that escort Mount Whitney.
We pass the lake camp area soon, it remains a long steep way to the pass.
First lights in the morning.
California's hot sun arises.
But moon still appears in the blue sky.
Mount Whitney dress in red in the dust.
Easy trail to follow.
Mount Muir, appears higher than Whitney itself.
The trail narrows.
This part of the trail is equipped with a cable.
Sun's getting more intense.
In a continuous climb.
Numerous zig-zags shall be in the way up.
Mount Muir seems pretty slender.
It makes you feel really tiny.
Amongst this granite massif.
Consultation Lake and Trail Camp at the feet of Mount Irvine.
Close to Trail Crest.
Seems an alien planet to us.
Getting to the pass, the most accessible point of the crest.
See those needles keeping Trail Crest.
A small break to have something for eating and water. It's a bit windy and cold in here. This is why so many people climbs Mount Whitney: the trail has a sustained but not big slope. That's why the trail is so long, to reduce the average slope; in exchange, the path is very long.
Trail Crest is on the boundary of Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Park. Hence this is an wonderful viewpoint of the summits around here, the region of Kaweahs and Great Western Divide.
A detail of the pass.
Entering the Sequoia National Park.
Find numerous peaks westwards.
Hitchcok Lakes are yet in the dark.
The trail now provides panoramic views.
Filnally, we arrive at this crossing.
This path comes from the lower basins of Sequoia National Park.
It remains 1.9 miles to the Mount Whitney.
Be warned of lightning storms! They're likely to happen in this area.
In case of lightning storm, the Hut isn't a safe place at all. The most secure option is to descend as much as possible in the less time.
On our way to the Mount Whitney.
Dozens of peaks...
... all around.
Delighting in the Sequoia National Park.
Another pan view.
Waves of pure granite.
On the background appears the Mount Whitney.
The trail easily surpasses the gullies to the basis of the Mount Whitney.
High light contrast.
Hitchcock Lakes finally reach the light.
Mount Whitney is more and more near.
Another granite monument, like everybody else.
Mount Whitney "West Face".
Deep cliffs eastwards.
Amazing ice corridors for the winter.
Still remains in the shady side.
The infinite horizon beyond the breach.
Otherwise, westwards seems wider.
Near here we take a brake again. Mount Whitney always appears to be closer than it really does.
Still remains a long path over this not much steep slope. It’s deceptive the distance from here.
My mate seems like a tiny spot on the massive granite.
Find the Mount Muir, which is surrounded by the trail on its basis.
Can't stop starring at those mountains.
One last effort.
Just a hundred meter unevenness to the summit.
Panoramic views Northwards.
Moving across smaller blocks now.
Suddenly a the sheriff chopper appears overflying the trail area near the lakes. A climber has been reported as lost a couple of days ago. Hopefully, he shall be finally founded, by the time that we'll get back to Mirror Lake.
The sheriff chopper.
Slightly appears the trail surrounding the Mount Whitney West Face.
And there it is, finally, the hut near the summit!
It's a bit busy up in here.
Find the Pinnacle Ridge and its lake.
Last steps to the summit.
Reaching the isolated summit.
Find this survey landmark at the summit.
By 09:15 hour, we find ourselves at Mount Whitney, the highest top of the contiguous USA!!! A thrilling moment for a couple of Spaniards in US!!!
We make the most to take the more pictures as possible.
Find the Iceberg Lake.
It's a wide summit.
Nice to rest for a while.
Feel delighted with the views.
Find MOUNT MALLORY, among others, which we'll climb soon.
Mount Williamson, which is the second highest summit of California.
Another survey landmark.
It's plenty of sunlight.
Summit of Mount Whitney (14,505 ft / 4.421 m).
Have some rest and begin descending.
See you soon...
A memorial plaque at the top.
Mount Whitney hut.
Awaiting our turn to sign as guests.
Good bye Mount Whitney.
The huge Wales Lake.
The long descending across the crest.
Arriving at he pass between the Mount Whitney and the Keeler Needle.
I start feeling a bit sick because of altitude. We've made almost no acclimatization. So we'd better get dawn as fast as possible.
We continue descending.
By this time, we find many climbers.
The clear footpath.
Just follow the row.
A short descending after the breach.
Hitchcock Lakes downwards.
A long ledge traced over the granite.
Close to Trail Crest.
The trail narrows in every buttress.
Back in the crossing.
Certainly it's very busy.
Climbing the steep path with a bit of a headache.
It's awesome the view from here!
Back in the Trail Crest.
Back to the valley of lakes.
Find the Discorey Pinnacle near here. We intended to climb it, but by the time we feel very tired.
Find many climbers all the way.
The Granite Cathedral... amazing!!!
Still remains a long way back.
Find more and more climbers.
Facing the trail back.
See the infinite zig-zags.
Massive buttress in the Whitney's.
Back in the equipped area.
White granite surrounding us.
Close to the Trail Camp.
Near the last lake.
Climbers are setting out.
Back on our tent.
We have something for meal and drink a lot before set out. Meanwhile, we break in this tiny friend.
An amusing chipmunk (Tamias sp.)...
... having some meal directly from my hands!!!
This was our bivouac.
It's time for departure.
A final glance.
While it gets cloudy.
Many mountaineers intend to climb by now.
Find the Trailside Meadow where it's forbidden to camp.
Moving on backwards.
With nice views.
Isolated Thor Peak and Mirror Lake.
Something is going on down there.
We are told that the lost climber was founded down near the Mirror Lake, he was safe, just a bit injured and with several scratchings. Apparently he was disoriented and he lost the trail. Fortunately he's fine.
Owens Valley basin seems huge and warm.
The Whitebark Pines (Pinus albicaulis) appears back.
Back to Mirror Lake.
Close to Outpost camp.
It gets more and more cloudy.
Better not to spend many time in standstills.
Lone Pine Lake shapes away.
The valley encloses the lake.
Exiting the Mount Whitney Zone. This side needs no permit.
Always find somebody in here.
Follow the road.
Through the bridge.
Owens Valley boils down there.
There might be a storm.
Blue skies, white rocks, green pines, cool place.
Nice walk through the pines.
The long way back home...
John Muir Wildernees... seen this before?
Signposts indicates we're close to the trailhead.
Owens Valley completely illuminated.
Light rays witness the power of the sun.
Back in the trailhead of Mount Whitney.
We take our hired car back, and retrieve our food from the storages.
It's been a hard climb, nevertheless, it's nothing but a long steep hike.
Splendid Owens Valley in the evening.
Alabama Hills which resemble the massif of "La Pedriza" in Spain.
To know more about "La Pedriza Natural Park" belongs to Central Range in Spain, click on:
- TERCERA TORRE DE LA PEDRIZA (2.033 m)
- TORRE DE LOS BUITRES ESTE (1.824 m)
- PEÑA DEL YELMO O EL YELMO (1.717 m)
Like in an old western movie… this is "The End".
Thanks for this, Mount Whitney... thanks for this, California... we love this place!!!