Mount Whitney

Mount Whitney Trip Report (#7855)

First off, I'm 49 years old. Second, I live at nearly sea level. Third, I keep in fairly good shape by hitting the treadmill and weights 3-4 times per week.

That said...........I spent 7 days/6 nights in the Palisades region (out of Bishop) previous to doing Mt. Whitney; I went in via South Lake, Bishop Pass (12,000') & Thunderbolt Pass (12,600'); dayhiked to Polemonium one day and attempted a solo of Mt. Thunderbolt (Class 4) from the West on another (I backed off, too dangerous to solo); I looped back to Bishop Pass via Knapsack Pass and ended up climbing Mt. Agassiz (Class 2; 13,800') for consolation and acclimitization in a T-shirt and shorts (beautiful weather, no wind and a clear blue sky).

It takes me about a week to get acclimated and I was now feeling fit for the DAY-PASS I had on 'Reserve' (I used their website and FAXED in my application; they had NO overnight reservations available for the time that I was going to be there, unfortunately). Got back to the car, visited the Bristlecone Pine Forest on my way south, picked up my pass and slept in my car at the Whitney trailhead. Woke at 6:30 AM, was on the trail by 6:45, got to the Crest @ 13,800' to be hit by COLD 40 mph winds (I wasn't dressed for this!), I got to the top of Mt. Whitney (Class 1, but don't be fooled!!) at 3:00 PM, took piks, warmed up in hut (I had brought only a sweater and down vest) and headed down at 3:45. The sun went down at 7 PM and it was dark by 7:30, good thing I brought my Maglite (I had 4 miles and 2 hours to go in the dark); got back to the car at 9:30 PM for a 15 hour day. My hands started to 'peel' about a week later and are still a little numb a month later (I got 'Frost-nipped').

Advice: Get acclimated, be prepared for changes in the weather, bring gloves if you're going to use the ubiquitous Leki hiking poles {LOL}.

Next time I'd like to do the Mountaineer's Route.

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