Mt. Whitney - August 2000

Fargo (Jill) & Carlsbad (Cathy)

The goal: 22 miles, 14 hours. Dayhike Mt. Whitney. After a 3am start on Monday Aug. 28, 2000, this 6am sunrise was the first photo we took. Most of the trees were below us at this point. Two day hikers stopped here as well for a break and to enjoy the view. We brought PBJ, Luna Bars, hard candies and lots of WATER!
. We reached Trail Camp, 12,039 altitude, after 4 1/2 hours. This was the only official pottie the entire hike (a solar toilet). You'll see more shots of this later from above. After a brief breakfast of PB&J at Trail Camp, Cathy is geared up for the 97 Switchbacks.
Moving up and away from Trail Camp. Looking down at Trail Camp from about 1/4th the way up the Switchbacks.
Look Ma, no barfing!! We felt great on the Switchbacks; no headaches, nausea or dry heaves that we had expected.
Trail Camp is getting smaller! Due to the occassional hiker, we had to carefully time our pee stops. Trail Crest, altitude 13,777 feet.
This view of Sequoia National Park, the Great Western Divide and Hitchcock Lake is phenomenal! Cathy, with the Third Needle behind her. First photo from Summit!
We are so much higher than the neighboring peaks. Hey, Cathy! Yeah, we made it!
The Hut at the summit. While we rested, lots of other hikers were summitting. This one dude just laid down and crashed out...
More new friends at the top! And more new friends. And so on....
Is that Mr. Potato Head? We saw these pants quite a few times throughout our hike. You couldn't miss them. The latest trends in Whitney hiking attire; tres chic!
Everyone at the top was elated! But also walked around in a stupor. Ok, you said there was an elevator down?!?
Note the sky is starting to cloud up... Wish you were all here with us to really feel how beautiful this is. Jump for Paul! (a co-worker of Cathy's). Having hiked Whitney, he was a great source of information, and loaned us a pair of walking poles (one of which I managed to break...)
Cathy's jump for Paul! Official elevation medallion at the top. You can buy replicas of this at the Portal Store. Or in my case, sit on it for 10 minutes and have a semi-permanent imprint of it on your rear. Ok, ok. I might have overdone it with the photos. But it's so GORGEOUS!
  The weather is soon to turn for the worse. Note the clouds forming right in front of our eye level.
The cloud formation took about 5 minutes. The minute we saw this, we packed up immediately! Cathy scanning the situation. "We're outa here".
One last shot on the summit before the camcorder gets tucked away. About an hour into our descent, the storm at the top turned to lightening, and we RAN all the way down to Trail Camp. Beautiful first-time view of the valley coming down. It was pitch dark in this going up. It was like going on a new hike! We tried to race the storm down, but it managed to follow us all the way.
"I just can't believe we made it! This is soooo awesome!" I have to admit by this time our topics of discussion turned to how awesome our wonderful spouses are (Jill's Russ and Cathy'sDave). Our journey took 13.5 hours, and we were ready for #1 food, #2 shower, and #3 nap! We give this hike a two thumbs up!