Day 34: Chicken Spring Lake.

June 13, 2021

Mile Marker: 766.3

Miles Hiked Today: 24

This morning we woke up early because we had 24 miles to cover to get to Mount Whitney base camp early.

That’s right, Mount Whitney time!! The tallest mountain in the lower 48.

We cruised for the first 7 miles of today. The early mornings this high up are so quiet. Planner and I felt like we were the only ones present, even though we knew that was far from the truth. There were many hikers all around, but not even the birds were singing yet. It was just… still. All we could hear was the crunching of our feet on the ground. It was almost soothing in a way.

After 7 miles we found ourselves arriving at the first alpine lake; Chicken Spring Lake.

We were excited and I knew in the back of my head that I was more than likely going to get in. Ice cold baths are good for you, no?

We arrived and I made some oatmeal and the rest of the crew showed up. We watched as fellow hikers took turns getting into the lake with their undergarments on and some of them with a little less.😂 Conrad was the first from our group to get in. I let my coffee sit and then told Planner it was our turn. I figured it would be great to drink afterwards.

We both walked in feet first which was cold but once I jumped off and dunked my head, the shock to my system was unreal. We all let out hollers when we came up. It’s always crazy to me how ice cold water makes you catch your breath. We both swam around for a minute or so and then immediately hopped back out like most of the other hikers. We all had smiles and goosebumps covering us.

I then put back on my clothes and warmed up on a rock with some hot coffee. I’d say a great way to start the morning.

From there I put on some good music and we charged down the mountain. I was feeling fresh and alive.

This, felt like living. Today I was immersed in incredible views and couldn’t get over that I was living this thru hiker life. The climbs are hard and my body is becoming tired more every day but it is all worth it. This is what makes life feel so purposeful, a sense of adventure.

After another 8 miles or so Planner and I had our first “river” crossing that can get bad if it’s a high snow year. However, this isn’t the case for us and we were able to skip along the rocks and make it to the other side. We are however so excited to see so much water!

We then had 7 more miles to the PCT/Whitney junction. Where we hike off of the PCT about a mile to a camp ground where most other hikers come to if they plan to hike Whitney.

From here there will be 7 miles in the morning to reach the summit. Most of the hikers tend to wake up at midnight or 2 am to get to the top for the sunrise.

Our crew decided on the 2 am in hopes to reach the top around 6.

We all set up our tents and are SO happy that this trail will be an out and back so that we don’t have to carry our heavy packs. Thank the Lord. So all we have to carry is food and water and warm clothes.

I already have nervous butterflies in my stomach. I know I have done Kilimanjaro and survived so I shouldn’t be worried about this one, but I can’t help it!

It’s only 8:30 and this camp ground has been pretty quiet since 8. Everyone trying to get to sleep early. It will be amazing to be hiking up with so many others but I just hope I can breathe! 😂

Really was an incredible day that felt like we were in the Sierras. I am pumped to see what all else there is ahead of me.

Iz and Oz

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