June 14th, 2021
Mile Marker: 774
Miles Hiked Today: 24
Today was the big day. Where we summit the tallest mountain in the lower 48!
I was startled awake by my alarm at 2 and we all started silently getting ready. No big hype scene as there were others nearby still sleeping.
We kept our tents set up with most of our belongings and took food, water, and warm clothes in our bags. It was magical having such a light pack.
We had a total of 7.5 miles to trek to get to the summit. We really had no idea which way Mount Whitney was in the dark we just started following the trail at 2:30 am.
When we started I had on almost all my layers as it was cold but quickly realized that it was overkill. I ended up hiking majority of the trail in base layers and my normal hiking clothes and gloves.
The first 3 miles were gentle rolling hills pretty much getting us to the base of the mountain. Then we had 4.5 of up and up and up.
There were many switchbacks and Planner and I stayed together for the whole climb. Just one foot in front of the other.
Around 5 we could start to see the sunrise colors peak through. I found myself continuously looking to my left at the mountains coming to life. We had no idea what we had covered and what we were going to be able to see.
It was jaw dropping.
It kept me motivated to get to the top. Planner and I kept telling each other how strong we were.
I was smiling. This was such an epic climb.
We eventually got to the top ridge line and then had one last upward push for a few hundred yards until we were there.
I saw the little rock house roof peaking out at me which made me go faster. This was it. We had freaking made it.
I sighed with relief and was ecstatic and more so, incredibly proud of myself.
I was jazzed for most of this hike, it made me feel alive. I know not everyone is like this but man, it made me feel purposeful. To work hard at something and then to soak in the views afterwards. To feel vulnerable like you won’t make it and strong when you are. It made my life so much more enjoyable. I couldn’t stop thinking of all the 14ers in Colorado to summit next.
After our quick photo shoot Planner and I then raced down the mountain like we do. It felt like an entirely different trail heading down since we came up in the dark. We had no idea how close to the edge we were and no idea of the lakes below. It was just incredible. I can’t say it enough.
The whole way down I wanted to stop and take more and more and more pictures. Just unreal.
Once we were back to base camp we made food and then took naps. It was time to recharge a bit.
While resting I had heard some other people talking up a plan to hike 8 more miles on the PCT and then all the way in to town the next day. We were all starting to get low on our food and could not stop thinking about a town meal. I pitched it to Planner and we were sold. Let’s get to town tomorrow.
Around 2 pm Planner and I headed out for 8 miles. Typically this would take us under 3 hours so we took our time with our tired bodies. It was so nice to go at a slower pace and even better was the views.
I truly think today was my favorite day so far on trail. Everywhere I looked I was stunned. I’m surprised I didn’t stub my toe more because I was constantly looking around me.
A couple miles before we got to camp, the trail led us up over a bald where we could see Whitney in the distance and Forester which we climb tomorrow ahead of us. We also were accompanied by a ton or marmots who seem to not give a crap we were walking through.
I can’t get over how cute they are especially when they run and their little butts jiggle. 😂
We arrived at camp around 6 which we love. That gives us ample amount of time to get things ready for the evening. It was also great news so I could eat more of my food since I no longer had to ration it for 2 more days.
Planner and I also had a laughing attack at this picture. We couldn’t get over how distraught she looked after climbing all the way up Whitney. I almost thought I couldn’t catch my breath I was laughing so hard. 😂
I’m loving the Sierras and we are beyond blessed that there is hardly any snow. I don’t think I would be enjoying it as much if it was snowy and cold, so I am incredibly thankful.
Gah, what a full adventurous day.
Iz and Oz