Tod and I decided we wanted to climb Mt Whitney, the highest mountain in the Continental United States standing 14,508 feet above sea level. The distance is 11 miles each way with an elevation gain of over 6,100 feet. We had to get a permit to allow us to climb to the top of Mt Whitney, and there are a limited number for climbing the entire 22 mile trip in one day, and even fewer permits for camping to make the ascent easier. We decided on the one day trip permit to allow us the best chance of being awarded a permit. We had been staying in Mammoth Lakes after our hike through Yosemite and had the opportunity to rest for a day at the Westin.
We also were able to do some beer tasting at Mammoth Brewing Company. This picture shows how beautiful Mammoth was during the late afternoon. This was one of the first pictures that came out on my GoPro camera. All the other pictures did not have enough light, but were spectacular as the sun was coming up in the morning. Tod and I woke ourselves up at 1am and got on the trail at 2am. It took us 7.5 hours to get to the top and 5.5 hours to come down. We stayed at the top for about 30 minutes so the entire day took 18 hours, a very long day of just hiking. This picture shows Mt Whitney from about 12,500 ft elevation as the sun is starting to hit the mountains. This is Tod just starting up the 99 switchbacks, where we saw the same people going back and forth for a couple of hours. A good picture of the switchbacks with Tod taking a picture. This picture shows Mt Whitney which is the pointed mountain peak to the right of Tod. At the summit of the mountain before the climb over to Mt Whitney, there is a point where we were able to look back at Lone Pine and over the mountain into Sequoia National Forest. Tod taking a picture of Guitar Lake. Lone Pine on the way to Mt Whitney We made it to the top. On the top is a cabin that was built for research and for protection in bad weather. Most of the cabin is closed off for National Parks Rangers, but there is a small room to allow folks to get out of the weather. A picture out the window from inside the cabin. Tod looking toward Lone Pine. Tod taking a selfie of me taking a selfie. Tod having lunch on the ledge. Back down the switchbacks for our long walk out.
One of the river crossings we only saw with our headlights in the morning hours. It’s much prettier when you can actually see what your crossing.
The next morning we went up to Whitney Portal to buy hats and shirts. While we were there we decided to have breakfast and got the biggest pancake ever. It took two plates to hold the pancake and another plate for our eggs and sausage.
What a beautiful place to have breakfast before our trip home. Mt Whitney was awesome, and it is great to know that I was able to concur this challenge with my son Tod. Love you buddy.