Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Mt. Whitney Hike: The South and East Sides (Part 5)

The funny thing is after I got to the top after all that time spent hiking I never really stopped moving. I immediately got the camera out and starting shooting anything I could. I talked a bit to the people above, but I never really rested. The next thing I knew I had been up there for about an hour and twenty minutes. Time went really fast. Okay, here is the summit hut:
The summit hut was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution. It was built by G.F. Marsh of Lone Pine in 1908. It took just over a month to build it. They packed mules up here to get the foundations made. I always thought it would be much bigger than it was. It has two rooms. Only one is open to the public. I looked in and it had room for about 3 people to put down their sleeping bags. Personally, I would only feel comfortable by myself or maybe another person. It just seemed too cramped for my size. If weather conditions are bad then it is not a good place to stay since lightning has and will kill people inside it.

The above picture is looking in a southwest direction. You can see the Great Western Divide to the right and back of the picture. As I mentioned last time it is what divides the eastern and western parts of the Sierra. The picture below marks the southern portion and part of where I had come from in the last part of the hike.
A few feet over and you can see the drop off. There was a rock I stood on up there that was sort of like a teeter totter. It would slowly move once you stand on it. I felt comfortable up there, but thinking about it now sometimes I get really close to edges that maybe I shouldn't. Recently I was on a high area that I was not too familiar with and I had a bad feeling about it. I hope I never step on the wrong rock that really isn't that grounded. I have had people tell me they did not like how far I got over some edge sometimes. ;)
In this picture, the highest one in the middle is Mt. Langley. In the distance to the right is Olancha Peak. There are some others that I can't remember off the top of my head.
To the middle left we have Lone Pine Peak which is the most prominent and some times confused with Whitney for newbies who come to Lone Pine for the first time. It's about 2000 feet lower, but more of a scramble to get to. Someday I need to tackle that one.
Here we have the view looking back at Lone Pine and the eastern side. Whitney Portal, where I began the hike, would be in the lower middle at the end of the road. This is the shot I wanted since I always look up this way from all my Alabama Hills shots and movies I watch.
Here is the zoom.
There were no clouds on this day, but the 395 side of the Sierra always has a hazy look to it while I am there. The Western side was very clear that day.

Next up: the final entry with the north and west sides.