Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mt. Whitney the Second Time Around (Part 2)

After I had reached Trail Crest I felt pretty good, but I knew the rest of the hike would be tedious. The good thing at this point is the scenery does change in that you get views of the western side Mt. Whitney is on. I think one of the best shots I got that day was this one below. It is the reflection of Mt. Hitchcock in one of the Hitchcock lakes.
I continued along the trail, and I got stuck behind some people. At first I wanted to pass them, but just told myself this is not a race and just go at a slow and steady pace.
There came a point in the last mile or less that I got a bit bored. At this point I just felt it was time to wrap this hike up. I had passed the window section where you have deep drop offs on both sides of you (nothing compared to Mt. Conness), but it just was not that exciting this time around. I finally reached the top, signed the register, and started taking videos/pictures. Here is one looking back down to Whitney Portal and the Alabama Hills in the distance. Iceberg Lake is below.
Here is a zoom in. I seems to me there was more ice in it the time I was there the year before.
Here is looking more over the northern edge to some lakes I do not know the names of.
I zoomed in towards the southeast for Lone Pine peak and, I assume, Telescope Peak in Death Valley in the distance.
I only stayed at the top for about 45 minutes this time around. There were probably about 25 people up there including a boy scout troop who ended up announcing they were looking for the geocache that was up there.

I headed down and continued to stop for pictures and video. I had realized that morning while I was climbing past the switchbacks to Trail Crest and beyond that I had better get as much video of this now because I had no intentions of coming back anytime soon.

Last year I felt so triumphant coming down listening to music on my mp3 player. This year I was just going through the motions and trying to get it over with. When I reached the trailhead I met with my brother who had been waiting for the past few hours. There was some miscommunication, and he had thought I would be down a few hours earlier. He told me that he got really sick near the end of the hike down. We never did really find out what the problem was with both of us; I suspect that we both had some "bug" in us from the days to week before that was causing it. We went down to Lone Pine, ate pizza, spent the night in our room there, and then went home the next day. I felt really great the next morning. A little tired, but euphoric. I always do after all the work is done.

What did I come out of this with?

This is a hike that I do not really want to do again for quite some time. I might enjoy taking a route coming up from the western side, but normally I like to day hike so I would have to work that out. The Mountaineer's Route is another possibility, but even that is not going to overcome the boredom I know I would feel about doing this mountain again.

As I mentioned in the last blog, the scenery of this hike is okay, but I have it so well burned into my mind that it was too predictable. Compared to other hikes I have done it really is not as good as the others. When I see people say they have climbed Mt. Whitney, but they do not know what else they should do since their goal for a long period was to climb Whitney I am a bit dumbfounded. There are tons of other hikes out there. Part of me wants to say that Whitney is the only worthy hike out there for selfish reasons so they do not overcrowd my favorite areas. There are a few others hikes I want to do so I really have no intention of putting this one on my list again for a while.

If you want to see more pictures of my original hike from June, 2007 then check these out:

I mentioned in the last blog I did edit most of the video footage together a few months back into a long video using Ravel's Bolero as the music. Why am I not posting it? Well, that was what I intended back when I did it on the hike. It did come out very well, but I decided that it was not worth posting on my youtube channel. There are a bunch of reasons for this. I will write about them this weekend.