Mount Whitney...Finally!!!!

Trip Start Jun 15, 2008
Trip End Aug 16, 2008

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mount Whitney, at 14,496 feet, is the highest point in the lower forty eight states.  It has long been on my list of things to do before I die.  So, I finally made it this summer.  On the way to Lone Pine, Ca from Yosemite, I passed through Bishop, Ca and visited the greatness of Schat's Bakery.  After loading up on some bread, it was off to the Whitney trailhead for a few hours sleep in the car before yet another 1:00 a.m. start.  The park service limits the number of hikers on Whitney, and as a result, I had to enter a February lottery for my spot.  My day was July 30, twenty four hours to get up and down.  The hike is a grueling eleven miles in and eleven miles out, 6,000 feet up and 6,000 back down.  Many people camp at 12,000 feet and split it into two days, but I was determined to do it in one.  This ended up being another beautiful hike, with mountain lakes along the trail and awesome vistas up on the ridge.  The trail leads up to the ridge that houses Whitney and then meanders along the back of the ridge for a couple of miles.  Pure moonscape up high.  The summit was awesome.  I felt like I could see for miles (probably because I was seeing for miles).  Twelve hours later I was back at the trailhead. 

I finished up the day with the short drive to Death Valley, where I visited Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the U.S.  So, I went from lower forty eight high point to low point all in one day. 
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