Second day on Mt. Whitney
Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
192Trip End Oct 14, 2011
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Where I stayed
I woke up early at Outpost Camp on the trail to the top of Mt. Whitney. I had gotten reports on the trail conditions further up the mountain but I wandered up the trail a bit to see for myself. The trail quickly disappeared in the snow. It was difficult walking with such a heavy pack in the snow yesterday and it looked like the trail from Outpost Camp to Trail Camp was going to be snowy and difficult to follow for the entire 2.3 miles and 1,640 feet of vertical. I decided I was going to head down.
I had breakfast, took down my tent, loaded up my backpack and headed down. Unlike yesterday, when I was able to follow the trail through the snow, I went seriously off-trail twice on the way down. Getting lost twice on a section of trail I had already seen seemed to confirm my decision not to try and make it to Trail Camp.
After hiking down I gathered up my food from the bear-proof lockers, put everything in the car (although pretty haphazardly - I'll need to spend a couple hours straightening it out), drove to the ranger station to return my bear-proof container and found a room for the night.
This was the first time I've hiked at Mt. Whitney. I've learned something about the route as well as my limits when it comes to pack weight. If I try it in the summer I wouldn't need to carry crampons, an ice axe, gators and as much cold weather gear, which should lighten my load considerably. Maybe I'll have better luck next year.