I believe that hiking (and climbing) is all about wanting the altitude. Back when I was breaking in my first pair of climbing shoes in the bouldering caves of the Quarry, I used to mock the muscled men there who would shout at each other (and sometimes me) to commit to the next move, or commit to the route. I thought that was a silly thing to shout, especially since my experience was that wanting to finish the route had no correlation with being physically able to climb the route.
But for this climb, for Whitney, I believe that commitment is essential. Any fool can plod up the mule route, but it takes determination and desire to see it as more than plodding up a mule route. I have decided that I want to be at the top of the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States on July 11 and, as long as Mike is with me, it doesn't matter if anyone else is.