Monday, July 13, 2009

Mt. Whitney

We have returned from the mountain humbled but with great stories to tell. Mike and I hiked to an altitude of approximately 12, 200 ft., which is higher than I've ever been before. We logged more than 12 miles on the trail, falling short of the expected 22 mile round trip. We started at 11:00 p.m. and hiked mostly in the dark because a low cloud cover spoiled my moonlight ascent plans. Later, the Treat told me it was a good thing we started at night because if he could have seen the route we were about to take he would have volunteered to stay with the car.
(Mt. Whitney is the far back mountain on the right. We had to hike more than 5 miles before we even got a glimpse of it. That's why Whitney is called a "shy mountain".)
We drank fresh water from a mountain stream without filtering it, we experienced altitude sickness, and Mike experimented with trekking poles (I opted for a traditional ascent). We know now that mosquito repellent is essential, the lead hiker should have a headlamp with working batteries, and the sound of a breast pump is substantially covered by the sound of snow melt and mountain streams. Some would say we missed a true Whitney experience because neither of us had to use our W.A.G. bags. (Phew!)

In the above picture, Mike was too sexy for his outer layer and had to remove it.
Below, Mike displays the beautiful Trailside Meadows, watered by melting snow:

During the trek, Zeke had a pleasant stay in Lone Pine with Grandma and Grandpa. He was starting to show some signs of teething (that have fully manifested today) but was a happy camper whenever anyone broke into song: "The wise man built his house upon a rock. The wise man built..."

No, Zeke did not get to eat ice cream. It's just a clever picture. We are still working on that oatmeal cereal.
Yes, I have already started planning my third attempt at the mountain. I was very close this time...12 miles closer than last time...but not close enough. (I might have caught that climbing bug again.) At the present moment Mike says he will not go again, that once was enough for him. We shall see.


ol' Bob said...

Isn't that ice cream situation a kind of harassment? Frustrated for life...

On the other hand, it's probably that whipped cellulose stuff and not real ice cream.

Congratulations for a good try on the mountain.

Barbara Jackson said...

The fact that you, young parents, left at 11 PM to climb a mountain is impressive. The adventure you had was enough for this attempt. No doubt there will be more attempts and adventures in your future.

Good job Ericksons!!!!!