Viewing the sunrise on top of Mt. Whitney
John standing on Mt. Whitney at sunrise
Geological marker on top of Whitney
If you climb Mt. Whitney you have to get a picture at the top together
I'm wearing every piece of clothing I had with me in this picture
|Looking over 2 vertical miles down towards Lone Pine in Owens Valley|
The hut on top of Mt. Whitney
After the sunrise, we hung out in the stone hut that's on top of Mt. Whitney in order to shield ourselves from the wind for awhile. We packed up our stuff, ate breakfast and got ready for the 10.5 mile descent. John bandaged up my toes for the last time, we signed the log at the hut (for people who had summited Whitney) and off we were! Not even two minutes into our descent did we start running into dayhikers summiting Whitney. We saw a ton of them! It was worse than Half Dome. And everyone was asking us how much farther. But it was hard to not be in a fantastic mood because we had already summited Whitney! And we were on our (long) way down! I was so happy, so happy for all I had accomplished and so happy to almost be done. We had to descend 10.5 miles and over 6000 feet elevation. Since I was so happy I also got a little naive and forgot how long it takes to hike 10.5 miles, even if you are descending. We probably started around 7:00 a.m. and didn't reach Whitney Portal until 2:00 p.m. That was the longest 10.5 miles of my life. I thought they would never end. And the last 3-4 miles my head started feeling really weird, maybe elevation change, maybe because I hadn't eaten a lot (I wasn't hungry mostly due to high elevation), I'm not sure. But nothing was coming between me and a bacon cheeseburger from Whitney Portal. And so I focused and hiked as fast as I could down never-ending switchbacks.
Inside the hut on Whitney
John before we began the descent
Me before the descent
Down we go...
The spires on the way back down
Me coming down
Long way to go
One of the many switchbacks
Scenery on the way down
Heading into Whitney Portal, we liked to think of this tunnel as our finish line
Delicious bacon cheeseburgers and fries
Us after 18 days on the trail and not showering for the last 9
My greasy hair
After we both showered we gathered all of our dirty clothes and walked across the street to the conveniently located laundromat. Hobbled is more like it since I couldn't really walk. We cleaned all of our clothes and went to look in a few shops. After awhile John got a call from Kyle saying they were ending their hiking trip early and coming into Lone Pine. They met us at the store and we all walked to the pizza place where John and I ate all of our pizza and half of Kyle and Colleen's (after they assured us they were done). I also gulped down two large cups of Coke Zero. Oh my goodness! So delicious! We were so hungry, it was hilarious.
Looking up at Mt. Whitney from the town of Lone Pine, CA. It was pretty cool to know that we came all the way down from that in one day.
After that we decided to drive the 3 hours back to Pasadena because it would be difficult for Kyle and Colleen to find a room where their dog was also allowed. We arrived at their place in Pasadena after 1:00 a.m. and we promptly collapsed on their sofa bed and slept really well into the morning.