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lake eyre, australia

Mt. Whitney

...and the return to switchback mountain

Mt. Whitney is the highest mountain the contiguous United States, with an elevation of 14,496 ft. Most hikes to Whitney start at the Whitney Portal, which results in a roundtrip hike of about 22 miles with an elevation gain of over 6,100 ft. It’s extremely popular during the summer months, and because of that Inyo National Forest has implemented the Whitney Lottery to decide who gets a permit and when.

Back in June 2007, Paul, Jimmy, Marc, and I hiked Mt. Whitney for the first time. Just for kicks, I entered the lottery once again this year. Luckily, my ’09 permit application was chosen, and even more luckily, the permit was awarded for the first choice of dates (a weekend in early August). Ben, Andrew, and Jimmy joined the adventure this time, and our three day, two night hike took us through some very picturesque mountain scenery.

Although the Whitney Portal is good, Jimmy and I agreed that now after having done the hike twice, any future trips to Mt. Whitney will have to be on a trail less trodden. Alternatively, there are many other 14,000+ ft. peaks that see many less visitors. The options are wide open for next summer…

Approaching Trailside Meadow along the Whitney Portal Trail.Andrew joins the adventure.  (And yes, there will be WAG bag jokes.)Jimmy consulting near Consultation Lake.A 12-minute time lapse from Trail Camp.Ben deftly navigating the snow along the trail.Jimmy, Andrew, and Ben nearing the summit.A 14,496 ft. album cover.

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