Thanks Jim & Jamie Dutcher for permission to use photo of Lakota.

Monday, November 4, 2002

Mt. Whitney - 2nd Time

Can you say COLD? Better about FREEZING!?

Friday, we (myself, Alfonso, & Chris) headed to Lone Pine Camprground (6,000 feet) to acclimate overnight for what was in store the next day! We sat around a campfire (which I have not sat around a fire in several moons), smoked a ceremonial pipe (consisting of sage, rosemary, mint...nothing illegal), and went to bed. It was quite cold! Around 38 degrees.

Saturday, we got a late start...none of us are early risers...besides, it was freagin' cold out there! We hit the trail at 11:45 AM. We stopped along the way at Lone Pine Lake for a snack and some photos. Then, we tromped around Mirror Lake for a bit. Finally, we headed to our final destination...Trail Camp (12,000 feet - 6 miles in all). And, if you thought last night was cold...our water froze in a matter of minutes! I KID YOU NOT! We managed to keep it from doing so entirely, but just to give you an idea of what "cold" really is, there were several times when thirsty that we would have to chew on ice. It gets dark very early. We were in our tent and sleeping bags at 6:30PM.

Sunday, another late start...we hit the trail at 9:15 AM...5 miles to go...We summitted at 12:45. How the hell I did this the last time in 2 hours and 20 minutes is beyond me! Perhaps the cold is a factor?! We used crampons (metal spikes that attach to your boots) on the switchbacks (of which there are far too many!) to move along the ice and snow with confidence. They were fun!!! They take more leg work though! Anyway, we stayed at the top for a quick phone call to my dad on someones cell, a few photos, a snack, some small chat with others up there, then we headed back to Trail Camp...another 5 miles...and, we were down by 3:30 PM (about 2-3/4 hours)...again, not sure how I did it in 2 hours the last time! Urgh! Anyway, we napped & ate & packed up...hit the trail at 5:30 PM...IT IS DARK....headlamps were on...only 6 miles to go...we ran into three others heading down that only had one bike light between them. So, we put them in our group and I, ME, Alyssa, lead us all down and out. I tried to get out of it several times, but they liked me in the front and I kept a good pace for all of us tired asses! There was fog to contend with and, did I mention IT WAS DARK!!! We got off the trail a couple of times but we figured it out in a matter of moments. Those 3 boys would have been screwed. Their light died and they were not equipped to camp. We were in the parking lot by 8:30 PM and they were very happy we ran into them. We were all happy to be back to the car and driving home by 9PM. So, Saturday, we hiked 6 miles...and, Sunday, we hiked 16 miles! My name is Poop Deck Charlie!

I'm going to Chipotle for lunch right now and ordering a big fat vegetarian burrito with lots of guacamole! YUMMY!

Copyright © 2009 Alyssa Polacsek, Lakota Films, LLC & Natural Child Blog