How to get there:
We drove from San Francisco across Yosemite
and down south
to Lone Pine. The road to the trailhead from Lone Pine is
well marked. Route description:
Day 1, after parking we used the late afternoon to
hike up to the basin below
the mountain and camped there. A wilderness permit is
Day 2, the trail climbs out of the basin to a saddle
well south of the summit. From there the trail continues
on the west side of the water divide and the base of several
distinct pinnacles before ascending onto the bulky summit.
The trail is an easy walk all the way. After enjoying the summit
to the trailhead and the drive back home. Comments:
Mt. Whitney can be somewhat more difficult. The year before,
I arrived at base camp in October with Frøystein Gjesdal
and a friend of his. During the night
we had a very substantial (3 feet) snowfall. The third man in our party
got AMS and returned down in the morning. Frøystein and I struggled in
deep snow to
the saddle where he decided to turn around.
I agreed with Frøystein before we split on a latest time to
be back by the tent, where he had promised to have a bowl of warm soup ready.
As I (solo) continued towards the
summit, time (and strength) was running short.
The deep snow and the high elevation teamed up to make
progress much slower than I had anticipated.
A scramble brought
me to the top of the last (and tallest) of the pinnacles before
Whitney itself. This (subsidiary) summit is called Keeler Needle, elevation 4350 meter
and having a primary factor of 60 meter to its bigger neighbor.
There I enjoyed a spectacular scenery and conceded
defeat to the big bulk so near, but still beyond reach.
I could look straight down at our camp and the promised hot soup.
With a pair of skis it would have been so easy!