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Tag: puppy on whitney

Mount Whitney with SQF wildfire smoke, september 2020

The Curse is Lifted

In 2013 I started an annual tradition of sleeping on top of the tallest mountain. I don’t know why, but year after year I went up. Pressure built to go up again the next year, and so on. These extended 14er summits were not easy for the obvious reasons, but almost every time it ended up being harder than hard because of surprises at the top. 2013: I had no idea what I was doing. It was very hard to get up that strange hill, especially since the notorious PCT clown Guino had dosed me with 200mg caffeine that morning (I’m caffeine-free). But it turned out to be bizarre and romantic, with a sunset and a sunrise akin to something… continue reading

mount morrisson sierra nevada

Dear PCT Class of 2019

I’m getting ready to go on a hike of my own, but I wanted to drop you a note to let you know it’s still snowing in the High Sierra. My 2017 blog post “Dear PCT Class of 2017” with tips about snow travel and whatnot definitely, definitely applies, since we got more snow (* see footnotes) this year than we did overwinter 2016/2017. I spent the winter shoveling, plowing, skiing, and snowshoeing in the Sierra, and I’ll tell you what: nobody who knows anything about avalanches or snow conditions (in brief, they suck) is going back there behind the Crest right now. I hope you read my 2017 letter and do all the other research and preparation you can,… continue reading

Whitney looking south

Annual Whitney Sufferfest

It’s sort of neat — in that I-have-a-headache-and-feel-like-barfing-or-pooping-but-it’s-20°-and-I-can’t-move-or-part-of-me-will-break-off way — to have the summit of Mt Whitney (1400′) to yourself for twelve hours. The new moon brought all the stars — and the milky way — out to play! But this is just this morning’s sunrise looking northwest.

Upside Down on Whitney

Upside-down on Whitney

14,500 feet upside down. It was a really cold night last night at Iceberg lake, one of those nights where you have to pee so bad but don’t dare crawl outside the sleeping bag because it was so hard to stop shivering when you first got in. I tore my emergency blanket to bits trying to keep it wrapped tight around me! Today was my first Mount Whitney summit via the mountaineers route, which was definitely challenging. I’m very impressed with how many people attempt it because it involves so much fearlessness and fitness. It was very cold and windy at the summit and so a handstand was the obvious choice of pose. Numb hands, numb feet, dressed like a… continue reading

Erskine Fire Smoke

Smoke from the Erskine Fire looking southeast from the summit of Mt. Whitney. If you’re looking for views in the South Sierra right now, I hope you like thick smoke, too! Can’t even see the mountains the sun is setting behind, it’s that smokey.

We Three

My wonderful hiking partners and I make it to the top of Mount Whitney despite all that moisture!! Lots of hugs and next up: hot cocoa. L2H completed, and for Abram (left), the H2L2H (highest to lowest to highest)! My third summit in three years, and third time sleeping on the top. I climbed four 14ers this summer: Mt. Sill, Mt. Tyndall, Mt. Williamson, and Whitney. Backstory: Abram had no Microspikes (crampons) and so I lent him one of mine after his makeshift ziptie “spikes” failed (they break quickly in the cold). We skipped the icy 99 switchbacks and went straight up the Trailcrest chute, each with one spiked foot. When half-way up, we spotted a beautiful woman headed down,… continue reading

Little Package