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What a trip we had! After landing in Las Vegas we spent a couple of hours gambling and left with more money than we got there with! We spent the whole week in Lone Pine climbing Mount Whitney. It was the most amazing hike and such a special experience. We also met Dave and Alan, two friends who became a big part of our experience. We laughed our heads off and encouraged each other to the top of the highest mountain in the contiguous US. They say only 1 in 3 people make it to the top, but our group of four all made it together. It was an experience of a lifetime! Hope you all enjoy the pictures!
Day 1 - Las Vegas, Holdem Poker bed by 10PM
Our hotel, hmm not so much of a hotel but more of a brothel, I think they rented the rooms by the hour. Ours cost $65 for the night and our poker winnings more than covered the room. To be honest here the wife got lucky on a pull of the Wheel of fortune and won $100 my poker winnings were a measly $28.00 It was a tough crowd at the Monte Carlo poker room.
Day 2 - Travel day, we left Vegas early for the trip out to California Las vegas was the best deal on air and we found a rental car which only cost $148 for the week with unlimited mileage. It was a beautiful drive as you will see in the slide show. Check out the size of that Dirt Devil That is a full sized bilboard you see in the foreground. We arrived in Lone Pine and drove up to the portal to have a look. The portal family campground was full but at 8,365 feet we thought we should stay at a lower elevation to begin our acclimation to the altitude. (we live at 100ft above sea level) so back the the Lone Pine campground at 6,000 feet for the first night.
Day 3 - Today we did some exploring and a short hike. We moved camp up to the hikers camp at the other side of the road from the portal store. This was a lazy day with dinner in town and shopping in the town of Lone Pine.
Day 4 - The hike begins. Some would call it a climb due to the elevation but there are no ropes needed and it is mostly well maintained trails, the challenge with this mountain is the elevation. After hiking all day We came to one of the most depressing markers I have ever seen. in bold blue was a marker reading 3 Miles! You have got to be kidding me THREE MILES, back home in the Shenandoah's, a day like this I would have a good 10 to 15 miles under my boots. We made it a few more miles and set up camp at just over 10,000 feet at Outpost Camp.
Day 5 - The hike continues we only had to make another 2,000 feet today to set up camp at Trail Camp which is at 12,000+ feet. We had all day and really soaked in the mountain, stopping often for the views and to take pictures. We ended up with over 1,000 shots on this trip. We arrived at Trail Camp which is like a tent city. Trail Camp is everything LNT is not. The lake at trail camp is green due to the algae from human waste. Don't pump for water here whatever you do. Go up to the inlet of the lake and up a little rock scramble to the clean water.
Day 6 - Summit day This was the most amazing and painful days on the trip. My leggs were good but once you pass 13,000 feet you can feel it. My lungs were wondering where the oxygen was. We spent a full 6 hours above 13,000 feet. Crossing over at Trail Crest was amazing. A whole new view opened up. At this point I really felt amazing, on top of the world. We still had a good distance to go and some of the toughest miles lay ahead. Walking along rock ledges with 2,000 foot drops one step to your left...and its game over. Pretty exciting stuff. Once we made the summit it was time to head back down to trail camp for some food and sleep.
Day 7 descend to Whitney Portal for some of Doug's famous burgers and fries at. We went into town and grabbed a room at the Best Western. A really nice little hotel that I can highly recommend. Hot shower and a jaccuzi bath for Michelle.
Day 8 Return to Vegas via Death Valley and the lowest point in the United States. A little holdem poker with about $300 in winnings between my wife and I. She won more than me. caught our flight back at 11PM.
This was by far one of the most amazing trips ever.
We committed to do a big one every other year. Our sights are set on Rainier with a guided accent in 2010. Until then we will be poking around in our backyard of Shenandoah Seneca and Dolly Sods.
Enjoy the pictures!