Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day 1000 - 1001: Descending Mount Whitney

Waterfall outside of Outpost Camp

Day #1000 * Hike #1297 * New Track #999
Descending from the Mount Whitney Summit - Mount Whitney Trail
Monday August 12, 2013
My Tripometer: 4.25 Hours * 8.5 Miles * -4800 Feet +250 Feet

Daring Hikers take the Mountaineers Trail

The bases of this being a "New Track" comes later when I hike down past trail camp in the day light to Lone Pine Lake.  It was like a whole new track, hence the Waterfalls seen in the pic at the top of this post.  We all heard the falls on our way up but the water system including Mirror Lake was invisible at the time.

After our hour pit stop at the top, we began our journey off the rock.  To the right is an optional rugged trail, the Mountaineers Trail.  It was marked by Cairns but we weren't about to follow these guys.  Furthermore, according to the map it would not rejoin the Whitney Trail until after Lone Pine Lake (our destination for the night).

Backpacks at the John Muir Trail Junction

Lakes below, we were dropping elevation fast to clear our heads!

Heading down the switchbacks towards Trail Camp

Fresh Water!

This water was ice cold.  If you look around on the mountainside there was still some left over snow drifts from last winter.  If you are heading up, this water source will be your last chance to fill water en route to the summit.  Ahhh, so fresh...



We were here in the dark, trying to beat the sun back

Ah, Mirror Lake...

The Trail

Waterfalls just over Outpost Camp

Passing Outpost Camp

Following the stream towards Lone Pine Lake

Lone Pine Lake in the near distance

You can actually see this lake from the 97 switchbacks and it becomes more clear by Trail Camp but the trail swerves away before finally coming back to.

Day #1001 * Hike #1298 * Duplicate Track
Lone Pine Lake to Whitney Portal - Mount Whitney Trail
Tuesday August 13, 2013
My Tripometer: 1 Hour *  2.5 Miles * -1800 Feet +50 Feet

Rescue Units

We camped Monday night at Lone Pine Lake.  It was such a relief being back at 10000 Feet were the elevation was not sickening our heads.  However, the elevation was not so kind to others.

We met a group before our accent and one lady did not acclimate well.  Her group challenged themselves with the 22 mile day hike and one of their members separated from the pack.  She accused one of her companions of trying to kill her?!  She was completely delirious and ran off?  She spent the night somewhere off the trail but was found early that morning.  It was a could night and I could only imagine that she felt completely miserable.

Other than Adam forming some gnarly blisters on his feet from wearing bulky boots and heavy wool socks, our trip was a great success without injury or set back.

Well, this concludes my 1000 Hikes in 1000 Days.  Only problem is that I can only account for 999 New Tracks.  I did hike every single day for 1001 Days in a Row and by my count, I managed at least a mile per track on 1298 total adventures.  That said, only 999 New Locations!  Ugh, close enough...

It's been several weeks since Mt. Whitney.  Wednesday August 14th was my hardest day.  I lived it without setting foot on a trail!  Strangely, I was not sore at all from Whitney.  I walked normal this day and could have easily kept my streak alive.  But, I think I pushed my family enough and I respected my wife's wishes by not going off on a hike that day.

I had many ideas of things to do for my next 1000 Days but elected to put everything on hold for 100 Days.  Recently Ayden rejoined the VC Express Cross Country Team.  Just as last year, I am volunteering to be a coach on the team. This means that I am jogging "hiking" on the Arroyo Verde Trails 4 times a week.  So, I'm still getting out there; just not quite as much and not looking for new spots.  Ahh, what a relief to some degree but honestly, I do miss the adventure.

Today was a FunRaiser for the club.  I participated in the 2k run.  It doesn't sound like much but when you add hills to the mix, it's anything but easy.  I believe I finished about 10th in this easy competition.  The better runs ran in the 3k and 5k.  I clocked in at 11:47.  This is a very slow time but I don't think I could have gone much faster.  I'm still holding a weight of 220 pounds but hopefully by the end of the season I will cut some of that out.  Of course, it doesn't help that I ate wings and drank beer at B-Dubs today.  But it was the first full day of the NFL Season and as I write this, I'm watching the Cowboys game.  I have Demarco Murray on my fantasy team, so let's go!

Ayden ran in the 2k event as well.  He started off faster than me but I caught him on the big hill.  He only finished 20 seconds behind me so good job little buddy!

***So what's next?  Not sure.  I still need my 1000th New Track so stayed tuned.  I'll probably organize the blog a bit and figure something out.  Any suggestions???



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