Whitney - Day 1
Whitney - Day 2
Whitney - Day 3
Whitney - Day 4
Whitney - Day 5
Whitney - Day 6
Other Hikes
Stowell Web

  Assault on Mt. Whitney

  10-Aug-99 thru 16-Aug-99

The Beginning...

This trip's hike master, Hal Lonas, put months of work into planning the quintessential Sierra experience.  It penciled out to be a six day, five night hike covering some 40+ miles.

...The Objective

Each day's progress brought us closer to our ultimate objective, Mt. Whitney.  Though Whitney provided the hike's theme, each preceding day had its own worthy objective.  A combination of both on and off trail experiences make this hike one of the best ever.

The Hike...

After weeks of planning, it was decided that we would take off mid-week from San Diego early in the morning.  The drive to Lone Pine, CA at the foot of Mt. Whitney took about four hours, giving us plenty of time to hike to Golden Trout 2.5mi's in and set up camp for the night.  In fact, we missed Golden Trout and pushed on 3mi's further to Long Lake before making camp (Camp 1).  

Day 2's objective was to climb New Army Pass, proceed down the other side to Soldier Lake (Camp 2).  New Army Pass was a bit of a gut-buster but good preparation for what was to come.

Day 3 was to be our off-trail route finding day.  We had heard that Miter Basin was a beautiful place with spectacular mountains on either side... and we were right!  A nice tent site was established next to Crabtree Lake (Camp 3) that evening.  Fish jumping everywhere.  Wish we had brought fishing gear.

Day 4 was planned as a restful day in advance of our final push over Whitney.  We moved camp 6mi's over established trails to Guitar Lake (Camp 4) located at the back doorstep of Mt. Whitney.   Once again, we were able to capture primo camp sites on the lake.

Some psyching up was required before striking out on Day 5.  The climb over Whitney was set for 10mi's, 3000ft vertical rise, and 4000ft vertical drop down the front side to Outpost Camp (Camp 5).  None of us would trade the experience despite our collective exhaustion at the end of the day!!  

A walk-in-the-park describes Day 6.  Only 3.5 downhill miles to go from Outpost camp (Camp 5) to the parking lot at Whitney Portal.  We arrived back in Lone Pine with all bodies, gear and vehicles in tact.  After a welcome shower and Pizza, we headed home satisfied with the six days of effort.  

Without qualification, this is one of the best hikes we've ever done.

Whitney '99 Hike Overview Map

Visitor comments and questions are always welcome.  You are invited to contact me at gary@stowell.org.

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