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City: Green Bay
Begins: Apr 24, 2009
Date: Thu, Oct 8th, 2009
End: Bottom of switch backs on the east side of Whitney
Trip Distance: 4,274.4
Entry Visits: 527
Journal Visits: 36,027
Guestbook Views: 2,711
Guestbook Entrys: 81
Last PLB Location
Pacific Crest Trail Map
Got up and on the trail relatively late...0650. Legs feel much better and stronger today. Still, I wonder how quickly it takes before I lose my hiking capacities.
I recognize some of the sections of the trail now. See where we camped before. Up and over the first pass, Guyot Pass. The intersection with the Crabtree Meadows turnoff comes around 1000. Hm-m-m, I guess this is the start of the John Muir Trail. Take my time and making elevation is not tough. Since I am coming in from the
west side of W, I don't see many other hikers. Do meet one hiker who had done the same thing we did: kept on hiking the PCT and passed by the Whitney ascent. Now four years later he, too, was closing this
Gestault. We both understood why we did this.
Met another hiker who wss coming down after the east - west junction. He commented on my late arrival. Then met yet two other hikers: one said, you just missed the action. Opraha Winfrey had just landed on the summit in a helicopter.
Finally arrived at the summit circa 1645. Peeked in one of the rooms at the stone shelter on top. Dark and small. In retrospect, I would have kept my pack on and stayed on top overnight. Left the pack at the junction to make better time.
Views on top were great! Able to take only a few pictures as the batteries didn't work...too cold.
Started my way down around 1710. Met two hikers who did plan to stay on top. It was getting late and darker as I started the switchbacks on the east side. Far below I saw what appeared to be flat ground and this became my objective and hoped for night camp site. Soon it was totally dark but my headlamp worked perfectly giving me enough light with the one bulb set up. I rearranged my pack to be able to access new batteries in case that need arose. There were several segments of icy trail but simply took my time and continued moving. In the distance I saw the lights of other hikers who must have summited earlier in the day. Their lights looked like candles as they continued their descent in the dark night.
Eventually - around 2030, I found a flat space sufficient for my tent, the Hubba 1. Set it up only a couple feet from the trail. It got busy early. Groups of hikers started to pass by around 0230 seeking to make it to the top by sunrise.
Felt satisfied with the progress I made today. Satisfied but also appreciative and humble.
So many things went right today that could have gone haywire.