Well, we're home. What a weekend.
We left at 4.30am on Friday morning. 7 of us went to hike/camp Whitney. We got our passes and got to the trailhead by 11am.
We hiked 6 beautiful miles up to Trail Camp... the highest point you can hike to and actually still camp at. We showed up at camp around 6pm with about 30 minutes of sunlight remaining.
Oh, back up a second. There was a huge snowstorm a few days ago and there is 3-4 ft. of snow from Trail Camp through the rest of the hike to the peak.
So, we camped at Trail Camp. 10-15 degrees and 30-50 mph wind all night long. 12 hours of non-sleep... for all of us. We all woke up with mild altitude sickness. Sweet.
We talked with some folks who were headed to summit, some who just returned from summiting, and some who turned around... we decided that ice, knee deep snow, and crazy winds were good reasons to not summit on Saturday. We turned around and headed down a day early.
Bummed we were, but tired and ready to get back to some warmth as well. The rangers said to us, "Smart thing to turn around. There's another snowstorm on it's way." That's always a good thing to hear.
So, we came back. No peak this year either. I've now hiked 26 miles on this mountain and not summited. Perhaps next year. Who knows.