The High Sierra Trail
To top our Veterans Day trip from 2016, we set out to summit Whitney and complete all 72 miles of the High Sierra Trail in just under three days. To make the trek we had assembled the usual suspects: Anthony, Adam and Jared. After a few hours of sleep Thursday night, we took off from Whitney Portal at around 4:00am. The climb up was beautiful and filled with some entertaining banter between us four. Everyone was doing well, but Anthony started to show signs of altitude sickness.
As we climbed in elevation, Anthony became increasingly delirious. He kept talking of a mysterious "fisherman" who loomed in the rocks and clouds around us. Anthony having an altitude induced acid trip was a sure sign that something was wrong. We sat him down for a bit and eventually convinced him to skip the summit and descent the West side of Whitney onto the HST.
Taking an break and soaking in the view
We descended onto the HST to find Anthony huddled up in his tent, feeling marginally better. We got him riled up to keep pushing on, and made some descent headway down the mountain that afternoon. The scenery was stunning: towering and unforgiving granite spires peppered with brown and dwindling green foliage succumbing to the wintery nights.
We made great progress the next morning, cruising the descents and smashing the climbs. The trail maintained its beauty throughout, and we were constantly awestruck as we ascended and descended into a variety of different landscapes.
Beautiful granite peaks
The prettiest lake of the trip
We hiked and hiked as day turned to night. All of us were getting quite tired but maintained a high level of stoked nonetheless. We all pushed ourselves into a state of minor and pleasant delirium, and finally made it to the car awaiting us at the Western trailhead (we swapped keys and cars with a group going the opposite direction).
A sketchy seven hours of a tired but no-less-wild Adam behind the wheel, and we were back to Berkeley. Our goal of topping our annual Veteran's Day trip was a wild success.