I picked up the boys, and we headed over to Lone Pine. A boring ~5ish hour drive across sage brush desert. Some people made wise use of the time in the vehicle.
|Michael enjoying the ride to Lone Pine.|
|Gearing up at the Portal. Photo credit Troy K.|
|Start of the trail.|
|Approach trail. Photo credit Troy K.|
|Troy making it look easy, on the approach.|
|View from lower boyscout lake|
Once we passed upper boy scout lake, we passed a group of guided climbers, and then headed a short steep icy hill. The first time we had to bust out our ice axes and put the crampons on.
|Short steep section on the approach. Photo credit: Troy K.|
|Above upper boyscout lake|
|Troy provides scale, next to Mt Whitney. Our route takes the snow gully to the right.|
|Basecamp at Iceberg Lake (12,700')|
|Relaxing in my tent. What a view....|
|Michael demonstrates how to evade a sunburn|
|Troy and Michael trying to stay warm|
|Cozy? Photo credit: Troy K.|
|Michael coming up the start the route|
|Troy and Michael right before the notch|
|Troy climbing some of the 3rd class rock bands|
|Michael negotiates the crux|
|Looking down the final steep snow slope|
|The boys relaxing on the summit|
|Team summit shot!|
We were back to our base camp in about an hour, and then it was 3 hours hike back to the car. Overall an awesome trip.
I am super impressed with Michael and Troy as alpine climbing partners. They both have easy going personalities, drive to get to the summit, skill to get us there, fitness to push on, and most importantly super positive attitudes. I think there will be more peaks in our futures.
A few notes:
-This could have easily been done as a day trip. With the consolidated snow, and lighter packs, I think a one day ascent of the route would be something worth doing.
-The climb was way easier than I was expecting, the technical parts were short and easy, and although the mountain was tiring, I would not say I was pushed to my limit.
-Nutrition at altitude remains a struggle for me. The dehydrated Mountainhouse I brought was nauseating. I totally lose my appetite above 10,000'. I think maybe heartier soups, granola, and other liquid food to supplement my snacks might be the way to go. Snickers are like magic, I eat one of those and I am recharged for about 2 hours
-I need to drink more water!
-Equipment was overkill, I had too many layers. Next time, I'll trim it down somewhat.