Click on the pictures to enlarge
Check out the High Sierra Trail section
for a 90 miles approach from the West.
The Outpost Camp.
| On a nice late summer Sunday, we drove
to Yosemite and stayed in the Tuolomne Meadows Campground.
It was raining a little, incredible, probably the only
week of rain in the Sierra between June and October.
Still we could do all the hikes as planned. We climbed
Mt. Dana, a 13'053 ft peak (3979m) and hurried down,
as the black clouds were coming in. Tuesday featured
the famous Glen Aulin hike, to one of the High Sierra
camps. It was very nice, except the rain now and then.
Surprisingly, there is a small lava field in Yosemite,
it kind of doesn't belong there, and - less surprisingly,
lots of waterfalls and rivers. We saw bears too, walking
around the camp sites. One of them was really big, about
a meter high, fully grown up, impressive. He (or she?)
did not care about us, as we did not have food out.
Other people panicked and made noise, and wanted to
tell the rangers, but the rangers already knew and warned
Lone Pine lake
| After three nights in Tuolumne Meadows,
we drove to Whitney Portal, about 200 miles south of
Yosemite. There we stayed for the night. The next day,
we back packed towards Mt. Whitney, and camped about
two hours up the hill in Outpost Camp, still below
the tree line. There it was relatively warm (but freezing
in the morning). There is another campground higher
up called Trail Camp, but that one is alpine, and really
cold. As I was cold all week, I did not need more cold
wind. The rest of the day we were playing cards (Tschou
Sepp, Jassen) at nice and sunny Mirror Lake, half an
hour above the camp.
Mt Whitney is the bump at the very right.
| Thursday, we climbed up Mt. Whitney,
with 14497 ft (4418m) the highest point in the contiguous
USA and a new personal record! We left in the dawn,
and when the sun hit Mt. Whitney, I was there to take
pictures. Unfortunately, I followed John Muir's mistake
and shot about a dozen pictures of what he named Mt.
Muir, the the highest peak around. It took Whitney's
surveyors to figure out that an seemingly flat, uninter-esting
shoulder about two miles to the north is higher. Whitney
decided to name it after himself. I was running ahead
of the others, because I wanted to get the nice shots,
but I guess I have to go again. My new 17mm lens is
very nice. I took over a hundred pictures that week,
and another 50 the weekend before, most with the new
Chicken Roch and the Sequia View
| After everybody arrived, we just continued
hiking up and up and up and up through the famous switch-backs.
The trail was pretty crowded by now, after all some
250 people climb the peak every day. In the mid-dle
of the switch-backs, we started to cross a dangerous
snowfield, but then realized that we could scramble
over some rocks to get back on the trail, less exiting,
but safer. The view got better and better as we walked.
Hitting the trail crest opens the view to the west,
over the High Sierra of Sequoia National Park.
| The last two miles are not as steep anymore,
but unfortunately, they are at a pretty high elevation.
It took us two hours! One was dead tired, the next felt
nauseated and was just concentrating on not throwing
up, and I had a head-ache. My head got worse on the
way down, I am glad, it did not hurt like this on the
way up. Altitude sickness, I believe. We really tried
to get used to the elevation by staying in Yosemite
for a while, but that did not seem to help much.
The plate on top of Mt Whitney
| The highest trail, we know.
Yes we all did it.
| The view from up there is really great,
you are so high, and can see over half of Sequoia National
Park on the one side, and into Death Valley on the other
Me and Sequioa National Park
Unfortunately, as we reached the top, some clouds
came up and it was really freezing. And we did not
feel too well, either. So we did not stay too long
and went down again. People that came down later,
told us it started snowing on their way down.
Whitney from the East
| These pictures show the trail, the lower
part on the East side, the higher part on the West side.
They are from the Whitney Portal Store Website.
Whitney from the West