I know the suspense has been killing you. Did we summit Mt. Whitney? Well, we got in our sleeping bags after agreeing that we'd only make the attempt if it was crystal clear the next morning. I didn't have high hopes, but sure enough, when popping our heads out from under the rainfly at 5am, there it was in all its glory, calling us to its peak. We packed up in a hurry, and began the ascent. Over 3 hours later, we had a tough decision to make. We were at 13,750 feet, and about a mile from the peak, but the trail had become tough, and even a bit dangerous since we were making the morning's first tracks in the fresh snow that had fallen. We decided to turn around, and vowed to come back another day.
Back down at Trail Crest, Sean & Carla went east to their car at the Whitney Portal while Em & I went west to make our way back to the PCT after bidding our goodbyes. It was a bit emotional for us, since heading back to Boston sounded pretty good after spending a month and a half in the woods. But hiking is what we do now, so west we went, back to Guitar Lake to retrieve our food (in bear canisters), then past the Crabtree Ranger Station, and finally to the PCT by early afternoon.
Since then, we have had amazing weather (blue skies, a few puffy clouds, sunshine, scenery to die for) but a tough time. The Trail through the Sierra is no joke. Miles of snow on the passes, dozens and dozens of fords, and insane ascents and descents. I can honestly say it's the hardest hiking I've ever done. I don't think I can do it justice by writing a few paragraphs, so I've decided to transcribe some of our journal entries from this past week. Hope you enjoy it.
PS Yes I changed my trail name from Sundog to Sunfish. Back in 2003 I was a SunDOG. Now, in 2009, not so much. SunFISH fits me better now. My job as a marine biologist. My ocean sunfish tattoo on my leg. I'm more a fish than a dog.