Today's route - we have a climb from our campsite on the Kern River up to Guitar Lake. It's a nice one though - doesn't feel like a big day until hitting that 11k elevation.
Watching the sun rise from above Kern Canyon was a neat experience.
Trail between the Kern River and Wallace Creek. So glad we're doing this in the morning - it was a nice and pleasant hike. Would have been miserable in the afternoon sun.
Kaweah Ridge and Triple Divide Peak
The sun hits the treetops below us.
Red Spur and a nice looking landslide path (middle of photo above shadow)
Today is a day of climbing again as we finish working our way out of the Kern Canyon and up to Guitar Lake (~11500 ft)
Climbing towards Wallace Creek
View back toward the Kaweah Ridge. Just to note - Big Arroyo, what we hiked down on Day 3, is on the other side of that ridge. The High Sierra Trail is by no means direct - it does a big zig zag across the sierra.
Another Whitney sign. Most trail junctions label Whitney now. We'll be summiting in the morning.
The stretch from Wallace to Crabtree is cool - knarly trees and jumbly moraine.
Out of the Moraine, heading down towards Sandy Meadow
Sandy Meadow and view towards Mineral King
Red Spur and the kaweahs from Sandy Meadow
Ah, just a few days ago it was 50 miles. Getting so much closer.
Aw, Paige and Greg enjoy a rare moment of 2-person wide trail
Time to pick up the wag bags.
What is a wag bag, you may ask? Well, years of overuse on Mt Whitney had turned it into one giant toilet, so you have to carry everything out with you. I mean *everything*. If you really want more information, google it. :)
Finally we can see Mount Whitney. Looks a lot different from the west than it does from the more well-know east profile.
Meadow between Crabtree and Guitar Lake. This is where I started to feel the altitude. I wasn't feeling altitude sickness in the form of headaches or nausea, I just hit a wall when it came to breathing and keeping up my pace - typical for me above 11k.
Another peek at Whitney
The ridge on Mt Young still has a bit of snow at the top.
Timberline Lake (no camping)
Timberline Lake and a good view of the entire Whitney Ridge. Tomorrow morning we'll head up the ridge to the wide 'V' to the right, then along the ridge to whitney (left - summit is not in sight).
Looking back at Timberline and Red Spur
And up. Up up up. To about 11,600 ft.
HItchcock ridge (with cool ripple-like rock formation)
Whitney! There you are! (Russell peeks out on the left to say hi)
Upper meadows, just before guitar lake
Finally, Guitar Lake is in sight. Got here about 1 pm-ish and was looking forward to a nice afternoon acclimating and relaxing. Only problem with Guitar is that it is exposed and it is very difficult to escape from that intense sun. It was pretty hot out too, making bailing to a tent a very uncomfortable option.
Greg promised to swim in Guitar (chilly) - here is Paige with her camera, ready to capture the moment.
He did it!
Camp all set up at Guitar Lake. View of the Kaweahs
Guitar Lake Riviera
Guitar Lake - not any people in this picture but it was pretty busy.
Creek draining into Guitar and ridge between Mt Young and Mt Hale
Guitar Lake and Whitney ridge
Peek back into the other peaks
Hanging out at Guitar Lake. The two guys on the shore blasted by us on the trail the next morning, then we'd keep running into them in Lone Pine.
End of Guitar Lake
You can pick out spots of color where people have their tents. Ours are in kind of a hidden tucked away spot so they're not visible, plus mine is the same color as the granite anyways.