August 2004
Backpack trip to the top of Mount Whitney
14,496 feet elevation - Highest spot in the 48 contiguous States

Day 4 Aug 22 11 miles to Guitar lake at 11,500'

Sunday morning was glorious - no rain in sight and no cloud buildup.  An 11.1 mile long, 2,100 foot climb with lots of intermediate ups and downs via Crabtree Meadows.  We could see some decent sized trout in the main stream as we crossed.  We followed the feeder stream for 3 or 4 miles and then up some craggy rock areas past Timberline Lake to our destination for this night - Guitar Lake.  Turned out to be a lovely clear, totally rain free day and evening.

At Guitar Lake, the night before the climb to the summit, we were blessed with a sunset as beautiful as any I have seen; framed by the mountains, reflected in the lake, enhanced by the clarity of the altitude, and emotionally charged by the anticipation of the climb. Don blew taps on his makeshift bugle. That night, after the quarter moon had set in the west, the stars were extraordinarily numerous and bright, with an occasional meteorite, and the Milky Way; a luminous blur in the middle of the sky. I reentered my tent and fell asleep wondering at the hundreds of millions of stars in the Milky Way, and this only one of hundreds of millions of galaxies in the universe. 

Ranger Laura works the mountains with husband Rob

Looking back on the trail towards Crabtree Meadows.

Coleen from team Go-Lite

Coleen, her husband and cousin used the ultra lightweight backpack system we have read about.
Next trip - ME TOO!

Timberline Lake

The patriots - Doug & Don

Doug's tent

Our "Kitchen"

Dr. Don resting in his tent

Dr. Len is getting excited about tomorrow's morning's final ascent.
Our most spectacular sunset!

Day1 - Day2 - Day3 - Day4 - Day5 - Day6 - Day 7

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