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Hiking at Mount Whitney (May 11-12, 2007)

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Wen Send a message to Wen Send an email to Wen
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First of all, I want to thank Hao, Su, Wei C., and Hua for organizing the trip and driving.

At about 10pm on May 11, we took off for Mount Whitney -- the highest point in the contiguous United States.

We arrived at Whitney Portal, which is 8,360ft (2,548m) above sea level, at about 3:30am on May 12.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/IMG_3359.jpg

We packed food and gear up, put on hiking clothes, extended hiking poles, turned headlamps on, and then started hiking toward the summit (14,505ft or 4,421m).

It's silent and dark. The rhythmical sounds from our steps, our breath, and hiking poles hitting the rocks composed a special symphony. The crescent moon's light went through the clearance between two cliffs and, along with our headlamps, lightened the stage. What a wonderful concert!

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/IMG_3363.JPG

At about 5:30am, we arrived at the Lone Pine Lake. The sun was waking up and opening his eyes.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/DSCN4014.JPG
Actually this photo was taken under a mistaken white-balance setting, but I like this blue and peaceful feel.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/DSCN4025.JPG
The physical look of the lake.

The sun opened his eyes and was seeing the far away peak:

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/DSCN4027.JPG

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http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/IMG_3390.JPG

Soon after the sun got up, we reached a colorful place with blue sky, gray rocks, white snow, green pines, yellow and red bushes, and transparent brooks.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/DSCN4028.JPG

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Then we reached the Mirror Lake surrounded by snow and bushes.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/DSCN4044.JPG

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/DSCN4047.JPG
Previous hikers cut down some tree skin to mark the trail. I think this is not an environment-friendly way.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/DSCN4048.JPG

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/DSCN4049.JPG
See the exact face of the yellow bushes.

Above the Mirror Lake, the color decayed gradually. The gray rocks and white snow dominated the color below the sky, although a few lonely green pines survived.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/DSCN4050.JPG

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As we were going higher, we couldn't see any more green pines. The snow was wider and thicker.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/DSCN4064.JPG

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The Consultation Lake was frozen and filled with snow, which looks wonderful.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/DSCN4070.JPG

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With hiking poles and water-proof hiking shoes, we went across some thick-snow area without much difficulty.

Before 11am, we arrived at the Base Camp, whose altitude is about 12,235ft (3,729m).

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We didn't go any further because of the strong freezing wind, lack of clothes (we put down our thick clothes on the way to reduce weight of our backpacks) and gear for hiking on ultra-thick snow, our physical reactions to the high altitude, and our tiredness. After taking some photos, we started to go back.

We saw a cute animal when we were on the way back:

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/IMG_3455.JPG

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Returned to the colorful place.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/DSCN4092.JPG

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/DSCN4094.JPG
The red land far away is the lowest point in North America in Death Valley, which is 282ft (86m) below sea level

At about 4:30pm, we went back to Whitney Portal, the starting point.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/IMG_3567.JPG

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/IMG_3568.JPG

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/photo/070511~12/DSCN4095.JPG

See all the photos in the Photo Gallery...

Hiking tips:

  • Bring enough water and food.
  • Bring some medicine for alleviating physical reaction to the high altitude.
  • Make a practical schedule and stick to it.
  • Hiking poles are very helpful.

See also:

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Last edited by Wen at 2008-04-21 20:44:22

Posted at 2007-05-13 18:54:36

Comment: Re: Hiking at Mount Whitney (May 11-12, 2007)

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好漂亮啊的地方啊!


Posted at 2007-05-19 09:40:04

Comment: Re: Hiking at Mount Whitney (May 11-12, 2007)

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QB Send a message to QB Send an email to QB
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Such a beautiful place! Is that in Rocky Mountains?

By the way, is that guy in the photo named Wu guang? He was in Department 13 of USTC, haha, my former classmate actually. Please help me bring my best wishes to him, thanks!


都说了,我就是我

Posted at 2007-08-01 14:06:33

Comment: Re: Hiking at Mount Whitney (May 11-12, 2007)

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Wen Send a message to Wen Send an email to Wen
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It's not in Rocky Mountains.

That guy is indeed Wu, Guang. You told me he's your classmate.


Posted at 2007-08-01 16:23:55

Comment: Re: Hiking at Mount Whitney (May 11-12, 2007)

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DHL Send a message to DHL Send an email to DHL
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        太美了,原汁原味的大自然!
    那只动物是什么家伙?是熊?还能动的吗?


Posted at 2007-09-23 18:36:30

Comment: Re: Hiking at Mount Whitney (May 11-12, 2007)

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Wen Send a message to Wen Send an email to Wen
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那只动物当时生嗷嗷的,不是熊,不知道叫什么名字,只比一只鸡大一点。

那座山确实有熊,所以上山前不能把食物留在车里,不然熊会闻到气味想吃,但它又打不开车,会把车掀翻掉。


Posted at 2007-09-24 11:47:08

Comment: Re: Hiking at Mount Whitney (May 11-12, 2007)

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Amy (guest)

Hi! I'm an English teacher in Wuhan. Tomorrow I will have a text to explain. "From One Extreme to the Other" tells the readers a trip from Death Valley to Mount Whitney. In order to show my students something about these two places, I surfed online. Fortunately, Google gave me your Blog. Wonderful! Thanks a lot.


Posted at 2008-04-20 06:15:19
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