Summiting Mount Whitney from Guitar Lake, 6 Days backpacking the Sierra before the Creek Fire closed everything down.

norwegianxplorer

Norwegian Xplorer
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Apr 1, 2018
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I was lucky enough to summit Mount Whitney from Guitar Lake the day before labour day as the Creek Fire was blowing up. This was the end of a week long backpacking trip that included summiting another 14er, Mount Langley, and the beautiful Miter Basin, Crabtree Pass and basin. The trail from Guitar Lake to the summit of Mount Whitney is probably the most stunning trail I have ever walked , it really blew my mind on so many levels, incredible views and incredible walking high above the world, felt like a Hobbit. Here is my video from the two last days of the trip, including the amazing sunset at Guitar Lake, the Summit of Mount Whitney and the smoky decent down the 99 switchbacks to Whitney Portal.


Summiting Mount Whitney from Guitar Lake
 

scatman

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Dec 23, 2013
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@VikingEarl - I did the same route from Guitar Lake years ago on a blue moon at the end of August. I left the lake about 2:30 am and the full moon was so bright that I was able to make it to the top of Whitney without using my headlamp. I could see all the people coming up the switchbacks from the Whitney Portal side, and peering down into Owens Valley towards Lone Pine through the gaps between the pinnacles was really cool. I was the first on the summit that day, and I settled in to watch the sunrise and the moonset. The wind was blowing really hard while I waited, and I do believe that was the coldest I have ever been. After the sun came up, I had to retreat to the stone hut to get out of the wind and thaw out. I get cold today just thinking about it. Did you have any wind while up top?

Well, thanks for bringing back all the good memories of that special hike.
 

norwegianxplorer

Norwegian Xplorer
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
50
@VikingEarl - I did the same route from Guitar Lake years ago on a blue moon at the end of August. I left the lake about 2:30 am and the full moon was so bright that I was able to make it to the top of Whitney without using my headlamp. I could see all the people coming up the switchbacks from the Whitney Portal side, and peering down into Owens Valley towards Lone Pine through the gaps between the pinnacles was really cool. I was the first on the summit that day, and I settled in to watch the sunrise and the moonset. The wind was blowing really hard while I waited, and I do believe that was the coldest I have ever been. After the sun came up, I had to retreat to the stone hut to get out of the wind and thaw out. I get cold today just thinking about it. Did you have any wind while up top?

Well, thanks for bringing back all the good memories of that special hike.
Wow, thats sounds really cold, it was pretty quiet when I hiked it, calm and beautiful, but the smoke‍:)
 

Tim Valentine

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May 24, 2015
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Great documentation of a classic Sierra hike. That is a lot of work with just one cameraman and one camera. Good job editing and assembling. I really enjoyed it all. It looks like the crowds were down compared to a normal summer day....good for you! Sorry about the smoke, at least you did not get a sore throat or have to bail out like others did this summer.

tv
 

balzaccom

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Sep 30, 2014
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We were closer to the fire than you were...at Graveyard Lakes above Thomas Edison on that same weekend. Lots of fun trying to get out--first the road was closed to all traffic. The next day we got word that the road was open, and we should evacuate immediately.

Glad to see your trip wasn't quite so impacted by the fire.

And really nice job on the video !
 

norwegianxplorer

Norwegian Xplorer
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Apr 1, 2018
Messages
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We were closer to the fire than you were...at Graveyard Lakes above Thomas Edison on that same weekend. Lots of fun trying to get out--first the road was closed to all traffic. The next day we got word that the road was open, and we should evacuate immediately.

Glad to see your trip wasn't quite so impacted by the fire.

And really nice job on the video !
Thank you, glad you are safe!
 
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