Mt. Whitney

July 25-28, 1996

We left Eugene at 10 am, arriving at the Mt. Whitney Portal trailhead (8,200 ft.) at 11:30 pm. We rolled our sleeping bags out and slept on the ground for a whopping three hours, got up and were on the trail at 3 am. Made the summit, 11 miles and 6,300 ft. elevation gain later at 11:30 and spent a relaxing 10 minutes before lightning and hail struck. Along with the 50 or so others on the peak, we scrambled off as fast as possible, with lightning striking nearby, and hail blowing at us horizontally. We managed to hike out safely, and arrived back at the trailhead at 6 pm. We spent the night at the colorful little “movie” town of Lone Pine (lots of Westerns have been filmed there). Next morning we headed to Death Valley, 137 miles SE, then headed back up beautiful Rt. 395, in my opinion the most beautiful highway in America. After a stopover in Reno, we headed back to Eugene. The trip included non-Obsidians Karen Scholen and Greg Milliman and leader Buzz Blumm. Stay tuned — I’ll try to do this trip every year!

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