High Sierra Trail - Day 7
Guitar Lake to Whitney Summit to Trail Camp
Many people who do the HST start hiking from Guitar lake, summit Whitney and return to Whitney Portal on the same day. I don't know how they do it. We wanted to get to Outpost camp for the night, but we were too tired to even do that. We camped in trail camp instead.
Our day started early at 4am, when we woke up. We had to use the wag bags in the morning, pack up and started hiking before 6am.
The first view of the neck of the Guitar lake is from about 300 feet above the lake.
Alpenglow lights up the sky.
The top of Mt. Hitchcock starts to light up.
A littler higher, Hitchcock lake comes into view and Guitar lake has fantastic reflections.
A little higher, Hitchcock lakes have fantastic reflections as well.
Soon thereafter, the valley is fully lit.
After 2 miles and 2,000 feet of climbing from 11,500 feet to 13,500 feet, it is a huge relief to see the Whitney trail turn off. This means we can leave our backpacks behind.
This patch of ice near the summit was interesting to cross.
The 1.9 miles to summit feels like 4-5 and you finally reach the summit.
Looking westward, we see where we came from.
The hut is an interesting place to be.
Signed the guest book. National parks are America's best idea.
The spires look magnificent on the way back.
The narrow windows offer a great view of Lone Pine and White Mountains.
We gather our backpacks after 1.9 miles and turn left. Shortly thereafter, we leave the Sequoia National Park.
The famous 99 switchbacks to Trail Camp start.
Lone Pine appears closer.
There is a section of the 99 switchbacks which do not get sunlight and are always iced up. The cables remind you how unsafe it is here. Lots of slick ice and we were very careful going down these cables.
We reached trail camp as the sun sets. Mt. Whitney during sunset is spectacular.
We eat dinner and rest up for the next and final day. As we eat dinner, I saw the moon rise over Lone Pine. I turn around to see this stunning view of Mt. Whitney range lit by the moon.
Garmin map for day 7: