Whitney in 1 day

2 Jul 2003 - by Mike Griffo

I planned to go backpacking through the Cotton Wood Lakes area. Because the trip was over the 4th of July weekend, and it was planned last minute, I was forced to arrive a day before the rest of the hiking party was to show up in Lone Pine, due in order to pick up the permit. While I was picking up the Cotton Wood Lakes permit at 9am, on a whim, I asked if they had any Mt Whitney main route permits available. With a Whitney permit and nothing else to do in Lone Pine on a 105F day I set off to climb the summit at 10am from the portal.

I ran from the Portal up past Lone Pine Lake. Because I had left the bay area the night before I slowed down to a fast walk before Outpost Camp. I then really slowed down after 12,000ft. After gaining the ridge my hope of gaining the summit was restored and I finally gained the summit at 5pm. With only taking time to take of picture of my non-acclimated grimace on the summit and sign the register I headed back down the mountian. I reached my car just after dark, 9pm. I think I made pretty good time, 7 hours up, 4 hours down.

In my haste to get on the trail after deciding that I would try for the summit I made a few mistakes. Thankfully I remembered a jacket, headlamp, and 3 liters of water. Unfortunately I forgot to bring food, sunscreen, and sunglasses. It didn't stop me from summiting but I think I would have been a lot more comfortable had I remembered them.

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