***I wanted to document some past hikes/trips that I’ve taken. I actually wrote the following shortly after the hike (way back in 2001). I made some minor edits to the text but overall they are my words from 16 years ago. ***
It all started while I was still at school. During spring quarter of my freshman year at Northwestern University, my dad sent me an e-mail asking if I would like to participate in a hiking trip. He informed me that the trip would be to Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states. Other aspects of the trip comprised of the group being made up of five individuals. I was the only one under the age of fifty. The other group members included my father, my uncle, Mr. I-fu Shih, and Mr. Hsu.
To prepare for this hiking expedition, our group held practice hikes at a nearby mountain. Mount San Antonio, a.k.a. Mount Baldy, is the third highest peak in the southern California area. With a peak elevation of 10,064 feet, our group traversed this peak once as an entire group. However, each member individually climbed the peak at least twice, sometimes three times, in his own separate groups. These climbs were to help ensure that we would be in shape and ready for hiking the many miles of Mount Whitney. There are four different trails one can take to reach the top of Mount Baldy. I have taken two of the four routes. The first route requires taking a chair lift to the start of the trailhead. From the trailhead, the peak can be reached in 3.7 miles with an elevation gain of around 2,000 feet. The other trail is considerably more difficult. With an elevation gain close to 3,500 feet, the trail continuously climbs upwards, pushing my body’s limit. That trail has a length of 4.3 miles. A separate hiking experience I had to further my training occurred while on vacation in Alaska. One of the expeditions offered at Juneau was a hiking trip. I decided to take this expedition to help keep myself ready for hiking in the wilderness. One other preparation tool I had been taking advantage of was that of running. I would jog at least a mile everyday for a few weeks prior to our trip to Mount Whitney. Continue reading “Mt. Whitney Hike”