July 11, 2013

Dear Family & Friends:

Mt. Whitney (14,505 feet) is the highest mountain in the continental United States.  It is also one of my favorite mountains in the world.  I train on Mt. Whitney and have climbed it 16 times.

There are many routes up Whitney, but the two main routes are the Whitney Portal Route and the Mountaineer’s Route.  The Portal Route is 11 miles each way and the Mountaineer’s Routes is 6 1/4 miles each way.  Needless to say, the Mountaineer’s Route is steeper and much more difficult.  The altitude gain on Mt. Whitney from the trailhead to the summit is over 6,000 feet.  So, it is a very long day!

Over the years, I have led many climbing teams up Whitney, mostly family & friends.  On June 23, 2013, I led a group on a traverse of Whitney–up the Mountaineer’s Routes and down the Portal Route.  There were 14 members in the climbing team, all family and friends.  The youngest climber was my 14-year old grandson, and the oldest climber was 71 years old-me.  The other climbers were my children, grandchildren, boyfriends & girlfriends of my grandchildren, close friends and parents.  Many of the climbers are accomplished high school and college athletes.  Most members of the climbing party had no climbing experience.

We started up the mountain at 4 am and arrived back at the trailhead at 5 am the following day.  Why the late arrival?  One of the climbers moved very slow, and my ironclad rule is everyone travels together.  We had a grand time on the mountain, and everyone summitted.  I am so proud of the team.

I put together a 30-minute video of the climb.  Thanks to one of the climbers, the video is entertaining.  If you have any interest in the Mountaineer’s Route on Mt. Whitney, check out the video below.


(best to view in full screen mode)