Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hike, Camp, Economize

This past weekend, I climbed Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States (14,500 feet tall) with 14 coworkers. We camped the night before at Whitney Portal, woke up early the next morning and made the 22 mile hike in one day. The whole experience was a lesson in economy.

1. With 15 people riding in three cars, there was a scarcity of storage space, which I didn't properly account for since my overstuffed duffel bag blocked the back window.

2. The small hammock that I brought proved popular as we rested in the afternoon, while my tent went unused as I slept under the stars.

3. Packing for the hike was more restrictive. What could I carry on my back to provide food and water for the day and protection from potential unknown weather conditions. Conflicting goals of a light weight pack yet sufficient supplies let me confused.

The result:
-2 liters of water with a filtration pump worked mostly well with the exception of the dry spell from the last fill spot to the summit and back.
-Two much food (trailmix, dried mangoes, granola bars, etc).
-Unused warmer clothes (long sleeve underamor, windbreaker, gloves). These would have served useful in more uncertain weather conditions.

Of course all this planning in no way accounts for the brutal experience had by your feet, legs, arms, lungs, heart, neck, etc.


1 comment:

sandi said...

hooray!! Matt and i were thinking of you and that brutal trek that lie ahead. It is an amazing accomplishment to climb so far in a day! Hope the numbness leaves the toes soon!-love sandi and matt