Well, the weather gods got us this trip. Couldn't have picked a worse summer week to try Whitney. When we arrived in LP last Tuesday, the mountain had been absolutely hammered the night before and people were streaming off the mountain with horror stories of massive flooding, slides, and rockfall. And snap-crackle-pop, of course. The Portal Road was closed most of the day Tuesday while some big boulders were being removed. The Portal itself was flooded badly - the pond and creek overflowed, and tons of sand and rock had washed down into the parking lots, trapping and damaging cars. There was a backhoe busily trying to clear the drainage culvert under the road near the store, with Doug and Crazy Jack shoveling away as well. It was a mess.
We headed up Wednesday with Carole Christianson (Mountain Ginger, AKA SanDi Carole) with Doug's firm advice in mind - dark clouds in the sky when you hit Outpost, STOP! There were and we did. Up at 4:00 Thursday, and the clouds were still there. By the time we hit Trail Camp Mt. Muir was completely socked in and we were getting reports of rain, snow, groppel, etc. from the very few who were returning from the summit (mostly JMT hikers). We also heard a long, massive rockfall occur while we were at TC. Discretion being the better part of valor, Trail Crest became the goal for the day for my girls. Disappointment was not that great since we felt lucky to be as high as we were - Outpost was the summit for a lot of folks the previous two days, including my buddy Kent Williams who had come out from Florida a few days before with his daughter, and got caught in the Monday storm.
Oh well - just another reason to come back. Like I need more. We added some wonderful new friends to our Sierra Family, got to spend great quality time with some old ones, and most particularly had a blast with Bob in Reno! We arrived back home last night with smiles on our faces and are looking forward to the next trip. I'll try to get a more thorough TR up in the next few days with photos.