WOW!! So amazing. And totally kicked our asses. Don't now how people do it (or even would want to) in one day. Amazing but crazy/stupid for others unless they are in incredible shape. Saw many people coming down and till going up after 6pm on the day we summited. Saw one guy running down the trail and he said that he would do it round trip in 8 hours bc his wife was waiting at hotel. He hoped to do it again today. Jesus.
Close to impossible to cross all water crossings without water shoes. I tried to hop along the rocks and stay dry, even w my water shoes, and found it impossible and I'm 6'1". Invest $12.99 at Big 5. Well worth it.
Took 3 fit and trained women 7 hours from Whitney Portal, with packs ranging from 28-34 pounds, at 10am (that was part of the problem) 7 hours to Trail Camp. Changed into water shoes 2 times. First time about 1 mile up the trail and second time just getting into Outpost Camp. Leave water shoes on after first, long crossing at Outpost Camp (IMPOSSIBLE to navigate wo getting wet) bc there is a shorter one a few minutes after that. Oh, and no mosquitoes there either.
Small amount of snow around a beautiful meadow just before Trail Camp. Nothing needed here.
The push to Trail Camp was interminable. All those rocks. Seemed never ending. It was also really hot. But got to TC and set up camp. As soon as the sun goes behind the mountains it gets really cold. We planned the trip around the dates bc of the full moon. But were so spent that we went to bed by 8pm-in the daylight-both nights!! Didn't see 1 star or the moon.
Saw a few wag bags on the trail at TC but found that the owners picked them up on their way down. Luckily. Finally had to "wag" myself. Wasn't as bad as you think it would be but luckily it was on the morning of the last day. So I just stuffed it away.
Beware of the cat size marmots! They will steal your shit right under your nose. One opened a freeze drip bag of eggs and ran off w a bag of apricots. Crazy brave little shits! At first I thought they stole the coffee fixings, then I thought they took our Aleve and xanax. That would have been bad-but turned out just the apricots.
We left out packs open in out hallway open tent and everything was fine. Left the bear box about 30' away from our camp. We heard that there were currently no bears at TC but that they were at Outpost Camp. But I'm sure that that could change in an instant.
Left Tuesday morning at 9am to summit-def should have left earlier. Took approx 2.5 hours to do the switchbacks. No snow, just some water that's easy to navigate. Another 2 hours to get to the summit. Long and tedious. I built up the small cairn that was on the trail bc people were just stepping over it and ending up at a giant snow patch covering the trail. One poor guy accidentally went there (and this is about 20 mins from the summit) and was so exhausted by the detour that he decided not to summit bc of it. I was ahead of my friends so I added to the cairns that were already there.
Be sure to review your pix that you take up there. My selfies sucked and my group shots were just okay. No great pix to send my friends. And who doesn't want to do that? I earned bragging rights. Although I related it to natural childbirth. When my BFF asked me if I would recommend it I said that I wasn't sure. It was REALLY HARD.
Finally stumbled down to TC about 3.15 later. I waited at Trail Crest for my friends and got cold. So I put on my jacket. Then when we started down I got hot. Then the sun started going down. I was praying to get to the cables. It took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to get down. Everyone says that it seems never ending going up the last mile to the summit but that wasn't my experience. I was so excited and pumped to be there I was good. But it seemed to take forever to get down from the switchbacks.
Finally arrived back at camp to see that the critters had indeed visited inside our tent. So I did a little housekeeping so my friends might not notice the marmot poop and pee on their pads. But everything was fine. Cooked up some delicious dehydrated Fettucine Alfredo w Chx and was in bed earlier than the night before. Camp is very quiet at night and we just hear a few people coming through in the morning.
Left TC at approx 10am. I was def not looking forward to going down all those rocks to that waterfall that is just above Outpost Camp but it actually wasn't that bad. I mean, really, going downhill is a piece of cake after all the uphill. We reached Whitney Portal at about 230. Somehow my pack weighed 6 pounds less. I have a 3 liter camelbak and water is about 2 pounds for every liter so I only came down w 1.5 liters, didn't fill it all the way. 3 is def not necessary w all that water everywhere.
All in all I'd say it was a successful trip. No injuries, nothing forgotten, many lessons learned (figure out how to go lighter #1) and many laughs shared. Where is everybody going next? I've done Kalalau on Kauai, Half Dome and Machu Picchu.
Jolly Ranchers were a great treat to be had along the trail and fun to share w others we met. But the orange I ate on the summit was the best ever.