Oh'... Ok, I know the "Omaha" story. Yeah' that was (um') not good at all. Given my initial post and the timely yet safe 'pick of the Omaha Crew of the mountain'... I totally get the reference (and smile inwardly).
That said, let's set the stage with regards to the Project I am working on... Our "Endurance Team" is comprised of seasoned Firefighter Athletes whom participate competitively in their given discipline at the level of experience and fitness they are qualified to participate at. We consist of routine fitness fanatics all the way up to Ironmen (and women), Marathoners & Ultra Champions, Cross/Cycling Centurions, Open Water Masters Swimmers, Triple Crown Surfers/Paddle Boarders, and; experienced Mountaineers. When our Athletes are not training in their given sport, they work out of Firehouses immersed in an even more mentally and physically stressful environment that is definitely not sedentary or business casual (smiling inwardly again).
As Expedition Director for this project I am responsible for the life, health and safety of everyone involved. Although I have no experience on Mt Whitney I completely respect the Eastern Sierra energy and power. I am a retired 21 year military Veteran who spent 4 years on a Mountain Warfare SOF Team and flew high altitude MEDEVAC as a Medic for seven years. And now as a Fire Chief involved with this project I insist our Teams be evaluated for fitness and capability then trained and conditioned to meet their objectives. My folks will be prepared for this Project. If anyone in my organization is suspect (either physically or mentally) they won't participate.
Our Teams will also have benefit of standby support from a Medical Team with wilderness and altitude medicine experience --and- a land mobile radio system both of which are definitely not the norm on an average day on Mt Whitney. This project is much bigger than me or the egos of those involved... This whole thing is all about honoring the memory of the souls lost on 9-11. My objective is to do so while protecting the life, health and safety of those involved. That's just how we role here in the San Diego Firefighters' Endurance Sports Team!
P.S. I got my response back from USDA-FS regarding Permits so expect more requests for advice on our Trip Plan in the coming days