July 2 2021

The summit of Mt. Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States. There are conflicting figures as to its exact elevation, but all sources agree it’s roughly 14,500’ AMSL. It’s prominence makes the mountain highly coveted. It’s accessibility and class one trail likely draws a larger clientele than is qualified to make the peak.

Looking quite fresh in the parking lot

Andrew, Buddy, Sophia, and I decided to make an attempt on Whitney the last week of May after securing a few unclaimed permits from the Whitney lottery system. Normally, any attempt in May would require snow gear of some variety but fortunately for us, and unfortunately for California, the Sierra had a particularly awful snow year.

Soph and I on the Mt. Muir summit

We cut the approach down a bit by backpacking in the first four miles and making an assault on the summit the following morning. Given that the Whitney trail passed right under Mt. Muir, Buddy, Sophi, and I decided to snag it before continuing on to our final high point. Having done close to zero due diligence, I wasn’t sure why less than one percent of Whitney hikers tap Muir given its proximity to the standard route. Turns out it’s at a minimum a class three summit block. Nothing we couldn’t handle, but surprising in the moment to say the least!

The entire crew on the summit of Whitney

Bonus pano on the summit of Muir featuring Buddy and Sophi