Mount Whitney…

Mount Whitney only 99 switchbacks and 3hrs to go…

It’s funny how the mind works and the little lies you tell yourself in the name of self  preservation or self punishment or ego or what have you. You know those little lies, like when your friends tell you it takes 30 minutes to get somewhere, you give yourself 15 because it just wont take that long;  somehow you know better, you’ll be faster, stronger, more clever or what have you and then it turns out your friends were right and your dumbfounded. Like a few weeks back when Alyssa, Lindsey, Larry and I were about to embark upon a little hikesy to the highest peak in the lower 48, Mount Whitney at 14,496ft, and our friend who had hiked the mountain like 10 times, god knows why, told us it was a 13hr round trip day hike, bah….13 hours? There is no possible way that that hike could take 13 hours, and then we each silently went into a string of reasons as to why it couldn’t possibly take you and your sea level friends 13 hours to walk up a hill and back down again. It’s not that we think we’re above average or extremely fit or what have you but the thought that anyone would do anything or want to do anything in this world for 13 effing hours straight is just not a possibility. I mean come on, I can’t even sleep that many hours in a row and the 13 hour flights I’ve been on left me with aches and pains so the thought of what aches and pains would lie ahead after walking up and down hill for 13hours wasn’t fathomable, which brings us back to the lies or denial if you will.  Sierra sunrise..

Maybe we tell ourselves these little lies so we can rise at 2am and do an uphill death march through the darkness for hours on end only to see as the sunrises that you are no where near the top nor can you see the top. You lie because you can’t handle the truth/reality of the situation and if you really, really thought and believed you’d be doing 7 hours of uphill switchbacks staring at the shoes in front of you followed by a 5 hour knee jarring downhill scramble, your patella tendon, right ankle and left calf muscle would hear of no such thing and would never embark upon the journey in the first place. sun and moon over Mount Whitney…

So maybe these lies serve us so we can see unseen beauty, watch the sunrise, have outdoorsy adventures and what not but really, who does this shit for fun? I mean pioneers, yes, fine, okay but America’s been discovered thank you Sacagawea and when there is a nicely manicured path to the top there is nothing undiscovered about Mount Whitney. Worst of all when you get to the top everyone whips out their cell phones to say “Hey, guess where I am?” followed up by “Mount Whitney…what? You’re breaking up” or those people who observed the “no cell phones in the wilderness” policy only updated their facebook status. Status Update…almost there and out of trail mix…

It’s not that it wasn’t totally breathtakingly beautiful, which it was, it just that we should have planned a day or two to really enjoy the splendor and break up the journey/knee pain. I have spent a large amount of my shred career hunkered down in the sierras but in reality riding chairlifts at Mammoth and June don’t exactly count as being “in” the Sierras nor does driving through the valley floor of Yosemite. So, hiking up Mount Whitney as the sun rose gave me a new perspective on the beauty of this mountain range with it’s jagged rocky peaks and pine tree lined basins and the people who are continually drawn into it’s back country (Jeremy Jones, Chris Edmands, etc.) And 13 hours of marching along in relative silence gives a person sometime to think and contemplate the world, to discover truths about oneself which would otherwise be left hidden under the buzz of an overstimulated day and a flurry of  tweets and texts and whatnot. So yeah, get out in the wilderness and drink it in and try not to do it all in one day….Getting there is half the fun…getting down from there is all the misery. Me, Alyssa, Larry, Lindsey and John who really did know better…

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6 thoughts on “Mount Whitney…

  1. Go Trici!

    Once again, you amaze me!

    Although I have to admit when I first glanced at the title, Mt. Whitney, my brain removed the ‘t’ and I thought it said Mt. Whiney! Go figure, I live with very small children! And I whine when I have to crawl my sorry ass up 3 flights to my studio to work… a mere 40ft, not 14,446!

    Miss you and glad you’re out and UP in the world!!

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