Preparing for Mt. Whitney

Saturday, December 14, 2013 I hiked San Bernardino Peak Trail to Limber Pine Bench with the Adventurers Unlimited! Meetup Group.  It was a 12+ mile hike with a 3,400 elevation gain. The elevation at the bench was approx.9,360.

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Our group consisted of 2 men and 9 women.  This was my first time hiking with this group. I had been previewing their hikes all year-long and this was the first time I was able to hike with them.  I knew they were seasoned hikers as most of their hikes are intermediate or difficult.  They didn’t disappoint.  The group was probably 40+ years of age and older with the oldest woman being 74 years of age.  Yes I said that.  I overheard her telling someone else and gasped when I heard her age.  She left me in the dust several times.  She has hiked the Himalayas 3 times in the last 3 years.  She was/is such an inspiration.

The trailhead was iced over so we had to park down the hill at a local cafe.  We all loaded up in the back of a truck with four-wheel drive and headed up to the trailhead.  Never thought grown adults would be jumping in the back of a truck for fun.  Another first this year.IMG_2158

So we started up the trail, I knew what I was in for as I had part of this trail a couple of times but had never reached the top. The trail was covered with snow from the start as you can see from the photos.  We did not need our micro-spikes (which I purchased the night before) until we reached the meadow.

IMG_2183600_315742762The snow was beautiful and the weather was perfect.  I was well prepared so I never felt cold, I was even able to carry my jacket most of the way up until the wind picked up.  My boots were water-repellent so my feet never even felt chilled. My micro-spikes worked as advertised.  They gripped the snow and ice perfectly.  A must have if you plan on hiking in the snow.  They easily slip on over your shoe.  The snow was pretty deep in places as you can see from the picture.

IMG_2185We finally made it to the top after 4 hours.  The last 1/2 mile was grueling.  A few of us were ready to turn back but pushed past the urge to stop. We were rewarded with awesome views.

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IMG_2182I had thought I was ready for Mt. Whitney but after this hike I have decided I still have lots of miles to do before I will be ready to tackle the BIG mountain.  This was a great first hike in the snow.  I still have a lot of hard work ahead of me but I am looking forward to the challenge.  I woke up today pretty sore from the waist down.  My body got quite a work out and it reminded me that I need to add some cross training to my routine.

All in all it was a great experience and I met some new people who love hiking as much as I do.  They will be a great group to push me past my comfort zone.IMG_2174

As a side note, there are an additional two miles past Limber Pine Bench to the top of San Bernardino Peak.  I will come back here when the snow melts to do the 16 mile hike to the top.  A must do before I take on Mt. Whitney.

Bobbie let me know when you are ready to come out next spring to tackle some hikes in SoCal.  You can stay with me. 🙂

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5 thoughts on “Preparing for Mt. Whitney

  1. Wow Susie! So proud of you for persevering, sounds challenging. Thanks for all the details! It made me realize how unfit I am for such an under taking, but also how I would love to give it a try 🙂 I would trust that 75 y.o. To inspire me !!

  2. Susie, you are awesome! Wow, I’m going tochavecto get in gear and up my hiking if I’m going to be able to keep up with you. Thank you for the offer, can’t wait to come out to CA and train with you. 🙂

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