Thursday, July 08, 2010
Finally we are on our way to Mount Whitney. Yesterday I woke up a little earlier than 6 and finished some packing and grocery shopping for home. By the time Shahriar came to pick me in his Honda CRV it was around 8 AM. We picked Tanjeem from San Jose and drove towards Yosemite. We wanted to take the scenic Yosemite / Tioga Pass route to go the Lone Pine city instead of the boring I-5 route through Bakersfield. Tanjeem was under pressure in office works and couldn't sleep well last few days due to some practice hike disturbing his sleep cycle. So we started little late compared to what we were thinking initially (4/5 AM).
We enjoyed the beautiful trees. roads, mountains and rock formations while passing through Yosemite / Tioga pass road. One thing that struck us much was seeing some people live in rock climbing. we couldn't anticipate how that was feasible for the people in the above video to take that trail (in fact no trail, it's solid rock) and make their foot steps on that one by one approaching to the top.
On the way, Tanjeem fell a little ill but once he took some medicine from a pharmacy and had a sleep in the car, he started feeling better. It will be crucial for him to recover by today as I see him already better last evening after we reached hotel. Tanjeem was in room 204 while I and Shahriar at room 210. We had our late lunch come early dinner with Shahriar's Khichuri, Shusmita's egg curry and chicken but decided to keep Tanjeem's Tuna Kabab for tomorrow and the rest of the days.
Before coming to hotel we spent some time in Whitney Portal Store which is 11 miles from the Lone Pine city and at the very point from where the Mount Whitney trail starts at 8365 feet above sea level. We could feel the historic and legendary touch in the surrounding environment. I purchased a map from there as a backup although Shahriar has printed out the whitney trail map from office. The cell coverage is available to some extent in Lone Pice city and our hotel but not in Whitney Portal Store. But still if sometimes the coverage gets available somewhere in the Whitney Trail our tomorrow's hike, you can follow me at Google Latitude with firstname.lastname@example.org . We asked about the current condition of the trail to a few people who just came down. They old there are couple of snowfields, otherwise the trail is mostly in good condition in terms of snows. People have gone without Ice Axe and Crampons as well. This made us feel better and more confident.
I talked to Shusmita when I got mobile network coming back to the hotel. My three-and-hafl years old son Ahyan said that he wanted to go to Hiking and proposed her to pick me from Mount Whitney. Somehow he was able to associate Mount Whitney with Hiking although we never said him if there is any relationship between these 2. We slept around 10 last night. This morning I woke up at 6:30 AM and Shahriar joined me in the complementary breakfast of the comfort inn hotel. I liked the waffle and also had boiled egg, butter, orange juice, milk and coffee. Tanjeem came a little later although he was the first to wake up at 6 AM.
We will be heading towards Mount Whitney for a practice hike now after picking the permit from Lone Pine forest office that opens at 8 AM. We plan to come back early at hotel have lunch/supper early and then sleep as early as possible so that we can start the actual hike very early in the morning tomorrow. I want to be on trail right at 4 AM in the morning which will mean I will need to wake up at 3 AM. But I have to see how Tanjeem and Shahriar are feeling about waking up so early in the morning. Specially Tanjeem has had a bad sleeping cycle last few days (except last night) and hence he might not be in a good shape for such an early rise. Let's see how we go.