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Ascent of Mount Whitney on 2007-07-08

Climber: Matt Holder

Others in Party:Ruben Lozano
Aaron Millstein
Chad Watson
Date:Sunday, July 8, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Whitney
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:14495 ft / 4418 m

Ascent Trip Report

Did one day Portal to summit back to portal. 19 hours and 30 minutes. We started out at 2am in the dark with headlamps. We made good time up to the Lake at the base of the switch backs. Enjoyed food there. We filled up with filtered water and went up. At the top of the switch backs are started feeling the effects of altitude sickness. Only 1.5 miles to the summit I did want to stop. Aaron and Chad were well ahead of me and Ruben as we took our time up the switchbacks. I was able to go about 10-20 feet at a time before having to stop and try to keep from throwing up. My head was pounding and all the books would have told me to turn around. My deal with Ruben, was that if I threw up I had to go back down. Neither happened. I dropped my back and only carried water. However, I ran out of water and ended up drinking most of Ruben's. About 300 yards from the Summit we came across Aaron and Chad who were descending after spending some time on the top. The Summit was not visible from there and it seemed impossible to me that we were that close. Chad also was experiencing the effects of the altitude and Aaron felt fine. They told me we were close and I jumped up from the rock and started moving. Not because I felt good, but because I started to become very emotional that I was that close after struggling for so long...probably 2 hours at this point to go 1.5 miles. I knew if I sat there for 2 seconds, I would start crying so bad I wouldn't be able to compose myself. With tears coming down my cheeks I kept going. We turned a corner and there was the summit. We got up there and signed the book. Took some pictures. I started down first. Almost pooped myself shortly after leaving the summit. There were some folks worse off than me, but I was feeling better with every foot I descended, but I was feeling great. Ruben caught up with me shortly after my close call with soiling myself and actually saw my struggle. I ended up drinking all of his liquids. Now he was going through dehydration. I scampered down the switchbacks and started filling up water bottles and anxiously waited for him. He arrived in bad shape. we drank water and rested rested and drank water. Then the long road back. We switched backs and went slow. I started hallucinating after it got dark, but by then we were on familiar ground as it was trail we had been on three times in three days. However we were going very slow. Aaron was waiting for us at the trailhead and he and I started crying, Ruben was close, but I don't think he did.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:6135 ft / 1870 m
    Elevation Loss:6135 ft / 1870 m
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:6135 ft / 1870 m
    Route:Whitney Trail
    Trailhead:Whitney Portal  8360 ft / 2548 m
    Time Up:19 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:6135 ft / 1870 m
    Trailhead:8360 ft / 2548 m
    Time Down:9 Hours 



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