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Triumph!

What began as a trip out to California in the early Spring of 2018 ended up becoming a trip to the highest point in the lower 48 States. While in California, I...
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What began as a trip out to California in the early Spring of 2018 ended up becoming a trip to the highest point in the lower 48 States. While in California, I was invited to hike Mount Whitney and I gladly accepted. Having never done anything like this before, I wasn't sure what was in store for me, but I knew it would be hard. I began training in May (the hike was set for the first week in September) and spent the rest of the Spring and most of the Summer in training. All went well until early August when I hurt my ankle during a run. I thought I would be well in a few days and as a precaution, canceled my 16-mile hike that weekend. I had planned a high-altitude training hike in Colorado for the following weekend and thought I would be healed enough to go on that hike, but I had to cancel that too. I finally broke down and went to the doctor and as I suspected, the doctor wanted me to stay off the ankle. I got an ankle brace and took the next 10 days off to heal. By the time the end of August rolled around, I was training again but had to take it easy and not push too hard but didn't want to lose my conditioning. I spent the remaining time I had left doing as much cardio as I could to make up for the lost time and that had to be good enough. September had arrived and I was on my way back to California.

The plan was to begin the hike at Whitney Portal hike to the campground 6 miles from the trailhead and at 12,000 feet. The hike was great, and every bit as challenging and exciting as I had expected. The ankle was holding up fine and did not give me too much trouble. We reached the campground hours after we began and made camp and settled in for the evening around the campfire.

2 AM came quickly (I had stayed up past hiker's midnight so I could take a photo of the Milky Way). After breakfast, we started the 4 or 5-mile hike up the 99 Switchbacks and on our way to 14,508 feet. The hike up was tiring. It was cold, windy, and dark. We made the hike up to the top by sunrise and what a view! As the summit came into view, I forgot all about the fatigue and hunger. I was excited! Suddenly, several months of hard work and training came to an end. I felt like I was on top of the world because I made it to the top of Mount Whitey--Triumph!

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