Due to my birthday - beers - I thought it might be wise to get at least the mandatory 8 hours of sleep. So while Kevin and Phillip stuck to our 4 in the morning routine, I woke up an hour later and left Kennedy Meadows with Giggles, Roadrunner and Autopilot. Ready to start the second major region of the pct. The Sierra Nevada mountains, including Yosemite national park and a sidetrip to summit mount Whitney at 14505 feet - 4421 meters altitude.
Out of KM at 6148 feet, we immediately climb up to 10500 feet. As we all have different hiking speeds and habits, we usually agree on where to take a next bigger break and where to camp at night. We caught up with Kevin and Phillip when they were taking their first break of the day.
When climbing, I like to get a steady pace and only take very short - a couple minute - breaks when really needed until I reach the top. When I got to the highest point today, about a mile before our camping spot, I decided to wait for the others to arrive. I sat down on a rock in the sun with some oreos and water and started writing blogposts. It felt unusually long before someone else arrived. Unfortunately, my feeling was right.
Giggles got altitude sickness during the climb and she, Roadrunner and Autopilot turned around to camp at a lower altitude. And as Phillip and I head into Lone Pine tomorrow, I won't see them again till Tuolumne 214 miles up trail - and even that might be a big if. We all have different resupply plans for this stretch and it's hard to say how many days we all will be apart two weeks from now. Very sad I couldn't give them a proper goodbye. I hope a night halfway up the mountain will help.