Almost 8h30. Just got back to Guitar Lake after making it to the top of Mt. Whitney to see the sunrise.
These past few days have been quite emotional. In a good way. A great way. Stumbling upon the note and catching up to them just in time, being able to see the central band of the Milkyway at night for the first time in my life, watching the sunrise on top of Whitney, the views coming down. It's too much!
Ok, rewind. My alarm goes off at 2. I take some snacks from my bear can to make it up the mountain and put on all the clothes I have with me. Hiking clothes, sleeping clothes and rainpants. Soon after I was one of the many headlights making their way to the top. Definitely not an easy climb, but being able to look up at an incredible night sky every little stop you make quickly lets you forget how exhausted you are. I made it to the summit around 4h40, well before the actual sunrise so I put my sleeping pad down behind a big rock and crawled into my sleeping bag, trying to warm my hands. Each time they warmed up enough, I'd get up and take some - stunning - pictures. It's beautiful up here and very cold and windy.
I stayed about an hour and a half before going back down. The sun was well up by then and the views going down amazing. When back at Guitar Lake I didn't linger around too long as I really could use the outhouse at the ranger station a few miles back. Toilet options around the rocky lake were somewhat limited. Nice view when sitting down for number two out here.
Lunch break now and by noon time to head back to the pct after this 16 mile Whitney excursion and do some trail miles.
Even though I was only on top of the lower 48 this morning, I feel on top of the world. Both mentally and physically. Hope it resonates in my posts.