Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summitted Mount Whitney, now in Independence, CA (Mile 790)

Hey y'all,

This is Cheers!  (Marina); happy 4th of July!  We are currently relaxing and drinking Mammoth Paranoid beers at the Subway in Independence, CA.  We got in yesterday, and the last 8 days' hike took us from Kennedy Meadows, all the way through the Southern Sierra (including Sequoia National Park) and out east, through Kearsarge Pass.  We love being in the mountains, and are thrilled to have had incredible weather (highs in 70's, sunny and no thunderstorms) through the high passes.

Some hikers asked us a few days ago: what is our favorite section of the trip so far?  "This part!," we laughed.  Mount Whitney (the highest peak in the lower 48, which a 17-mile side trip to the east off the PCT) was amazing, and we've been taking tons of pictures.  No major problems with altitide, since we are well acclimated already.  No bear sightings so far, but we've been seeing lots of other wildlife, like marmots, deer and birds, and even a pika or two!  Other wildlife sightings include JMT (John Muir Trail) hikers, with whom we are sharing the trail till Yosemite, as well as lots of other PCT thru-hikers.

We head back up into the Sierra today, hiking 3,000 feet back up, to Kearsarge and to Kings Canyon National Park, over Glen Pass, into Rae Lakes.  Should see lots of glacial melt lakes and high Sierra passes in the next 8 days!  We look forward to seeing Dan's parents in Mammoth Lakes, our next town stop. 

Hope to see some of you in South Lake Tahoe in a few weeks!  Date and location TBA.


  1. FYI: I sent a package to Motel 6 in Mammoth Lakes; hopefully it arrived before you. Thought of you guys while hiking in the Swiss alps (though my hikes were fairly short)... hope you're having a good trip. :-)

    1. Awesome, thanks! We are now in Mammoth and about to head by the motel. Hopefully they won't be too miffed that we aren't actually staying there (since my parents came up to visit and made alternate lodging arrangements.)

      Where in the alps did you go? Marina and I went to Arosa last summer, which was nice.

    2. I went to Interlaken, then nearby mountains above Lauterbrunnen (the lower parts (~2100m) of Schilthorn -- facing Eiger, Jungfrau, and Mönch). It was just by myself; Ikuko & the kids were in Tokyo.