It’s getting a little bit, um, real-er. Almost a year after first posting about my “insane, next-to-impossible goal of eventually ascending Denali”:http://www.mrjerz.org/goals/the-ultimate-goal, I am taking a legitimate step toward it.
I originally saw this possibility while reading up on how tough of a hike Mount Rose might be. It’s listed on Summit Post (number 3) as one of the main routes up to the top. The description there is basically exactly as I’ve been describing it to people I talk with, so I won’t go into all the detail here. I particularly hoped to get above the smoke from the King Fire burning to the southwest of Lake Tahoe. As it was, there wasn’t too much smoke on this morning, but I did get to see some hanging in the valleys.
“This is the hardest three miles I’ve ever done with a pack on.” That was my cousin, Cotie, as we made what we expected was the last bit of ascent up the trail toward Griswold Lake. We were climbing up rocks and through small fractures in the canyon that housed Butterfield Creek about 20 miles south of Elko and a mile west of the more popular and famous Lamoille Canyon in the Ruby Mountains. Cotie would later revise his statement to this: “That was the hardest three and a half miles I’ve ever done with a pack on.”
On June 25, 2014, Jim Scripps and I hit the road from Reno to Lone Pine, California and west from there to the Mount Whitney Portal to embark on what would be a test of our physical abilities, mental fortitude and a test on our already fragile friendship. Not really. We just decided that we wanted to climb Mount Whitney in a day and figured this would be as good a day as any to give it a try. Not really there, either. Just read on to see how it all went down. I am sure I forgot some stuff that Jim can fill me in on in later edits, but this is my story.
I took Sunday morning to hike Hunter Creek Trail to the falls with my daughter. Just a couple of weeks ago, there was a fire in the area that grew bigger than I ever thought it would. That shut the trail down for a while. In fact, we were supposed to go last weekend, but the trail closure forced me to switch this trip with the trip up Mount Rose.