It seems like yesterday when I was counting down the days until my Grand Canyon backpacking trip. Now, I’m counting down the final days until Mount Whitney. I’m very excited!
I’m a little scared too.
Of course, there is the intensity and technical requirements of the Whitney trek itself. The Mount Whitney forums and blogs all point to the dangers of folks heading up without being adequately prepared. The numerous dangers range from all things related to elevation (Whitney Portal to Summit), weather conditions, and the current water shortage, just to name a few. One would hope that our preparatory efforts would be enough however I don’t think one really knows until their training is put to the test. We are ready to stop anywhere along the path if bodies or the environment call for us to do so. The goal is not only to make it safely to the summit but to make it safely back down as well.
Much like my marathoning days, my body always seems to have one area or another demanding special attention. A twinge, pain, or weakness. Currently, this includes a tugging sensation at my right hamstring attachment which, thankfully, usually subsides when the muscle warms up. I have also been experiencing weakness in my right ankle, generally noticed during my yoga practice but there nonetheless. This has been ongoing since before Grand Canyon so — knock on wood — I don’t expect it to be an issue as long as I take care to keep my body happy. Hydrating well, packing only what I need and nothing more, and proceeding with respect for my body’s request to look for ease as I approach my many adventures should be enough to keep the body happy.
Although I would’ve loved to have YaYa accompany on this trip, destiny (or the lottery outcome) determined that June was our date to take on this challenge, rather than the end of July. While theMAN (aka Larry) and I are hiking Mount Whitney, YaYa will be on his own backpacking adventure, finishing off a week with Camp Kesem (CK). This will be his 8th and final summer at CK with the same group of kids, for the most part. Needless to say, they have done a lot of bonding over the years and I expect that it will be a little sad for him to have it end. I know I am a little sad.
Since it is the last year, I want to be there to meet the bus and say thank you to all the counselors one last time. However, this would mean we’d need to get down the mountain, drive 7+ hours, and be at camp by 3pm. Honestly, that might be pushing it.
Reluctantly, I called on my mom and stepfather to back me up. And if at all possibly, I will be there for the conclusion of our magical time with CK. Hopefully, we will also be celebrating a successful climb to the summit of Mount Whitney — which hope will serve as an example to YaYa that with a clear vision and dedicated effort, one can achieve even the loftiest of goals.