Day 45 (Pete)

Well no bears last night after all that anxiety building. Tonight’s camp, in Crabtree Meadow, has a big metal box to store food in.

We had to go by map and compass once today. Snow cover was about 85%. Often we could find our way by spying the little five and ten foot trail sections between the twenty to thirty yard snow tromps. Besides there are still people ahead and footprints to follow. Before lunch we crossed a large flat forested area aptly named the Siberian Plateau.

Views of a cluster of 14,000 peaks began at Cottonwood pass today. Continually we gained ground on their bases. Now we are at the start of an eight and a half mile side climb up to the peak of Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower forty eight states. We will attempt the climb tomorrow. I say “attempt” not because it is a hard climb. 3,000 plus feet strait up through mostly snow is certainly going to be a piece of work. All, however, within our abilities. The crux will be sneaking our two Mt. Whitney climbing permitless asses past friendly ranger Dick at the Crabtree ranger station first thing tomorrow.

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