Mt. Whitney is an incredible place and a unique mountain for many reasons. One of those reasons is that it is the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. Another reason is that pretty much any hiker with a little experience could climb it in a day.
I am an experienced hiker, but I also have a tendency to follow my ambitious ideas past the point of reason. We drove up from the low desert that morning and hiked too far the first day, not giving ourselves time to acclimate to the altitude.
A mile above the tree line, I spent an agonizing and sleepless night asking myself: “which will happen first: will I vomit up my intestines or will my head explode like fireworks?”
Next time we will be smart about it and camp at the trailhead the night before to give ourselves a good night sleep and time to acclimate.