Bets wanted to hike Mt. Whitney without anyone slowing her down. Like her husband. She got a last-minute permit and at 4:10 am the next day I dropped her off at the Whitney Portal trailhead, then I went back to sleep. I woke up at 7:00 am and checked her progress (Garmin Inreach) and she was almost to the top of the switchbacks, about 7 miles into the 11 mile hike.
What the heck? My plan was falling apart already. I rushed down to the Lone Pine airport where I had parked my plane. I quickly fed the dogs, brushed my teeth, did a preflight and took off, taking 30 minutes to climb to 15,000 feet, donning O2 along the way. I arrived near the summit about the same time she did, at 8:45 am. That is really fast! For her, not me.
In fact, she didn’t even eat lunch on top, she waited and we had lunch together at Whitney Portal trailhead.
Anyway, here are the photos. Betsy is in a red jacket and shorts if you can find her. Legally (maybe not legally, but strongly recommended over wilderness area) I needed to be 2,000 feet from the summit but I stayed further away than that and used a big zoom lens. Still, after a few passes I figured I should leave. However being so early there were not many people on the summit and Bets told the people near her that “that is my husband out there” and they got into it.
I did a 360 around the summit, so for those Mt. Whitney nuts here are lots of angles