Today was a long day. We did 21 miles in the sierras, which is a tough day. A lot of elevation gain all at high altitude. And two creek crossings. I woke at three with the Texans to make our big push today. Our tents were completely frozen over, covered in frost. It was a frigid morning heading out but stayed warm but keep moving. My feet were frozen the majority of the time though. It got to the point where it started tingling, so I knew I couldn't stop for too long. We hiked out in fresh powder following foot steps left from the day before, now turned into ice. The snow beneath our feet were crunching with every step. We saw the alpenglow on the huge snowy mountains from the distance. It's so amazing to have these views now. And to think, we were just in the desert three days ago!
We reached chicken spring lake and it was amazing. The very first alpine lake you see where you start feeling like you're truly in the sierras. It reminded me of the enchantments so much. There were tons of tents set up as I walked by them all early in the morning. My feet started hurting really bad so I couldn't stay long. The sun felt so good on my body as it slowly came out, still chilly but felt warm if you stood in it. My feet didn't really thaw out till we started descending. They felt super soggy though. Everywhere was so beautiful, I couldn't stop taking photos! All of the fresh snow on the trees were quickly melting in the sun.
We finally made it to rock creek at around mile 14. Man I was tired. We wanted to make a big push before lunch. Rock creek is our first river ford. It was a little frightening but we all made it through safely. The water came up to just above my knees but it was soooo cold. So cold that it hurt real bad that I didn't even focus on the fording, I just wanted to cross it as quickly as I could. After that, we were finally able to set out everything to dry. We were still all carrying the snow on our tents.
Didn't get to nap during lunch but we needed to make the final uphill push to Crabtree meadow, where the pct and mt Whitney junction is. That afternoon uphill was tough for me. Every incline was so hard. I finally reached the junction and we took the trail to the ranger station. All of a sudden we had to do ANOTHER creek crossing. The worst part is that it was unexpected and in the evening so there was no sun to warm up. We finally made it to camp and saw ET and Heffe and bunch of other hikers. Got to talk to some who already made the climb so we could get an idea on when to go up but I think we're gonna wake up at 2am. The climb should take about six hours and coming down, we want to avoid the slush so getting down before noon is best. I am a little nervous but also stoked. We heard from others that the 14k altitude really affected them on the way up and at the summit. Dizzy, light headed, nausea and wheezing. Yikes!! I can't wait.