The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go

For the past two years, I have gone with my two adventure friends Candy and Gary on an epic journey. First it was running/hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail in eight days in 2012. Then it was a double crossing of the Grand Canyon (R2R R2R) in 2013. So, when Candy asked about climbing Mt. Whitney this summer, it was game on.

Mt. Whitney is the tallest peak in the lower 49 states, taller than Mt. Rainier but shorter than Alaska’s Denali. There is an 11 mile (22 round trip) trail that takes off from 8000 feet before topping out at 14,496 ft. It wasn’t the easiest trail, being mostly of granite steps, boulders, and 99 switchbacks. The grind only made reaching the summit that much sweeter.

Mt. Whitney is in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains in southern California. This is where the famous naturalist, author, and early advocate of the preservation of wilderness, John Muir spent so much of his time. His words resonate with me so much that I thought it fitting to use them in this post with pictures from the trip. Be sure to enjoy the video that follows.

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.

Sierra Nevadas
Sierra Nevadas

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!

Sunrise on the trail
Sunrise on the trail

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.

In my zone
In my zone

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity.

Junction of the John Muir Trail
Junction of the John Muir Trail

Who wouldn’t be a mountaineer! Up here all the world’s prizes seem nothing.

Summit of Mt. Whitney
Summit of Mt. Whitney

It was the afternoon of the day and the afternoon of his life, and his course was now westward down all the mountains into the sunset.

It took a lot of nerve to sit here
It took a lot of nerve to sit here

Keep close to nature’s heart and break clear away once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

Pristine lake just off the trail
Pristine lake just off the trail

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.

One of the 99 switchbacks
One of the 99 switchbacks

 

Now that you are inspired, go watch the full (4 minute) video. (For best results, view in 1080HD in full screen)

Terri Rylander

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