MT. MUIR (14,012') July 15, 1995

Initially, this SPS climb was to do the Mountaineers route on Mt. Whitney, but for some reason, we had to cancel that. I think it was high water for a creek crossing. We would bag Muir, and with time, Whitney, too, by the trail.

We carpooled for the drive south along U.S. 395, and met the small group at Whitney Portal. As we reached the 97 switchbacks, snow covered the trail, so we headed straight up the snowfield to Trail Crest. We had ice axes. It is a short way to where we headed cross country for the peak, me leading a way which proved to be slightly wrong. I had made this same mistake on a solo hike, and had to turn back due to time.

We climbed the right rock route, class 3, correctly, and enjoyed the views from the top. It was a heavy snow year, so it was pretty, by me. I snapped a photo of the class 3 route on our downclimb, and we hiked back to Trail Crest. I sought a long glissade down the snowfield, but set off some loose snow, and yelled, "Avalanche!" Mostly in jest. Clumps of snow began to bury me, but I knew that it wasn't so serious. A girl came up to help, but I think that I may have rattled some hikers higher up on the snow, traversing on the trail route.

We had decided not to bag Whitney due to time, as we'd come back too late for dinner in Lone Pine. We got there, had some ribs, and the next day, began our long drive home.