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Mount Whitney was my first High Point ever. Spring semester my freshman year of college, my suitemate and good friend Rich Reister invited me along on a trip he was planning to climb the highest mountain in the united states outside of Alaska. At 14,493' the challenge seemed daunting, but I was overwhelmed with excitement to visit some of the most pristine wilderness in the world. Rich and I would be joined by four others on the expedition: Matt Hales, a good friend and fellow suitemate; Scott Reister, Rich's brother; Lance Bishop & Lee Claypool, friends of Rich &Matt's from high school.

The trip was planned for early may, the week following the end of spring semester. This was necessary to make it back in time for summer classes, but would have the added benefit of heavy snow on the mountain. During the later months of summer, Mount Whitney is void of snow and much easier to climb. We wanted the challenge and the added beauty of the snow. We rented an RV for a week to get us there in comfort and style. On the drive home we took some time to see the sites, stopping off to see Vegas, Hoover Dam, and the Grand Canyon. What a amazing trip!

The climb was the hardest thing I have ever done up to that point in my life, and I had just finished my first year in Texas A&M's engineering school! The effort was worth it. The scenery was amazing, views breathtaking, companions true, and experience grand. Simply put, I was hooked for life, will and always will be... a mountaineer.

00 -  Mount Whitney Post Card
00 - Matt in town getting crampons
01 - View from road
02 - Packing sacks for early start tomorrow
03 - Waterfall near campgroun 8,000 ft
04 - Mountain Stream
05 - Crossing Stream on Bridge
06 - Gaining altitude
07 - Climbing through the snow
08 - Mountain lake - Reister Brothers
09 - Mountain Lake - Kyle
10 - Mountain Lake Landscape
11 - Kyle on the way up
12 - Campsite at the base of the crest
13 - Kyle in long underwear
14 - Rich and Matt near campsite
15 - Top of crest
16 - View between spires
17 - Kyle on Ridge
18 - Hiking along ridge
19 - Dont fall! - Kyle goofing around
20 - Final Push
21 - Finish in sight
22 - Success!
23 - Summit Plaque
24 - Summit with US flag
25 - Aggies on the summit - Rich, Kyle and Matt
26 - Shelter on summit
27 - Summit landscape 1
28 - Summit landscape 2
29 - Kyle on summit with ice axe
30 - Kyle on summit with ice axe (hat on)

Map of US HighPoints
KEY: States: Green - summited, Yellow - attempted, White - Not visited
Dots: Green - State Lowpoint, Red - State Highpoint

 

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©2008 Kyle E. Hoelscher. All rights reserved.

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CA - Mount Whitney AL - Cheaha Mountain AZ - Humphrey's Peak AR - Mount Magazine (Signal Hill) CO - Mount Elbert FL - Lakewood (Britton Hill) GA - Brasstown Bald ID - Borah Peak IL - Charles Mound IN - Hoosier Hill, 1,257' MO - Taum Sauk, 1,772' KS - Mount Sunflower, 4,039' KY - Black Mountain, 4,145' LA - Driskill Mountain, 535' MS - Woodall Mountain, 806' IA - Hawkeye Point, 1,670' NE - Panorama Point, 5,424' NV - Boundary Peak, 13,143' NM - Wheeler Peak, 13,161' TX - Guadalupe Peak, 8,749' NC - Mount Mitchell, 6,684' ND - White Butte, 3,506' OH - Cambell Hill, 1,550' OK - Black Mesa, 4,973' PA - Mount Davis, 3,213' SC - Sassafras Mountain, 3,560' SD - Harney Peak, 7,242' TN - Clingmans Dome, 6,643' UT - King's Peak, 13,528' VA - Mount Rogers, 5,729' WY - Gannett, 13,804' MT - Granite Peak, 12,799' WI - Timm's Hill MI - Mount Arvon MN - Eagle Mountain MD - Backbone Mountain HI - Mauna Kea AK - Denali WA - Mount Rainier OR - Mount Hood NY - Mount Marcy NJ - High Point DE - Ebright Azimuth CT - MountFrissell (South Slope) RI - Jerimoth Hill MA - Greylock VT - Mount Mansfield NH - Mount Washington MA - Katahdin (Baxter Peak) PR - Cerro de Punta Washington D.C. - Fort Reno