Day 48: what a night. It was so hot at first then around 6:30 the wind started. We thought it was just the evening breeze and would let up but no. It stayed brutal until about 2am. The tent was slapping so loud and pushing against me. We were on rocks so the only thing attempting to hold my tent was more rocks. Stats tent didn’t last too long before he had to jump in with Scotty. Not a good sign for Whitney I kept telling myself. I don’t want to be exhausted when I need to really be able to focus for my safety. At 4am the alarms went off and I decided to go. My only plan was that if I ever felt unsafe I’d sit and wait until they came back down. I carried only a little water with a couple of bars, my sleeping bag in case of emergency and my stove also for emergency. Oh man. How nice a light pack without a dumb bear can feels!! It was interesting. But the most beautiful and amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Holy shit. The climb up was tough. Lots of switchbacks which we couldn’t even see a good chunk of due to snow. We ended up rock scrambling up the loose rocks a good chunk of the way. Scotty cut his finger pretty good….then we made it to the junction where hikers coming from Lone Pine come to get to the summit. There is little snow here and we’re on trail. And then we see it. The last bit to the top. A large steep snow patch. Spikes on and there we went. No problems! This ended up being so worth it. This view is unreal. The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. We’re at the tallest point, in the contiguous US at 14,505ft. We look around and it’s nothing but snow covered everything. It took us just over 3 hours to summit. The way down wasn’t as easy since we couldn’t get down slippery rocks as easily as go up them. In a large snow patch Stats and I decided to use our tools, his ice axe, and my whippet to help self arrest and guide us down to the next section of trail rather than sketchily walk across the snow. Very slowly, release then shoulder down and dig that axe in. Release, dig. For some reason this was so fun to me and I wasn’t scared even though it wasn’t totally safe. Then we’re almost done, a last snow bank. So why not butt glissade down? I wish I had the Video. It was so fast and fun. And so damn efficient. On the way down we saw Hawkeye and his group just coming up. I thought, they’re in for a treat. That snows going to become slush really soon. We make it back to our tents and break down while eating lunch then head back towards the PCT where we plan to find Meg and Hefty. The walk back was brutal. The elevation gain/loss this morning was hard on my body. And now we’re walking along a massive snow field in soft snow. And it’s never ending. You look around and it never seems like any progress is being made. And now it’s hot. At one point I fall down onto the snow and just start doing snow angels to cool off. Slowly but surely we finally make it back to the PCT. We walk for a bit knowing we’re heading to the next water source. And when we get there, I’m so excited to see Hefty and Meg. And there they were!!!! We’re all back together and everyone is safe. Today was a good fucking day. Pictured is Scotty and his Unicorn on the summit.