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97 Switchbacks: Main Mount Whitney Trail by Joel Baldwin

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About This Gigapan

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Taken by
Joel Baldwin Joel  Baldwin
Explore score
1
Size
0.56 Gigapixels
Views
4623
Date added
Sep 29, 2009
Date taken
Aug 29, 2009
Gear

Canon SX10IS

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Description

The hiking trail to the top of Mt Whitney ( 14,505' ) is an extremely popular trail, with many memorable spots along the way to the highest spot in the continental United States.

The infamous "97 switchbacks" portion of the main Mt Whitney trail takes you from Trail Camp, just out of sight on the lower left, at an altitude of 12,000 feet up to Trail Crest at 13,600 feet, just out of sight to the upper right.

In between are 97 switchbacks winding back and forth gaining 1,600 feet in 2.2 miles.

2.2 miles doesn't sound like it's very far, going up hill 1,600 feet in that distance is a little bit of work, it doesn't sound too hard! But consider this, you're starting out at 12,000 feet! This stretch of trail is where many people start feeling the previous 8 miles, start feeling sick from the altitude, and end up turning back.

Try counting, how many of the switchbacks can you count?
How many people do you see on the trail?

Sorry I didn't get the shots all the way up to Trail Crest. This was hand shot in bright sunlight using the LCD panel on my Canon SX10IS and the upper portion of the trail was more by guess than knowning. I couldn't tell where the trail was from the ity bity display.

This was taken from near the top of Wotan's Throne along the NW Arete approach. I had just finished another gigapan of the entire east side of Whitney that got messed up and didn't turn out. I sat there for a while taking in the view, taking handheld shots and panorams, before heading back down to Trail Camp.

Next year I'll do the trip again and get a full resolution gigapan that'll include the entire east side from the switchbacks all the way to Mt Whitney and maybe a bit beyond.


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