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Late Season

I've been idle the past month, running and hiking around 50km per week and not traveling very far from home.  It's been a good respite letting my body and mind focus on different things.  This past weekend was my final weekend in that mode before the upcoming winter and I wanted a quiet and peaceful trip.  I drove up to the Southern Sierra hoping to reach the summit of Mt. Whitney via the Main Trail with a night camping at Trail Camp at 12K ft.  I've summit Whitney nine times but never have I camped on the way up the eastside so it was to be a different experience.
There was a death on the Mountaineers Route this past Tuesday and predictably I got the "you might not return" spiel from a ranger at the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center.  I started my 2-day backpack at 4pm at the desolate Whitney Portal.  I prefer the Mountaineers Route but not knowing the conditions as well as being alone I decided to stick to the easy and mindless trail.
After packing my (very) cold …

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