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    Monday, July 04, 2005

    Mt. Whitney Summitted Barefoot

    A big THANKS to Andy Kumeda and purEndurance.com for organizing this trip!

    And, yes, thanks to Dennis Lee and his wife for loaning me an ice axe at the frozen snow traverse. Without you, I would not have been able to continue safely. Thanks! And, congratulations to your wife. I know she was suffering from the altitude even before the switchbacks. Thanks for the photos, too.

    Dennis Lee took this photo of me descending at the Windows

    The Windows with Special Sandals I wore for the descent

    Me at the finish 12+ hours after starting up...

    Mt. Whitney from a safe distance

    I am going up there?

    Started midnight July 4th with Andy Kumeda. Summitted at 8 am. Back to Whitney Portal by 12:30 pm. Got lost MANY times, especially going up at night. It was hard to find the trail in snowy sections. Dennis Lee and his wife, together with Andy and I worked as a team to find the trail in certain sections. I feel confident that I could get to the summit in 4 hours without snow and not getting lost. Maybe I'll try again later this year.

    I was curious to find out if anyone else has climbed to the summit barefooted. So, I posted a question at the Whitney Portal Store Message Board. Click here to read the responses. According to Whitney Portal Doug it seems common to the point of a non event! Okay?!

    Looking up to Trail Crest

    Wore my special rope sandals with wool socks coming down. Went through snow, rivers, mud. They dry very quicky. Absolutely no blisters, not even a hint. That's the benefit of lightweight footwear.

    Looking down from Trail Crest

    Crossing streams is more fun barefoot...

    Best, Barefoot Ted

    PS. I stubbed a little toe up on the Trail Crest and left a little half-penny sized blood stain on the rocks all the way to the summit. I actually saw them for miles as I descended.

    Photo of blood on rock

    PSS. I did have some unusual visual hallucinations, probably from sleep deprivation and altitude, while descending the mountain and driving back to LA.Click here to read my report at the Whitney Portal Message Board.

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