By Bryden Bowley | Feb. 23, 2021

The High Sierra has a way of pulling me in.

It was August of last year, and a backpacking trip was on my checklist. Sasha (or "Pineapple" as she's referred to on the trail), a close friend from the CDT, had time off from school. We decided to rendezvous in Lone Pine, California for an adventure.

Sasha, a.k.a. Pineapple. San Diego, CA. Triple Crown hiker.

We set out early afternoon for a four-day, three-night, 53-mile hike through Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. On the third night, we broke camp at 2 a.m. and began our ascent towards Mount Whitney. At 14,505 feet, it's the tallest peak in the lower 48 states.

Pineapple swimming in Bullfrog Lake, just over Kearsarge Pass.

Soaking our feet in Guitar Lake.

As the sunrise started to crest over the horizon, we reached the summit. We yelled at the top of our lungs, enjoyed the views, took pictures, had a quick snack, and then descended out Whitney Portal where Pineapple's car was parked. The downhill hurt my knees and looking back up at the towering mountains I'd just come from hurt my neck.

Sunrise from the summit of Mount Whitney.

The Sierra is even better experienced than explained. Granite peaks illuminate with beauty in the sun and emerald-blue lakes leave you blinking with those “I can’t believe this is real” feelings. I’m fortunate enough to have been backpacking in these mountains twice, and it will not be my last.

Until next time,
Bryden "Simba" Bowley