After I bag Mt. Whitney, the only peaks left in the US that are higher are in Alaska and Alaska has grizzlies. I can deal with black bears because they don't fuck with humans (except for about 10 times each decade, which is somehow just about the same as the brown/grizzly bear death toll per decade). After I bag the highest in North America, I'd have to climb the highest in both Americas. My next goal would be to start working on the Seven Summits so I'd head to Kilimanjaro, unless I decide that elevation is meaningless and I want to rank mountains based on their prominence, in which case the only one that beats Aconcagua is Everest and that shit really wants to kill you.
Someday (hopefully on August 31st) I'll bag my first 14er, but for now, the highest peak I've bagged is Alta Peak (11,208') in Sequoia.
The trail starts out easy. Enjoy the shade, bears, and relative flatness while you can. It won't last.
The elevation gain is only about 4000' over 6.7 miles, but 2000 of those feet are in the final two miles up to the summit.
|The light blue dot is me.|
There are plenty of places to hang out just below the peak, but the actual summit requires a bit of extra climbing, and the view is worth it.
|A bit of extra climbing.|
|Pear Lake from the summit.|
|Great Western Divide.|
This hike is highly recommended for anyone* who enjoys hanging out with bears and watching muscular shirtless men exercise. Also my favorite place to get engaged.
*Anyone who's prepared for a hike like this one. See this post.
Matti took these photos.