We knew we couldn’t hike to the top of Mount Whitney. One way would have been 11 miles already. So we decided to rest at a lower altitude, at Lake Lone Pine.
We hiked up without knowing the distance. The estimations of hikers approaching us varied too much. Alan was dragging behind because he was sleep- and food-deprived.
We finally reached the pretty lake. We refreshed ourselves with some nut pastry and lake-cooled Asian juice. When we bathed our feet in the water, Alan unfortunately cut his heel pretty deeply *ouch*
Downhill, we were taking short-cuts. So I peed somewhere off-trail. To do so, I took of my thin jacket and put it on a stump. That’s when the drama of Mount Whitney began.
I didn’t realize that I had forgotten to bring my jacket along until we were back on the trail. Ambitiously, I took off all by myself, convinced to find it in a few minutes. Instead, I didn’t find my jacket at all but even lost Alan and Supar.
Eventually, I hiked down further, desperately calling Alan. Luckily, I met two Germans who confirmed me that they hadn’t met any guy with a dog. So I hiked back up. After a little while, I met Alan + Supar *unbelivably happy*
Alan didn’t say much on the way down, just that he was too exhausted to talk. The lecture followed on the car ride to Lone Pine: “You don’t take off brainlessly all by yourself! I have the bag with water, whistle, flash light, emergency blanket. We always work as a team! We’re responsible for each other! We could have searched together systematically. Such a jacket is definitely not worth getting hurt. Imagine you were even unconscious and I couldn’t find you…” A valuable lesson with – fortunately – a happy end.