In preparation for our upcoming Mount Whitney adventure, we hiked our first 14,000+ foot mountain (“fourteener”), Mount Langley.

Left to right: David, Olivia, Kaleb, Sam, Vish

This was an arduous 20+ mile/~5000 foot elevation gain hike, ending at an elevation of 14,042 feet. Nearby Mount Whitney is a similar distance/elevation hike to the top, making this a perfect training hike. The trail itself goes through Cottonwood Lakes, what was supposed to be the end of my Cottonwood Pass backpacking journey if not for the snow at the time. Glad I could explore the area now with all snow was cleared!

The hike itself was absolutely beautiful, even if grueling. The relaxing calm of Cottonwood lakes and the nearby meadows are quickly forgotten as you struggle your way up the steep Old Army Pass. The 12,000 foot height of the pass gives you just enough “altitude silliness” to push through that soul-testing last push to the top of Mount Langley.

As we said on the trail, what is said above 12,000 feet stays above 12,000 feet! ;)

I had such a fun time completing this hike, and I now feel much more confident for Whitney. We have been training for Whitney all summer, I can’t wait to give it our best shot and reap the rewards of our hard efforts. Wish us luck!