Aloha Hawaii. Mahalo Hawaii.

Aloha Hawaii!

In how many ways and how many little things can I count thy stunning beauty?

How can my lousy photo taking skills and my silly old camera do justice in capturing thy beauty?

Thy lush green gardens,

thy coconut and banana trees,

thy beautiful flowers,

thy jet black lava rocks,

thy numerous birds,

thy breath taking beaches.

Your sights and sounds will stay in my inner mind for ever.

Until we meet again…Mahalo Hawaii.

Aloha Hawaii - 2- Ambal Balakrishnan

Climbing Mt. Whitney in Inyo National Forest

This is what it really takes to climb any mountain (both the real and the metaphorical). Put one foot in front of another. And, repeat.

Adi and Ari are in India with grandparents. So, Kumar and I have been out this summer doing backpacking and seeing all the beauty that CA and OR forests have to offer.

On Monday, July 26 about noon time Kumar and I completed one of our long standing goals of completing the Mt. Whitney Climb.

We ascended the summit from the Whitney Portal trailhead at 8,365 feet and completed the round trip 22-mile hike in 19 hours! We managed to hike it without any altitude sickness(altitude sickness can be dangerous and life-threatening!).  Mt. Whitney is the highest summit in the contiguous United States and the Sierra Nevada, with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4421 m).

2 eyes, 1 lifetime, 1 soul is not enough to enjoy God’s work from 14,500 ft!

Climbing Mt. Dana in Yosemite National Park

This is what it really takes to climb any mountain (both the real and the metaphorical). Put one foot in front of another. And, repeat.

This a partial list of practice hikes that Kumar and I are using to train for Mt. Whitney attempt this summer.

April 25 – Mission Peak
Distance: 6 miles round trip
Time: 3 hrs
Elevation: 2,517 ft

May 2 – Black Mountain
Distance: 9.6 miles round trip
Time: 4hr 45 minutes
Elevation: 2,530 ftMay 8 – Mt. Diablo
Distance: 14.6 miles
Round tripTime: 7hr
Elevation: 3,849 ft

June 5 – Sunol Ohlone/Wilderness Hike
Miles: 20.2
From base to peak: 8am-2pm.
From peak to base: 2.45pm-9.30pm

June 12 – Clouds Rest – Yosemite – Happy Isles Trail
Miles: 20
From base to peak: 7am – 3pm
From peak to base: 3.30pm – 9pm
Peak Height reached: 9300
Elevation Gain: 5700 ft

July 10 Morning – Mt. Diablo – Practice for Dana
Miles: 4

July 10 Evening – Mt. Dana Practice
Mile: 2
From base to 1st mile marker: 7.30pm-8.15pm
Bake to Base: 8.15-8.30pm
Elevation Gain: 1000 ft
Peak Height reached: 10,600

July 11 – Mt. Dana
Miles: 6.2
From base to peak: 5 hrs
From peak to base: 4 hrs
Elevation Gain: 3000 ft
Peak Height Reached: 13,000 ft

Mt. Dana is a mountain on the eastern edge of Yosemite National Park in the U.S. state of California. At an elevation of 13,061 feet (3,981 m), it is the second highest mountain in Yosemite, and the northernmost summit in the Sierra Nevada which is over 13000 feet in elevation.

Kumar and I hiked Mt. Dana as a practice hike to train for Mt. Whitney.

Climbing Mt. Dana in Yosemite National Park - Ambal Balakrishnan