Posts Tagged ‘14496’

Carrie Turbow on the 99 switchbacks on the main Mt. Whitney Trail.  The summit of Mt. Whitney is the peak on the right.  The switchbacks gain about 1,300 feet in about 1/2 mile.  Hikers are rewarded at the crest at 13,300 feet,  with views of Inyo National Forest to the east and Sequoia National Park to the west. It wasn’t enough that Paul Bersebach and Carrie Turbow climbed Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states at 14, 496 ft, a week and a half ago.  What took place as they began at 3am on the trailhead, at 8,362 ft, sparked an idea at about 10,000 feet and matured at about 13,000 feet. 


The plan was a go at the top and as Beresbach explains it, Turbow signed off on the project exactly there at the highest point at 14,496 feet; there sitting on a rock, Turbow,  responded with a simple “yes” to his marriage proposal.


“Well, you know I had thought about it and it was in the back of my mind when we started….at 10,000 feet, I really started thinking about it and at 13,000 feet, I knew it was a good idea…we were sitting on some rocks, actually at the highest point on the summit…I was low key, I said some things first, like what she meant to me and then asked her and she calmly said “yes” …I expected her to cry a little and so when she didn’t, I asked her if she was going too…she said no and then a few moments later she let go a little…”


Outpost Camp is surrounded on three sides by 1,000-foot walls.  It sits in the pine trees at the base at about 10,400 feet. They took their time coming down after spending about half an hour on the summit.  They didn’t get back to the trailhead until 11pm or so.


“We really took our time and stopped along the way…it’s probably why we weren’t very sore…still though, 18 hours on the trails…”


The Whitney climb is 8,362 ft of elevation change in 10.2 miles, from trailhead to summit, for a total of 20.4 miles.  That would be like walking from San Clemente to South Coast Hospital in Laguna and back and half of it uphill.  You have to carry your own food and although they had a fine day for the ascent, you still have to carry the gear for the odd storm that could blow through.  Don’t forget that you have to filter water every little bit of distance as well.  That’s a lot of ingredients for one great day.


It seems to me that it was worth it; two separate people went up and a single unified one came down.

 Paul Bersebach and Carrie Turbow on the summit of Mt. Whitney at 14,496 feet.

Congratulations to Paul and Carrie.














Check out the story on The Orange County Register here: 







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Paul Bersebach and Carrie Turbow on the summit of Mt. Whitney at 14,496 feet.


Paul Bersebach and Carrie Turbow didn’t get enough last year and so this year they are going back.  If you happen to be up at 2am on Sunday morning for a glass of water or to check out why the dog is barking, take a moment to think of Bersebach and Turbow as they hit the trailhead on the way to a one day summit ascent of Mount Whitney; the highest point in the lower United States at 14, 496 feet. 


 Look skyward after a slow leisurely lunch around 2pm and you can imagine them at the summit.  At 8pm, after dinner and a post bar-b-que walk around the block, you can be assured that they will be just about back to where they started 18 hours before.  Their latitude and altitude in the California Sierras will allow them a few more seconds of sunset; for both of them, it’s worth it and everything they will have hoped for…again.


Bersebach and Turbow signed their names into the logbook at the top of Mount Whitney.

 About this time last year they had made the climb for the first time.  The 2007 effort had been a three day long tour of sorts but this year, it will be a sprint.  Bersebach, a staff photographer at the Orange County Register, is incorporating this climb, like last years, into a journal for the newspaper, to chronicle his efforts along with Turbow, his girlfriend. 



The two have only been hiking for three years and originally began after thinking back to common and shared moments on the trails with their fathers.  Upon signing the National Forestry logbook at the top Whitney last year, they each dedicated the climb to their respective dad’s.  I am wondering if, in order to solidify their thoughts, memories and love for dad, they haven’t organized the climb for father’s day this year.


“Carrie and I really have each thought back to the times we spent with our fathers, hiking and just spending time together…our focus has been to get back to that somehow with our climb on Whitney…”


View looking west from Trail Crest on the Mt. Whitney Trail at 13,360 feet.  Below is Guitar Lake.





Bersebach explains the immense satisfaction and relief of attaining the summit last year and it’s clear that it is the backbone to the plan for this year as well.  The mechanics of preparing equipment and practice climbs, each one more difficult and demanding than the one before, have meant more than a few trips to REI and a recent practice climb in the San Gorgonio Mountains. 



A big component of this year’s climb will be that they will be traveling a lot lighter and so will be “pumping” or filtering water as they go.  There is one thing that Bersebach will change from what he did last year.


“…last year we took a lot of energy goos and energy bars and this year we are going to concentrate on more things that are actually food…”


I asked him if he thought if he would learn or discover anything new this year on the climb and in that true straight forward common sense way that Midwesterners seem to be born with he said,


“…Nothing new…but the satisfaction in the completion of a goal….and …sore legs…” 


Actually, it sounds more Bersebachian than Midwestern.




























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