Mount Whitney Clean up and Bristlecone Pine Forest

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We made it!
Over the weekend we climbed Mount Whitney to perform a clean up of the trail and summit.
The first group, consisting of Dario, Salina, Andre, Anina and Jenny along with our friends Adrien, Anthony and Summer from Bishop.
We left Whitney portal at 11pm on Friday evening. With the trail lit by the full moon we were blessed with near perfect conditions; very little wind and although a lot of snow on the ground, it wasn’t too cold.
Whilst walking along the trail we all looked out for any plastic/ rubbish we could collect, but were very pleased to find very little to clean up and were treated to some spectacular views as the sun began to rise.
We made a few short stops along the way, but tried to push through, spreading out slightly to suit individuals pace.
The first made it to the summit at 8am, with us all summiting by 9am.
It was an incredible achievement and Salina and Andre must be amongst the youngest people to make it to the summit in one day un-aided. We were so pleased to see the summit so clean also. Then came the gruelling decent, which unexpectedly proved tougher than the climb…. partly because now in the daylight we could see how far we had left to go!
Part of the way down we re-grouped with Sabine, Noe, Alegra, more of the friends we made in Bishop; Nancy, Evan, Greg and Diana as well as several people who had heard of the clean up via facebook, twitter and a shout out on the local radio. This group has made it about a 3rd of the way up the trail, cleaning-up the main base camp area. Again, we were thrilled to find that there was very little there for us to clean-up which correlated with the exceptionally well kept trail up to the summit. As planned, Sabine then made for the summit herself whilst the rest of us dragged our now very tired legs back to Whitney Portal and then home.
After a days rest on Sunday, today we went out and visited the local Bristlecone Pine Forest, with Diana Cunningham our very knowledgeable guide!
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The forest it the oldest living in the world, with many of the trees dating back to over 4,000 years ago.
The durability of the forest and trees is thanks to both the nature of the species of tree but also to the predictability and stability of the areas climate.
The trees are a spectacular site, with many of the trunks twisting and turning in amazing formations. Whilst there we read about the forest commissions fears for the tress future, and how climate change potentially bring around changes to the area which the trees may not be able to handle.
For more information on these amazing trees, see here.

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