Monday, August 1, 2011

Mt. Whitney Recap by Eric

Eric gave a great recap of the events and only some of what he learned on this trip.  I'm so grateful for all of the Young Men and Adults that made sure our guys made it back safely.  What an experience!  These are notes from his speaking assignment on Sunday during our Sacrament service.  

Sunday 7/31/2011
            “We’re all going to die.” ~Brother E
“We’re all going to die,” were the first words said as we got in the car at 4:30 in the morning.  It was then said by the hour, but as we got higher in elevation it was said more frequently to the point where it was said maybe every 5 minutes. We arrived at the trail head and were disappointed when Mt. Whitney was nowhere to be seen. I figured Ian was right when he said it was just over the hill so we started our trip. From then on we never heard “We’re all going to die.”
             On the first day I remembered a scripture 1Nephi 3:7
In other words we will not be tested on something that Christ does not believe we will succeed in.  So everything we do we are expected to prevail in. This thought changed my opinion on this trip. I started worried and scared, nervous that we were all going to die.  I finished this trip to find that the entire time I was never worried, never once uncertain that we would not finish or be subject to harm or accident.
             Brother D would frequently check on everyone asking if we where alright. For the first couple of days I would reply saying “Yes I’m fine.” Or, I’ll be alright.”  On Friday when he would ask I replied a little differently saying “No.  But that doesn’t matter anymore.”  From that point it didn’t matter how I was feeling because I knew we would finish and everyone would be safe.
Friday was what the rangers said to be the worst storm since the 1980s.  From the time we reached the summit of Mt. Whitney (11:00) to the time we finished (6:00) it was raining, hailing, snowing, there where lightning strikes every second (one hitting 30 yrds from my dad and Brother E) there were also rock slides, flooding, rivers that seemed to be impossible to cross and no trail.
             Knowing that there was no chance of stopping and making camp we continued to travel in these weather conditions. We stopped to pray and after the prayer we found our speed to have increased at least 3 times faster and any pain we had was numbed, maybe from prayer or the fact that whatever was hurting was probably frozen solid.
As we were nearing the end we saw a sign that said Mt. Whitney Portal 1 mile. That sign brought hope and cheer to our group so we followed the trail. We walked maybe 100 yards to find a flooded river that seemed to be impossible to cross. All that hope and cheer was then crushed by the simple river but an unexpected angel appeared, almost perfectly timed. It was a fry cook from the Mt. Whitney portal restaurant. He had found a path that hadn’t been used since the 1907(?).  He told us it is a safe trail and then he ran off to help other hikers in danger. We finished the hike safely but nervous for the rest of the hikers. Every single hiker that came down said the exact same thing “Thank God for the fry cook”.  Four of the hikers in our group didn’t make it down until the next day but even the next day the fry cook was still up there helping other hikers.
When we stopped and prayed we prayed for something or someone to help us find the way and the fry cook did. Some doubted him and continued to go across the river but those who did follow him made it safely. D&C 4:5 if we have faith and hope then there is no doubt we will make it to the end.
Bear Testimony

1 comment:

  1. My two sons and I were there last year. I was with Mark H. stuck at mirror lake overnight with the four from your party. Mark and I stayed up all night making sure everyone had been taken care of. Mark and I are LDS too. Small world. My younger son and I just hiked Whitney again last week. It rained on us every single day and we got hail coming down from the summit but it was NOTHING like last year. Glad everyone made it out safe.