Reaching the Summit

Guest Post by: Morgan Moranda
In August of this year, my wife and I decided to join a group of friends on the infamous "day hike" to the top of Mt. Whitney. Starting from about 8300 feet, you ascend at a steady pace over 11 miles to the peak at 14,505 feet....then back down! My wife prepared by doing some local hikes during the two months prior, and even worked in a few CrossFit sessions. I did CrossFit WOD's only for my preparation. I had been doing CrossFit 4-5 days a week for 7 months. Would that prepare me for a 22 mile hike? An hour a day of "working out" is a bit different than several hours and miles of climbing and pounding of the legs at high altitude!
Leaving at 2 in the morning with headlamps on, we set off and never looked back. Beautiful mountain scenery, pristine lakes, and the most gorgeous sunrise I have ever seen. I never felt out of shape, incapable, or for that matter very tired. The last couple of miles are tough, but you just grit through it (part of CrossFit training), and what an amazing return on investment. The highest peak in the lower 48 states, and the best tasting PB&J I've ever had(I know, not Paleo, but damn good). The best part was being there with my wife. Going down, gravity takes over and so does the pounding on your legs and knees, trekking poles are a blessing. When all was said and done, we finished together at a leisurely 16 hour pace and had a beer at the Portal while we waited for the others.
I believe that CrossFIt not only prepared me for this hike physically, but mentally as well. I have no doubt that if I did this hike again, with a group of my CrossFit friends from the Foundry, we would tackle this thing in under 12 hours (thats the competitor in me!) Crossfit Works! I'm going to apply for next summer's lottery for the permit to do this again, hopefully I get it and I can get some fellow athletes to come along with me. Going for a new PR! Bring it!
Needless to say, this hike is a must do for anyone who loves a challenge and the beautiful outdoors!