Mt Whitney, at 14,496ft (4417m), is the highest peak in the continental US. After hiking up Mt Wilson (5700ft) and Telescope Peak (11,049ft) in May and June, never-tired-Arnaud, long-legs-Sylvain and always-slow-Pierre decided to try the hike. The trail to the summit is in excellent condition, with only few hazardous sections. It is 11 miles long, starting at the Whitney Portal (8265ft) near Lone Pine. Not excessively long, but very strenous given the elevation gain and the high altitude. I would have liked to get an overnight permit to break the hike in two days, but we discovered this trail too late in the season and we could consider ouselves lucky to obtain a day hike permit.
We made the trip to Lone Pine the previous day in order to arrive to the ranger station and get our permits in time. Since we had some spare time on saturday, we went to the trail and hiked on a couple miles "to see how hard it is". After a good night sleep, we started the hike at 4:15am. Arnaud and Sylvain made it to the top around 2pm, and I arrived much later at about 3:30pm, since I was very sick due to the altitude. The hike down was very long too, and we were back to the car at the Portal... at 11pm. Next year I plan to do the hike again, but I'll send an application early to get an overnight permit, the day hike is really too strenous.