"Show off!" said the man as I overtook him. I turned around to retort something, saw his tired face and decided to stay silent: his crankiness was only coming from exhaustion.
We were about a kilometer away from the summit of Mt Whitney, and he most likely had started his day hike around 2am, tackling an insane 35Km round trip with an elevation gain of 1860m. I could understand that watching a young woman step lightly passed you, with no pack on and seemingly unaffected by the brutal climb, can spark that kind of comment.
What he didn't know was that I had started from the other side of Mt Whitney at Crabtree Meadows. It was a shorter distance, and even though still a rough track, no way near as ardous as the one he had just done. I also had been acclimated to high altitude for almost three weeks and fit from 18 days of continous hiking.
I was finishing the John Muir Trail.
The JMT is a 338Km long Trail in California, starting from Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley and ending at the summ...