Cold damned morning. I've perfected the art of putting on sandals, running to pee, grabbing my bear can and jumping back into my sleeping bag as quickly as possible. I do everything I can while in that bag. Anyway, Charlie appeared a bit better this morning, so, after waiting a few hours for some kind of response from the rangers, we decided to press upwards toward Tyndall Creek.
Some hiking time was spent worrying about the altitude before Charlie, who was developing a headache, suggested we start asking hikers if they had medical training. The next group of three, a Japanese family from LA, happened to have a nurse among them. She was in her early 60's, I think, and was quick to chide Charlie for stopping his blood pressure medication. From her oversized pack, she pulled an equally oversized bag of pills. Both men also pulled meds from their packs. Trail Nurse then handed Charlie several pills designed for altitude sickness, several baby aspirin, a bunvh of salt pills, and a couple of Viagra as substitutes for the altitude pills in a pinch. She insisted he repeat back her instructions for a medication regimen. He did. And immediately took altitude sickness medication. We thanked the group profusely.
Symptoms improved slowly. Hiking pace quickened. At an intermediate water source, we encountered a High Sierra Trail hiker who showed us an alternative route if the pills didn't do the trick. Now, with solutions piling up, we were much more confident for Forester Pass. At Tyndall, Charlie was clearly doing better, but understandably annoyed at having had to miss Whitney. Tomorrow is his birthday, and we will be climbing the highest point on the trail. This could be a really excellent birthday if the pills work. Anticipating a tough day, we all consumed our extra dinners for a carb load and attempted to get a good night's sleep.