In July 2002 I went on a solo hike up Whale Peak. This was my first 13er, and my first mountain above about 12,300. I had hiked to Gibson Lake once before, but this time there was no snow, and the hike was much easier. After reading at the lake for nearly an hour, I decided to tackle Whale Peak. I went cross-country, straight up the crevasse north of the lake. It took me nearly 2 hours to make the .4 miles and 1100 feet of elevation gain. It also took me nearly an hour just to come back off of it. I didn’t experience any altitude issues, although I did experience vertigo a couple of times on the steep slopes near the top. I also got a bit of a sunburn. All in all, it was great to tackle a tall peak.