Hiking with numbers is definitely safer than hiking alone, especially in the Sierras. For the first section (Kennedy Meadows South to Lone Pine) I hiked with (top row left to right) Mantis, Dash, Switchback, Head Start, Android, Twist, me (bottom row left to right) Tough, and Mini Chimi. The second section (Lone Pine to Kearsaege Pass) I hiked with Twist, Head Start, Mini Chimi, Dash, and Mantis.
To know you have a group that's got your back or can help in any situation. We may not have been the most experienced mountaineers, but we all were able to support and look out for one another. As Head Start said, "I feel like you guys would actually care if I fell off this cliff." It goes a long way to know the people you're hiking with care for you and your well being. The bond you create with those you hike with forms so quickly! I had no idea who any of these people (except for Mantis) were two months ago.
- Journey Man