His body tingling with static electricity and being pelted with hail as thunder rolled overhead, Eagle Scout Brian Phillips of Fresno dropped to his knees on the top of 14,500-foot Mount Whitney.
No more photos, he thought to himself, it's time to run. Hastening downhill from the Sierra peak, the 23-year-old ran into a newlywed couple, nearly at the top.
He urged them to turn back, but the wife was determined. This was more than a honeymoon hike for Jessica Aguilera of Los Angeles.
Although the 36-year-old had been vomiting, she was on a mission.