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#86805 - 09/05/11 02:04 PM Perfect Day on Mt Whitney [Re: Doug Sr]
mcphersonm80 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Sierra Madre, CA


***First off, I want to extend a thank you to Doug(s), Earlene, and all the folks at the Portal Store/Campground, and the posters on this board. This is an extremely valuable resource that helps many get to the top of this crazy mountain and who knows, might even save some lives.***

Now here's my extremely long trip report/tips:

My single regret from hiking Whitney this week is that I'll never get to do it for the first time again... frown

As they say, the third time's a charm; after being turned down two years in a row, we finally got our permit this year for August 31. I originally wanted an overnight permit for two of us, but my last slot on the application was for any dayhike in August, and that's what we got.

We arrived in the Portal Monday around noon, set up camp, and quickly took a hike up to Lone Pine Lake. I had seen pictures, but had no clue how peaceful and serene this place would be. We had lunch here, took a nap on the rocks, and just relaxed. Headed back down to camp in time to grab a few things from the store and cook dinner before nightfall.



Right after cleaning up, we had our first visitor. A big guy, I'd guess somewhere around 350lbs, he came up, sniffed the locker, checked what we had on the table, and sauntered back into the forest.

Tip #1: What you hear about bears in the Portal is no joke, they're everywhere. Just keep your stuff within armsí reach or locked up AT ALL TIMES, they're not aggressive but they also aren't shy.

The following morning, we headed up the Meysan Lakes Trail. A little disappointed that we couldn't find Little Meysan Lake (any tips? I still have no clue where it is, there just seemed to be a meadow where it should have been...), and since our big hike was the following morning we decided to turn back just shy of Peanut Lake. Awesome scenery up here and we only come across one or two other hikers, so if you want to avoid the crowds, give it a shot. Warm down at the start of the trail, though, and not much shade.



Tip #2: Acclimate!

I'm convinced that these two hikes made all the difference in the world for our Whitney hike. These combined with sleeping at the Portal for two nights left us with absolutely NO issues from altitude whatsoever. We were expecting at least some AMS-like symptoms, but nope. On to the big hike...

We drove up to the trailhead at 3:00am and were on the trial by 3:15am. Having never hiked in the dark, I was a little apprehensive but it ended up being quite enjoyable. We flew up the first couple miles to the Lone Pine Lake junction, no issues with the water crossings, and continued to make good time up the unfamiliar sections to Outpost Camp.

Tip #3: Bring a map.

There are very few issues finding the trail even if you're only paying half attention, but there are a couple points where you might get turned around. We ran into a group stalled at the Outpost Camp junction having no idea which way to go. They didn't have a map, and it isn't clearly marked which way to turn. Pulled out my map, pointed to the right, and in 5 seconds they were on their way. Bring a map. Not only will these little junctions pose no obstacle, but they also help you identify landmarks and whatnot along the way.

Tip #4: THERE ARE A LOT OF SWITCHBACKS HOLY COW!!!! (not really a tip)

I thought I had researched the trail from top to bottom, but I was surprised at just how many switchbacks there are. All you ever hear about are the 97, but there are easily twice that, probably close to 250 one-way (has anybody actually counted?). There's nothing physically demanding about them, but if you're like me and let them get to you from time to time, just keep hiking and focus on the brilliant scenery around you. It feels like you're getting nowhere, but eventually, you'll get past them. Trust me.

So on we went, past Bighorn Park and its easily negotiable water crossing(s), through Outpost Camp and its simple junction, past Mirror Lake glowing eerily under the starlight, and up to the Whitebark Stump section. This is where we started seeing the first signs of dawn, and this is where Iíll pull aside for a second.

While researching the hike, I often stumbled across arguments on dayhiking vs backpacking Mt Whitney. Some say backpacking is the only way to go, as dayhiking requires you to hike partially in the dark and you miss the beauty of the mountain (not true). Some say that dayhikers are only there to complete some kind of test of endurance and arenít respecting the trail (not true, and even if it were, who cares?).

The truth is, itís exactly what you make of it. Thereís no right or wrong, and to be honest I initially wanted to backpack it and stay a night at trail camp, slightly disappointed that we got a mere day permit, but looking back I wouldnít change a thing. First, you miss nothing on the trail; your senses adjust and are attuned in a completely different way. Thereís no right way to enjoy the forest, itís there whether the sun is up or not. Even in the dark, we took our time, sauntered, made sure to look around us and enjoy the experience, and I absolutely loved hiking beneath the Milky Way. Thereís something magical about thatÖ




Bottom line:

Tip #5: Donít be discouraged if you didnít get the date/permit you wanted.

This mountain will see to it that you have an unforgettable experience.

After gawking in awe at the surreal landscape in front of us, granite ridges aglow with a new day, while still beneath a sky filled with countless stars, we continued. Eventually, the dawn was sufficient to shutoff our headlamps and continue, and when the sun finally came up over the Inyo Mountains we found ourselves at Trailside Meadow.



Iím glad this area is protected from camping, as it seems incredibly delicate but also stands out as one of my favorite sections of the trail. Youíre also approaching 12,000 feet here, so I hope you put the work in in the months leading up to your hike, otherwise youíll start feeling it. Speaking of thatÖ

Tip #6: Prepare!

This hike is no joke. We prepared for months, hiking Mt Baldy several times, including the North Backbone route, several other multi-peak long mileage hikes, Clouds Rest from Happy Isles in Yosemite, etc. Be in the best shape of your life. Hydrate the week leading up to it, eat well, rest. You went through all the trouble of getting the permit and making your way to the Portal. This is one of the few factors you can control.

The stretch from Trailside Meadow up to Trail Camp seemed a lot longer than it should haveÖ Probably because our first lengthy break would be at Trail Camp. We made it there without incident and were surprised to find the small lake covered in a thin sheet of ice around the edges. Needless to say, it was cold.

Tip #7: Layers, layers, layers.

As with all of my other tips, this one shouldnít be news. It was much, much colder in full sunlight at Trail Camp than it was at 3:00am down at the trailhead. The weather is hard to predict, so donít skimp on the clothing. The extra 2 or 3 lbs and added bulk are worth it once you get up to 12,500+. Itís cold. Very cold.

Had a few snacks and rested here for about 30 min. It helped a lot to reenergize before the 97 switchbacks. To be honest, they werenít that bad at all. Itís along this stretch that you really start seeing the summit and the Smithsonian Hut. Some might say that the switchbacks are too gently graded, but I disagreeÖ This being my first time up above 12,500, I appreciated the ease of the slope even if it adds to the distance.

Plus, there was still plenty of ice on the slopes. Easy to cross, but if youíre not looking for it, it could be an unpleasant slip. One rock was completely covered in icicles, and this being the last day in August, I can only assume that ice on the switchbacks is a year-round concern.

But at the end of the day, the philosophy of one foot in front of the other holds true. Youíll make it. It went by much quicker than I thought it would.

Once you hit Trail Crest, youíll have a whole new set of things to look at to keep your mind off of the hike.




Tip #8: The Stretch from Trail Crest to the Summit is Relentless

At 13,600 youíll be inclined to think, ďOnly 900 vertical feet to go!Ē Wrong. For one, you dip down something like 500í to the JMT junction (not really that much, but it feels like it), so there's really more gain than it seems. And at this elevation, any gain is exponentially harder. We were lucky. We did our acclimatizing and it paid off big time. No ill effects whatsoever, but thatís not to say it was easy. I would stop every 40 yards or so for a break. The views are stunning, not only of the Great Western Divide and Sequoia, but of the until-now hidden west face of Whitney and the needles.

Not much to say here, to be honest. You just have to push through it. There are some sections with tricky footing and extremely intimidating drops to the west, and of course there are the windows, but the trail is wide enough to safely get by.

The weather was perfect for us. Textbook perfect. But it wouldnít be fair to not mention the following:

Tip #9: Lightning is an Extremely Serious Concern on the Sierra Crest

If there are any signs of thunderstorms in the area (dark clouds, buzzing, static electricity on your arms, etc) turn back and descend immediately. Itís not worth it. The mountain will be there next year. In fact, itís still growing, so itíll be even more impressive next time. wink

We encountered a large snowfield just below the summit, easily crossed without any kind of gear other than poles. And the summit push is actually pretty easy. Chances are, your excitement will pull you up that last couple hundred yards with very little effort.

Once you reach the summit, the relief is indescribable. You probably wonít be alone, other hikers and marmots will be there to greet you and steal your food. Soak in the views, (carefully) stand on the rocks and realize youíre higher than anyone in the lower 49 states. And then reality sinks inÖ you still have 11 miles to go.


Tip #9: Read as Many Trip Reports/Websites as Possible

As Iíve already mentioned, we got extremely lucky with the weather. It literally could not have been better. In all likelihood, you will not be as lucky. Read other reports, particularly in the days/weeks leading up to your hike. Go back through archives and read reports from past years in the same time of year as youíll be climbing. We didnít have to use much of the information we read, but we were prepared. We had our layers, were prepared to turn back if the weather turned ugly, had our iodine tablets for filtering water (ended up not needing them), had waaaay more food than we needed, etc.

I donít have much to add on the descent, it was straightforward and extremely long.

Key Advice: It canít be said enough times. The goal for this hike is not the summit, itís your car parked at the Portal. You MUST get back there. This hike is 22 miles, not 11.

Other things:
Vitalyte Ė they sell this stuff at the Portal Store and also at stores like REI, Adventure 16, etc. It works, and itís delicious. Basically Gatorade without the excessive sugar.

Pace Ė go at your own pace. Too fast or too slow and you won't make it. The best advice I've seen in this regard is to go at a pace that you can sustain for an hour without stopping.

Enjoy the Mountain Ė In many ways, this is the most important part. You've read all the warnings, done all your homework, you're in the best shape of your life....

Remember that youíre hiking Mt Whitney. For most of us, this is a rare opportunity. Whether you make it or not, enjoy the unique surroundings. As I was sitting on the summit, another hiker finished and shouted ďIím on top of Mt Whitney!!!Ē and I sat there thinking to myself, ďHoly ****, Iím on Mt Whitney too!Ē

A whooole lot more photos here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wattifoto/sets/72157627586948694/

Hopefully somebody can get something out of this (extremely long) post like I did prior to my first time. See you at the top! cool


Edited by mcphersonm80 (09/05/11 02:47 PM)

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#86958 - 09/13/11 10:33 PM Re: Perfect Day on Mt Whitney [Re: mcphersonm80]
centurycyclist Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/11
Posts: 8
Loc: southern CA
Great post, mcphersonm80!
This was our first (and probably) last time since we are a group of somewhat older women (the youngest in our group is 53, the oldest, going on 66!) We did an overnight, camped at Trail Camp. All four of us have a lifetime of fitness...biking, weight-training, hiking, pilates, etc. so we were not concerned about our ability to climb. HOWEVER, the precautions we took are as follows: having the right equipment. Boots that fit, lightweight EVERYthing for camping, and layers-layers-layers. We acclimated for 4 days at Virginia Lakes, which is 9500' (just north of Tioga Road entrance to Yosemite). We hiked Yosemite and VA Lakes those days to get acclimated and accustomed to hiking with packs (not completely full), drank a lot of water, took Diamox. Things we would do again: the same routine for acclimatizing, diamox, having the right equipment. Things we would change: buying a bear canister---the one we rented, the Garcia, was ridiculously unmanageable to pack. We left later than we planned on the first day. Did not start walking until @11 am, did not reach Trail Camp until 5:30. Late, and COLD!!!! We underestimated the stress of the altitude and the difficulty above Mirror Lake. Day 2: we left at 7:30 from Trail Camp, summited about 1:30 PM----it was SO BEAUTIFUL, that we hung out a little too long....forgetting that we needed to be at the Portals by eve. Let's just say, we made good use of our headlamps, and were thankful that the weather was on our side!
BTW< those who think they cannot get permits have NOT read this message board carefully.....we arrived in Lone Pine without a permit, yet, 1 1/2 hours after the lottery we had our permit in hand. With the exception of THREE days in 2010, walk-in permits are available. The last tip, the one that really worked for us was "ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF ANOTHER". Mental perseverance...don't give up-it is WORTH EVERY STEP!!!

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#86960 - 09/14/11 08:06 AM Re: Perfect Day on Mt Whitney [Re: mcphersonm80]
RBoone Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 8
Loc: Orange County, CA

Wow, what a great resource these forums are! Terrific TR mcphersonm80. Iíve read every page of this thread and only now do I realize how young and foolish my friends and I were when we first hiked to the summit of Mt. Whitney 20 years ago. When I was 20 years old we went with a college group and the only preparation I did was drink keg beer, lift weights, and run some stairs at the stadium.

We loaded a van very early one morning, drove from San Diego to Lone Pine where we picked up whatever permits we needed to be on the mountain. We then drove to the Portal and hit the trail to Trail Camp where we stayed the night. From sea level to 12k feet in one day with absolutely minimal training and no acclimatization.

I recall having a bad headache overnight and had a bit of a dry cough. I remember vividly how deep down my lungs felt scorched and whenever I took a deep breath it caused a dry cough. After several Advil and a decent sleep we headed up the switchbacks the next morning and we all made the summit with little trouble. Aside from how my lungs felt overnight the three things I remember with vivid clarity are the switchbacks (they seemed to go onÖand on), hitting Trail Crest when the west side came into view, and the summit.

I was looking through the pictures from that trip the other day in preparation for my Oct. 3 hike in a few weeks. The first thing that comes to mind is that I was too young at 20 to appreciate Mt. Whitney or the accomplishment of making it to the top. Iím arguably in much better shape now than I was then but AMS and the weather are on my mind. From the data I can find, it hasnít snowed on the mountain this early in the season in a long time. If the reports I've read of 3"-6" of accumulation are accurate my friend and I will be calling it off this year. I have little experience hiking during the winter months and I'm not looking to gain more experience at 12k+ feet on unforgiving Mt. Whitney.

Some great TRs and advice here. Thank you all so much for sharing. Now Iím just hoping the weather holds for my second trip up the Whitney trail.

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#87455 - 10/04/11 05:12 PM Re: Perfect Day on Mt Whitney [Re: RBoone]
lacrosse Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 73
Loc: California
We summited around noon Sept 30 with hail squalls periodically
whipping us in the face. Ouch. Most people were dressed for
the conditions but we saw several teens in shorts which seemed
ridiculous. It felt cold.


About 11pm that night a down slope wind began howling. We knew
what that meant so eventually packed & moved down to Outpost
camp and slept till dawn Oct 1.


Much nicer than at Trail Camp with the wind gusting to near
hurricane force, and surely testing the strength limits on our
tent tie downs.


Headlamped Day hikers fought their way up the trail in tight
clusters, grimly leaning into the cold wind, seeking to shelter
behind the person in front on them.

The wind noise was truly awesome!

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#87457 - 10/04/11 09:56 PM Re: Perfect Day on Mt Whitney [Re: lacrosse]
Malloy Offline
Member

Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 5
Loc: CALIFORNIA
I was on the summit at noon last Friday also. What an awesome experience and the hail on the way down only added to the adventure. This was my first time and all the planning and training paid off. Hope you enjoyed the day as much as I did.

wpatmtwhitney2011.shutterfly.com

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#87555 - 10/11/11 01:53 AM Re: Perfect Day on Mt Whitney [Re: Malloy]
Eugene K Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 57
Loc: CA
Hiking after the first major snow storm

http://whitneyportalstore.com/forum/ubbt...age=1#Post87522

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#87788 - 11/04/11 06:52 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Doug Sr]
Bob R55 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/29/11
Posts: 9
Loc: Lakewood, CA
"Mt. Whitney is an immense good-natured mountain; its summit is not reserved for the daring. Though not easily come by, all who will plod and persevere on their own good two feet....may reach it." From the book "Deepest Valley" by Genny Schumacher. An accurate assessment, I think. After all the weeks or months of reading guide books and taking practice walks, once you see the summit hut on the horizon from the Trail Crest junction, you know that it is going to happen for you, and the trip is worth all the pain, I think. When we hiked it in June, 2001, the weather was crisp and clear. Hopefully, that is what you will get. My preference is an overnight hike, camping at Trail Camp. It is like a little village, you're just out there on a plateau with the little pond, and far away from any roads. The wind can be noisy and might wake you, but hey, if you wake in the night and it is clear, the sight you will see is spectacular. The stars are bright and numerous. If the moon is out, the rocks and slabs light up in a scene you have to see. Everyone was friendly and helpful at Trail Camp; you are all on a common goal from there. Leave your big pack at Trail Camp and take a day pack with a gallon of water and an extra fleece jacket up to the summit. My friend took in a steady diet of Jelly Belly on the final 1.5 miles and I should have done the same, or with candy corn. It is easy to get queasy on the Trail Crest section. Drink water and watch where you step, a twisted ankle on the Trail Crest is not good, and it could happen. Take lots of photos!! Bob Rutledge

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#88579 - 01/17/12 11:30 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Doug Sr]
Carl F Offline
Member

Registered: 01/08/12
Posts: 2
Loc: La Jolla, CA
Hello All!

I summited on Friday the 13th (1/13/12) for my first time here at Whitney, solo.

I am 55 years old, not a mere youngster anymore.

My Tips; especially first timers, and applicable to this winter

#1 Train like a fiend. If you are in SoCal, Vivian Creek trail and Skyline should be slam dunks. Do them often. Train in between these climbs.

#2. Read Climbing: Training for peak performance and consider a heart rate monitor while training in the proper zones, especially LOTS of time in zone 2. Intervals are also good (zone 4)

#3 Read the book MOUNT WHITNEY mountain lore from the whitney store

#4 A GPS with the trail loaded so that you can find it if you get lost in some way. Though this may seem difficult (to get lost) some of us can do this with ease. When I descended via the chute, I went left instead of right. My GPS showed me I was 300 ft off course, which was invaluable as dusk was setting

#5 Get a very early start to avoid coming down the chute or the upper switchbacks in the dark. Wintertime this means no later than 4 AM.

#6 Read all of Richard Pís comments very closely. If he says the switchbacks between Trail Camp and Trail Crest are dicey, BELIEVE HIM!! I did not listen and the result was slow painful travel. Luckily there was an angel who pointed out the proper descent route (the chute) so I did not have to go back down those dangerous switchbacks.

#7 Remember to tell your wife you will be very late, so she does not call SAR (luckily I avoided that)

#8 Do not expect to get water at Trail Camp. Fill up well before then near Mirror Lake. I ended up having to add snow to my water and watch it carefully so it didnít freeze

#9 Talk to people who have done the climb and take them with you! I tried this but it didn't work...

#10 Acclimate, acclimate, acclimate. I spent 4 days in the Sierras including one day at White Mountain hiking at 13,000 ft. The result? No altitude effect at all. No headache, no nausea. I ate at the summit no problem. It was a joy to be able to be at the summit without ill effects, except that I was worried about the light since I had not left early enough. (see # 5)

#11 Take an ice axe and crampon course with Sierra Mountain Guides or the like. Would have given me more confidence and allowed for swifter travel.

Pics here, sorry to those who do not have FB

Summit day

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2806842423338.135851.1626994074&type=1

4 days earlier, scout trip to Bighorn

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2774599657289.135280.1626994074&type=1

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#88582 - 01/18/12 06:27 AM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Carl F]
Richard P. Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 4878
Loc: Ridgecrest, CA
Congratulations! Nice report.

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#88590 - 01/18/12 01:54 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Richard P.]
lilbitmo Offline
Member

Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 105
Loc: Yorba Linda, CA
Nice work Carl F - and thanks for giving us the tips, it never hurts to be perpared smile

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#90368 - 05/14/12 01:36 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Doug Sr]
David James Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 1
Loc: United States
All of this is FANTASTIC information. A group of friends and myself have day hike permits scheduled for this weekend, May 20th. After reading al the information, trip reports, and tips I have a few issues that I would like to hear your opinions and advice on.

I have never hiked before in my life. Our group is planning on going up the day before, the 19th, so acclimatization is pretty much out the window, foolish? We are all in our 20's and in good physical shape. And as far as I know no one in the group is an experienced hiker. I am uncomfortable with all this due to the fact that we have not been training at elevation at all for this, and I do not have the necessary gear (would have to borrow a friends camelbak) & most of us would not have trekking poles and would be in running shoes. From everything that I have read, this is not something to go into unprepared. Am I right in feeling uncomfortable or is this doable?

The group will all have the necessary water filtration, each person will have a Camelbak (3L) and food along with semi-adequate clothing.

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#90369 - 05/14/12 01:49 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: David James]
bulldog34 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 556
Loc: Atlanta
David, you have every reason to feel uncomfortable with it. Whitney is still in winter conditions, and is no place for a group of under-equipped, inexperienced hikers. With your description of the experience level and equipment inventory for the group - not to mention no acclimatization time - your chances of summiting on a beautiful snow-free day in late August would be low. In May your group, as you describe it, is a SAR call waiting to happen.

Permits be damned, I'd shoot for walk-ins later in the season and use the extra time to get gear and train at elevation.

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#90370 - 05/14/12 02:06 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: bulldog34]
amie6 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
I too am a first-timer, but consider myself to be a pretty experienced hiker and at the same time do not clarify myself as a "mountaineer". I've hiked many 15 mile+ hikes in 1 day, and pride myself for my physical stamina.
My buddy and I are heading to the trail late next week. We have educated ourselves on the weather conditions and what to expect.. but the one thing that I can't quite wrap my head around is if we do in fact need to bring crampons & ice axes? I hear that it has been a "mild" winter, but that the snow packs harden in the afternoon causing trouble, but if there has been foot traffic, wouldn't steady boots & trekking poles be suffice? Also, does anyone know if the switchbacks above trail camp are covered in snow or are they pretty visable?
My planning for next week is to have the crampons handy, but I really would prefer to just use my steady boots & trekking poles around the firm snowy/icy parts, and as long as I can see the trail I know I will make good judgement on the ascend up to the top.
Any feedback or suggestions would be great.

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#90371 - 05/14/12 02:36 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: amie6]
bulldog34 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 556
Loc: Atlanta
amie6, here are two very current threads that should interest you:

Low Snow Year

Main Trail Conditions


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#90372 - 05/14/12 04:24 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: David James]
TomDietz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/13/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Los Angeles
David,
Aim low.

My opinion is that it is very much worth it to take a leisurely walk up the trail until you hit Trail Camp/Consultation Lake. With no acclimitization, there is a very good chance that at least one of your group is going to get altitude sickness. Trust me, it ain't fun. When I tried to hike whitney without spending a couple of nights at altitude, it hit me at about 13,000'.

From the reports that I have seen, the switchbacks are not easily passable and it sounds like you don't have the gear for the chute.

The hike to trail camp will be beautiful and very much worth your time. Bring a nice lunch to break out at Trail camp and hang out with the marmots for a bit before heading back down the trail. Heck, you can even get a good night's sleep before heading up.

Not sure if Lone Pine Lake has thawed yet, if it has, bring a fishing pole and catch a golden trout or two.

In other words, you can have a great time on the trail without going to the summit. If you push yourself and your group beyond what you are ready for, it can make for a very unpleasant and quite possibly dangerous situation.

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#90374 - 05/14/12 04:41 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: TomDietz]
MooseTracks Offline
Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 2391
Loc: B-town Eastside, CA
Originally Posted By: TomDietz



Not sure if Lone Pine Lake has thawed yet, if it has, bring a fishing pole and catch a golden trout or two.



Thawed, and fish are swimming around like crazy.
_________________________
Flickr Pics

Think outside the Zone.

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#90393 - 05/16/12 09:20 AM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: TomDietz]
Gotknee Offline
Member

Registered: 04/26/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Hayward, CA
Good words of advice TomDietz.

David, I highly recommend starting very early and taking your time as TomDietz states.

Listen to your bodies. Altitude Sickness can be very serious. There are things you can take now and on the mountain to help (asprin, Ginkgo Biloba) but sometimes you just need to descend to feel better.

It is a beautiful hike from the trail head all the way up.

Use discretion. You can always come back.

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#90398 - 05/16/12 01:48 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: David James]
nyker Offline
Member

Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 247
Loc: New York
David, If you are fixed for hiking something next weekend, try going over to Kearsarge Pass and see how the group does up to 11,700ft on a Class 1 trail. If you still feel strong, head north and climb up Mt Gould, which will being you to 13,000ft and see how you do. It is still a wonderful area to go hiking in and you can bag a 13er (the top few blocks are challenging, so climb as high as you feel comfortable).

Another option to see how you do at altitude, while minimizing exposure is to wait until the Road opens and go climb White Mountain Peak which will take you nearly to the same elevation as Whitney on a 15mi r/t hike - definitely a respectable dayhike. If you can breeze through that, then Whitney in a day should not be too much of a problem, in dry conditions. If White Mountain causes the group any problems, then I would consider rescheduling a Whitney trip.

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#90454 - 05/20/12 09:36 AM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Doug Sr]
Sharif Offline
Member

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 5
Loc: Thousand Oaks, CA
I have some permits available for an overnight on Mt. Whitney on Sunday, June 10th. We are planning on camping out at Trail Camp (elevation 12,039) and then working our way to the top the next morning. Please contact me if you are interested in joining our group. I have a total of 15 permits, but currently only about 10 people are able to make it.

Thanks,
Sharif

sharif.shakhshir@gmail.com


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#90455 - 05/20/12 09:41 AM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Doug Sr]
Sharif Offline
Member

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 5
Loc: Thousand Oaks, CA
I have some permits available for an overnight on Mt. Whitney on Sunday, June 10th. We are planning on camping out at Trail Camp (elevation 12,039) and then working our way to the top the next morning. Please contact me if you are interested in joining our group. I have a total of 15 permits, but currently only about 10 people are able to make it.

Thanks,
Sharif

sharif.shakhshir@gmail.com

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