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#85581 - 07/12/11 12:26 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Hiiro24]
AsABat Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 354
Loc: www.4jeffrey.net
Originally Posted By: Hiiro24
How often do they check for permit on the main trail?


If you are going in and out from Whitney Portal each person has a tag that attaches to their pack, so they are easy to check. If you don't have one because you came from a different trailhead, you very well may be checked. I was once checked 3 times in one day, the last ranger taking 20 minutes to interrogate me to verify my permit was legit (my pack was too light and I was hiking too fast for her taste).

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#85582 - 07/12/11 02:38 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: AsABat]
TomDietz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/13/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Los Angeles
They only use the tags when the trail gets busier. I was on the trail two weeks ago and they didn't issue tags. Just the 8.5 x 11" permit on white paper that everyone is obligated to have on them at all times.

Not sure if they have started issuing tags yet.

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#85690 - 07/19/11 08:13 AM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Doug Sr]
MartiniGal Offline
Member

Registered: 05/17/10
Posts: 43
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
We have a group permit; two of our group are unable to go with our group and are asking us to "give them" their permits so they can hike independent of our group, or possibly trade with someone else for another date. Based on what I read on the actual permit, this isn't allowable or doable - but I do see occasional posts about this type of thing. Can this be done?

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#85692 - 07/19/11 09:34 AM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: MartiniGal]
tomcat_rc Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 949
Loc: Ridgecrest
If the group leader or alternate leader listed on permit notification; then you have no problem. Leader does nor have to identify all the hikers in the group. If your cancelled participants are the listed leader or alternate - you need to call the VC and try to coordinate a transfer.
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#85695 - 07/19/11 11:43 AM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Doug Sr]
smellsfishy Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/11
Posts: 1
Loc: CA|USA
JUST WANT TO THANK ALL AT PORTAL STORE, SUMMITED 15 JULY WITH MY GRANDSON ON OUR FIRST ATTEMPT THE LITTLE SNOW THAT WAS THERE IS A LITTLE DICEY BUT IT SHOULD'NT HOLD YOU BACK, SAW JACK COMING DOWN FROM HIS 100TH CLIMB MET HIM 3DAYS BEFORE OUR CLIMB WHAT KINDA LUCK WAS THAT?I HIKED 20 TO 25 MILES A WEEK IN THE LOCAL HILLS FOR A YEAR, SPENT 3DAYS ACCLIMATING AT WHITNEY CAMPGROUND I THINK THAT ACCLIMATING AND 3DAYS OF HYDRATING BEFORE WHERE VERY IMPORTANT TO OUR SUCCESS. I'M 57 AND MY GRANDSON IS 13,WHAT A GREAT MEMORY WE WILL SHARE. DOUG SR AND JACK ALL THE FOLKS AT THE STORE AND THE HOSTEL IN TOWN I CAN ONLY SAY THANK YOU! GARY AND CHRIS.(HAPPY TRAILS TO YOU)

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#85698 - 07/19/11 01:16 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: TomDietz]
sparty85 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/11
Posts: 6
Loc: San Diego, CA
We had a group of eight summit on Sunday the 17th. They issued one permit to the leader. Our group had a wide range of hiking skills/speed so I asked what would happen if we were not all together and was told that if someone was checked and not near the leader that had the permit to just let the ranger know the name of the leader and the number of people in the group.

None of us were asked to show a permit.

Sparty85

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#86048 - 08/04/11 11:05 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: sparty85]
Ces Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 5
Loc: Orange County, CA
First time was July 5, 2010. Second time (didn't summit) was October 2, 2010.

Our rather large group submitted two day permit applications and ended up getting both. The first was for ten (ten!) and since we thought there was no chance in hell we would get it, we put in a back-up request for six and, well, we got both. We were ecstatic! (On a side note, we completely struck out this year and got nada, so perhaps we'll try for walk-ups this fall.)

By way of introduction, I'm a 35 yo woman and so my nugget of advice is geared towards the female of the persuasion and will be phrased in the most delicate of ways. While my group was lucky enough to get both permits, I was unlucky in that on not one, but BOTH my times on Whitney, I was so very fortunate to have my monthly cycle. Talk about luck of the draw. It made my experience that much more challenging as the nausea was more intense, I was more dehydrated, the cramps and constipation were a nice touch, etc. etc. Everything you normally feel during the early stages of your visit from Aunt Flo is magnified ten-fold on the mountain. So, be prepared for that ... or know your cycle when you put in for the lottery. grin

One other thing - a lot of people have mentioned the mountains they trained on prior to their Whitney attempt. I live in SoCal so my training consisted of Baldy, Jacinto, etc. I would strongly recommend anyone who hikes San J. to take the Marion trail route. Next to the Cactus-to-Clouds route to the summit, this is one of the most strenuous climbs San J has to offer. Total roundtrip mileage is only 11, but the elevation gain/loss is just under 5,000 which makes this a real butt-kicker.

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#86052 - 08/05/11 07:01 AM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Ces]
btsan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 33
Loc: San Francisco, CA
We have like 10 permits for August 17th and 18th, but I'm keeping my fingers cross for good weather. Anyone else with the same permit dates?

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#86058 - 08/05/11 02:34 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: btsan]
Ces Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 5
Loc: Orange County, CA
Ten permits???? Or do you mean one permit for 10 people?

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#86077 - 08/06/11 11:48 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Doug Sr]
Trailseeker Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 12
Loc: CA, USA
whistle Bragging rights: My niece accomplished her first summit on August 3rd and I am so proud of her!

The most amazing thing is she ran in her first marathon on Sunday July 31st in San Francisco with a time of 4 hours 22 minutes.

It appears that training for a marathon helps train for Mt. Whitney as well. Oh to be young again!

My nephew and I summited for the first time in 2007 but she only made it to just above the cables and turned back with her dad (my brother).

I was suppose to go with her and my brother this time for my second attempt but I finally landed a job the week before.

My brother and her planned the hike as a 4 day with Monday being a drive to and stay at Lone Pine; first day hike to Trail Camp; second day summit and down to Outpost camp and then third day out to Portal. That made for a manageable not super rushed hike. Getting to the summit by noon-1 p.m. seems to be a good goal to avoid afternoon weather changes and get off the mountain before dark.

The flash flooding the weekend before their start put a little concern in the plan but watching the weather carefully and by checking in with the store crew and ranger station they kept updated. They had brought water shoes for the creek crossings and although cold, they were able to get back into dry socks and boots.

For all of us, coming down the mountain was harder then going up. Just allow as much time as it took to go up to get back down. That may help those that attempt a day hike as if you are still on the summit in the early afternoon/evening (after 1 p.m.) you will be cold and it will be dark on your way back down. I have heard of several day hikers (including friends of mine) that day hiked to the summit and then only made it back to Trail Camp with NO GEAR for overnight. They were cold and miserable and unprepared. Maybe dayhikers should bring a light tent and a few layers of clothes as a safety back up? Many leave gear at Trail Camp while they summit and pick it back up on the way down.

I think my biggest advise to all first timers is remember that the mountain is not going anywhere and if you don't make it all the way the first time you can come back and try again.

Way to go Emily!!!! grin
LiveOn, LiveStrong!

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#86096 - 08/08/11 06:28 AM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Ces]
btsan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 33
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted By: Ces
Ten permits???? Or do you mean one permit for 10 people?


You might be right; my buddy did the Whitney Lottery, so I'm not sure if we secured 10 separate permits or one for the entire group.
Sorry about the miss info.

Update:

I think only 6-people are going now. So I guess it's (1) permit for 6 people. grin

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#86277 - 08/15/11 09:25 AM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: btsan]
RenoFrank Offline
Member

Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Nevada
I am part of a group of 11 doing a day hike 8-17-11. Most of our group plan on starting at 3AM. We are all from Reno and will be wearing home made Whitney name tags.

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#86371 - 08/17/11 05:05 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Doug Sr]
frieders3 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/26/11
Posts: 12
Loc: Livermore, CA
Three of our first-time crew summited last Sunday the 14th while the other two, my wife and 15 yr old son, did not. My wife had a severe headache and threw up as she pushed past 13,000'. My son had no problem but decided to stay with her. She immediately got better on the return trip home. All members of the party spent two nights camping at 9200' and did a 9 mile roundtrip day hike to Kearsarge Pass at 11'000+ on Friday with no problems. The only thing we could figure out was a late lunch on Saturday afternoon left her full so she had no dinner that night and thus when they changed there departure time from 2:30AM Sunday to 11:00PM Saturday night they did not get a chance for some good food intake. Along with the cool weather she was tricked into not drinking enough. And the lack of any sleep due to anxiety of the hike and the heat at Lone Pine all seemed to add up to prevent her summiting. The group was on a 10 hour summit pace when she stopped but everyone bogged down a lot coming back to turn it into a 20 hour 'on the trail' hike. That's a long day and hike!

You can not underestimate the training you should do. 10-11 hours up is doable but the return trip is what got everyone.

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#86633 - 08/26/11 01:17 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: frieders3]
63ChevyII Offline
Member

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 244
Loc: Colton, California
This is a long winded post, but hopefully it will help someone.

TIPS FOR OTHERS & WHAT I'D DO DIFFERENTLY
  • I wore trail runners from Whitney Portal to Trail Camp, then wore my hiking boots. It wasn't fun packing hiking boots up to Trail Camp, but I think this kept my legs fresh and helped minimize the pounding the balls of my feet took (my runner have more cushioning).
  • Read about this hike as much as you can. I went through every page of threads on this forum and read the posts that I thought would be useful. I also read a book called "One Best Hike: Mt Whitney." It had some very useful tips, charts and information.
  • Starting a couple of weeks before the hike, I really focused on keeping myself hydrated. Sitting at my desk at work, I was always sipping water.
  • I took diamox, but cut the prescription in half. A week before our trip, I took it for a couple of days to see what side effects I'd be dealing with.
  • I would start training earlier. I decided to Whitney about two months before our hike date and was not in shape.
  • Training wise, I think I would cut down on the mileage I did and focus more on hill work and anaerobic training. The couple of weeks before the hike, I really had to scale back by hiking because of the pounding my feet and ankles were taking. There is a log of hikes at the end of this post.
  • I would try to cut down on the weight of my pack. At the trail head, it weighed around 28 lbs, which was significantly heavier than what the rest of my group was carrying. I would definitely carry less food, and less water up until Trail Camp.
  • Because of the difficulty I had drinking from my Camelbak at elevation, I would like to get a water bottle that could easily be attached to the chest straps on the front of my pack. When you're sucking for air already, drinking from a Camelbak is tough unless you want to stop every time you drink.
  • Two days before the hike, 2 of us went up to Schulman Grove (10,000 ft) and did the 4 mile loop. In addition to this, I would go up to Patriarch Grove (11,500 ft) and spend some time there. It seems to be an easy way to get about 11k ft.
  • I would use San Gorgonio as a training hike - when I went to get a permit for San Gorgonio (Vivian Creek Trail), there weren't any left. Before heading out on this trip, I had only been above 9,000 ft three times (San Bernardino, San Jacinto, Fish Creek Saddle)


The rest of this post is more of account of what I did, more than advice for someone else.

THE HIKE
Monday Aug 23rd our group of 8 attempted a day hike of Whitney. 7 of us were first-timers and one member of our group attempted to summit last fall, but turned around b/c of weather. 7/8 of us were able to summit.

Our goal was to start the hike at 3 am, summit in 9 hours, spend 1 hour on the summit and take 6 hours hiking down. I got the time table for landmarks along the hike from a book called "One Best Hike: Mt Whitney ". I thought a modified version of the time table(with inclines of each leg of the hike), along with the trail profile and trail map from the book would be useful on the hike. I printed this info onto some 4" x 4" card stock, which I covered with packing tape,. This piece of paper kept me motivated and helped me take on the hike in smaller sections.

We started at 3:15, reaching Mirror lake around 5:30. A few people filtered some water here and we took a longer break than expected waiting for some members to catch up. At this point we split up into smaller groups and reached Trail Camp at about 7:30. My heart rate was higher than what I had planned on, but I felt good and kept up the pace with everyone else. When we reached Trail Camp, we took a long break and filled up with water. Up until this point, I had been wearing trail runners. I decided I should put on my hiking boots before starting the switchbacks. One of the members of our group started feeling sick (headache, nauseous), so he decided to stay at Trail Camp to see if he improved. Leaving Trail Camp, I decided to stick with two other members and let one them lead, so that I would not go faster than I should. The trek up the switchbacks wasn't as steep or as tough as I was expecting. Around 10:30, we made it to Trail Crest. On the switchbacks the other guys had started to feel the elevation and had mild headaches. Up until this point, I had been staying well hydrated and felt great. I had the thought that there was no way I wasn't going to summit, unless the weather got bad.

Other than the last push to the summit, the hike between Trail Crest and the snow field was the hardest for me. The trail was much rougher and I stopped drinking as much as I had been. I was sucking for air already, so drinking from a Camelbak was tough unless I stopped every time I wanted to drink. With all of the loose rocks and 'steep cliffs', I was really worried about my keeping my balance and my weak ankle and had to focus nearly all of my attn to where I was placing my poles and feet. In some ways, all of this made me forget about staying hydrated. When we got near the Crooks Peak, I started moving much slower and the other guys were really starting to struggle. Getting through the snow field took a lot of energy for some reason (maybe trying to keep my balance?) and I seriously thought about giving up there. At that point I had a really bad headache and didn't feel like moving anymore. After getting past the snow, it took me about 30 minutes to reach the summit (around 12:15).

We only spent about 15 minutes on the summit - a couple of the guys weren't doing well even after we stopped hiking, so they needed to get to a lower elevation. I was doing fine on the way down until we got to the section by the JMT. That small section that goes uphill to Trail Crest really killed me. The headache came back and I didn't want to walk anymore. At Trail Crest, we meet up with the member that stopped at Trail Camp. He slept for an hour, hiked up to Trail Crest and part way towards the summit. From Trail Crest all the way back to Whitney Portal, I was miserable - the balls of my feet we screaming and my left knee (new injury) was really sore. One the way up, I had spend time waiting up for the others, now they were waiting for me. At Trail Camp we took our lunch break (30-45 mins), filtered some water and put on some new socks. The socks helped for a bit, but by the time we reached Mirror Lake, I was really hurting. I had planned on putting my trail runners back on at Mirror Lake, but at that point I did not want to stop again. We pretty much hiked from Trail Camp to Whitney Portal without stopping. We reached the Portal Store around 7:15.


FOOD & WATER
I carried way too much food. I ate less than half of what I was carrying. By the time I got up to Trail Camp, I didn't have an appetite and had to force myself to eat. Based on what I read in a few places, I believed that I needed to consume around 3000 calories during the hike. This is what I managed to eat:
7 oz. of beef jerky
2 packages of Clif Shot Blocks
2 packages of Sport Beans
4 Stinger Waffles
1 Rice Crispy Treat

It was a cool day, so I drank less water than I was expecting. I drank around 8 liters of water. If I do the hike again, I will carry less water near the beginning of the trail and take advantage of all the lakes and streams.

TRAINING
A friend asked me to go on the hike in May or so, but it took him until mid June to actually convince me. At the beginning of June, I had started weight training after taking off a few months and had just started riding an exercise bike a few times per week. At the beginning of August, I started have some problems with the balls of my feet really hurting and my left ankle being very weak. I scaled back the training in the hopes that I'd be at full strength for Whitney.

Here is a summary of what I did:

June
24 hiking or biking sessions
Bike - 8.75 hrs, 138 miles
Hiking - 8.65 hrs, 27.5 miles

July
24 hiking or biking sessions
Bike - 3.4 hrs, 52 miles
Hiking - 41 hrs, 97 miles

August
6 hikes
Hiking - 17.7 hrs, 40 miles

Notes regarding biking:
In June, most of the bike work was done in my 'aerobic zone (70-80% of max heart rate).' In July, I was focusing on hiking, but when I did ride the bike, about half of it was done in my 'anaerobic zone (80-90% of max heart rate).'

Notes regarding hiking:
During the week, most of my hiking was done on Blue Mtn, which is a hill near my house. It is about 4 miles round trip. The last mile to the top has an average grade of 13%, with some sections as high as 28%.


Log of Hiking/Walking
6/11 Loch Leven 6.34 miles, 2078 ft climbing
6/13 Walk, 3 miles, 600 ft
6/18 Lock Leven, 8.03 miles, 2727 ft
6/19 Blue Mtn, 3.61 miles, 1255 ft
6/20 Walk, 2.3 miles
6/27 Run, 2.2 miles, 230 ft
6/29 Blue Mtn, 4.37 miles, 1425 ft
7/2 Keller Peak, 12.33 miles, 2742 ft, 7882 ft summit
7/3 Mt Rubidoux 4.0 miles, 992 ft
7/4 Blue Mtn, 3.67 miles, 1289 ft
7/4 Blue Mtn, 1.94 miles, 501 ft
7/6 Walk, 3.0 miles, 567 ft
7/9 Keller Peak, 12.33 miles, 2742 ft, 7882 ft summit
7/10 Blue Mtn, 4.5 miles, 1532 ft
7/12 Blue Mtn, 4.0 miles, 1332 ft
7/13 Blue Mtn, 4.0 miles, 1330 ft
7/16 Mt San Bernardino 16.38 miles, 5893 ft, 10,600 ft summit
7/21 Blue Mtn, 4.0 miles, 1330 ft
7/23 Keller Peak, 12.33 miles, 2742 ft, 7882 ft summit
7/24 Blue Mtn, 3.58 miles, 1280 ft
7/28 Blue Mtn, 4.88 miles, 1628 ft
7/30 San Jacinto, 10.36 miles 3041 ft, 10,800 ft summit
8/1 Blue Mtn, 3.01 miles, 1128 ft
8/6 Fish Creek Trail, 13.3 miles, 3563 ft, 9879 peak elevation
8/12 Walk, 3 miles, 600 ft
8/13 Lock Leven, 10.81 miles, 3535 ft
8/16 Blue Mtn, 6.70 miles
8/20 Schulman Grove, 4.08 miles, 10,200 peak elevation


Edited by 63ChevyII (08/26/11 02:52 PM)
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#86634 - 08/26/11 01:29 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: 63ChevyII]
Andy Noise Offline
Member

Registered: 07/13/11
Posts: 13
Loc: california
i read your post and i think we were on the mountain on the same day. i made it to the top around noon on monday.

the weather was pretty iffy all day.

http://andynoise.smugmug.com/Trails11/mt-whitney-40/18677936_2G2Xsw#1444332926_7scPHqc

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#86635 - 08/26/11 02:28 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Andy Noise]
63ChevyII Offline
Member

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 244
Loc: Colton, California
We were definitely on the mtn on the same day. Eric, one of the members of my group is in a bunch of your pictures - DSCN4360 (right), DSCN4365 (right), DSCN4366 (center), DSCN4397 (center), DSCN4398 (center), DSCN4399, DSCN4402, DSCN4403, DSCN4486. Matt, another member is in DSC4487, Brad and Eric in DSC4544. I'm the guy in blue in DSC4575 (3 other members of my group are pictured too), and Joe and I are in DSC4585.

very cool!
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#86637 - 08/26/11 02:53 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: 63ChevyII]
Andy Noise Offline
Member

Registered: 07/13/11
Posts: 13
Loc: california
You were the guys who flew by me on the switchbacks. I was the big guy in the long sleeve blue shirt. I was there with a friend who did not get to do the hike on Aug 12. So I was helping her that day. She was up the hill a ways, when your group came by.

Two summits in ten days is bad but the descents are the real killer.

My 08.12.11 photos:

http://andynoise.smugmug.com/Trails11/mt-whitney-30/18495047_w8H485#1427372316_kR7k8hH

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#86639 - 08/26/11 03:12 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: Andy Noise]
63ChevyII Offline
Member

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 244
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: Andy Noise
You were the guys who flew by me on the switchbacks. I was the big guy in the long sleeve blue shirt. I was there with a friend who did not get to do the hike on Aug 12. So I was helping her that day. She was up the hill a ways, when your group came by.

Two summits in ten days is bad but the descents are the real killer.

My 08.12.11 photos:

http://andynoise.smugmug.com/Trails11/mt-whitney-30/18495047_w8H485#1427372316_kR7k8hH



I remember you now. The other guys were flying down the hill and I was having a hard time keeping up. I agree with you - the way down is always harder on me than the way up.

Looks like the weather was nicer on the 12th.
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#86640 - 08/26/11 03:29 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: 63ChevyII]
TomDietz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/13/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Los Angeles
Because of the difficulty I had drinking from my Camelbak at elevation, I would like to get a water bottle that could easily be attached to the chest straps on the front of my pack. When you're sucking for air already, drinking from a Camelbak is tough unless you want to stop every time you drink.

I had the same issue. I hated the camelback and switched to bottles. And then came the second issue, I am hopelessly right handed. However, I have no rotator cuff in my right shoulder, so it is extremely painful to reach back to get my water bottle.

My solution was to get an insulated bottle holder with a belt loop. In the picture below it is on my waist. However, I quickly changed that to being attached at the chest strap. It probably looks a little funny, but it is better than having it bounce around on my hip. The insulation is great too...if it is too warm out, the water warms up too...The insulation keeps the water nice and cool.



Edited by TomDietz (08/26/11 03:30 PM)

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#86646 - 08/26/11 08:58 PM Re: Tips for First timers by First timers [Re: TomDietz]
63ChevyII Offline
Member

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 244
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: TomDietz

My solution was to get an insulated bottle holder with a belt loop. In the picture below it is on my waist. However, I quickly changed that to being attached at the chest strap.


Up to this hike, I really liked the Camelbak and had no complaints. I think it helps me drink more than I normally would, since under normal circumstances, it's easy to take a few sips every few minutes. I didn't have any problems with it until we got up to Trail Crest. One of the other members in my group had a Camelbak and a water bottle attached to his chest strap - I thought it was odd, but I understand why now!
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