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#98875 - 11/12/14 05:49 AM Dogs on Mt. Whitney
dannyf Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/14
Posts: 4
Loc: Oregon, USA
Hi Everyone,

I am planning a trip to Mt. Whitney next summer. I have tried to get on here to ask questions but could never figure out how to post a question. Thank you for letting me join your community. I met Doug at the store once. What a great guy. OK my first question.

I want to hike Whitney and want to bring my dog with me. I have been told that dogs are not allowed on the summit of Whitney. Can anybody tell me if this is true? If it is true WHY??? I have a great dog who goes with me everywhere.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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#98876 - 11/12/14 06:10 AM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: dannyf]
asbufra Offline
Member

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 115
Loc: Southern California
Dogs are not allowed on the summit of Whitney because dogs are not allowed on trails in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Parks. You enter the park on the Main trail just beyond trail crest and the trail from there to the summit and the summit is in the National Park. Most of the Main trail is in Inyo National Forest and Inyo National Forest allows dogs.
I am not sure why they don't want dogs on their trails.

http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/pets.htm


Edited by asbufra (11/12/14 06:15 AM)
_________________________
Frank A
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together"

African Proverb
http://www.flickr.com/photos/asbufra/

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#98879 - 11/12/14 07:51 AM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: dannyf]
Akichow Offline
Member

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 705
Loc: Confluence of the Sac and Am R...
I brought my dog up to Trail Camp once (legal). Dogs are allowed up to Trail Crest, but then you enter the National Park, and no dogs are allowed.

When I brought my dog up to Trail Camp, I outfitted her with booties. The rocky trail is very tough on dog paws, and it gets a lot rockier after Trail Camp.

I also had her carry her own poop in her pack. Pack it out!

Dogs do get altitude sickness. And they don't do SAR operations for dogs. Self-rescue may be your only option.

There is wildlife on the trail, including marmots. I kept her leashed so as to minimize disruption of nature. The marmots were very aware of Sasha, and would send an alert up the trail whenever we approached their habitat.

Some photos.

At trail camp.



Tired pup



Log bridge




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#98880 - 11/12/14 09:25 AM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: dannyf]
Jim F Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 361
Loc: California
The fact is that dogs do occasionally summit via the Main Trail. I have a photo of a dog on the summit on the morning of the 100th Anniversary of the Mt Whitney Trail (July 17, 2004) just before a massive storm was unleashed. (At the Portal. the temperature reportedly dropped 40 deg F in one hour. So bring a jacket and snacks for your dog, even in the summer.)

A couple of years later in the spring, a dog summited via the snow chute above Trail Camp. I came across a bowl of water in the chute which was placed so the pooch could rehydrate on the descent.

On this message there have been TRs of dogs going up the MR and completing the East Ridge of Russell. In the latter, on the descent Daisy was placed in a harness and then lowered down the 80' crux pitch of the South Face Right Side route.

It is in fact a violation to have a dog on the west side of the mountain, but there is perhaps some room for interpretation. A couple of seasons ago, a nice TR included a photo on the summit of a pooch posing with Some Guy in a USFS ranger uniform. When Some Guy was asked what he intended to do with a dog and its master on the summit, he denied that he could see any violation. Some Guy ruled that what appeared to be a dog was in fact just a large marmot!

Jim

PS: When you pick up your Wilderness Permit for Mt Whitney (a legal document), you will sign that you will honor National Park Regulations which clearly state on the permit "Pets are not allowed."






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#98882 - 11/12/14 10:38 AM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: Akichow]
iSz Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/12
Posts: 6
Loc: ca
Originally Posted By: Akichow


When I brought my dog up to Trail Camp, I outfitted her with booties. The rocky trail is very tough on dog paws, and it gets a lot rockier after Trail Camp.



This is some great information! I had no idea dogs could get altitude sick but of course that makes sense.

I have a new pup and seeing your gal with her booties prompted me to think about getting him used to footwear now while he is young. Can you recommend a brand of bootie? I imagine some stay on better than others.

Thanks in advance!

PS: She sure is pretty!

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#98883 - 11/12/14 12:23 PM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: iSz]
Richard P. Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 4878
Loc: Ridgecrest, CA
I've seen at lest a half-dozen dogs up on the summit (or near) over the years. Doc Abraham could even fill you in on the escalating fines... (I like his style...I wish I had his money.)

Some Rangers even look the other way, apparently not agreeing with the regulation.

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#98886 - 11/12/14 04:24 PM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: iSz]
Akichow Offline
Member

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 705
Loc: Confluence of the Sac and Am R...
The best boot really depends on the dog's paws and the conditions. I recommend that you go to REI with your dog -- dogs are allowed if they are trying on equipment -- and try them on.

Before you do that, have your dog stand on a piece of paper with their weight bearing down, and draw the outline of their paw. Measure the width of the outline of each paw (one front, one back) at its widest point. That number can usually be used, with the boot packaging, to tell you which size you need. If you choose a boot that is too big -- and the tendency is to do this -- you will get painful rubbing, blisters, and fur will rub off.

You won't really know how well the boots work until you're in the field. That's when, depending on your dog's paws, some boots will stay on better, and some will fall off.

We are on our fourth set of booties, about eight years after we bought the first pair.


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#98889 - 11/13/14 09:10 AM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: Akichow]
dannyf Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/14
Posts: 4
Loc: Oregon, USA
Wow thanks for the great responses! I will admit I was candidly bracing myself for a firestorm of people telling me how irresponsible I was for thinking I could bring my dog to the summit. I think I've found some good people here!

I have never needed to put booties on my lab but I have seen people use them. Great idea to pack out their poop though. I have heard about the WAG bags that humans carry so why not dogs too. Makes sense.

More importantly now I see why dogs are not allowed on Whitney. It isn't the whole mountain. It's the summit. I did not realize it went into National Park land. I still think that rule stinks though. After seeing the link that "asbrufa" posted above to Sequoia Kings Cyn I poked around and found this NPS site: http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/e-mail/pets.htm. I read some of the arguments but don't agree with them, especially for the top of Whitney. I have looked at lots of pictures of Whitney and the area beyond Trail Crest and just don't see how any of these apply. As far as I can tell there are not water sources up there. Whatever wildlife may live up there they have a lot more to deal with besides a domesticated dog. There's mountain lions and cold winters. Humans feeding animals seems like it does more impact than a dog would on that trail. Maybe that's why Jim F and Richard mention "Some Guy" and rangers who have looked the other way when seeing dogs up there. Here they are:

--When a loose pet chases a squirrel or raccoon, the wild animal's ability to survive is threatened, and when it is threatened, it may react aggressively.
--There is a strong possibility in parks such as Yellowstone that your pet could become prey for bear, coyote, owl, or other predators.
--There is a possibility of exchange of diseases between domestic animals and wildlife. --Dogs, the most common traveling companion, are natural predators that may harass or even kill native wildlife that is protected within the park's boundaries.
--The "scent of a predator" that dogs leave behind can disrupt or alter the behavior of native animals. --Pets may be hard to control, even on a leash, within confines of often narrow park trails and may trample or dig up fragile vegetation.
--Dog and cat feces add excessive nutrients and bacterial pollution to water, which decreases water quality and can also cause human health problems.
--Finally, lost domestic animals sometimes turn to preying on park wildlife and must be destroyed.


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#98891 - 11/13/14 09:16 AM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: Akichow]
KevinR Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/07
Posts: 585
Loc: Inyokern, now NH
When I lived in Inyokern I hiked up to Trail Camp with my Newfie a few times, always in cold weather after the store had closed but before deep snows came. He did alot of hiking so his paws were very tough and he rarely needed booties although I always carried them.

On the subject of booties - Newfies are big dogs. We kept him on the lean side, but still he was 160lbs. Newfies front feet are larger than their rear, so that means finding commercially available booties may be tough. At the time he started hiking the only company who made larger sizes was Ruffwear, and their XL model was too small, although they told me they were coming out with an even larger size to fit the Giant breeds. So, I made my own out of 1000d Cordura (stuff is great for making crampons bags also), and always carried them in my pack when he was with me (which was most of the time). The one or two times I needed them - twice for a front paw IIRC cut on a sharp rock - they tended to slip off, so I put a wrap of duct tape, overlapping the bootie with his fur, and that was just the ticket. I always carry duct tape wrapped around my poles as part of my McGyver kit. Surprisingly, the duct tape came off easily at the end of the hike.

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#98893 - 11/13/14 11:01 AM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: Akichow]
iSz Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/12
Posts: 6
Loc: ca
Originally Posted By: Akichow
The best boot really depends on the dog's paws and the conditions. I recommend that you go to REI with your dog -- dogs are allowed if they are trying on equipment -- and try them on.

Before you do that, have your dog stand on a piece of paper with their weight bearing down, and draw the outline of their paw. Measure the width of the outline of each paw (one front, one back) at its widest point.


This is great advice, thank you! Right now he is a puppy so I may just get a cheap pair to get him used to them in general.

I won't take him anywhere he doesn't want to go, or is not allowed, and I know their paws are pretty tough, but a lot of our local hills are predominantly decomposed granite so I'd like to have the option for him on longer hikes when he gets there.


@KevinR -- thanks for the reminder about Ruffwear. I just glanced at their selection today. They look good!

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#98899 - 11/13/14 05:19 PM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: iSz]
dannyf Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/14
Posts: 4
Loc: Oregon, USA
iSz, yes like KevinR says Ruffwear is a great company. They make an entire line of great stuff for dogs and dog lovers. You can order directly on line from their web site but I prefer taking my dog into a store to try things on. It saves me having to ship things back and forth.

Akichow, I forgot to mention what a beautiful dog you have. I'm sure it's a fun companion to have along on hikes smile.

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#98901 - 11/13/14 07:48 PM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: dannyf]
Akichow Offline
Member

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 705
Loc: Confluence of the Sac and Am R...
Hey there. Welcome to the forum. Please keep posting. Maybe we'll see you and your pup on the trail. i've done a lot of hiking and backpacking with my dog, so if you have anymore questions feel free to ask away.

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#98905 - 11/14/14 05:16 AM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: Whitney Fan]
Richard P. Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 4878
Loc: Ridgecrest, CA
You Zoners have drunk the coolaide...
Steve manipulated the settings on the board so new users couldn't post...
He's been harvesting the email list to market his board...

How dare he talk about unethical behavior...

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#98906 - 11/14/14 07:24 AM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: Whitney Fan]
Akichow Offline
Member

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 705
Loc: Confluence of the Sac and Am R...
Moving on. Sigh.




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#98907 - 11/14/14 09:42 AM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: dannyf]
AndyC Offline
Member

Registered: 01/16/14
Posts: 19
Loc: Tehachapi, CA
Might be the drizzly weather up in Portlandia.

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#98912 - 11/14/14 04:30 PM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: Akichow]
Tracie B Offline
Member

Registered: 10/11/07
Posts: 783
Loc: Behind the Orange Curtain, Cal...
Originally Posted By: Akichow





I love this pic of Sasha.

This is a topic that always stirs up controversy and emotions. I wasn't going to comment on it, but I will say that I have a large dog that I just adore, who loves to be outdoors with me. She has had a few issues that I think are related to altitude, and sometimes heat and once it was chasing a bird, that could have been life threatening. I don't take her with me as much these days, I couldn't bear to feel responsible for putting her in harm's way.

Regarding Steve C - I wholeheartedly agree with Richard and also say that I think Steve's post was just to stir the pot. I could say more but that is all in the past and his opinions don't matter to me.


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#98917 - 11/14/14 06:31 PM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: Tracie B]
DayHiker Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 36
Loc: Burlingame, CA
Ultra Paws Rugged Dog boot. This boot has stayed on better than any other boot we have tried. It has 2 velcro straps on each boot. It stayed on our border collie even when she jumped into a patch of manzanita bushes and leaped around. Haven't tried them in snow.

I hope Steve C. isn't the person who hacked this board. He has been very helpful, especially about the unused permits.

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#98919 - 11/15/14 12:02 AM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: DayHiker]
Sierra Cement Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 176
Loc: Oceanside, CA
I don't own a dog but I like them. My lifestyle wouldn't be fair to a K9 but sure love being around my friend's dogs. I did not realize you couldn't bring a dog into the National Park land but I've never had a reason to notice.



Edited by Doug Sr (11/15/14 06:07 AM)

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#98920 - 11/15/14 06:57 AM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: dannyf]
calsurfer Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/07
Posts: 55
Loc: san clemente,ca
I have only seen one dog on the summit out of my 19 summits. This was about four years ago. There was a ranger on the summit at the same time. The dog owner did get a ticket. Can't remember the exact fine but I think it was in the range of $250-300.

Happy Hiking!

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#98924 - 11/15/14 05:56 PM Re: Dogs on Mt. Whitney [Re: dannyf]
Yury Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/06
Posts: 67
Originally Posted By: dannyf
I wasn't prepared for was Steve C's comments who is obviously an angry bitter human being who has an axe to grind.
dannyf,
You sound angry and bitter to me and have an axe to grind. frown

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