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Whitney: Seeking words of wisdom: Photos added

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Whitney: Seeking words of wisdom: Photos added

Postby fyton2v » Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:40 pm

My wife is about to turn 40 and wants to summit Whitney. I've never been. I'm in pretty good shape, and my wife is in better shape than me. However, she hasn't hiked much at high elevations. Just skiing at Mammoth. No issues at that altitude. I think I'll be fine as I've carried some pretty heavy loads above 10K.

Due to time constraints we'd want to tackle it in a day. We'll probably spend the night at Whitney portal and get an early start.

What should we expect? How much water should we carry? Is there water available along the trail? Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
Last edited by fyton2v on Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Postby hikerduane » Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:43 am

On my 50th, I started at 5 in the morning from the Portal, after a quick breakfast and lots of water. I was told to pace myself, keep drinking water and snack often. Taking half an aspirin is supposed to help too. I had to keep adjusting my pace as I tend to hike too fast, although I don't think that would have been an issue. I watched my watch and drank water every 15 minutes. I went in late Sept. an water was still flowing. I should have snacked more, but you get a moving and don't want to stop, that is me and I do the same bping. I had lots of calls of nature, I blame the Tofurkey from the day before. Except for the nature calls, I only stopped for a break on Trail Crest, then made the last push to the top. I also should have taken a longer lunch break at the top instead of trying to leave with other folks who were there. I hear women do better than men because they tend to take more breaks I guess and if in a group, support each other, a pep team on the move. As it was, I was back at the Portal at 4:30 that afternoon. In hind site, I should have taken a few more breaks to munch on gorp and taken a longer lunch. As it was, I did pretty good I thought. The trudge coming down was hard getting over the uphill to Trail Crest, but I flew once I got over that. The potties are gone I guess, so pickup a wag bag when you get your permit. Lots of rocks to hide "behind" on the way up.:) I hiked up in a short sleeve shirt and shorts, others needed wind pants and long sleeve shirts I noticed. I had to put some clothes on once I reached the top and started cooling down.

Have a good time,
Duane
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Postby TriHard » Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:15 pm

I turned 47 a couple of months ago and last week on July 4 I hiked the Mt. Whitney trail for the first time. I drove up from SoCal on July 3 and spent the night at Whitney Protal. I started on the trail at 3:00am and was on the summit at 10:00am. I spent about an hour on top then hiked back down and was at my car at 3:30pm. It was an amazing experience! I hiked with a 100oz Camelback with Gatorade and I took some homemade burritos made with Couscous, black beans, some cheese wrapped in flour tortillas. These gave me lots of carbs for the fuel I needed to keep going. Take your time and enjoy the trek... you'll be fine. Here is a link to my website with the photos of my July 4 trip.

http://kenwonderly.com/Ken%20Wonderly%2 ... 0Hike.html

Ken
Starting over, half way through!
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Postby fyton2v » Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:48 pm

Great pictures! I have the permits. We're going up on Monday. We'll camp somewhere near the portal on Sunday night. I think we're going to start around 6AM. I wish I had more time to get into shape, but we'll probably make it. Hopefully the weather is nice. I'm allergic to lightening. :)
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TriHard wrote:I turned 47 a couple of months ago and last week on July 4 I hiked the Mt. Whitney trail for the first time. I drove up from SoCal on July 3 and spent the night at Whitney Protal. I started on the trail at 3:00am and was on the summit at 10:00am. I spent about an hour on top then hiked back down and was at my car at 3:30pm. It was an amazing experience! I hiked with a 100oz Camelback with Gatorade and I took some homemade burritos made with Couscous, black beans, some cheese wrapped in flour tortillas. These gave me lots of carbs for the fuel I needed to keep going. Take your time and enjoy the trek... you'll be fine. Here is a link to my website with the photos of my July 4 trip.

http://kenwonderly.com/Ken%20Wonderly%2 ... 0Hike.html

Ken
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Postby tomcat_rc » Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:07 pm

glad to see you are going for it - have you gleaned any advise from Whitney Portal message board (if you can sort through the piles of irrelevant dribble)

my .02c worth on a few issues.

make the most of your breaks down low including snacking down low - with your limited time acclimating you will probably lose your appetite at the higher altitude - also drink plenty of water down low and stay hydrated. take foods you like and are comfortable with - this is not the time to experement with a new diet(cold pizza and jelly beans are a favorite treat in my food bag)

there are plenty of places to take water along the trail(filtered and unfiltered) - the last being near trail camp or the part-time trickle stream a little ways up the switch back. make sure at that point you have enough to last 4hours or so.

aspirin or ibupropin is good in the medicine kit - 1 or 2 aspirin at first sign of a headache may help you later - ibupropin for aches(vitamin I)

it has been cloudy lately - so time to think about possible afternoon storms - you may even consider leaving an hour earlier to help your chances of success.

one thing I have not tried but have heard some recent who have. take time on the way down to soak your feet at Trailside Meadow - it may help for the long trudge back to the vehicle


any other questions or if you want any info links - ask or email

thanks - Tom
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Postby fyton2v » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:18 pm

I've been reading the portal store forum and it seems fun, but it has a weird vibe (in my limited exposure). Lots of opinions there. Your advice above seems to be the common thread. Keep eating and drinking, bring aspirin, and try and be off the top by the afternoon. Leaving at 5AM sounds like a good idea. At a outdoor related store today one guy told me to leave at 3AM. I'm going to be asleep at 3AM. :)

I think it'll take about 7 hours to get to the top. Less if my body doesn't give up. I bonk in a big way if I don't eat frequently when hiking/biking.

Anyhow... wish me luck. I'll report back with the trails and tribulations after the ordeal... and thanks for the advice.
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Made it. Barely.

Postby fyton2v » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:26 pm

Arrived at Whitney Portal about 4PM on Sunday. Messed around a bit. Found a camp-site. My wife and I hiked up to Lone Pine lake to test out our legs. Legs checked out OK. It rained a bit and I'm glad we were scheduled to try Whitney on Monday. The weather was sketchy towards the top. I heard it was snowing.

Monday morning we woke up late. We started out at 6AM. Took a break at Trail Camp at about 10ish. Everything seemed good. The weather was beautiful. After the switchbacks everything really slowed down. I hit the altitude wall at the top of the switchbacks. Every step was hard all the way to the summit. My wife was in decent shape and she cruised to the top. I finally made it at 2pm. We both stayed for a short time and headed back down.

Right as we started the decent she went from happy to vomiting. Not good. Definitely the wrong place to start that. I was still having a tough time of it too. They really could use more oxygen up there. We basically creeped our way back to the switchbacks. As soon as we started down them I perked up. I like air. My wife was sick as a hell the entire way back, but she kept moving. Felt like a hundred miles. We had to go slow and we didn't get back to the trailhead until 10PM.

We grabbed a room at a local Lone Pine motel and she was completely recovered this morning. We're both glad we made it. Met a lot of nice people along the way. However, it would have been a much better experience without the altitude sickness.

It's a very long walk :).
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Postby tomcat_rc » Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:16 pm

congradulations on your first ascent of Mt Whitney -
although a long day it sounds like was worth it. hope the information you got pre-hike helped in some way. wish I knew of internet forums back when I did my first summit (1998?) - I knew nothing and felt like I paid the price for my ignorance
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Postby fyton2v » Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:18 pm

Great post on the portal forum about not going for the MR route when the guy had just made it up the main trail. I saw some photos of the MR. One look at a picture of people on the ledge makes me think "pass". I like the main trail.

These Internet forums are great and an incredible resource. Just a quick backpacking trip, much less climbing Mt. Whitney, is made so much easier when you can draw upon other people's experiences.

Having spent a decent amount of time in the Sierras, I had an idea what I was getting into. I was hoping that I was overestimating the difficulty of the 1-day trip, but I wasn't. It was just as hard as I imagined. If you're in decent shape, not prone to altitude problems, and have good weather, the MT doesn't seem like it would be a really difficult hike. Just long. I had 2 out of the 3 going for me so I still made it :).
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Postby tomcat_rc » Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:48 pm

fyton2v wrote:Great post on the portal forum about not going for the MR route when the guy had just made it up the main trail. I saw some photos of the MR. One look at a picture of people on the ledge makes me think "pass". I like the main trail.


yeah I always worry about posting controversial comments like that - but somebody is going to be killed oneday following stupid advise like that - it is hard to keep quiet sometimes

good job again with summit - did you get any good pictures for us.
looks like I am headed back up there Saturday to get a couple of R/C locals up.
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Some photos

Postby fyton2v » Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:30 pm

http://www.flickr.com/photos/10284330@N ... 927643469/

Hope the link works :)

My lens was pretty dirty. I was a bit disappointed with the color of the pictures when I returned home.
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