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Hiking in June

How do you prepare for the rigorous physical requirements of high elevation adventure? Strength and endurance are key, but are only part of a more complex equation. How do you prepare for changes in altitude, exposure, diet, etc.? How do you mentally prepare? Learn from others and share what you know about training in advance for outdoor adventures.
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Hiking in June

Postby brob757 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:42 pm

Hello all! I have visited the Sierras twice now and spent many hours in Yosemite and SEKI while I was there. I spent most of those hours near roads and campgrounds. On my last visit I really got the feeling that there is so much more to see far off the roads.

My wife and I are going back in late June and will be hiking. We plan on hiking the Mist trail to Nevada Falls and other short hikes. However, Cloud's Rest is on my bucket list and I want to try Mitchell Peak as well. I live in PA and we are planning on having children after this trip so I want to try to do both hikes in the 9 days we are there because I may not ever get another chance. Right now I am 34 years old and I have been working out on an elliptical for over a month at least 3 days a week for at least 25 minutes and increasing my time gradually. My stamina is really increasing. I grew up with the Appalachian Mountains in my back yard so hiking around in the woods was a way of life. I, however, have never attempted hiking 15 miles in a day especially at altitude.

So, my question is can I reasonably expect to get into good enough shape by June to attempt Cloud's Rest from Tioga Rd? Right now I am 220 lbs, losing weight, eating much much better and getting back into the woods here as much as possible as well as continuing to hit the elliptical and treadmill. Are there any exercises I can do to help get me in top shape and help better prepare me for this hike?

Thank you!



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Re: Hiking in June

Postby oldranger » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:22 pm

Sure you can get into shape to do what you plan. But I would expect that you should work your way up to close to 10 hours per week of exercise at least including some kind of extended hiking or biking at least one day per week and some inclined treadmill/stairstepping. If you can do 2 miles at one time on a treadmill at 10% grade you are doing a little over 1500 hundred feet and you should have a good foundation. But continue to work up gradually, and warm up before cranking up the slope

Still plan on a couple of days acclimation at Tuolumne Meadows and with only 9 days I would stay in Yosemite and leave Mitchell Peak and SEKI for another trip. There are so many hikes out of TM and other things nearby that I would rather do that than do it all. But this is advice from a person who grew up in Fresno and both areas were in my backyard.

Oh, one other thing keep an eye on snow levels this year it could be a big one and either of your bucket list trips could involve extensive travel over snow. There is a remote snow sensor just below Mitchell Peakhttp://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryF?MTM that you can check from time to time. If it is correct there is currently almost 12 inches of water which at this time of the year can mean anywhere from about 5 to 8 feet of snow. Eric please correct me if I am off. Around the first of the month Feb-May these sites are usually ground truthed and official data will be available.

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Hiking in June

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:17 pm

Mitchell from the marvin pass trailhead is short, less than 3 miles, and I have taken people who don't hike and had plenty of time left in the day. Even hiked very slowly.

clouds rest from the sunrise trailhead is 14 miles round-trip. I would call it strenuous for the distance more than for the hiking itself. The slopes are not steep, right up until you get to clouds rest itself when you're walking up granite slabs like stairsteps. Mike is right to suggest that you focus on yosemite for this trip and leave Mitchell for later. There are ton of things to do in yosemite that are comparable or better views, such as mount Dana or mount Hoffman. Mitchell is nice, with a good view of the surrounding area and on a clear day of Whitney, but it is a long drive and you could be spending the drive time hiking one of the other fantastic peaks in Yosemite instead.



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Re: Hiking in June

Postby The Other Tom » Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:29 pm

What OR and AT said. I'll add that you might want to consider doing Cloud's Rest as an overnighter. More enjoyable that way, IMO.
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Re: Hiking in June

Postby maverick » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:44 pm

You should also include Waterwheel Falls and LeConte Falls, both should be spectacular this year (finally) with all the snow we are getting, and hopefully continue to get. :nod:
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Re: Hiking in June

Postby brob757 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:04 am

Thank you for all of your advice! I wish I could stay in Yosemite only but the farthest west my wife has ever been is Norwalk, OH so there is quite a bit I want to show her and that she wants to see in Sequoia and Kings Canyon! I may try to extend the trip to fit it all in! At any rate I will continue to bust my butt getting in shape and I hope things will work out the way I want.! Thanks again! :cool:
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Re: Hiking in June

Postby brob757 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:44 am

Maverick,

I told my wife the same thing when I started reading about the crazy el niño this year. I told her that we will be in for quite a treat to see Yosemite, Vernal, and Nevada Falls at such high volume! I can't wait as I've been to Yosemite in both early July and mid September. I'd much rather be there in spring or early summer for the waterfalls!
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Re: Hiking in June

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:55 am

I'm curious what she wants to see in SEKI that impels her to want hours and hours of driving from Yosemite to Fresno and then to crawl back up winding roads into another park for a little while. There are Sequoias in Yosemite, after all, and Kings Canyon had the Rough Fire last year -- what a horrible wasteland the north side of the canyon will be this year. :crybaby:

SEKI is a backpacker's paradise -- the best things about it are in the backcountry, IMO. Yes, there are the biggest of the big trees. But the high country feel, the granite, the lakes -- all that is so much easier to access in Yosemite.
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Re: Hiking in June

Postby oldranger » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:51 am

Oh, one downside about Yosemite this year for viewing Giant Sequoias is that the Mariposa Grove will be closed due to restoration activities. Neither the Tuolumne nor the Merced Groves are in the same league as the Mariposa Grove, Giant Forest, or Grant Grove in my opinion. To experience the trees with a sense of solitude Redwood Canyon can't be beat.

That said, twer me I'd still opt to spend my time in Yosemite! (and spend less time driving between the parks)

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Re: Hiking in June

Postby maverick » Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:58 pm

Maverick,
I told my wife the same thing when I started reading about the crazy el niño this year. I told her that we will be in for quite a treat to see Yosemite, Vernal, and Nevada Falls at such high volume! I can't wait as I've been to Yosemite in both early July and mid September. I'd much rather be there in spring or early summer for the waterfalls!


Spring in the Sierra will be in June and early July if we continue to get these El Nino storms, so your timing for late June may coincide with the height of the run-off. Vernal, Nevada Falls and Bunnell Cascade will be booming, but LeConte, Waterwheel, and Tuolumne Falls in Yosemite will be the highlights of the Sierra, there are other prime locations in the Sierra, but would require backpacking into the backcountry for at least a day or two.
If you can spend a day or two down in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, at Glen Aulin or further down, then would highly recommended you do so.

Panorama Trail, Eagle Peak, North Dome, Vernal and Nevada Falls are the best hikes out of the Valley.

Waterwheel Falls, LeConte Falls, Tuolumne Falls, Cathedral Lakes, Clouds Rest, Lyell Canyon, and Mt. Dana are some of the best out of the Tuolumne area

SEKI is outstanding and has beautiful scenery, but as AT mentioned, most of this can only be seen by backpacking in one or two days at least. Day hikes that are available are, Moro Rock, Crescent Meadow, Alta Peak, Zumwalt Meadow, Mist Falls, Lookout Peak, Redwood Canyon, Tokopah Falls, and all the Grooves, but quite a drive.

If you can get a flight in and out of Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FYI), it would make your trip less of a logistical nightmare.


So, my question is can I reasonably expect to get into good enough shape by June to attempt Cloud's Rest from Tioga Rd? Right now I am 220 lbs, losing weight, eating much much better and getting back into the woods here as much as possible as well as continuing to hit the elliptical and treadmill. Are there any exercises I can do to help get me in top shape and help better prepare me for this hike?


Keep hitting the trail, start wearing a backpack, increase the weight nice a slowly, use trekking poles, not only to save you joints, but to burn calories. Go to the gym, concentrate on working your core muscles, which include the internal and external obliques, rectus and transversus abdominis,multifidus, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus, and trapezius. Include some exercises for your calves, quads, chest, and shoulders too.

Take a few yoga classes so you can learn the basics, and then go do them on your own, or just continue doing the classes.

Elliptical and treadmill are okay, but they do not simulate the motion or use the muscles in your feet and legs as they would on the trail, also they do not activate the hamstrings proficiently, especially a treadmill, where most of the forward motion is not accomplished by your hamstrings, but by the machine.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Hiking in June

Postby brob757 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:05 pm

Normally when I go to the Sierras I end up staying in Fresno. For some reason I have really come to enjoy Kings Canyon and the lack of crowds. But then again I've never travelled to Tioga RD so I'm in for a real treat there. I know the rough fire did lots of damage. And I want to show my wife the giant forest. She really is interested in seeing these Sequoia trees and walking to the top of Morro Rock! I heard about the grove closures in Yosemite. For the Yosemite portion I think I will be staying in Yosemite high country, though. Maybe for 4-5 days. Thanks again!
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Re: Hiking in June

Postby brob757 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:41 am

Oldranger,

You mentioned acclimating to the altitude in Tuolumne meadows. Any other suggestions for lodging in the area? I've seen several options. Tioga Lodge is at a decently high altitude of just over 9,600 feet, is that too high to acclimate? Would options in Lee Vining be useful? Seems to be too low of an altitude there. I've hopped around at close to 8k feet before with no problems that I could tell, and I went up Morro Rock last time with no issues although I was a smoker then and was battling a terrible round of the flu at the time. But still Morro Rock is a much lower altitude. Thanks in advance!
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