Trip to piute pass questions

Backpacking and camping basics and other general trip planning discussion for the uninitiated. Use this forum to learn where to look for the information you need, and to ask questions, related to the beginner basics of backpacking and camping, including technique and best practices.
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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Trip to piute pass questions

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:36 pm

One of the worst things you can do at altitude is push it too fast. Start out REALLY SLOW. Gradually speed up, but always keep your breathing easy. If you are huffing and puffing and sweating, you are going too fast and will likely get sick. On the uphill sections do the "rest step"- that is step, pause, step, pause- a slow pace but keep going. Going to fast and often stopping is hard on your body. Eat very small amounts of non-spicy, carbohydrates- easy on the fats and proteins which are harder to digest and sip water often.

I question that statistic that 40% get altitude sick at 9,000 feet. Mild loss of apatite, headache, light-headedness and faster than normal heart rate is fairly common, but not what I would call altitude sickness. My favorite food at a first night of high altitude is miso soup and mashed potatoes - get one of those flavored instant potato side packets. Herbal tea is also great to comfort the stomach. And an electrolyte drink, like Gatorade, helps too. Take a pain relief pill BEFORE your headache gets bad. Wear a good pair of sunglasses - glare can also give you a headache.

The good thing about the Piute Pass trail is that there are plenty of place to stop and camp if you get to feeling sick. And it is all beautiful- great scenery and fishing even if you never even make it over the pass.

A more realistic worry would be the weather. You could get caught in a snowstorm. Be prepared for some snow. But a 4-day trip is short and a major storm should be predicted. Check the weather report just before you get on the trail.








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Lazeydazey
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Re: Trip to piute pass questions

Post by Lazeydazey » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:04 pm

Hahaha! Oh my goodness is Wandering Daisy ever right about the weather being a bigger concern than altitude sickness. Dooder, to answer your question about what we did in the lightning, we did it all wrong. I would love to hear from others the corrrect way to do the barren high sierra in a lightning storm. (Are trekking poles conductors?) When it came in, we were fishing at Muriel. We stayed too long, thinking it was further away than it was (is it true each second between lightning is 1 mile? And at what point do you stop fishing?) then went up and over the pass…Bad! Bad! Bad! There were others seeking shelter near the lake in a rock overhang (also wrong). I guess the goal is to be off the highest passes and peaks before 2pm during the electrical storm season (is September safe?) to avoid it altogether, but if you get caught out in it, find the low, scrubby pines instead of the taller ones, to wait it out, which means possibly coming home in the dark. Which makes me wonder if we had a headlamp in our daypacks…?. Also good to keep scrubby trees in mind when choosing a campsite.

There was a website, I think I found it through a link here on HST, with diagrams on the flow of electrical energy that was really helpful.

The only good thing we did was not continue on to the higher and even more barren Lost Lakes after lunch…all bets of us getting back would have been off!!

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markskor
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Re: Trip to piute pass questions

Post by markskor » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:38 pm

Lazeydazey wrote: (Is it true each second between lightning is 1 mile? And at what point do you stop fishing?)
Sound travels ~ 750 mph or so...Count the time between flash and sound...
Roughly, 5 seconds = 1 mile away
Anything close to 10 seconds...maybe time to stop fishing?
Mountainman who swims with trout

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Re: Trip to piute pass questions

Post by dooder » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:07 pm

I emailed the visitor center my questions about gate and parking specifics. If they get back to me with any good nuggets of info I'll post them here, hopefully it will help anyone making this trip in the future for the first time. Thanks again to all those who replied ! This is an awesome website and community! If weather and smoke permits the trip I'll have a trip report posted in early October. Thanks again HST
Jayson

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Re: Trip to piute pass questions

Post by rlown » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:23 pm

Think about a plan B if the smoke/weather doesn't cooperate for your first pick.

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