I've been spending the past two weeks stalking these boards and immensely enjoying the useful information here (for any camping/hiking info. - not just Whitney related). First - thank you all for the great info.
Haven't camped in over 25 years! Last trip was to Alta Peak in Kings Canyon with some friends in the late 80's! Son (11) just bridged into Boy Scouts, so I've been dusting off the old gear and replenishing with updated items. The info here and on other sites has been real helpful (I'm sort of a web troll, rather spend time learning than watching TV). Just finished my Assistant Scoutmaster training and now hoping to help the scouts along the trails. I'm 48 years old and 5'9" 178 lbs (not in great shape, but not in horrible shape).
For whatever reason (I still can't define it yet) I'm interested in doing Mt. Whitney. I'm cautious enough to know that I am not in shape for this test yet. We just went on an overnight trip up to Mt. Pinos and it was a challenging hike for me although I didn't slow down and kept up. This trip showed me that I need to get in better shape, as well as I need to update my gear. Having said that, the goal is to get experience and training to try for the lottery in the next 2 years and try to get a group of Scouts up there.
Since I noticed how out of shape I was I've been starting a regimen of training. Trying to get in at least 2 miles on the treadmill a night (30 minutes). I'm also trying to get in some successively more challenging day hikes. Started by taking the kids over to Paradise Falls in T.O. and last weekend took my 16 year old daughter up the Zuma trail (2 miles, 1,100 ft. climb in one hour). Did it without a pack and it was pretty easy. The views were amazing, so I think I'll try to make this a regular and add some weight as I try to work up.
OK...so after all this (sorry, I tend to like to write a lot) - there are some specific questions.
1 - Training Regimen
I've read about the dozen training climbs and really like it. I am planning on trying to do them over the course of time. What about other training - does anyone find a special regimen that makes the climb of Whitney easier for them? Treadmill, weights, etc.?
2 - Gear
Little by little I've been hoarding gear. Probably spend over $1,200 in the past month to update my gear and get my son a good set also. Taking my time and learning as much as I can. One problem on the Mt. Pinos trip was tent was too heavy (2 man, 5#) and it got too cold for me that night (mid-20's with a 35 degree bag - thank god for heat packs). Here's some gear stats and would love feedback:
A - Tent
I've got myself a solo tent (EMS Velocity 1 Tent) since on the Boy Scout trips the boys bunk in groups of 2's and the ASM's bunk in solo tents. Don't know if this will work for Mt Whitney thought as it isn't a four season tent. However, all the four season tents I've been looking at seem way too heavy for this trip anyway. Full disclosure - I've NEVER slept outside, and while it seems enticing, I am somewhat of a sissy when it comes to bugs. Can't image sleeping out in the open and having some spiders, etc. climb over me. I'm willing to get over it though!
Will this tent work for Whitney?
B - Cooking
I still don't feel confident in the cooking setup because I am still doing research. No hurry, so no issue there. Did have to buy a couple of these just because I can't pass up a good deal:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004U8CP88/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Even if I don't use them, it's nice and cheap enough to have as spares. Bought two and I am truly impressed with the quality and the workmanship of these. I got them in about 3 weeks and they work perfectly (at home, haven't tried them on a trip yet). Several of the other ASM's have the white gas stoves (pocket rockets, etc.) and I don't know if it's a status thing or not. I was thinking for a Mt Whitney and other heavy climbing trip to just go with an Esbit stove as those look pretty amazing and seem to work just fine. I've been devouring, little by little, the other relevant posts in here and the web site by Hiking Jim. So I feel confident that after reading more posts, and going on more trips to see what the other ASM's use, that I'll find something I like.
I also am looking at the right cook wear set as usually we each make a meal for the others, so they need to be big enough to cook for 4-5 adults (last time we have tacos for dinner and eggs burritos for breakfast).
C - Clothing
This is where I really need to pay attention as I feel the weakest in this regard. On the Mt. Pinos trip I was woefully unprepared as I had read the weather reports and it said it was in the 40's-50's at night, only to find that it was 45 during the day and 20's at night! That night, in the 35 degree bag, I had on thermals under (I did remember to bring that), and all my other gear that included 2 pairs of socks (one thick set and one thin), thermal underwear, the polyester convertible pants that all ASM's wear, two long sleeved polyester running shirts, and the one windbreaker (which was baaad, bought from Scout store and didn't block any wind). I was real cold that night so I assume that I can classify myself as a "cold" sleeper? I'm glad that I went through the trouble of bringing chemical hand warmers as that kept my hands warm. I never felt in danger, but I didn't sleep a wink and it was the longest night I can remember! Air pad beneath and I put a space blanket beneath that, so I didn't feel cold from below, just from above (had hat and is a mummy bag).
My son slept fine in the 20 degree bag I got him and didn't have any issue feeling cold, but I guess my old bones have a hard time.
I have since them bought a better air mattress and slept very comfortably in recent trips, however the temps were in the 40's.
On the way down from Sheep Camp (Mt Pinos Trip) to Camp 3 Falls, which was a 6.5 mile hike down 2,500 feet, I started to really build up a sweat. I learned real quick that I need to remove layers early rather than later (started feeling sick about 4 miles in). Part of the learning curve I'm sure.
So, I know that I need to build a good set of cold weather gear that will breathe well and handle tough conditions. I'm starting to keep an eye out on all the sites that you all have been so kind to share (steep and cheap, etc.). Can anyone give me a solid list of what they take on Mt Whitney trips? I know there are different weather conditions, so If you could share what that means in relation to a list that would be amazing. I need to start checking off items as I go!
If you've read this far, thank you so much. I enjoy these boards very much and hope to give back in the future. Any other suggestions, links, or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you all again. You are a very amazing community.