Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 12 guests, and 7 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
A few questions
#15823 06/29/11 12:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 8
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 8
My brother and I are getting ready to attempt our first summit of Whitney on this Friday July 1st 2011. We are planning on starting from Whitney Portal around 2 AM. I did have a few questions that I was hoping some of you might be able to answer:

1. We are both young 22 and 25, and in excellent shape (can both run a half-marathon or more without much difficulty). We are coming from sea-level and will not have the opportunity to acclimate to the altitude. Historically neither of us has had any issues with altitude sickness. Given these considerations and the fact that we have adequate mountaineering skills we should be able to make the summit right?

2. I understand that the switchbacks are impassable and that the Chute is the only way to the top. How difficult is it to locate the Chute? We have a map, compass, and GPS, but do not see it clearly marked.

3. Also since we will be traveling in the dark for the first 2-3 hours of our journey, and it will be a completely new moon. How difficult will it be to follow the trail to get to the Chute? My understanding is that once you get above the chute the trail is still somewhat treacherous but fairly easy to follow and more or less free of snow. According to the park service some of the trail on the way to the bottom of the chute can be somewhat hard to follow.

Thanks very much in advance to any of you who are willing to take the time to answer my questions.

-Christopher Lathen
-San Diego

Re: A few questions
Chris Lathen #15824 06/29/11 12:52 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 567
Offline
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 567
Hi Chris.... of hikers on this board, I may be the biggest worry wort. So, with that said, your first obstacle will be how wide and deep the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek is. You'll need to decide howm to cross it and keep from getting wet. Should be fairly easy to Outpost Camp, then from reports, the snow starts. Not sure how much has melted since last report. After Outpost Camp and Mirror Lake, the trail goes up into large Boulders and Pocks. If there is snow, it may be hard to find the trail....and even without snow, it can be tricky. Not hard, but tricky as the trail looks to go different directions in the dark. Also, you may have to deal with lots of boot prints going different directions. I have followed others and/or looked for headlamps to help.

Check out Bob R's post "Whitney Trail, June 22 & 23" from a week or so ago as well as all the latest reports in the Current Conditions.

As far as age, yes that will help, though doing a marathon, half or otherwise doesn't mean a whole bunch. Being in exce3llent shape does mean something. Not acclimating may cause your biggest problem. Just breath well, concentrate on getting full and steady breaths when up high and take your time. Hydrate and eat. Your mountaineering skills will help. Chute is easy to find.....again, check Bob R's post. It's the large snowfield to the right of the switchbacks :-)

Trail past the chute should be fairly clear. It's not "treacherous" IMO, but with some snow on it, it could cause a couple of interesting moments.

Take your time, take pictures, bring your ice axe and have fun.
Lots of luck.


"Turtles, Frogs & other Environmental Sculpture"

www.quillansculpturegallery.com
twitter: @josephquillan

If less is more, imagine how much more, more is -Frasier
Re: A few questions
quillansculpture #15828 06/29/11 01:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 660
Rod Offline
Offline
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 660
The chute will be easy to find. The trail from Outpost to Trail camp is difficult in places when there is no snow. With snow there are false trails I have been reading.People just kind of make up their own way.Best bet is follow someone going up that knows the way.Just use common sense and follow the most traveled trail but do watch and not trust every set of boot tracks.quillianscultures post is right on.Look for Bob R's most recent trip he posts some excellent pictures.

Re: A few questions
Rod #15835 06/29/11 03:12 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,253
W
Offline
W
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,253
The easiest way to answer this is...

just follow the headlights until the morning light. Then, just follow the 98 of your nearest and dearest friends.

By this time, the route up the chute is pretty much beaten in. I would not be surprised if it were beaten in to the point of steps...which makes things really easy.

Your concern should be focused on the way down. You have to make the decision to glissade or not to glissade. Then there is walk from Trailside Meadow to Mirror Lake, where most seem to lose the trail...myself included more times than not.

Re: A few questions
Chris Lathen #15836 06/29/11 03:29 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 845
Likes: 1
Offline
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 845
Likes: 1
Pack a headlamp, leave the map/compass/GPS at home/car. You don't need them. Chances are you will meet up with a frequenter.

Cause you are young marathoners doesn't make you invulnerable. Granted your physical conditioning is only 1/4 of the battle. Add a pack on your back and you will know why. This isn't a 13.1 or 26.2. It's a 20 (chute factor) with 6,200+ elevation gain. AMS can kick in at the trailhead. Establish a pace you are comfortable with (2 mph...do the math...is a cakewalk), nibble, hydrate. Caveat: the 2 mph slows down to turtle mph on the chute up or down. Also, pucker factor aka wait-a-minute if not experienced with ice axe/crampons/glissading.

By the time you reach Trail Camp, civil twilight will be your lantern. If conditions warrant, alpenglow.

Friday
1 July 2011 Pacific Daylight Time

SUN
Begin civil twilight 5:07 a.m.
Sunrise 5:37 a.m.
Sun transit 12:56 p.m.
Sunset 8:15 p.m.
End civil twilight 8:45 p.m.

MOON
Moonset 7:52 p.m. on preceding day
Moonrise 5:58 a.m.
Moon transit 1:21 p.m.
Moonset 8:38 p.m.
Moonrise 7:03 a.m. on following day

Establish a cut-off time. Mission critical. When the sun sets, the chute becomes ice making glissading "danger imminent."


Journey well...
Re: A few questions
wbtravis #15838 06/29/11 03:33 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 17
J
Offline
J
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 17
If you cannot acclimate consider getting to a doctor tomorrow morning or calling one and getting a script for Diamox. Take 125mg twice a day On thrusday and on Friday.

You will have full light by 5:15 or so.

You will find the chute and it will not be too hard to ascend. It's right after trail camp (you will see plenty of tents on a giant rock). Follow the footprints, they are quite obvious.

Drink alot of water. Make sure you are peeing clear often (every hour). This is probably one of the most important things to remember for acclimation. Put some gatorade powder in it and have some salty snacks with you.

Eat alot of carbs. Just keeping eating till you are full again and again. Earlier rather than later because you may not be as hungry higher up.

Take breaks even if you are not tired. Often. Don't worry about your time. You will make it up on your descent.

Don't be afraid not to summit. If you feel like crap, you can do it again another time. Your going to have a great time either way. I saw people practically passed out on the summit, sick out of their minds who did it in one day. They didn't look like they were having fun and should've turned back.

I agree with the north fork issue. You might want to just take off your shoes and socks and wade thru, then dry them and put them back on.

Don't forget your trekking poles and gators.

Have fun and post your results!

Jeremy

Re: A few questions
Chris Lathen #15848 06/29/11 05:38 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 659
Offline
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 659
Being young and in great shape means a lot in terms of having the stamina and strength to hike Whitney, but not much in terms of altitude sickness. Indeed, I seem to recall reading in one report that, statistically, women over 50 have the lowest incidence, followed by men over 50, followed by women under 50, followed by men under 50 (though reports generally state that sex and age and fitness do not correlate with AMS). If true, the differences may be explained by speed of ascent: a huge, but by no means only, variable in terms of risk for AMS, HAPE or HACE is speed of ascent.

The long and short: if being a fit marathoner helps you keep a steady, but not overly fast rate of ascent, it will be a benefit. If being a fit marathoner makes you race up the mountain, it may be a liability.

Good luck, have fun, and be safe.

Re: A few questions
Akichow #15850 06/29/11 05:51 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 8
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 8
Thanks for all the helpful replies. @Jeremy: My mother is an eye-doctor and is familiar with the use of Diamox as it is primarily used in the treatment of acute Glaucoma. I asked her about whether she thought it was a good idea, but she said that in a lot of patients in causes flu like symptoms and makes people feel pretty lousy. Anyway thanks again to everyone for the advice. Look forward to seeing you on the mountain!

Re: A few questions
Chris Lathen #15853 06/29/11 07:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 659
Offline
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 659
Here is one overview that talks about some of the issues relating to AMS including rate of ascent, symptoms, etc.

http://www.traveldoctor.co.uk/altitude.htm

Re: A few questions
Akichow #15856 06/29/11 08:14 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 17
J
Offline
J
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 17
I too am a doctor (gastroenterologist). I'm not aware of flu like symptoms. I do know of some issues with taste disturbances and numbness in fingers. But, the dose used for altitude is 125mg twice per day is half the regular starting dose. Side effects are rare and it works well to stave off AMS. I've used it twice and I am prone to AMS. It worked wonders both times.

Re: A few questions
Jeremy #15858 06/29/11 09:06 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 17
J
Offline
J
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 17
Can anyone direct me to an appropriate tutorial as to how to post photos to my forum entry?
thanks...

Re: A few questions
Jeremy #15859 06/29/11 09:17 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,352
Likes: 76
S
Offline
S
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,352
Likes: 76
Sure.

Open the Picture Gallery forum. Near the top of the page, find this:
* * * * Instructions for storing pictures:  Uploading Pictures to the Picture Gallery. * * * *

The second post in that thread tells how to include photos in a post.

Re: A few questions
Jeremy #15860 06/29/11 09:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 511
T
Offline
T
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 511
edit

Last edited by tdtz; 06/29/11 09:18 PM.
Re: A few questions
tdtz #15994 07/03/11 09:13 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 8
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 8
Made it to the top: See my post here for a summit pic and link to my photo album.

Re: A few questions
Chris Lathen #15996 07/03/11 10:19 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 5
W
Offline
W
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 5
Congrats Chris! Nice pic too... One question-- the hot topic du jour: Did you take the Chute or were switchbacks/cables accessible? Thanks very much!

Re: A few questions
wncj #15997 07/03/11 02:23 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 8
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 8
I took the chute, didn't see anyone taking the switchback route. It looked like it was still pretty covered in snow. There is still a lot of snow on the mountain in general.

Re: A few questions
Chris Lathen #16000 07/03/11 07:36 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 660
Rod Offline
Offline
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 660
Congrats on your summit. Thanks for the link to the pictures on the other site.

Re: A few questions
Chris Lathen #16006 07/03/11 08:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 13
O
Offline
O
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 13
Originally Posted By: Chris Lathen
I took the chute, didn't see anyone taking the switchback route. It looked like it was still pretty covered in snow. There is still a lot of snow on the mountain in general.


saw 3-4 groups taking the switchbacks yesterday as i was descending.... they were above the cables so i am not sure where they got on the switchback route since there is snow covering the bottom part. snow is melting quickly....

Re: A few questions
wncj #16016 07/04/11 02:14 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,036
Likes: 6
H
Offline
H
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,036
Likes: 6
Originally Posted By: wncj
One question-- the hot topic du jour:
did you take Diamox?

the eye MD's report of flu-like symptoms might have been an uncommon Diamox "cousin"-sulfa-related-sensitivity, or, perhaps more likely and with tingling the huge dose (500 mg) given for glaucoma.

If you did use Diamox, I imagine it was the more appropriate 125 BID for Rx of AMS.


Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4
(Release build 20200307)
Responsive Width:

PHP: 7.4.15 Page Time: 0.035s Queries: 52 (0.018s) Memory: 0.6692 MB (Peak: 0.8001 MB) Data Comp: Off Server Time: 2021-12-04 13:47:14 UTC
Valid HTML 5 and Valid CSS