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#23696 - 05/07/12 10:21 PM Two Firsts in One Trip
MichaelRyanSD Offline


Registered: 04/15/12
Posts: 33
Loc: San Diego CA
So, following up on my other post, I wanted to see if there was any overall sound advice before I attempt two firsts next week, one being doing some actual mountaineering and two, my first summit on Whitney.

I'm leaving CA after growing up here for 26 years in 2 months and my job will likely never see me back here so I've been knocking out a few things before I go (did a motorcycle trip up the coast highway a couple months ago, total blast and everyone must do it).

Wanted to see if you guys had any overall arcing advice and things to remember/consider?

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#23700 - 05/07/12 10:46 PM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: MichaelRyanSD]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7527
Loc: Fresno, CA
From your post April 15:
Quote:
I've never done Whitney before, I've hiked San Jacinto without an ounce of altitude sickness. My plan was to hike up to base camp on Mon, hang out the night, summit the next day then head down the backside and spend the night, hike back up the third day and summit and depending on time either spend the night at base camp again, or time permitting, make it all the back to the portal and head home.

San J. is 4000' lower than Mt Whitney. It is quite likely you will experience AMS if you go all the way to Trail Camp and spend the night. (Trail Camp is 2k higher than the summit of San Jacinto.) You will know when you wake up in the morning. I'd see a doctor and get some Diamox just in case, and learn the recommended dosage (1/4 to 1/8 of the dosage for glaucoma).

This is your first time on Whitney. Thinking you will pop over Trail Crest with a full pack to spend the night at Guitar lake is a nice fantasy. Just getting yourself to the summit and back will be a nice first.

Seems like you have studied and prepared much for this trip. Good luck!

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#23724 - 05/08/12 08:50 AM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: Steve C]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
First time winter mountaineering on Mt. Whitney. Good luck.

I've been doing this for 5 or 6 years seriously in SoCal and before I would attempt the MR in the winter...yes it's still winter up there, I would do in the summer when there is no ice or snow about.

What stops me from doing MR this time of year is not knowing what the final 400' looks like. Even with my skill level, I would not attempt this without someone who has been up there previously but that's me...I'm the chicken of the mountains.

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#23737 - 05/08/12 12:07 PM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: wbtravis]
MichaelRyanSD Offline


Registered: 04/15/12
Posts: 33
Loc: San Diego CA
Thanks for the tips, I didn't mention it earlier but I'm a pilot, I've been up to 12000 ft in an open cabin before, probably got there from sea level in about 30 mins and never got any sign of sickness.

Again, I plan on being ever vigilant of the fact that even though its never happen before, doesn't mean I won't get it in the future. Plus I think I have a pretty sound plan on acclimatization. Head up to the portal Sunday, trail camp Mon, summit Tuesday.

I plan on returning sometime in July if I dont summit, I have the next couple months off till I leave. So I don't have that "do or die" mindset this time around.

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#23739 - 05/08/12 12:37 PM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: MichaelRyanSD]
Burchey
Unregistered


I'm in SD, if you want to grab a beer/coffee and chat about your plans/gear, I'd be happy to share my experiences on Whitney. Trail camp is only 1000 feet higher that gorgonio summit, and this won't be a winter climb. There will be snow (not a ton), but winter is colder and has shorter days. Look for Richard P's regular reports/pictures on either this or the other Whitney board - he mostly does the main trail and takes a ton of shots to show the conditions.

http://piotrowski.smugmug.com/


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#23740 - 05/08/12 01:07 PM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: MichaelRyanSD]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7527
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: MichaelRyanSD
Thanks for the tips, I didn't mention it earlier but I'm a pilot, I've been up to 12000 ft in an open cabin before, probably got there from sea level in about 30 mins and never got any sign of sickness.

Well that is a bit different. That is why I wrote, "You will know when you wake up in the morning."

Popping up to high altitude, and then dropping back down in a short time does not give whatever it is in the body time to get screwed up. It is a slower effect, like the development of edema (swelling/fluid where it shouldn't be). My point is that flying for an hour at 12k is not like camping for 8 or 10 hours.

I'd still get the Diamox. ...in fact, take Burchey up on the beer offer. Ask him about his last trip, and meeting our friend Ralph. wink

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#23743 - 05/08/12 01:32 PM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: Steve C]
Burchey
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: Steve C

I'd still get the Diamox. ...in fact, take Burchey up on the beer offer. Ask him about his last trip, and meeting our friend Ralph. wink


Great point - hydration is key. Not getting enough fluid can totally ruin your time at altitude, I tossed up some nice dry chunks on the way down from the summit a couple weeks back, with 1.5 liters of water in my pack. It's easy to get excited and forget to hydrate. All this and more I'll reveal to you, should you choose to risk your life and heed my advice...muwahahhahahaaa!

Side note: This thread has become toxic!

Side note #2: Testosterone poisoning!

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#23749 - 05/08/12 02:26 PM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: MichaelRyanSD]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Quote:
I'm leaving CA after growing up here for 26 years in 2 months and my job will likely never see me back here ...

I can relate. I was born and raised in SoCal my first 28 years, met and married my Ohio-born wife while we were both at the same college in SoCal, and then we ended up moving back to Ohio (she was homesick). At the time, it seemed like an adventure (new place, further east than I had ever been, different climate, severe weather (I'm a storm chaser kind of guy), etc.). Now, it's flat, endless green, no vista type views, humid and bug-infested during the summer, with long crappy winters, and worst, NO MOUNTAINS! I always expected that, after a time, we would one day move back to CA. But the "life event" after which we would "maybe" move back kept getting changed along the way, and now, like you, I don't ever expect that I will get the chance to move back there, at least not when I can do anything meaningful once I'm back (if it happens). So get in what you can while you're there. You won't regret it.

CaT
_________________________
If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)

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#23750 - 05/08/12 02:28 PM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: ]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Quote:
Side note: This thread has become toxic!

Side note #2: Testosterone poisoning!

Burchey, since you love stirring the pot so much, you're now in charge of cooking for my JMT BP this summer. wink

CaT
_________________________
If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)

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#23751 - 05/08/12 03:11 PM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: CaT]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
Originally Posted By: CaT

Burchey, since you love stirring the pot so much, you're now in charge of cooking for my JMT BP this summer. wink

CaT


I am moderately appalled... and a little hurt... cry
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#23752 - 05/08/12 03:26 PM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: CaT]
Burchey
Unregistered


Cat, I'm all booked up. If I was free, I'd do it for a fellow Ohioan, even though you didn't sprout there. Isn't it a hell-hole? Don't you love how we ruin our lives for our significant others? It's the best!

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#23753 - 05/08/12 03:27 PM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: MooseTracks]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7527
Loc: Fresno, CA
> I am moderately appalled... and a little hurt... cry

I think CaT wrote that just to get you to commit to bringing him a resupply. grin

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#23754 - 05/08/12 07:11 PM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: Steve C]
Wayne Offline
deceased

Registered: 11/01/09
Posts: 45
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Steve,

My first time up Whitney was with a 70-pound pack for a 70-miler over the Great Western Divide to Sequoia National Park. The first day I packed to Trail Crest, dropped my pack, summited Whitney, then donned my backpack to head down to Guitar Lake to catch my first Goldens. That first day went well--as planned. Five days later I was at the General Sherman and General Grant trees in Sequoia. A great experience!

Depending on a guy's conditioning, a heavy backpack over Trail Crest to Guitar Lake, including the topping of Mt. Whitney, is not a problem, but I think you well know this. For me, this was 40 years ago--back when I was 26 with all the vim and vigor.

Ha! I just noticed my 40th anniversary goes with my 40th posting. Interesting coincidence. (I think my good friend RichardP started the year before me. And my other good friend, BobR, is celebrating his 60th anniversary this month! A fantastic congrats to BobR!!)


Edited by Wayne (05/08/12 07:23 PM)
Edit Reason: 40th anniversary

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#23758 - 05/08/12 07:51 PM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: Wayne]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
Have to agree with Wayne. My first backpack up the MTMW involved a 53 lb pack. First up and over Trail Crest was 63 lb.

Although it wasn't 40 years ago... wink
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#23771 - 05/09/12 08:39 AM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: MooseTracks]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Wayne and Laura,

You had to remind me of my first time over Trail Crest. My back still hurts from the 50+ pounds. I told myself it was 45 at the time but it was closer to 60.

I was using and 80 L, 7 lb. pack and had stuff hanging off for a 7 day trip to Whitney Portal from Horseshoe Meadow...a trip I do today in 3 days.

My current winter snow camping pack weight is less than that haul.

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#23775 - 05/09/12 08:49 AM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: wbtravis]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
It's not just conditioning, it's pacing. Accepting the heavy load and a slow stride will get you pretty much anywhere. I think it took me 8 hours to get to trail crest with that big load.

I remember heading up the switchers that day, stopping every 10 switchbacks to sit and rest for at least 5 minutes. Only casualty was my pants-seam, which split wide open, I'm embarrassed to admit. I spent the next 2 weeks running around the Sierra with duct tape holding my pants together.

No hurries, no worries.
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#23779 - 05/09/12 09:14 AM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: Steve C]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Originally Posted By: Steve C
> I am moderately appalled... and a little hurt... cry

I think CaT wrote that just to get you to commit to bringing him a resupply. grin

Nah... Just throwin' some more good ol' testosterone on the campfire (having nothing to do with cooking, the JMT, or resupplies, actually).

CaT
_________________________
If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)

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#23780 - 05/09/12 09:21 AM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: ]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Originally Posted By: Burchey
Cat, I'm all booked up. If I was free, I'd do it for a fellow Ohioan, even though you didn't sprout there. Isn't it a hell-hole? Don't you love how we ruin our lives for our significant others? It's the best!

Sounds like you did the opposite and moved from Ohio to SoCal. Good move. Although I didn't sprout in Ohio, it's an appropriate choice of words, given the effluent of endless flat green in the state. Regardless, marrying my wife (of 33 years) was anything but a ruinous choice. Quite the opposite. smile

CaT
_________________________
If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)

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#23781 - 05/09/12 09:27 AM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: CaT]
Burchey
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: CaT
Regardless, marrying my wife (of 33 years) was anything but a ruinous choice. Quite the opposite. smile

CaT


Yeah, my girl googles me and reads these forums too. Good save.

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#23814 - 05/09/12 06:08 PM Re: Two Firsts in One Trip [Re: ]
MichaelRyanSD Offline


Registered: 04/15/12
Posts: 33
Loc: San Diego CA
I appreciate the offer, I'm not sure if I will have time to take you up on it though. I'm actually leaving Saturday, not Sunday as I thought.

I think at this point there isn't much more I can do other than just do it.

I've noticed bear canisters aren't a requirement at this point, but plan on picking one up anyways. I bought some of those odor bags, but read on here that really don't work.

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