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#24792 - 06/07/12 05:40 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: Gelsomina
What moist foods do you bring?


Scotch? Wine? Beer? I know a few who do, and could care less about the weight . . .

Gelsomina, you'll do fine. You have a great plan and you're focused on doing the right things. Avoid overthinking this, but doing those key, critical things (training, acclimation, hydration, nutrition and pace) works in most cases. And be sure to throw the obligatory summit-Snickers in your pack.

Contrast your situation with an Indian gent I met on a trail here last week. He stopped me and wanted some advice about "hiking". A few minutes later I was flabbergasted. He's 37, never really hiked before and not in very good shape. He's never been above maybe 6000 feet elevation. He's leaving in 3 weeks for Kathmandu to join a pilgrimage up and over an 18,000-foot pass. Many of his fellow American pilgrims are getting training and elevation experience in California or Colorado, but his job is preventing him from doing something similar. I spent 30 minutes with the guy while he furiously took notes on his iPhone, but he's got a very tough - and dangerous - road to hoe. There's not a lot he can do in 3 weeks that will make a great deal of difference on a trek like this.

God bless his determination, though - I saw him on the same mountain the next day, and catpappy (my local hiking bud and a board member here as well) ran into him a few days later on the trail. Him, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for - that he's not a catastrophic edema victim. You, I expect to read a great TR from in August on your successful summit. Fail to plan, plan to fail.


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#24793 - 06/07/12 07:12 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Bulldog34]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
Originally Posted By: Gelsomina
What moist foods do you bring?


Scotch? Wine? Beer? I know a few who do, and could care less about the weight . . .


What, no Jack Daniels?

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#24795 - 06/07/12 08:47 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: wbtravis]
Gelsomina Offline


Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 21
Loc: San Diego, CA
Now I'm tempted to haul up Green Flash Brewery Palate Wrecker or Alpine Brewing Duet IPA. :whistle:

I went to a really good lecture last night at Adventure 16 (a store like REI) given by Jack and Betsy Northam. Jack has been up Whitney 106 times (6 times double-peaked) and Betsy 50 times. These notes are my interpretation of what he said, so take with a grain of salt. And I was swype-typing these on my smartphone. They had awesome photos of the trail, potential snow/ice conditions, weather, all the beautiful flowers that grow at 12,000 feet only.

Here are my notes:

HYDRATION
- Very important to hydrate well the DAY BEFORE, drink water with electrolytes the day before you hike. (I knew this from trail races.)
- Drink electrolytes during hike, then day after (helps with recovery.)
- Steri-pen for water, don't need filter.
- They drink without steri-pen from running springs, so do the rangers.
- IF YOU ARE NOT URINATING DURING THE HIKE, YOU ARE DEHYDRATED.
- DO NOT DEHYDRATE.
- Force yourself to drink and eat on trail.
- Only carry enough water to get to the next water!! Don't need to carry all your water for the whole 22 miles or 11 miles.
- Mile 3.5 has good water.
- Switchback #24 has water usually, but might be dried up.
- Trailside meadow (mile 5) is the last flowing springwater if switchback #24 is dry.
- Trail Camp Lake has water, steri-pen it.
- Jack doesn't like using camelbak for water, hard to tell how much water in camelbak and hard to fill and steri-pen. Uses 2 nalgene-type bottles.

NUTRITION
- Food: keep as close to your normal food habits as possible.
- They bring food they normally eat (e.g., Betsy brings yogurt.) Don't need special food/nutrition. Jack uses goo, but he does that regularly.
- Don't eat at 3am if you don't normally eat at 3am.
- Cut sandwich in quarters, better to eat quarters as you go rather than a whole, so as to not overwhelm your digestive track.
- Eat regular meals the day before.

PACK CONTENTS/CLOTHING
- First aid kit a must
- Absolute must: space blanket
- Bring both small flashlight and headlamp. Sometimes if just using headlamp the movement is disorienting.
- Bring extra toilet paper (beyond what is in WAG bag)
- Get good sunglasses! (I need to do this)
- Chapstick
- Icebreaker as inner layer, doesn't stink, stays cool or warm as needed
- Shorts should be fine (for me)
- Trail shoes or boots, whatever works for YOU but spend a lot of time training in them.
- 1 or 2 pair of socks (2nd pair wicking), again whatever works for you, spend lots of time training in them.
- EDITED TO ADD: MOSQUITO REPELLENT like!

TRAINING
- Training hikes essential. Very few people can just wing it.
- Find stairs to train to go DOWN!! (I already do stepmill up)
- Walk everywhere, carry stuff to train (e.g., walk home from grocery store)
- Check with your doctor to make sure you really are good to go.
- Even though the main trail is obvious, get a map and really familiarize yourself so that when you get there you will be oriented and know where things are.
- Do not hike the day before!! It can exhaust you because of the lack of sleep and adrenalin from the night before. Two days before, 5 miles max hike. (this is for normal people).

ACCLIMATION
- Horseshoe meadow, camp there at 10,000 the days prior (not at Lone Pine Campground like I planned at 6,700) or other high alt at Mammoth, Portal.
- Recommended 4-day acclimation optimal if you can spare the time. 3-day okay. 2-day = good chance you're going to suffer.

Day 1: drive to Lone Pine, camp at altitude
Day 2: acclimation hike no more than 5 miles (Whitney portal to Lone Pine Lake is a good acclimation hike, does NOT require permit, plus you won't see it in the dark at 3am on big-hike day, too tired to enjoy it at end of big-hike day), camp at altitude
Day 3 (day before big hike):
- Get permit (NLT noon!)
- Sit, relax and hydrate
- Go up to the portal to familiarize so you're not stumbling around in the dark. Check out hiker parking lots, restroom location, bear boxes, the trailhead.
- Talk with returning hikers, they'll be exhausted but just ask if there is water in the switchbacks (#24)
- Night before (so you're not doing this at 2am in dark):
Organize all equipment
Pack your backpack
Bag your food
Lay out your clothes
Decide on a start time
Aim to be on summit to by noon
- Sleep if possible (they even still get excited and don't sleep much)
Day 4: 22 miles

LOGISTICS
- Big Groups, figure out in advance who is hiking with who and car keys (how many sets, who has them?). Car keys big issue if you separate on trail.
- Do not even turn your back on your pack at Portal, bears will walk right up and grab it.
- Portal bears recognize anything associated with food as potential food, even empty water bottle in your vehicle.
- Mentally break the hike into sections. Get to next 3 miles, 2 miles, etc.
- Watch the weather! Closely!
- When you start you will be cold, some people are okay to start a bit cold (like me with running, I warm up fast.)
- Take time to shed layers so you don't overheat.
- Keep stops to 5 minutes (not longer) so you don't cool down or get stiff muscles.
- Trail etiquette: person going up has right of way, or massive backpack has right of way.
- Don't keep looking up at the switchbacks, you'll bum yourself out.
- Remember the summit is only half way, now comes the hard part! That's when most injuries happen, on way down.
- Use poles, they'll alleviate suffering on trip down the mountain.
- Don't go to Lone Pine Lake on 22-mile hike day (out of way), only on hike there for your short hike 2 days prior
- Not well known, but Cottonwood pass no permit needed to summit Whitney. (I didn't get all the info on this, but I think he said it is a western-side trail, I was confused about this.) If you are absolutely determined to summit Whitney and don't have a permit.
- Jack talked about the story of the girl who got lost at the Muir trail split (same story here on WZ). Said you're supposed to be looking out for each other up there. He showed sort of an aerial view photo of the trail junction. It can be confusing with people standing around the sign, the uphill is misleads people.
- If you've got the energy, you can double peak Muir Peak. (bouldering, rope not exactly necessary.)


Edited by Gelsomina (06/07/12 10:37 AM)

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#24797 - 06/07/12 09:28 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
One thing that I haven't seen mentioned that can really ruin your hike if you aren't prepared is....mosquitos.

Long sleeves and pants can help a lot with the skeeters. But even with clothing coverage, they will be buzzing your neck and ears.

Of course, the alternative (or addition) is mosquito repellant. Go for the strong stuff.

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#24798 - 06/07/12 09:35 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7870
Loc: Fresno, CA
All the points above are very good. Jack and Betsy really do cover the hike well. (and you take good notes. smile )

Here are several things I might add:

Switchback 24 water can be frozen when it's cold, dried in the fall, but it runs all summer. Trail Camp water at the inlet to the pond is good, but it's a minute off the trail.

The Steri-pen is optional. Many of us do not treat or filter the water, just dip and drink. Check the water discussions in the "Links to important Whitney information"

You missed... Sunscreen!!! Do not hike without it.

Cottonwood pass: That trail starts at Horseshoe Meadows, circles around Mt Whitney so you then climb from the west side. It is too far to make it to the Whitney summit and back in a day, but technically, no permit is required for a DAY hike. It DOES require a backpacking (overnight) permits, though, and would take several days. The CP permits are outside the lottery, and are not hard to get. However, if you want to start on that trail, summit Whitney, and then exit on the MMWT (Main Mt Whitney Trail), then you need a Trail Crest exit permit, and those are on a quota, and should be reserved. Some available right now, but booked solid from two weeks on; but walk-ins are available.

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#24799 - 06/07/12 09:46 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
tif Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 54
Loc: colton, ca
One note about the space blanket - I had to use one my first hike on whitney (it was 9* at the summit at sunrise, we had to wait about an hour to get warm enough to hike back down) They are really hard to control and get wrapped around you. I HIGHLY recommend investing the 10-15 bucks and getting this: http://www.rei.com/product/813511/sol-emergency-bivvy.

It's only 4 oz and comes all tightly wrapped up in a little bag a bit smaller than the size of your fist. It's a slightly heavier material and sleeping bag style, so you can easily get it around you and get your whole body reflecting heat within it (rather than just a flimsy mylar sheet that doesn't want to stay put).

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#24801 - 06/07/12 10:36 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Steve C]
Gelsomina Offline


Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 21
Loc: San Diego, CA
A-HA!!!! Mosquito repellent!!! Thank you for that critical reminder! I forget about them living here in SoCal. I should know better, I'm originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. God, I HATE mosquitos. I think Jack mentioned it, but I was swyping as fast as I could.

Ya, Jack indicated that they just dip and drink and it's totally okay, but gave the impression nobody will give you that advice as "official" information, I suppose it's the liability issue. My New Hiking Partner said he saw Steri-Pens at Costco a few weeks ago, so I'm going to grab one if they still have them. It seems like a very useful device for all hiking/camping.

Ooooo, good to know on the inlet water at Trail Camp pond.

Sunscreen is my main beauty product, literally. I don't even list it anymore, NEVER leave the house without it. Blue Lizard Sensitive (bonus, I haven't aged in 4 years since I started using that brand.)

I've got a trip to REI in my near future, need to check out that blanket. Time to commit to a serious insulating layer and shell jacket as well.

That is the info Jack was giving out on Cottonwood! I didn't grasp it at the time. crazy

BTW, both my Old Partner and New Partner went to the lecture last night, so that was cool. They seemed to get along very well.


Edited by Gelsomina (06/07/12 10:46 AM)

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#24802 - 06/07/12 10:46 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2249
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
One other thing to keep in mind:

The weather may be coming from the West, and you are coming from the East. There is a big mountain between you and possible adverse weather, so you can't see an incoming storm until you get to Trail Crest. So do remember to check out the horizon for CumuloAnything when you get there. Or ask returning hikers.

You will get a weather report before you leave, though?
_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#24806 - 06/07/12 12:15 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: wagga]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 252
Loc: SoCal
Gosh yes, do not forget the bug repellent. Those dang mosquitoes and some really big flies completely ruined an otherwise nice hike up Mt. Wilson for me yesterday, they were so thick I could hardly stand it.

I'd hate for that to be the case on Whitney.
_________________________
One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

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#24814 - 06/07/12 07:31 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
Gelsomina, Jack and Betsy will give you some of the best advice you'll ever get. With over 150 summits between them, they are old pros - even though Jack didn't bag his first Whitney summit till he was 50 YO. There's a good chance you'll see them again at the Portal in August. They live in San Diego, but try to hit Whitney for extended periods 3-4 times each summer. As I recall, they've been at the Portal in mid-July and mid-August the past two years.

Coupl'a other thoughts:

On the sunscreen, be sure to lather up areas you might not normally - inside your ears and even the interior of your nostrils. Even with a wide-brimmed hat, sunburn from reflection off the granite is quite common. Mouth-breathers have even been known to get the inside of their mouth fried. Also, the sunglasses should be good quality, with wrap-around frames. You want to reduce reflection from the side - not a big deal when you're tooling along the freeway, but something to pay attention to at high elevation. You don't need to spend $250 on high-end mountaineering glasses, just a good UV-factor sport set with side protection. $40 at REI.

Your detailed itinerary is great, but is missing a couple of important details. That familiarization day at the Portal has to include one of Doug's monster pancakes or one of his massive burgers - or, preferably, both. This is the essence of the Whitney Portal experience and you don't want to miss it! Personally, my favorite Whitney Trail food is one of Doug's pancakes torn up and placed in a bunch of baggies. Easy to munch as you walk, with complex and simple carbs both. And still damn good at 14K'.

One other tip for the Portal: take a few minutes and walk over past the pond to the stream and waterfall. Climb up the right side of the waterfall till the parking lot is out of your view and just sit down and soak it in. My wife calls this spot her Happy Place. Betsy's actually the one who initially showed it to her, and it's become mandatory for her to go off alone and spend time there each trip to the Portal. Soul Food. Just don't go too far up - this route is known as Dietz's Folly and should only be attempted by professionals (sorry Tom, couldn't resist).

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#24819 - 06/07/12 09:33 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Bulldog34]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
hey, I like to think of it as exploring....I may have to do it again soon.

the kid is really screwing up my hiking plans this summer. He made the all-stars for baseball and I'm now booked for the next month.

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#24820 - 06/07/12 09:42 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Gelsomina...

Everyone has opinions and here's where I differ...

Hydration...

I carry 3 L without of Platypus' and a 1 L Nalgene for use with a Steripen and eletrolytes.

I have gone up to the Switchbacks and down the Switchbacks. I have taken 2 L where it was not enough and 4 L where it has not been enough, the former on my first trip the later on a freezing day in May. I will normally take 4 and most times I'm into the forth on the way down.

I don't like stopping at every podunk creek to get water. Therefore, I will carry 2 L with will get me to Trail Camp.

Clear and Copious for urination...if it ain't both you are not drinking enough, which will put you at risk of AMS, even if you are taking Diamox. Oh, Diamox is a diuretic.

Food...

Eat at 3 AM, your system needs fuel. I get up at 1 AM at Guitar Lake to be on the summit at dawn and would not think of not eating.

I keep a Clif bar and hard candies in my while hiking.

I will stop and eat at Trailside Meadow on the way up because I have tendency to lose my appetite above 12,000'

Pack and Clothing...

Weather determines everything...I've been on this summit twice when the temperature was in the single digits and when the wind was at 40 MPH...during the summer. I like convertible pants for this trip. It always good to extra clothing. Shorts don't work all that swell the it is 9* F and the wind is at a howl.

I've hiked extensively at night and have never used a flashlight to go along with my very good headlight, a Black Diamond Spot. I do carry an emergency headlight, too.

Training...

Nothing wrong with tramping around Horseshoe Meadow the day before but that seems to work me and my friends. We really take it easy, no big climbs.

I would suggest a night hike prior to going to Mt. Whitney. It's a great way to get use to hiking in the dark and to see if your headlight is good enough. I've had people out with really crappy lights who spent the night kicking rocks. I would suggest a trail you are familiar. You see some very interesting things at night.

Acclimatization...

Everyone is different but this is a spot on recommendation.

Logistics...

I break my trail up this way...
the log at the top of the first climbout.
there to Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake to Trailside Meadow
TM to TC
TC to Trail Crest
TC to summit.

Remember the hardest part of the way back is that stinking quarter mile climb from Lower Trail Crest to Trail Crest when you are tired and the adrenaline is gonzo.

You need a permit from Horseshow Meadow to the summit but it is not a part the lottery. You always need a Whitney Zone Permit to enter the zone. I've gone that way 3 times.

I've always liked A16 over REI for their seminars.




Edited by wbtravis (06/07/12 09:48 PM)

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#24826 - 06/08/12 06:44 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
How much water you need depends on a variety of things, including weather, exertion, how much you weigh, etc....

I've gone up with several women, all of us 120-140 lbs, in both July and September. Three liters was sufficient for each of us. One woman who only carried 2 liters ran out, and had to be bailed out by me and a friend. Being able to purify water on the switchback spring does add a comfort margin -- it's been there when I've hiked, though folks say you may not be able to count on it.

I carry a 2L camelback, and a 1 quart Nalgene. I use the Nalgene to purify water with my Steripen, and to carry 1 quart of electroytes (Citomax) between Trail Camp and the summit.

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#24830 - 06/08/12 07:50 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Akichow]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
There are a lot of factors when it comes to water ambient temperature, body weight, exertion level and mathematics...you need between 16 and 24 oz. of water when exercising to remain hydrated. At 1 1/2 mph to the summit, that about 3 quarts of requirement to stay hydrated on the way up. Last night, I ran for about 30 minutes and lost 2 pounds...the equivalent to a quart of water. I perspire moderately.

I believe exertion is a bigger factor than temperature. When I did chute in May 2007 when the temperature did not exceed 40* F and was below freezing during the climb. I brought 4 L with me and drank 5 L...thank God for snow. All three of us were down to 8 oz. or less when we reached the summit.

Everyone has different requirements for hydration. There are no firm fast rules what you should take up with you. However, you should have enough with you in case you get stuck up there with injury or illness.

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#25000 - 06/12/12 03:52 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: wbtravis]
Gelsomina Offline


Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 21
Loc: San Diego, CA
Based on all your advice, I think my plan is to carry my regular camelbak which I know and love, put some water in the bladder, and carry a nalgene bottle for collecting spring water. Both my old and new partners bought Steri-Pens, so we'll have that (but I'd love to at least try drinking it straight from the spring like at home in the U.P.)

I will base the volume of water I actually carry that day on the weather factors and how much I personally drink on training hikes. I don't like the idea of having to stop to collect water at every single source either, but definitely want to be oriented to where every source is located much like orienting to the trail, and segmenting it as suggested.

An interesting note on one training hike... I requested and received a day-hike Wilderness Permit for a Idyllwild Humber Park (Devil's Trail) to San Jacinto Peak for July 7. Found out that there is some misleading info out there about the day-hike permits. The info I found said I needed BOTH a National Forest Permit (San Bernadino NF) and San Jacinto State Park Permit. I confirmed with both the NF and SP Rangers via telephone that I do NOT need both wilderness permits for a day-hike, one will suffice! This info was not readily apparent on any website I surfed. (Of course, I do need and have an Adventure Pass for my vehicle.) And now we dont' have to stand in line hoping to get a permit for this very popular hike early in the morning.

So... I kicked the butts of two of my original Whitney hiking partners to commit to the hike wink , and my New Partner already committed smile So my permit is for 4 of us. The last orginal hiking partner doesn't feel he needs to train for Whitney. I'm all good with the FOCUS on that. Eat my trail dust, superman :whistle:

I think I might have inadvertently reverse-psychologied the originals when I told them I applied for a popular permit for Vivian Creek to San Gorgonio Peak for July 14 for 2 people only (my New partner and myself) because nobody else rogered up to commit and I only wanted to submit permits for those willing to commit so as to increase likelihood of obtaining popular permits. I hope they do apply for their own Gorgonio permits and join us, but I'm not doing it for them unless they buy me beer. FOCUS.

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#25037 - 06/13/12 07:54 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
For the San Jacinto area, it is where you enter not where you end up that determines the permit issuing agency. The Devils Slide trail is federal. It's confusing to anyone new to this. This area is Sierra-like and absolutely gorgeous...have fun!!

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#25045 - 06/13/12 10:57 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: wbtravis]
Gelsomina Offline


Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 21
Loc: San Diego, CA
I hiked the tram to SJ Peak trail 2 weeks ago. It's my dream world up there: pine, mountains, and snow!!! I posted pictures in the photo forum section here on WZ of the hike to hopefully inspire other first-timers that they can do it. :blush:


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#25083 - 06/13/12 10:54 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7870
Loc: Fresno, CA
Gelsomina's pictures are here: OneDayWhitneyTrainingHike#1

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#25263 - 06/20/12 08:01 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Steve C]
Eugene K Offline


Registered: 08/15/11
Posts: 40
Loc: San Diego, CA
Are there really mosquitos on Whitney? I was there this week and I don't recall seeing any. Mosquito repellent is a must for all hikes starting at Horseshoe Meadow, but Whitney should be relatively bug-free.

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#25273 - 06/21/12 07:45 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Eugene K]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
This would be awfully early for the Sierra to be skeeter free. I would still bring DEET along until at least September.

About the earliest I remember not coming back with a slew of bites is about August 1st.

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