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#24529 - 05/31/12 01:31 PM First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney
Gelsomina Offline


Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 21
Loc: San Diego, CA
Hey all you old timers,

I'd love to hear your opinion on my training for Mount Whitney, the one-day Whitney Trail to the summit.

I live at sea level in San Diego, 47 year old female. Not that it's comparable, but I ski 8 hour days in Utah/Colorado at 10,000 elevation with no problem. I'm a runner, try to do at least half my runs as trail runs. Longest race I've done is a trail half marathon. I currently strength train with a trainer 2x/week, run 2-4x/week, swim 1-2x/week, conditioning hike 1x/week (fast-pace lactate threshold hike), couple social hikes monthly (~7 miles). We will drive up 2 days early and camp at 9,500 altitude and 6,700 altitude for Whitney.

I'm starting my Whitney training hikes this weekend. Here is a schedule of my training hikes.

Elev. base peak
Week Date, Miles Gain alt. alt location

Every Thursday 5.4 950 200, 1150 Cowles steepside conditioning
hike (lactate threshold)
1, Sat. June 2 11.6 2834 8000, 10834 Tram to San Jacinto Peak
2, Sun. June 10 Anza Borrego desert hike
3, Sat. June 16 14.6 3234 7600, 10834 Fuller Ridge to San Jacinto Peak
4, Sun. June 24 local San Diego peak
5, Sun. July 1 local Morgan Hill peak
6, Sat. July 7 16.0 4434, 6400, 10834 Humber to San Jacinto Peak
7, Sat. July 14 18.6 5422, 6080, 11502 Vivian to San Gorgonio Peak
8, Sun. July 22 20 Porcupine Mountains, Lake Superior, MI
9, Sat. July 28 15 Lake Superior hike
10,Sat. Aug. 4 taper?
11,Fri. Aug. 10 22 6500, 8000, 14500 Mount Whitney Peak

Weeks 1,3,6,7 are the primary hikes for length, elevation gain, altitude. Week 8 is length, will have to make do with elevation in midwest.

Of course I want to reach the summit, but I also want it to be fun and not a death march. Do you think I'm doing enough to prepare? Any suggestions

Thanks,
Gelsomina


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#24530 - 05/31/12 01:45 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 836
Loc: Sheridan, OR
Looks like a great plan....

Aug 4...take a break...you might want to hit Jacinto and do a "leisure" hike...take your time up there...smell the pines....head up early then get down before the tourist amass up there.

Early Whitney start: your preference. I prefer 12:01 am...enough time to reach the summit and get back down in time for some froth and fries and gloating!
_________________________
Journey well...

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#24533 - 05/31/12 02:54 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 252
Loc: SoCal
It's more than what I'm doing and have done in the past, that's for sure. I'm doing a few runs up Icehouse Canyon to Timber Mountain and Cucamonga Peak, a run up Baldy, and I think I'm going to throw in a run up Mt. Wilson from Chantry Flats this year, mostly because I've never done it before.

Last year I did pretty much the same, only more of it, and I felt great all the way up to Trail Camp twice. Once we unloaded our bags to soaking wet gear from big T-storms and had to turn back, and then there was an ordeal with AMS that brought me back on the second go around.

Hopefully I'll have better luck this year! Good luck to you too!
_________________________
One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

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#24540 - 05/31/12 04:01 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: GandC]
trail runner Offline


Registered: 06/30/10
Posts: 51
Loc: Florida
You will kill it, (as long as AMS doesn't get you). Your acclimatization plan is good, so that shouldn't be a problem. You are doing more than enough training hikes and your half marathon training will be very helpful. Good luck and keep your pack light...you will do fine.

Kent

PS I also live at sea level and didn't feel it was a big deal.

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#24544 - 05/31/12 05:21 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: trail runner]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
There are a few things that might get you. As mentioned, AMS and anything related to it, and no experience above 11,500'. Many start to wall out as they approach the Trailside Meadow/Consultation Lake area.

Those two can be remedied by replacing one of your hikes with a trip to White Mountain. White is an "easy" 14er...that is, if an alien isn't trying to crawl out of your right eye, you don't have an appetite or... It is 15-miles RT, ~+3,200'. The ascent through marmot valley to the observatory on the way back will get your attention.

Based on your stated fitness level, you should be ok if the AMS and inexperience at these elevations don't get'cha.

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#24551 - 05/31/12 06:47 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
Gelsomina, if you complete that training plan you'll definitely have the legs for a Whitney dayhike. Unfortunately, as others have mentioned, it's the altitude that stops many dayhikers. That 12,000-foot level - roughly Trail Camp - presents a wall to a fairly high percentage of folks dayhiking the mountain. And conditioning has little to no bearing on your susceptibility to be hit by AMS - many a marathoner has flamed out on Whitney due to not appreciating what 70% of sea level oxygen can do to your body, aerobic beast or not.

Dayhikers are more likely to be hit with AMS than overnighters who get that extra night's acclimation at roughly 12,000 feet. If you can, I would suggest spending those two nights prior to Whitney at Horseshoe Meadows campground (10,000 feet). It's about a 45-minute drive south of the Portal. Suggestion number two would be get a scrip for Diamox from your doctor and go on it 48 hours prior to your dayhike. Not the recommended doasege (for glaucoma), but 62.5 mg to 125 mg twice a day. Between solid acclimation and having Diamox in your system, you'll have the best chance of warding off AMS and making this a memorable experience and not a death march.

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#24552 - 05/31/12 07:29 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
VersatileFred Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 130
Loc: SoCal
As stated in earlier posts, the altitude is the unknown factor. San Gorgonio is not as high up as Trail Camp so the effects of almost half of the trail will remain to be discovered. Your training plan looks good given what you know. Your break just before your hike does not help, but you still have alternate activities planned.

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#24555 - 05/31/12 10:35 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Hello. Not quite on point, but you might find this trip report interesting -- 3 women, all in our 40s, successful (overnight) summit hike on our first summit attempt. We did no where near the training you did (one of our number did no hike-specific training, though she was generally in good shape), but then again, we were overnighting, which is a different type of experience from a day hike.

http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/7138/First_Summit_Labor_Day_9_6_201#Post7138

The one thing I would add is, as you may surmise from the report, speed is not necessarily your friend when you are climbing to altitude. A slower pace may reduce your chances of suffering AMS (as will proper hydration as noted by others, perhaps together with judicious use of electrolyte supplements).

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#24560 - 06/01/12 08:24 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...
Bulldog,

I use Diamox for all trips to the Sierra. I am not an advocate going to a doctor and get a prescription until you establish a need...and the only way to do that is going high.

Personally, I can day hike anywhere in SoCal without having problems. However, take me to the Sierra for an extended period...bam. Day hiking White or Whitney will do me in or a night at Horseshoe and sometimes WP.

There is the standard high elevation dosing recommendation but it does not work for everyone...it does not for me. Also, it is not 100% effective. I will have problems sleeping most of the time, sometimes aheadache the first night in and lost of appetite over 12,000', if I push too hard...all this being fully dosed for more days that recommended. That and feeling slightly funky until the stuff clears my system.

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#24585 - 06/01/12 04:33 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: wbtravis]
juroknow Offline


Registered: 06/01/12
Posts: 19
Loc: Tehachapi, Ca.
Sounds like a good plan. Goodluck.

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#24628 - 06/03/12 08:24 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Gelsomina Offline


Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 21
Loc: San Diego, CA
Thanks everyone for your replies, they help a lot.

I would love to squeeze in White, but I don't think I can get somebody to take the time to do it with me with the 6 hour drive. (I'm skittish about going alone.)

It sounds like my training will be good enough, except for finding out about AMS. Although I take it you don't train for AMS, correct? You can acclimate, and train at higher altitudes though, correct? I will definitely talk to my doctor about getting the Diamox pills. I'm not much of a pill taker, but I'm more than willing to do so if it increases my chances of summitting.

I did my first training hike yesterday (the 11.6mi tram to SJ Peak), it was totally fun, I still had plenty of energy left. I ran about the last 1/2 mile and could have kept going. My average pace was 24:17 min/mi (spee 2.47 mi/hour). I do need to work on pacing myself, went a little too fast at first but I'm learning to pay attention to my breathing/heartrate and using those to slow me down. From what I understand, it is okay to be a turtle and not a hare.

I think 2 of the guys doing Whitney with me are concerned I'm going to be too slow. But one of them hiked with me yesterday, and he said at the end of the hike "well, I guess I'm going to have to let them know you kicked my ass up here." They are all marathon runners, I'm not. But just because I did better than he did yesterday (in terms of perceived exertion) isn't a predictor of how I will do on longer hikes. Therefore I am going to stick to my plan. I hope they join me on the future hikes. I worry if they don't do training hikes, but I'm a worrier. One is 48 years old, the others around 60 years old.

Another friend said that you shouldn't try to go fast, go slow and steady.

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#24642 - 06/04/12 07:23 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...
White Mountain is a road hike from start to finish. If there is any hike you can do by yourself this is the one.

You will not know about AMS until the alien starts crawling out of your right eye, you find the food you love the most is inedible, the thought of walking another step is a monumental task or you start yakking all over the landscape...and this all can happen in a relatively short period of time. About 40% of people are affected by AMS.

2.47-MPH is quick for most. I did about that last time I did Ontario Peak...up/down and a bite to eat. I'm considered slow amongst my hiking friends but when I'm out on my own I am rarely passed. You have recognized pace as the big deal it is. Find a speed you can go all day without starting and stopping. You do not want to bonk. Bonking on Mt. Whitney is no fun...I've done that bit of stupidity.

Hike your hike, don't worry about the hares you hike with and you will do just fine. I learned a long time ago I'm not a hare and I don't enjoy myself when I pretend to be one.

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#24645 - 06/04/12 07:56 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 836
Loc: Sheridan, OR
Originally Posted By: Gelsomina
...it is okay to be a turtle and not a hare...I think 2 of the guys doing Whitney with me are concerned I'm going to be too slow...Another friend said that you shouldn't try to go fast, go slow and steady.


Actually it's a tortoise...turtles are water...tortoises are land... wink

FOCUS...Forget Others Concentrate Upon Self.

Go you own pace...it is not a race...it's an escape...and it is worth every step!
_________________________
Journey well...

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#24652 - 06/04/12 11:51 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: + @ti2d]
Gelsomina Offline


Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 21
Loc: San Diego, CA
Yes definitely, I could feel it in my body that I needed to learn to slow down to pace myself. These training hikes aren't just to get my cardio/muscles/tendons/ligaments ready, it's to teach myself how to handle things. And to shake-down my equipment.

I'm a tortoise then, because it's probably slower than a turtle. laugh

You guys brought up something else I'm worried about.

"Hike your hike, don't worry about the hares you hike with and you will do just fine" and "Go you own pace...it is not a race"

I must admit I'm frightened to be left alone on the trail. Last year I was trail running on a remote local mountain trail by myself, two separate sets of rangers warned me that I should not be out there alone (one while getting directions, another on horseback entering the trail). I told them I was only going out and back 5 miles, they were still disapproving. It felt very foreshadowing, I should have listened to that weird feeling. I fell and hurt my ankle badly, and barely made it back to my car. Now I'm afraid to do that kind of stuff alone. I'm not experienced, so I don't know if I should be afraid or if I'm just being a baby.

I brought up to my hiking partner that I wanted to understand what the philosophy was going to be on the trail. He got irate with me, not sure if it's because I'm being a baby or if he felt I was making him feel bad. Essentially, found out on Saturday that if I cannot continue on the trail, he would leave me there. The only exception to this is if I got AMS, then he would help me back down. My philosophy is more of a "got your back no matter what" buddy system of hiking.

I'm not worried so much about me not physically being able to do the 22 miles based on physical fitness because I'm committed to training (I've always used disciplined training schedules), I'm more worried that I'll be left to make it back down to the Portal alone if I hurt my ankle or my hip or something. I sense he would be angry if me in that situation. I don't know what would be worse, him being angry and hiking back down with me, or being alone and hiking back down. He did say I could just hike down with other people we might run into. I told him I would be uncomfortable relying on help from strangers if I couldn't rely on it from a hiking partner.

So, I could really use your guys' advice on this, too. Am I being a big baby? Do lots of people hike Whitney and as hiking partners drop off and can't continue, then they go back down by to the Portal by themselves? What do people usually do prior to the big hike? Do they talk and agree ahead of time on what the strategy is if someone is not doing well for any reason other than AMS?

My hiking partner doesn't want to commit to training hikes, so should I maybe use my training hikes as a way to get over my fear of hiking by myself? Is it normal to be afraid to hike by myself? (I'm talking like 14+ mile hikes on San Jacinto and San Gorgonio)

Thanks a lot for your input you guys,
G

P.S. I like that FOCUS, I will add that to my mantras!!!

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#24655 - 06/04/12 01:05 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7872
Loc: Fresno, CA
Interesting and valuable questions and discussion....

I think you will find hikers and hiking partners with varying degrees of helpfulness. There are those who will hike with you only if you can keep up with them, and they won't wait at any trail junctions, or any other place. They just keep going on their own. I prefer not to include that type in any hike I organize or join.

(Reminds me of this: Hiked with a guy like that once. He left everyone and went ahead, both going in and out. Going out, he got off route; nobody called for him, just kept going. He made it out after the others, and was complaining. I was laughing inside. Will never hike with him again.)

Now your friend DID say he'd help you out if you got AMS. I am thinking that you would probably get the AMS on the way in, and turn around. If you are not actually becoming HACE-like (slurred speech, dizzy, etc), but only nauseated and unable to eat, I'd think turning you around so you could head back alone should be ok. You can't really lose the trail in the daylight. Partner could continue on to summit, and on returning, accompany you the rest of the way out. In fact, if anything happened on the way in, and you are still able to walk, then sending you out alone, with the idea of summiting and returning to help finish the exit, would seem ok. Just remember that in any of these situations, the slower hiker should always stay ON the trail, or within easy sight of the trail (only getting off to get water, etc.). If anything else, like a toilet stop, leave the day pack ON the trail, so the other party would stop. You should plan and agree on this before you separate!

However, if these "friends" are the sort who would leave you in their dust, head to the summit and exit, without ever joining you on the way out, then you are basically planning on hiking alone. If that is what they intend, and you should find out now, then make sure you know ALL aspects of the hike. You cannot depend on these people for anything. You need to carry all your food and snacks, know where to get your water, carry your own first aid and medications that might become necessary, AND hike wisely, knowing when to turn around. There are way too many stories where hikers hurry out, leaving their slowest member behind, then start whining to Doug at the store that maybe a rescue is necessary. Leaving a slow hiker on the trail can only lead to trouble.

Hiking partners should accompany the slowest ones out. If needed, stronger hikers can even carry the slowest hiker's pack. (I get pretty annoyed when the slowest refuses to give up some weight, and continues hiking out ever so slowly, delaying everyone's exit.)

Having said all that, you won't be hiking alone on the Main Mt Whitney Trail. With over 200 people per day permitted to hike, you should be ok. If you ARE hiking alone, then talking to others on the trail can help. You might be able to help someone in need, or should the opposite be the case, you can likely get help if that is necessary.

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#24656 - 06/04/12 01:12 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 836
Loc: Sheridan, OR
Whitney is far from being REMOTE unless you go between November 1 and May 1...there will be plenty of people on the trail.

If your hiking partner doesn't like your "trail philosophy" then I would find another partner. I thought training partners were supposed to assist each other and push the envelope.

If your training partner is the MWT trip leader, maybe that person needs a lesson in accountability...no one gets left behind on the mountain.

I make special exceptions when my party is on the ascent and one member of my party cannot make it and decides to turn back. I ask them to leave a note or something on my windshield/wipers to let me know they got off the trail. Even a voicemail or text message suffices.

Now, if we have reached the summit and we are descending, and since I am the trip leader, it is my "responsibility" to be "sweep" making sure everyone is off that trail. I make no exceptions to this.

I have been on one hike where the trip leader finished ahead of the others. My group had to assist a hiker of his party because her knees were giving her discomfort and she was having difficulty waking.

All of us made it down, and when I went to look for the trip leader, he as asleep in his car. His door was unlocked and he got a rude awakening and I had to be restrained by the members of our party. I was pissed.

See this portion of Orientation Notes by VersatileFred Orientation Notice for Whitney first timers.

In closing, MWT hikers are a rare breed unlike anywhere in the world...we are willing to step up and step in to assist. We value living and value human life.

I got my $15.00 worth just be getting selected to hike...I want others to get their $15.00 worth.

_________________________
Journey well...

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#24657 - 06/04/12 01:14 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
wazzu Offline


Registered: 06/20/10
Posts: 319
Loc: Orange County, CA
Gelsomina,

First, you are not being a big baby to have concerns. They are very legitmate questions to ask yourself.

Second, if you are not comfortable with your hiking partner, find a new partner. You are asking good questions to your hiking partner(s). It is better to get this all worked out before you attempt Whitney.

I hike solo frequently. And did a solo hike up Whitney last year and many of the trails listed in your training schedule. The Whitney trail always has people on it, including rangers. And most hikers on the trail are willing to lend a helping hand if needed. Most of your training hikes are on popular trails and you will find that you will see plenty of people and will have little time that you will be alone.

But, that doesn't absolve anyone from being prepared to take care of themselves. (have enough food, clothing, emergency supplies, etc) Based on your postings, it sounds like you will be prepared.

As far as needing a hiking partner to be safe, ask yourself, when you twisted your ankle, would a hiking partner made a big difference in the outcome? You didn't panic and you got yourself down the hill. A partner may have given you a little more comfort knowing you were not alone, but that depends on the hiking partner. If you were with someone that was going to be angry and make all kinds of snarky remarks due to an injury, how would that help the situation? And what would a partner been able to do for you that you didn't do yourself?

You have to decide for yourself the comfort level of going solo, but based on your postings so far, it sounds like you will be fine on your training hikes and your Whitney attempt.

Wazzu

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#24659 - 06/04/12 01:49 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
There is a book on hiking Whitney that I read that devotes a section to group dynamics and communication. The bottom line: good communication and a clear understanding about expectations is an essential component to hiking with others. If you don't trust your hiking partner, you need another partner. If you trust your hiking partner, but you have different expectations, and cannot reconcile them, you need a new hiking partner. If you trust your hiking partner, and have different expectations, but can plan work-arounds solutions that work for you both, then go for it.

It is true that folks solo hike Whitney all the time. Indeed, the first time I was on Whitney, I overnighted at Outpost Camp, and then solohiked to Trail Camp (with my dog) and enjoyed it (though I did pass some very altitude-sick folks at Consultation Lake who were day hiking). As a first timer going for the summit, however, I would not have wanted to solo hike past Trail Crest. (Now that I have some knowledge of the mountain and have some experience at altitude, I would do so.) People have different comfort levels. Given the disorienting affects of AMS, and the fact that others can really help out (e.g., providing water, encouragement, taking some weight), my own view is that, unless you know the environment and are familiar with altitude, it would be better to go with a partner. I have, in fact, provided water, tylenol, electrolytes, and other support to people on Whitney who were sick on both of my summit trips on Whitney -- some of whom were in my party, and some of whom were not -- as well as on a summit trip to White.

If you are going to solo hike a 14'er your first time around, White Mountain is the way to go, particularly the first Sunday in August, which is an open house. On that day, they open the Barcroft Gate, and you hike a jeep trail 5 miles to the summit, and 5 miles back, 10 miles total (normally it is 14 miles round trip). Nice to have a car with a little bit of clearance to do the dirt road up to the trailhead, though we saw Honda Civics doing it.... When I did it (my first 14'er), I ended up going up to the summit solo when my friend turned around at 13,600 feet. There were so many people up there (because of the open house) that it felt like a walk in the park. If you do go for White, an acclimitization hike the day before in the Ancient Bristlecone Forest is highly recommended -- then sleep at the Barcroft gate that night (no water so bring your own, but there is a pit toilet).

And again, on speed of ascent: Based on my own research (largely using internet sources, but including review of some published peer-reviewed articles, but I am not an MD or researcher), I am personally totally convinced that rate of ascent is highly correlated to likelihood of getting AMS. Put simply, the faster you climb, the higher the relative risk. A slow steady pace will, comparatively, reduce your chances. (I am most definitely a tortoise, and I have yet to experience AMS on a California 14'er, though one cannot get cocky about these things, and I build in a lot of acclimatization on my hikes!)

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#24665 - 06/04/12 03:05 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Akichow]
Gelsomina Offline


Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 21
Loc: San Diego, CA
I am SO GLAD I asked you guys!

It's funny you mention that link for first timers, because that is exactly why I started thinking about these particular issues in the first place! I had forwarded that link to my hiking partner last week, said I was frightened and that I wanted to make sure that he wouldn't separate from me on the trail. He came back and said "oh, there's always horror stories" and he was too busy to read the link's stories.

I admit I have concerns about my hiking partner. Thanks for addressing my concerns, it really helps put me at ease mentally, and makes me think maybe I could start looking at this MENTALLY as a solo hike.

With my hiking partner, it's probably a combination of trust and expectations. Based on our differing expectations (not agreeing on "have your back no matter what" philosophy), I asked him yesterday if we could add another person to our hiking party. He agreed, said the permit had info about possibly adding another person to our party.

This other person I trust in terms of judgement/experience (he's done Whitney, Kili, much more hiking, done over a hundred ultras and marathons), temperment (very very mellow, always nice to me, more helpful personality), and is the one who first verbalized he would "never leave you on the trail". So, I need to call the permit info # to find out how/when and if we can add another person.

And thanks for explaining more about White Mountain! I think I would be comfortable doing that alone because it's like a jeep trail, little chance of hurting my ankle. I could do that substitute that for the 6/16 or 7/14 training, both are 3-day weekends for me so I can drive, camp, and hike.

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#24666 - 06/04/12 03:19 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: wazzu]
Gelsomina Offline


Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 21
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: wazzu
As far as needing a hiking partner to be safe, ask yourself, when you twisted your ankle, would a hiking partner made a big difference in the outcome? You didn't panic and you got yourself down the hill. A partner may have given you a little more comfort knowing you were not alone, but that depends on the hiking partner. If you were with someone that was going to be angry and make all kinds of snarky remarks due to an injury, how would that help the situation? And what would a partner been able to do for you that you didn't do yourself?

Wazzu


I think part of it is that if I had hurt myself any worse that day, there would have been a chance I couldn't have crawled out of there one my own before nightfall. I cut my hand on the fall, and the blood had me worried because both rangers had warned of recent lion spottings. I did my best to control my fear, but it was an issue, and I know that sometimes when I get afraid my judgment goes to he77. While I was limping out, I was unreasonably afraid of the blood attracting the lion who was probably 50 miles away. :P

So, even if they were ticked at me for getting injured, they could calm me down/comforted, physically help me out, or have gone for help.

I would have still been lion bait though, ha ha. A partner wouldn't have to outrun a mountain lion, just outrun me. laugh

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#24672 - 06/04/12 04:27 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7872
Loc: Fresno, CA
> I cut my hand on the fall, and the blood had me worried because both rangers had warned of recent lion spottings.

The Mt Whitney area doesn't have the mountain lion issue. So hiking alone is probably much safer, in that respect. A hiker who is bleeding and injured in mountain lion territory is in much greater danger being alone than if accompanied by another hiker.

You can hike alone on the Mt Whitney trail, and not need to worry about mountain lions. ...but watch out for those killer grouse! grin

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#24677 - 06/04/12 08:11 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...
Think of Mt. Whitney as the Mt. Baldy Ski Hut Trail of the Sierra. You will not want for company. I would not worry a bit about going by myself, especially on the way up when everyone is bunched together. The descent is a more dispersed.

I go solo all the time. I have made a bunch of rules for myself. I let loved ones know where I'm going and I do not deviate from my plan...even if something cool to do presents itself. You have to feel comfortable out by yourself.

You have got to pick your hiking partners wisely. If you are not compatible with them they do you no good. I only go out with people I can trust on serious trips. This is a serious trip for you. If you can't trust your partner to wait for you at intervals, you have a problem. Generally, when I'm out will someone who is slow I will wait at various spots because I do not want them to get too far behind. All this has to be established to your satisfaction before you head up the trail.

As for training reliable training partners...hook up with a meetup group or six. Between Mt. San Jacinto, SoCal Peakbaggers and OC Hiking Club, you should be able to put together a very good schedule over the next couple of months.

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#24679 - 06/04/12 08:35 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Re White Mountain:

Apparently they are not doing an open house this year until September: http://www.wmrs.edu/community/open%20house/default.htm.

This has implications for the dirt road leading to Barcroft Gate. The lab used to do some work on the dirt road before each August open house, but I don't know what their plans are this year since there is no open house. So, if you do not have a high-clearance vehicle, you may want to call the White Mountain lab,and find out what the condition of the road is. (For reference, when we went up for the open house in 2010, we used a Volvo station wagon, and we were fine, though drove slowly.)

By the way, it was sleeping at the Barcroft Gate (elevation 11,700') the night before the hike that I discovered I need a small dose of Diamox at high altitude. Turns out I have altitude-related sleep apnea (also known as periodic breathing or Cheyne-Stokes) above 11,000 feet -- something I had never experienced at 10,000 feet. However, I gather this is not uncommon. Since I was carrying Diamox (although I had not planned to take any), I was able to solve the problem with a small dose on the spot, as periodic breathing is one of the altitude-related issues that Diamox can help address. I mention this as you may want to talk to your MD about obtaining Diamox, as Steve mentioned earlier.

Re going solo up Whitney:

I know you are getting a lot of advice to go solo. Recognizing that reasonable minds can differ on this issue too, I, personally, would not recommend to a newbie to high altitude to do Whitney solo as a first timer. A lot of folks on this board have done Whitney a number of times and/or have a lot of high altitude experience, and I think that may affect perspective. Two years out from my first high altitude experiences, on White and Whitney in 2010, the combination of fear and excitement is still fresh for me. I did exactly what you are doing (researched the mountain and asked lots of questions), and summiting Whitney (which capped off a 1.5 year weight loss effort) was one of the peak experiences of my life (pun intended!). Really fabulous. (And I did go with friends, all newbies like me.) I do recognize that people have different sensitivities to risk taking.

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#24711 - 06/05/12 12:49 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Akichow]
Gelsomina Offline


Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 21
Loc: San Diego, CA
Good to know about the dirt road. I have a Volvo station wagon as well. Either way, I would be doing White Mountain prior to the road being groomed.

I figure that most of the "old-timers" have no problem with solo summitting Whitney. I'm not a very experienced hiker, and don't have the high altitude experience. I'm not so much risk-adverse, but rather risk-mitigation oriented. If I cannot sufficiently mitigate my risk, I won't do it. smile

I have an appointment scheduled with my neurologist to discuss Diamox and altitude in general, I have regular apnea. (Apnea is one of the reasons I prefer a day hike.)


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#24720 - 06/05/12 02:13 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Sounds like you are getting your ducks all lined up!

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#24736 - 06/05/12 06:24 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
Gelsomina, first let me say that you're getting good advice, varied as it may be. I personally know and/or have hiked with many of the members who've posted on this thread. They're each and every one good, sincere people who (1) are giving you their honest perspective and (2) would always stop to assist a hiker in distress (wazzu's got a helluva story about her first attempt at Whitney). The key here is taking the advice that's right for you. I believe your post has generated more than the typical response for a first-timer's questions because you've been utterly honest about your experience level and are genuinely seeking advice, and it's evident you have a well-thought-out plan. Many first-timers don't, nor do they listen to advice from people who have been in their shoes if it runs counter to their mindset.

Unless you have absolute certainty in your partner's dedication to you, treat this mentally as a solo hike. If that creates anxiety, the upside is there's really no such thing as a solo hike on Whitney in summer due to the crowds. The downside is that you have to mentally and emotionally be prepared to mostly do it on your own. As I said before, if you stick with that training plan you'll have the legs to climb Whitney. That leaves altitude sickness and injury as your most likely potential issues. There will be virtually no snow or ice on the mountain come August - the primary cause of most injuries - so you really need to focus on beating the potential of AMS, as you've not been above 10K' before (or I assumed so from your initial post, which is the reason I suggested Diamox). AMS aside, all this hike is in August is a very long, very tiring walk on a well-defined trail. You're not climbing the Matterhorn, so don't psych yourself out before you begin (it happens).

Acclimation is the best deterrent to altitude sickness. Two nights at 10,000 feet (Horseshoe Meadows) is the recommended dose before tackling this mountain. Once your body is acclimated to sleeping at X altitude (at or above 10K'), the prevailing wisdom is you're good for another 2000 feet the following day. The problem for a dayhiker is that 4500 feet are waiting for you - hence the many flame-outs at Trail Camp (12,000 feet) or on the switchbacks above Trail Camp.

I was one of those AMS flame-outs my first time up Whitney, and I was solo. I had myself (erroneously) convinced that I was one of the lucky few to have no predisposition to AMS, so I didn't take much precaution. I had been above 14K' a number of times with no ill effects, and once even went from sea level to 14K' in less than 12 hours, problem-free. Why acclimate for Whitney? That's one of the nefarious things about AMS - it's unpredictable. Sherpas in the Himalaya who've been running up and down 8000-meter peaks their entire lives have been known to die of altitude-induced edema at 6000 meters or so.

Anyway, trust me when I tell you that making my way down from 13,500 feet on Whitney with raging AMS, by myself, was the hardest thing I've ever had to will myself to do. Worst headache ever, incessant nausea, kaliedoscope dizziness, DT-shakiness - but the worst symptom to overcome was the most incredibly lethargic feeling. I just wanted to lay down and go to sleep - screw everything else. Of course, I'm a guy, so I lied every time someone would ask me if I was OK or needed assistance. Gotta perpetuate the rugged, independent male stereotype, right? Actually, I just couldn't believe I had AMS and was mentally trying to write it off to food poisoning or some other malady outside my control.

Needless to say, proper acclimation became Job One every trip to altitude after that. I never, ever want to feel that way again. I've had no problems since, and have only used Diamox on one occasion, that being taking my wife and 11 YO daughter up Whitney last year for their first time (I was taking no chances with my girls, so we were a Diamox piss-happy family that trip). Diamox isn't a magic bullet - you can still develop AMS with it in your system - but it helps aid the acclimation process and can often provide that extra oomph many people need to ambulate reasonably well above 12K'.

White is relatively easy on the legs compared to Whitney, so if you go that route it should tell you whether Diamox is in your future. Just be sure to do the other things properly - acclimate, hydrate, eat and pace - and you'll reduce the chances of AMS to an absolute minimum. If you have an inkling you might be on your own on the mountain at some point, these are your priorities. Diamox is an option, but often the right one for many people. My wife historically couldn't go above 12K' without some serious AMS setting in, regardless of acclimation, but Diamox has given her that edge she needed.

Best of luck and be sure to let us know how it goes!

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#24738 - 06/05/12 06:44 PM 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...
Damn Bulldog, your big time AMS episode was worst than mine. I guess the only advantage you had was you descent was all downhill. Mine on the other hand, started at the top of White Mountain. Needless to say, those to climbs on the way back about killed me.

I've had AMS three times over 14,000'. First time at Mt. Whitney was just the alien trying to crawl out of the right eye coupled with a subpar fitness level. I know the headache went away somewhere during the descent. The second time was Mt. Whitney two years later. It could feel it coming on at the summit but it was gonzo at Trail Crest. My one big time AMS was on White in 2000, headache, nausea, lack of appetite and malaise. This did not go away until I was back in Big Pine (4,000') for a few hours...and this after two days of acclimatization.

After that, I figured it was give up the Sierra or get Diamox, which works most of the time. My biggest problems these day are lack of appetite over 12,000', if I push too hard...it's not unusual for me to go nitey-nite without dinner, and sleep deprivation, usually over about 11,500'.

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#24742 - 06/05/12 07:13 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: wbtravis]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
It's funny, Bill - before attempting Whitney the first time in '09, I downloaded and printed all the detail from your website (that and Fred's orientation notes here are, I think, the two best information sources for a Whitney first-timer). Of course, I glossed over all the precautionary AMS stuff. I don't get AMS, so why worry . . .?

That day I was dying at Trail Camp . . . and felt almost fully recovered by Outpost Camp (3-plus hours later - without AMS it takes me maybe 30 minutes). Apparently not though - I walked into the Portal Store, grabbed a beer and went to the counter to pay. Doug took one look at me and said, "That one's on the house."

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#24749 - 06/05/12 08:45 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Bulldog34]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 453
Loc: San Diego
Gelsomina, I couldn't agree more with Bulldog's post. I was up there last week and got a bad case of altitude sickness. My first time at Whitney was the worst and I promised never to let it happen again. Unfortunately, what I promised and want, and reality don't exactly go hand-in-hand. His description is perfect. All you want to do is lay down and go to sleep. It's like having the worst hangover while you're still drunk.

The last time two time I went up there, it was PERFECT. I felt like a million bucks. Went last week, acclimated well for two full days and night. I felt fine going up the chute until around 13k ft, and then bam, it hit me like a brick wall. I was debating risking going up the final 400 or not. It took me longer walking down the main trail than going up the MR.

Good luck.


Edited by 2600fromatari (06/05/12 09:21 PM)

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#24764 - 06/06/12 08:03 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: 2600fromatari]
wbtravis Offline


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

After reading all this I'm sure you are confused. What you are getting is everyone's experience with higher elevation. Everyone's experience with this is different; therefore, it is difficult to recommend a course of action to you.

In SoCal, if you day hike to San Gorgonio via Vivan Creek or South Fork you are over 10,000' a short period of time. The elevation sensitive will be dying. However, many who will have problems in the Sierra will not have problems here. Time wise Vivian Creek is similar to White Mtn...and White Mtn. killed me even after two days at elevation.

Just like there are no two cases of AMS alike, there are many ways to dose Diamox. It took me 3 or 4 years to get it right for me. The current standard dosing procedure did not work at all. Then, there are the side effects.

If you have problems with sulfa drug, you most likely will have problems with Diamox. If you dose level is too high you will have a lot of tingling in the extremites. Forget about any carbonate beverage...they will taste horrible for about 24 hours after your last dose...I've had issues out to 72 hours.



Edited by wbtravis (06/06/12 09:47 AM)

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#24768 - 06/06/12 09:04 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: wbtravis]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7872
Loc: Fresno, CA
> If you have problems with sulfa drug, you most likely will have problems with Diamox.

Looking for the link... Doctor Ken on this site reports that Diamox (acetazolamide) does not have the sulfa formulation that leads to the sensitivity.

Edit: here's the link:  High Altitude Sickness

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#24770 - 06/06/12 09:46 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Steve C]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
I stand corrected. I plead guilty what I have read on the dreaded internet.

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#24773 - 06/06/12 11:11 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Steve C]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
An anecdotal, nonscientific, postscript, on this oft-recurring theme: I am allergic to sulfa-containing antiobotics, and I have no problems with Diamox. However, on my Kili trip, there was a woman who was allergic to sulfa who had some sort of allergic reaction to Diamox and could not take it. (Like the previous poster, I have experimented with dosage, and take far less than the "recommended" dosage.)

So, back to the original topic: go climb Whitney! Have fun! Be safe!

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#24775 - 06/06/12 12:26 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Bulldog34]
Gelsomina Offline


Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 21
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
...you have a well-thought-out plan. Many first-timers don't, nor do they listen to advice from people who have been in their shoes if it runs counter to their mindset.

... the upside is there's really no such thing as a solo hike on Whitney in summer due to the crowds. The downside is that you have to mentally and emotionally be prepared to mostly do it on your own... ... so you really need to focus on beating the potential of AMS... ...don't psych yourself out before you begin (it happens).

Acclimation is the best deterrent to altitude sickness... ...The problem for a dayhiker is that 4500 feet are waiting for you...

I had myself (erroneously) convinced that I was one of the lucky few to have no predisposition to AMS... - it's unpredictable. Sherpas in the Himalaya who've been running up and down 8000-meter peaks their entire lives have been known to die of altitude-induced edema at 6000 meters or so.

Anyway, trust me when I tell you that making my way down from 13,500 feet on Whitney with raging AMS, by myself, was the hardest thing I've ever had to will myself to do. Worst headache ever, incessant nausea, kaliedoscope dizziness, DT-shakiness - but the worst symptom to overcome was the most incredibly lethargic feeling. I just wanted to lay down and go to sleep - screw everything else. Of course, I'm a guy, so I lied every time someone would ask me if I was OK or needed assistance. Gotta perpetuate the rugged, independent male stereotype, right? Actually, I just couldn't believe I had AMS and was mentally trying to write it off to food poisoning or some other malady outside my control.

...proper acclimation became Job One every trip to altitude after that. I never, ever want to feel that way again...


Nope, you guys aren't confusing me! I recognize everyone has slightly different experience/advice, but that's a good thing.

Bulldog (and everybody), thank you for your honest detailed account of AMS and all experiences. I REALLY need to hear this kind of thing, and for a less experienced person it does not "go without saying" blush . It does do 2 things:
(1) knowing ahead of time what to expect (how it feels, what it makes you think-feel-do) enables me to stay calm/collected and better handle the situation.
(2) re-focuses me on strategies for better mitigating risks like AMS, focus on what is important. I need to be VIGILANT about acclimation, hydration, pace, even nutrition.

Before you guys told me all this, I would have NEVER asked a non-partner on the trail for assistance or company unless I was in dire straits. Now if I need to head back down on my own, I will say hello and ask them if I can hike down with them because I'm having (x) problem or want some company. I still might not ask them if they look like they're hiking at high speed, but I'd eventually ask somebody who is at a pace I can maintain.

The other thing that is a big help is to not psych myself out! I tend to get anxious beforehand for major unexperienced events, so I reach out to people like you all, get advice, take advice, prepare, then when I actually execute I'm as prepared as I personally can be and have fun instead of being worried. I think it's really important to be able to get advice from people to change my mindset; I'd much rather do that than learn the hard way by proving myself both wrong and stubborn.

So this is where I am right now:
- train to my plan
- consider substituting White Mountain, especially if I do not get my 7/14 Vivian-Gorgonio permit or just substitute it for overly popular HumberPark-SJPeak
- reconsider my acclimation plan (stay at Horseshoe meadow instead of tagging along with Original Partner doing photography at lower elevations)
- discuss/get Diamox from doc, 62.5 mg to 125 mg twice/day 2 days prior
- come up with vigilant concrete plan for hydration, pace, nutrition, ectrolyte pills
- prepare my pack as if solo hiking (e.g., 10 essentials, map mountain water sources, don't overpack)
- prepare my mind as if solo hiking
- ask to tag along with other hikers on trail if left alone by my group
- FOCUS...Forget Others Concentrate Upon Self
- Be a tortoise, not a hare (don't have to keep up with the marathon men, and going slower will actually HELP me with AMS)
- recognize and deal with AMS
- deal with group dynamics ahead of time
- discuss/plan on-trail communication and etiquette ahead of time (e.g., I have a tendency to run ahead when I get excited, need to learn to not do that; leave pack on trail if off-trail, etc.)
- keep looking online for permit availability for NP (I have a New Partner, Old Partner is good with him going, NP enthusiastically committed to all training hikes and "got your back" philosophy, is willing to take the chance of getting day-before walk-in permit)


..... Humbly asking you guys for suggestions on one more topic: nutrition.

REI Whitney Guy suggested I use Hammer Perpetuem for on-trail nutrion. I have used Hammer products before for trail running, I like them, they're better quality. What do you think of that? I prefer whole unprocessed foods, but I want to keep the nutrition simple. What do you all use for nutrition?


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#24776 - 06/06/12 12:50 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
..... Humbly asking you guys for suggestions on one more topic: nutrition.

REI Whitney Guy suggested I use Hammer Perpetuem for on-trail nutrion. I have used Hammer products before for trail running, I like them, they're better quality. What do you think of that? I prefer whole unprocessed foods, but I want to keep the nutrition simple. What do you all use for nutrition?


simply rule about food at altitude. Make sure that it is something that you like. Don't get adventurous and try funky new protein bars or goo or whatever unless you absolutely know that you like them. I found that food that is ok and tolerable at sea level is absolutely unpalatable above 12000'. I recommend moist foods.

Also, for gatorade or other sports drinks, I found that the regular concentration gets my mouth and throat too mucus-y. I generally go with half concentration and even then I will wash it down with clean water.

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#24779 - 06/06/12 04:07 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: tdtz]
Gelsomina Offline


Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 21
Loc: San Diego, CA
Oh yes, I can attest to that myself with trail running... never again will I try new things during an event. Lesson learned the hard way is now unforgettable. :sick:

If I do use Hammer Perpetuem, I'll use it multiple times prior to Whitney on a training hike or trail run. My trainer is big on me getting correct fat/protein/carb mix for the sport, but want to know what old-timers find works and doesn't work in the real world.

I don't use Gatorade, it's chemical-ish to me (I can stomach it, just don't like it). I get my electrolytes through Nuun, or Hammer product/pill (they're all dry as well, so can be mixed on trail.)

I think I should bring things that don't have much packaging (man-made or natural) so I don't have to carry excess garbage weight.

What moist foods do you bring?


Edited by Gelsomina (06/06/12 04:08 PM)

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#24780 - 06/06/12 04:37 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Hello. Your list is really impressive.

On Diamox, FYI, through self-experimentation, I am now down to 62.5 mg once a day, just before sleeping at altitude. I no longer start with Diamox the day before going to altitude, though I do start drinking more water a day or so before going to altitude. Gender and weight may influence dosage (I am female). If/when I go above a sleeping altitude of 13,000', I increase it. Your experience may differ.

I don't use Gatorade. I do, however, use serious electrolytes (particularly important if you are peeing a lot). I use (1) Nuun for normal hiking days, supplemented with (2) Cytomax on summit days. I also have found Clif Shots to be helpful on the 97 switchbacks. That's me; your experience may differ. smile You should probably avoid caffeine because it is a diuretic ... you will need to check energy drinks, bars, etc., to see if they contain caffeine.

I haven't had problems with appetite at altitude yet, but I do build in a lot of acclimatization. Generally, they say that simple carbs are easier to digest and don't compete for resources needed for the climb. But I, personally, have craved protein on every summit ... there is probably a lot of idiosyncrasy there. All I could think of, while hanging out on my first Whitney Summit, was a roast turkey and stuffing and all, I mean, all, the fixings. Yes, I realize that is weird. But I settled for salami and cheese and whole wheat tortillas. And peanut butter, oh yeah, peanut butter.

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#24781 - 06/06/12 05:35 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Akichow]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
My background is what works for the military, works for me (they are the original "hikers")

Cashew nuts instead of -- gasp -- Cheetos if you want an instant boost of DIGESTIBLE fats energy. The Navy Seals practically live on them!

Dried fruit (if not sulfur processed) is excellent for longs slogs like the switchbacks, because it takes a long time to chew up AND it stimulates the saliva glands.

Salami or -- gag -- SPAM instead of Jerky for the reason of digestibility. Jerky is very hard to digest.

Peanut M&M's for emergency energy boost, as the sugar is quick for pick-me-up & the fat/protein of the peanuts acts as a backdrop.

Carbs+protein for breakfast/fats+carb for lunch/protein for Dinner.

I do not partake much in Gatorade et al, because I find that if I regularly hydrate and eat food every hour (nuts/fruit/salami/pumpkin bread) I have no need to artificially bost body chemicals. Everyone is different, and I am a lazy hiker, so perhaps I am not working hard enough to be losing salts (I am a desert person so I sweat very very light)

It does not surprise me that many folk crave protein on the summit, as protein is the best thing for muscle rejuvenation (if you can drink dairy, there is nothing more satisfying after a workout than Chocolate milk....unfortunately, I cannot take in ANY dairy frown
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#24783 - 06/06/12 08:42 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Bee]
wbtravis Offline


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

Mt. Whitney is nothing more than a 22-mile, +6,100' day hike. People have a tendency to over think it. It's just a a longer day hike going to a higher elevation than you normally do. It has only a few different requirements, none of them have to do with food and water...other than taking more than you usually take up the trail. I take a balanced approach protein, fat and both simple and complex carbohydrates because you are going to be on the trail upward to 18 hours...if things go as planned. Also, if you do not like the food you are taking at sea level, I can guarantee you, you will balk at it above 12,000'. I also plan to walk off the trail with between 1,000 and 2,000 calories in my pack.

As for hydration, I will take enough Cytomax powder for a couple of liters.

Everything is just a little more than I would take on a day hike in the local mountain of SoCal.

The only thing I am religious about is clothing. I will not go up the trail without enough clothing to make it through the night at 14,500', if something happens.

All this makes for a not so light pack...especially with 8 lbs of water for the Trail Camp round trip.

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#24786 - 06/06/12 09:24 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
VersatileFred Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 130
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: Gelsomina

I did my first training hike yesterday (the 11.6mi tram to SJ Peak), it was totally fun, I still had plenty of energy left. I ran about the last 1/2 mile and could have kept going. My average pace was 24:17 min/mi (speed 2.47 mi/hour).

FYI, I was in a group of 17 people who also did that route on Saturday. Most of us went up on the first tram. We split up into two groups once we reached the ranger station. The faster group took just over 3 hours to reach the summit and just over two hours to get back. After an hour on the summit, we ran into the slower group about 15 minutes down (below the final fork).

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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: 7872
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: 7872
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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#25276 - 06/21/12 08:51 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: wbtravis]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: wbtravis
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.


Ditto. I don't recall any bugs of consequence in August, but the last two Julys Outpost Camp was ridiculous-crazy with skeeters, black flies and no-see-ums. I suppose the low snow year will produce fewer pests, but I'm surprised there were no noticeable mosquitos in mid-June.

Last year in mid-July, half the folks I saw camping at Outpost were wearing facial mosquito netting. Big snow year though, so there was water everywhere.

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#25306 - 06/21/12 05:23 PM 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

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#25311 - 06/21/12 08:37 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
Eugene K Offline


Registered: 08/15/11
Posts: 40
Loc: San Diego, CA
Did anyone tell you yet that you're seriously overpreparing for this?

Drop steps 5 to 10, start monitoring recreation.gov for available day hike permits, pick a date so that you can get to Lone Pine 24 hours before the hike (48 if you have a lot of free time on your hands), spend a day at Horseshoe Meadows, do an acclimatization hike (climb Trail Peak, for example), spend the night camping at the portal.

You will either get AMS or you won't. If you are at risk for AMS, your long training schedule will do nothing to prepare you for it. All you can do is to spend more time acclimatizing or to rely on diamox.

If you insist on continuing with your plan, replace either week 6 or week 7 with Mount Langley.


Edited by Eugene K (06/21/12 08:42 PM)

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#25312 - 06/21/12 09:19 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
lynn-a-roo Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 627
Loc: OrangeCounty
I am very interested to hear your start...summit...and end times on July 14 on the Vivian Creek trail to San Gorgonio peak. I will be anxiouusly looking for your trip report on that hike....that trail is a great training hike for Mt. Whitney....the last time I summited San G was 2011 via the Vivian Creek Trail....I was 10 years older than you so I am sure you will make the trek in better time than me. You have a vigorous training schedule... wow what fun you will have...I look forward to your Mt. WHITNEY trip report too. The last time I summited Mt. Whitney I was 56 so with your young years and all the training you are doing you will summit easily if the altitude does not bother you. Best of luck to you.


Edited by lynn-a-roo (06/21/12 09:25 PM)

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#25328 - 06/22/12 07:32 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...
Originally Posted By: Eugene K
Did anyone tell you yet that you're seriously overpreparing for this?


If you are not in mountain shape, you are not prepared. You can run marathons but if you legs are not used to going up, and more specifically, going down, you are going to have a miserable day.

If you are a noob, there is a lot to learn. Gelsomina seems to be learning something every time sHe is out in the mountains. The more you know, the better you can plan your trip, the better chance you can be successful. You don't want to be learning what works and doesn't work at 14,000' after a cold front passed and it 20* F and the wind is howling at a constant 30.


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#25336 - 06/22/12 12:32 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: wbtravis]
Eugene K Offline


Registered: 08/15/11
Posts: 40
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: wbtravis

If you are not in mountain shape, you are not prepared. You can run marathons but if you legs are not used to going up, and more specifically, going down, you are going to have a miserable day.

If you are a noob, there is a lot to learn. Gelsomina seems to be learning something every time sHe is out in the mountains. The more you know, the better you can plan your trip, the better chance you can be successful. You don't want to be learning what works and doesn't work at 14,000' after a cold front passed and it 20* F and the wind is howling at a constant 30.


She is not a noob. According to her posts, she does a lot of hiking and trail running, she had a 12-mile mountain hike on June 2 and 1513-mile mountain hike on June 16. I would say that she is in mountain shape. (She's certainly in a better mountain shape than I was when I day-hiked Whitney this week.) Additional hikes on the list are just more of the same. The main thing she still needs to learn is the effects of altitude (none of her trips took her higher than 11500'), and this is not going to change because the remaining hikes on the list won't take her higher than 11500' either.

Gelsomina:

Re-reading the thread, I see that I've missed the part about you doing this with 2 other guys. Then you obviously can't move up the schedule and head to Whitney at the first opportunity as I suggested. But I still think that you should get either Langley or White somewhere into the schedule.

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#25340 - 06/22/12 01:39 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: wbtravis]
trail runner Offline


Registered: 06/30/10
Posts: 51
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: wbtravis
Originally Posted By: Eugene K
Did anyone tell you yet that you're seriously overpreparing for this?


If you are not in mountain shape, you are not prepared. You can run marathons but if you legs are not used to going up, and more specifically, going down, you are going to have a miserable


I tend to generally agree with the primise, but you can get into good shape and perform well in the mountains even if you have to do 100% of your training at sea level and on flat terrain. Not ideal, but you make due.

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#25347 - 06/22/12 04:49 PM 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...
Eugene,

The questions asked were those of a noob. Clothing, gear, training, etc. Therefore, I answer as if she is a noob.

I've told her to go White or Langley. I believe they help anyone unfamiliar with these elevations. White for noobs; Langley for those with a little more experience.

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#25348 - 06/22/12 06:49 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Eugene K]
KathyW Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 40
Loc: Redlands, CA
Originally Posted By: Eugene K
Did anyone tell you yet that you're seriously overpreparing for this?


I agree, it sounds like you are in great shape and will be in better shape than a lot of people who are out on the mountain with you the day of your hike.

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#25350 - 06/22/12 08:20 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: KathyW]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 453
Loc: San Diego
Gelsomina,
There is no such thing as over training IMO. Keep doing what you're doing.

1) The more you're out there, the more you'll find out about yourself and your gear. It gives you an opportunity to try different clothing, packs, foods, boots, etc.
2) Over training means you'll be smiling all the way up Whitney and all the way down. Why just be "good enough"?
3) Depending on the time of year, I'm up in the mountains at least monthly if not weekly. There was a point that I was doing Skyline and Cactus to the Clouds at San Jacinto almost every week and was comfortable during and after the hike, but never did I think nor did I feel like I could skip up and down Whitney.

It looks like you'll make it up to the summit on your date, weather and altitude issues aside. I say keep training (harder) so you can do it in style, having fun, and yacking with your friends the whole way.

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#25358 - 06/23/12 09:06 AM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: KathyW]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Shape is but one aspect of this trip. Gelsomina will be in a lot better shape than I was the first time I day tripped the MMWT. Many were in better shape but few were better prepared. As long you are learning something from each training hike they are of benefit. Judging by what she has been writing I would say she still needs a bit of seasoning.

For many the first time they hike at night is on the MMWT. Rarely, does anyone go out to figure out if their headlight worth plastic it's made out from. I know I wish I had.


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#25363 - 06/23/12 02:39 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
I don't consider myself an experienced hiker at all, more of a newbie than anything. The longest hike I've ever done was last weekend (Seven Pines Trail to SJ Peak), the longest run I've ever done was a half marathon.

I'm in pretty good shape, but definitely could be in better. I've got a couple things working against me: I don't have a lean body type, and I have a connective tissue disorder that causes hip joint pain and injuries on a regular basis.

It might work for other people to prepare less, but I know for me personally I need to be very prepared based on these factors.

BTW, I think that age is not much of a factor when comparing between different people. Three of the guys in my Whitney group are all significantly older than me and in much better shape than me. I know they will kick my butt up that mountain. :whistle:

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#25371 - 06/24/12 08:28 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...
It is a humbling experience to have a 70 year old blow by you at 13,500' when you think you are in the best shape of your life at age 45.


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#26787 - 08/10/12 02:31 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Gelsomina]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: Gelsomina

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.


For future reference, if you have a San G Wilderness permit, you can take up to 12 people, regardless of what you put on the permit. I was told this by two rangers this summer while preparing/hiking up to Dollar Lake.

They basically give out 20 (not sure what the exact number of permits) per day. It doesn't matter is there is 1 person or 12 on those permits.
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#26793 - 08/10/12 05:06 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7872
Loc: Fresno, CA
ChevyII: You must be talking about San Gorgonio permits.

I just don't want people confusing those with Whitney permits, where the number of people is very important.

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#26802 - 08/10/12 06:29 PM Re: First timer: my training program for One-Day Whitney [Re: Steve C]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: Steve C
ChevyII: You must be talking about San Gorgonio permits.

I just don't want people confusing those with Whitney permits, where the number of people is very important.


Yes - in her post she was talking about San Gorgonio Wilderness Permits. I edited my post to reflect this.
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