We're trying to come up with an acclimation plan for our upcoming hike. We live in the Colton CA area. The elevation here is about 1000 ft. One of the guys in the group has never been higher than San Jacinto (10,800 ft). Two of us summited Whitney last year (using Schulman Grove for acclimation) and the other guy lives in CO and has done a few 14ers.
I saw that you can camp at Barcroft Gate (~12,000 ft). I'm wondering if it would be too much of a jump for us in one day (waking up at 1k, then sleeping at 12k a few hrs later). I was thinking that if someone if our group had a hard time with the elevation, we could descend to the Grand View Campground (~8k feet) and hope to find a site.
I typed up a couple of possible plans for Sat/Sun below:Option 1
(5.5 hrs driving Sat, 2 hrs Sun)
Drive up to Lone Pine (3.5 hrs driving)
Get lunch in Lone Pine (maybe a burger or pancakes at the Whitney Portal Store)
Hike bit at the Portal (Lone Pine Lake maybe, 4 miles RT) or plan to hike when we get to campsite/White Mtn
Pick up permit for camp fire in Lone Pine
On the way out of Lone Pine, eat dinner or pick up food to cook dinner at campsite
Drive up to Mount Barcroft (2 hrs driving from Lone Pine). Either do some hiking or just set up camp (12,000 ft). If we get there late, maybe hike up to observation station (4 miles rt) using headlamps.
Sunday morning, drive back to Lone Pine (2 hrs driving)
Stay at Dow Villa Sunday night for Monday hikeOption 2
(5 hrs driving Sat, 0 Sun)
Drive up to Lone Pine (3.5 hrs)
Get lunch in Lone Pine (maybe at the Whitney Portal Store)
Drop off luggage/food stuff at Dow Villa if late enough (avoid using bear boxes)
Drive to Horseshoe Meadows for Acclimation hike (1.5 hrs driving roundtrip)
Hike a few miles (Trail Peak maybe?)
Return to Lone Pine and stay at Dow Villa.
Stay at Dow Villa Sunday night for Monday hike
As far as the weather goes, how hot has it been at the Portal and Horseshoe Meadows? I found this info for Barcroft, but I'm not sure if the weather station is the facility 2 miles from the gate or the facility at the top of White Mtn. http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/weather/barc.html