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#26869 - 08/12/12 04:39 PM Acclimation Plan
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
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 hike

Option 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
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#26881 - 08/12/12 11:30 PM Re: Acclimation Plan [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7907
Loc: Fresno, CA
That weather link is for the Barcroft lab. They had a weather station at the summit, but it has not operated for the last 18 months. Links to both are on the Mt Whitney Weather page (link above on the left).

Seems like a lot of extra driving to get to 12k elevation. I'd opt for Horseshoe Meadows. It would be best to spend the night at HM, and also hike a bit the next day rather than descend in the morning.

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#26890 - 08/13/12 07:46 AM Re: Acclimation Plan [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
I love the Whites but this is a trek and half when your plan is do Mt. Whitney that weekend. I'd opt for Horseshoe Meadow.

I would, also, not worry about the bear box storage in Horseshoe. There are boxes all over the places...in the camping areas and at the trailheads.

My favorite trip to Trail Peak would be the Cottonwood Pass Loop. Head to CP then go left. Trail Peak is a relatively easy climb from the trail then angle off it to the Trail Pass. Then back to the trailhead.

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#26891 - 08/13/12 07:54 AM Re: Acclimation Plan [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 836
Loc: Sheridan, OR
Option 2...less taxing...less driving..."hover" in HSM for 4 hours...stretch a hammock out and sleep! Forget about hiking...relax and enjoy

For weather...try clicking on the Mt. Whitney weather link on the left and click on Dennis Mattinson at www.easternsierraforecast.com.
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#26896 - 08/13/12 09:38 AM Re: Acclimation Plan [Re: + @ti2d]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Thanks guys.

As far as the Bear Boxes go, do you guys worry about theft at all?
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#26897 - 08/13/12 09:49 AM Re: Acclimation Plan [Re: wbtravis]
63ChevyII.com Offline


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

My favorite trip to Trail Peak would be the Cottonwood Pass Loop. Head to CP then go left. Trail Peak is a relatively easy climb from the trail then angle off it to the Trail Pass. Then back to the trailhead.


I think I found out about this hike from one of your earlier posts.

Do you know of a good map I can download or buy? I prefer the Tom Harrison maps that show the mileage and elevation at all of the junctions.

I bought Harrisions Mt. Whitney High CountryTrail Map. It says Horseshoe Meadows on it, but it doesn't really show it. A little annoying....
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#26899 - 08/13/12 09:54 AM Re: Acclimation Plan [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: 63ChevyII.com
Thanks guys.

As far as the Bear Boxes go, do you guys worry about theft at all?


Doesn't appear to be an issue. I've never worried about it.


As others have mentioned, your plan includes a LOT of driving. I'd also agree that HSM, or Onion Valley or Mosquito Flats, or other places high would be more enjoyable...stay out of the heat, feel some dirt against your skin.....unless you've not see these areas, and it is an ambition to go to them.

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#26901 - 08/13/12 10:02 AM Re: Acclimation Plan [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
tif Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 54
Loc: colton, ca
Horseshoe meadows itself is on the golden trout wilderness Tom Harrison Map FYI =)

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#26906 - 08/13/12 10:36 AM Re: Acclimation Plan [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7907
Loc: Fresno, CA
> Do you know of a good map I can download or buy?

Here's a link to a post with several maps: Postholer.com (using MyTopo) and Gmap4. Both can be printed from your computer. Using Gmap4, you can switch to several different maps (menu/map style boxes in upper right corner). Pay attention to the notes in the post -- online maps don't show the current trails. I understand the Tom Harrison maps do.

    Trail Peak: Warmup / acclimatization hike

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#27038 - 08/17/12 09:56 AM Re: Acclimation Plan [Re: Steve C]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Thanks for the info everyone. I scanned a couple of different Tom Harrisons maps and was able to get all of the trails I needed to on a 4x6 piece of cardstock (covered with packing tape).

We're planning on Trail Peak right now. Can anyone give me a ballpark number for how much time the hike should take? We'll just be strolling along taking our time if we don't get chased out by thunderstorms.


Edited by 63ChevyII.com (08/17/12 09:57 AM)
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#27049 - 08/18/12 12:00 AM Re: Acclimation Plan [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7907
Loc: Fresno, CA
Last year, I left for Trail Pk from the parking lot at 4:30, got there in ~2 hours, but I was hurrying. Used my headlamp coming back.

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#27055 - 08/18/12 08:01 AM Re: Acclimation Plan [Re: Steve C]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Thanks Steve.

Leaving SoCal in an hour. Hoping to get to HM around 1. Hopefully the weather cooperates out today and Monday.
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