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#3018 - 03/16/10 06:33 PM Kids and Whitney?
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
This summer my family will be joining me for my trip to Whitney, including my 10 year-old daughter Brianne. After hearing so much about my Whitney adventure last year, she insists that she's going to hike the MMWT with Dad (and maybe Mom) this coming July. I'm somewhat uncertain about the wisdom of her attempting this due to her age, although I'm aware that a number of kids have actually summitted in the past. She's hiked a number of reasonably strenuous trails with me in the past 3 years locally, as well as in the Cascades, Rockies and Black Hills, so she's a trooper - but all have been less than 12 miles RT and all under 11K' elevation. She's been above 14K' several times in Colorado for extended periods without showing any ill effects, but all those were the easy way, without a great deal of hiking to reach that elevation (the beauty of Colorado, where through-roads at 12K' are no big deal, and access roads above 13K' are common).

For several years she's watched Dad take off to places out west to hike and backpack the bigger stuff that was far beyond her, and now she feels like she's ready to do a "really big one" with me. I certainly don't want to discourage her, but I damn sure don't want to endanger her by putting her in a situation that's over her head. In all the hiking I've done over 10K' over the years, I've rarely seen kids as young as 10 on a trail that high (Scout troops excepted), so I really don't know if Whitney is over her head. Maybe I'm just being overly cautious, but the "death march" of the MMWT kicked my butt last year. We're looking at a one or two-nighter this time around.

So, any thoughts or direction on high-elevation, long-distance preparedness for kids? Does it differ that much from adults? I should mention that we'll spend at least a week hiking at 10-11K' and sleeping at 8K' in the Mammoth area before we attempt Whitney (good call Steve).

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#3019 - 03/16/10 06:44 PM Re: Kids and Whitney? [Re: Bulldog34]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
What you are looking at is a 6 mile, +3,900' backpack then a 10 mile rt day hike.

Since dad is going to be carrying most of the weight to Trail Camp, what's the problem?

Personally, I make it a two nighter.

She should be ok. I've seen kids her age on the trail.

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#3021 - 03/16/10 07:07 PM Re: Kids and Whitney? [Re: wbtravis]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2249
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Encourage her to extend her envelope. Just think, in a few short years she could be sailing around the world alone...
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#3022 - 03/16/10 07:23 PM Re: Kids and Whitney? [Re: Bulldog34]
+ @ti2d Online


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 836
Loc: Sheridan, OR
Dad, one word...one title...

Sherpa...

You are and will be their guide...

Show them how to...

Have fun.
_________________________
Journey well...

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#3025 - 03/16/10 09:22 PM Re: Kids and Whitney? [Re: Bulldog34]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Sounds like you should talk to Fishmonger for some advice since he had both his kids doing the JMT at 10 years old.

If she trains with you I am sure she will be just fine, just have to know when to turn around if you have to.
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#3032 - 03/17/10 07:38 AM Re: Kids and Whitney? [Re: Bulldog34]
+ @ti2d Online


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 836
Loc: Sheridan, OR
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
...so I really don't know if Whitney is over her head...

It is over her head. At 14,497 or 14,505 feet minus height of your daughter. I just had to say that... whistle

Anyhoo...back to the thread...

Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
For several years she's watched Dad take off to places out west to hike and backpack the bigger stuff that was far beyond her, and now she feels like she's ready to do a "really big one" with me. I certainly don't want to discourage her, but I damn sure don't want to endanger her by putting her in a situation that's over her head...Maybe I'm just being overly cautious, but the "death march" of the MMWT kicked my butt last year. We're looking at a one or two-nighter this time around.

Being the person you are, being the dad you are, you are the "key" that opens a new door to her world. You are the naturalist, the botanist, the park ranger, the geologist all rolled into one. You are a real live John Muir.

She has seen you leave, now it is time for her to leave with you (mom, it is your time to go too!) and behold the beauty of the Sierra Nevada. You've "been there, done that" so you know what is to be expected on the trail. We all learn from our first lesson.

Do a two-dayer (maybe a 3-dayer). Take your time. Answer all of her questions. Give her positive reinforcement (all dads are good at this mind you). Should you happen to "cuss" say "cheeze-its crackers." Take pictures (a must do YES!). If you got time in your schedule, a drive up to Horseshoe Meadows (quick acclimatatization).

Oh, most importantly, the family has to have the Burger and Fries. Oops, and the pancakes, too!

Have fun up there, Bulldog34 Family, we wanna see pictures!

BTW, my wife and I will be at Lone Pine Campground #17 July 16-18. We will arrive late July 16. Will be doing the "touron" thing so maybe our trails will cross.

P.S. Thank you for the personal message. You are a family with big hearts.
_________________________
Journey well...

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#3035 - 03/17/10 09:12 AM Re: Kids and Whitney? [Re: Bulldog34]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 370
Loc: Wildomar
Took my son last year (he was 12). We weren't planning on Whitney, but after we had some problems (route finding - my fault) on another trip in the area, we headed to Lone Pine and easily snagged an overnight permit. He had Cloud's Rest and multiple San J hikes under his belt that summer, but nothing at altitude. We spent the night at Outpost since I didn't see the need to carry the gear any farther up the trail. He had slept in the cab of my truck the night before at the portal while waiting for our other hike, so he far from rested. We got in the tent around 6:30 pm and he slept pretty well until I got everyone up at 0100. After breafast we headed up and took it slow all day. The only goal was to get as far as he wanted to go, but he just kept plugging away. You need to keep the younger ones eating and drinking - I think that's key. We summitted safely, got back to Outpost and broke camp. Missed the burger by just a couple minutes.

He is on the day hike team this year and is a maybe for a double Sierra crossing. If I bring him along we will go from Kings Canyon to Onion Valley and back vice OV-KC-OV. That will make it a little easier.

Get the kids away from the video games/TV and on the trail. Keep them fed, hydrated and let them set the pace. Study up on the area you'll be hiking because they will have plenty of questions.

After a couple seasons of tagging along on my training hikes, my boy thinks it's no big deal to grab his boots and go hike 15+ miles on no notice...........................DUG

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#3067 - 03/18/10 12:54 PM Re: Kids and Whitney? [Re: + @ti2d]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
'Tude, you and wbtravis must know my daughter well - Sherpa is my middle name in the wilderness. And fun is the name of the game this trip, along with memorable moments and lots of field education. Our one or two trips west each year to national parks or other natural wonders are our favorite times together as a family. We plan to hike with Joe (quillansculpture) and his family, but no lottery notification as of yet so dates are by no means firm. We may be winging it at the InterAgency at 8:00 am sharp the day prior. If we're there mid-July, we'll certainly look you guys up at the LP campground (that's gonna be hot as hell in July!) and/or Portal and share a burger and a brew. Would love to meet you.

Here's a shot of she and I on the summit of Mt. Fremont (Mt. Rainier NP) about a year and a half ago. Her first summit she had to really work hard to obtain.



Edited by Bulldog34 (03/18/10 01:09 PM)
Edit Reason: Added photo

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#3068 - 03/18/10 01:16 PM Re: Kids and Whitney? [Re: Bulldog34]
+ @ti2d Online


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 836
Loc: Sheridan, OR
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
...Sherpa is my middle name in the wilderness...
What a coincidence, but one of my friends dubbed me Danu Sherpa (there really is a real, live Danu Sherpa) after his trek to Khumbu Icefall a couple of years back. The name sort of stuck and some of my closest friends when out in the wilderness yell, "Danuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu." Even my wifey-poo refers to me as her "Sherpa."

Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
...the LP campground (that's gonna be hot as hell in July!)...
Hot? In Fuggowhee (Coarsegold at 1,500 ASL) temps can hit as high as 115 degrees in July. Yes, LP is hot but it ain't that hot. Besides, with LP Creek flowing nearby and the shade that #17 has to offer, nobody ever drowned in sweat. I just wish we had a LP Creek flowing by our property!

Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
..share a burger and a brew. Would love to meet you.
One of our (well, mine anyhoo) New Year's resolutions was to not eat any fast food (as of this date, no Carl's Jr, Arby's, Taco Bell, El Pollo Loco, or McD for me anyways). Well, there is one exception...the WP Store! I hope to feast Moose Burger and a double order of those WP fries! There goes my cholesterol! I sure hope they still make it. This, BTW, won't count as a fast food dine. Hey, it's my resolution! grin

Beer? Yeah, buddy! I plan on bringing some Firestone Walker Union Jack to our campsite. But there is nothing like an ice cold Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at 8,365 feet ASL.

Yes, the honor would be ours to meet all of you, too.

_________________________
Journey well...

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