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#30763 - 04/04/13 03:22 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: Steve C]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
These are all such wonderful hikes. Since you are not doing Whitney as a day hike, there really is no need to sleep at the Portal. If you are on the trail by 10a.m. or so, you'll be fine to make it to Trail Camp in time to set up camp, eat, relax. With your same itinerary on the mountain, I stayed at onion valley the night before, then drove down to lone pine the morning of my entry date, got my permit, and hit the trail, no problems.

The portal is really not an optimal place to sleep unless you are getting up super early to do Whitney as a day hike. It is a little high density for my taste, a bit low in altitude for acclimatization, and a bit on the noisy side, what with pesky bears and early morning hikers. It does have the Portal Store, but you can hit that up before and after your hike without staying there.

If you were open to sleeping at Hoseshoe Meadows or Onion Valley the night before, you would get better acclimatization and great access to easy-to-moderate high altitude day hikes the day before your entry. HM is all walkins, non reservable (though getting space never seems to be a problem), closer to the Portal. OV is part reservable, part walkin, maybe 30-40 minutes or so from Lone Pine.

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#30764 - 04/04/13 04:44 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: ]
Anon
Unregistered


Wow I have a lot of options to choose from. Now everyone mentions acclimating... How serious is the thiner air? I know this is not Mt. Everest but honestly, is it that easy to get mountain sickness? Using myself as an example... I am 29 years old, in great physical shape, but I live at sea level. Do you think I am still extremely prone to feeling the effects of the thin air? Is sleeping at the Portal for 2 nights not enough to get my body adjusted? Should I be sleeping higher?

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#30766 - 04/04/13 07:20 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: ]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Age and conditioning have little to do with it. Won't know how you are at altitude until you go there a few times...and even then, there is serendipity, people have off days, etc.

You are climbing very high and altitude is a significant issue. The portal could be enough or it might not be. But you have the option to do 2 nights at 9.5K or 10K (OV or HM) and another at 12k (Trail Camp), so why not take it? That is a fabulous pre-summit profile from an acclimatizing point of view (though still not a guarantee, it's all relative). Plus those other locations will get you seeing some cool areas.

Other tips: keep hydrated (seriously), take electrolytes, and don't overdo it (good to hike at a pace where your breathing is steady and your heart is not racing). Slow is better than fast. If you search this site, you'll see a lot on this issue. Someone will now suggest diamox, but I'm gonna leave that topic alone since it has already received tons of coverage on this site. Also, on Monday, while you don't want to overdo it, climbing higher than your sleeping altitude is a good idea.

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#30769 - 04/04/13 08:36 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: ]
Chicagocwright Offline


Registered: 09/05/12
Posts: 172
Loc: Alaska
Quote:
Wow I have a lot of options to choose from. Now everyone mentions acclimating... How serious is the thiner air? I know this is not Mt. Everest but honestly, is it that easy to get mountain sickness? Using myself as an example... I am 29 years old, in great physical shape, but I live at sea level. Do you think I am still extremely prone to feeling the effects of the thin air? Is sleeping at the Portal for 2 nights not enough to get my body adjusted? Should I be sleeping higher?



Very serious. Yes it is that easy to get mountain sickness. I am 38, a marathon runner, living at sea level, and before my Whitney hike last year I was sometimes hiking 3,-4000 elevation gain hikes more than once a week (Top Altitude of those hikes was always under 5-6000). Last year, I attempted to hike Whitney with my father and got very sick just after Trail Camp. I made it down okay, and made an additional trip from my home in Alaska a month later to complete the hike, but I had never had that kind of scary mountain experience. Other factors such as lack of rest due to a red eye flight may have contributed and your two nights at the Portal are more than what I did but it is still serious. On the second trip I also took small doses of Diamox.

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#30770 - 04/04/13 08:42 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: ]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7740
Loc: Fresno, CA
If you haven't looked through the Orientation Notes (link is above on the left), you can find links and info about altitude sickness. With your spending time at altitude before starting the hike you will be better off than many.

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