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#3407 - 04/05/10 10:30 AM Acclimatization town / campground close to Reno ?
Stephan Offline


Registered: 04/05/10
Posts: 2
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hi all,

I am planning a trip up Mt Whitney in June, likely from the Cottonwood TH. I will be having a long air travel day to Reno and I am looking for a place to stay or camp on my first night that meets the following criteria:
- At least 8,000 - 9,000 ft elevation
- Ideally max. one hour drive south of Reno since I will likely be too tired from my travel day to drive too much ( I could push it to 90 minutes if I have to).

I was planning on staying at the Mt Rose campground which is around 9,300 ft, but is closed in 2010 for renovations. So far I only have found a hotel in Incline Village which is "only" at 7,5000 ft (close enough) but a little bit on the pricey side.


Any suggestions would be welcome . Thanks !

Stephan

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#3408 - 04/05/10 10:41 AM Re: Acclimatization town / campground close to Reno ? [Re: Stephan]
CMC2 Offline


Registered: 11/04/09
Posts: 160
Loc: CO
There is someone who lives in Reno who posts often on the
Whitney Portal Store Message Board who can probably help you
out. Suggest you post on that site too. Steve C more than
likely knows who I am referring to.

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#3410 - 04/05/10 02:07 PM Re: Acclimatization town / campground close to Reno ? [Re: CMC2]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7481
Loc: Fresno, CA
I believe you are referring to Bob Pickering. I'll email him and ask if he would answer here.

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#3411 - 04/05/10 03:30 PM Re: Acclimatization town / campground close to Reno ? [Re: Stephan]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 342
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Stephan:

I'm not aware of any campgrounds that meet your requirements. I agree with your desire to sleep a little high to acclimatize. I believe that the best place to sleep is the highest altitude at which you don't get sick.

If you insist on sleeping near Reno, I would drive up the Mt. Rose highway towards Lake Tahoe. There is paved parking for the Mt. Rose Trail on your right at the highest part of that highway. I think you could park there overnight. There used to be a campground across the highway from the trailhead; I don't know its status and that may be the one you said was closed. This spot is close to Reno, but it's not on the way to Whitney. The authorities might hassle you if you slept in the car or set up a tent, but I think you would be OK if you found a secluded spot for your bivy away from the road.

I would suggest Conway Summit, about half way between Bridgeport and Lee Vining. It's a good two hours from Reno, but it's right on your way to Whitney. I've been known to sleep in my car behind the maintenance building (on the left, probably not legal). I've also driven up a dirt road on the left to sleep. In the summer, you can drive up the paved road on the right towards Virginia Lakes. This will take you to almost 10,000 feet. There are several turnouts along the road and a trailhead at the end. I think there is a campground in the area, but I'm not sure. Again, I wouldn't suggest setting up a tent anywhere other than a campground, but I don't think anybody would bother you if you slept in your car or threw a bivy on the ground next to your car.

Feel free to post more questions if you have any.

Bob

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#3414 - 04/05/10 05:12 PM Re: Acclimatization town / campground close to Reno ? [Re: bobpickering]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7481
Loc: Fresno, CA
Bob's Conway summit idea got me to thinking...

Sonora Pass (Hwy 108) is a little closer. PCT trail head is at the pass, and there's a wide spot half a mile west of the pass where I have bivied overnight before. It's 15 miles (30 minutes) off the 395. You will wake up to some beautiful scenery.

Looking at Google Maps in the Hwy 88/89 area, there is a loop off the 395, and maybe Leviathan Lookout Rd (elev 8400 - 8800) might work (but I have no idea how good/bad the spur off the main road is)

I think no matter where you go, as Bob says, you can probably bivy by your car. Whenever I do that, I get there after dark, and get up at dawn. Except for heavily traveled roads (and they're too noisy to sleep), nobody would even find you.

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#3502 - 04/09/10 10:28 AM Re: Acclimatization town / campground close to Reno ? [Re: Steve C]
Glenn Jones Offline


Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Newport Beach CA
I can confirm there is a campground at Virginia Lakes (9770'), about a 15 minute drive from Conway Summit. But, as pointed out above, this is at least a 2 hour drive from Reno, probably closer to 2 1/2 hours.

Another option about a half hour north of Conway Summit is Bridgeport - plenty of camping around. Elevation is around 6500 to 7000 feet.
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#3540 - 04/11/10 05:18 PM Re: Acclimatization town / campground close to Reno ? [Re: Glenn Jones]
Jeff Offline


Registered: 04/11/10
Posts: 6
Loc: Reno
If you are going to Whitney via Horseshoe Meadows/Cottonwood pass then you probably aren't going to have a lot of acclimation problems since you will probably camp at 10,000 plus feet for the first two nights on the trail before going up to the top of Whitney. Reno is at 4200 feet and a step up from Ontario in elevation. I would suggest camping along the Walker river before Bridgeport at about 6000 feet and calling it good enough. If you camp at Rock Creek and Crabtree before going up to the top of Whitney you should be fine. I took 2 family members from Michigan and Indiana last year and they had no problems. My wife couldn't do Whitney as a day hike in 1999 but had no problems in 2008 and 2009 coming in from Cottonwood pass. A couple of nights sleep above 10,000 feet makes all the difference.
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#3548 - 04/11/10 10:27 PM Re: Acclimatization town / campground close to Reno ? [Re: Jeff]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7481
Loc: Fresno, CA
On an Onion Valley - Whitney backpack, I experienced some AMS (no appetite) the first two nights at 10,000 ft. Third night at the summit was ok, but we ate our big meal at Guitar Lake before ascending.

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#3553 - 04/12/10 09:08 AM Re: Acclimatization town / campground close to Reno ? [Re: Steve C]
Jeff Offline


Registered: 04/11/10
Posts: 6
Loc: Reno
I think the biggest concern would be to work on hydration. Long airplane flights tend to dehydrate people anyway.
The drier climate of the west also affects people. People tend to think if they are not sweating they don't need
a lot of water. Most of the water is lost through the lungs in the high and dry Sierra. After flying all day from
Ontario, drinking a lot of water and eating a good meal and camping at 5000-6000 feet the first night would
be enough of an adjustment. Two more nights at 10,000+ before going above 12,000 would also help.
Keeping your eye on your urine color is a good indication of your hydration levels.
_________________________
Jeff MyBackpackingTrips

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#3586 - 04/14/10 10:15 AM Re: Acclimatization town / campground close to Reno ? [Re: Stephan]
Stephan Offline


Registered: 04/05/10
Posts: 2
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thank you so much for all your suggestions ! Nothing beats the collective knowledge of a forum like this one. Have a great hiking season !

Take care,
Stephan

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#3587 - 04/14/10 10:28 AM Re: Acclimatization town / campground close to Reno ? [Re: Jeff]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
GREAT NEWS!

Your long airline flight will help a lot! Not well understood by many, is that commercial airlines, as they go up to altitude are NOT pressurized to sea level, but between 6-8,000 feet! Particularly if you manage to nap on the trip, you will be effectively acclimatizing!!

Drinking the fluids is a good thing, as long as it doesn't disturb your sleep! Skip the alcoholic drinks, though.

Good luck with the trip!

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#3588 - 04/14/10 11:22 AM Re: Acclimatization town / campground close to Reno ? [Re: Jeff]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2235
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Originally Posted By: Jeff

Keeping your eye on your urine color is a good indication of your hydration levels.


NBTIC No Beer Til It's Clear
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