Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
1 registered (dbd), 6 Guests and 74 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3643 Members
10 Forums
5517 Topics
50570 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#35991 - 04/23/14 02:17 PM how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike?
ponzy Offline


Registered: 04/05/14
Posts: 10
Loc: nj
Hi folks. Ill be a solo hiker this july 23(Wednesday) on mt whitney. I did a half dome hike last year and did it for 12 hours hiking leisurely. Im just anxious and curious How does it compare with mt whitney?

Ill be coming from new jersey and we dont have high altitide mountain that ill have access to and be able to train to. All i have is a 4.0 mile loop "giant stairs off palisades interstate park" with a 500 ft of elevation ascent of about .3 miles and probably a total of 800 ft(or maybe less) of combined elevation gain for the whole loop.

So far ive been working on 2 loops and 5 round trip on the 500 ft (.3 mile trail) for about 6.5 hours including a 15 min "lunch time". I know im not ready yet but i still have about couple months to train harder for the whitney hike. I just want some baseline of the hike comparing it with half dome (did the mist trail - so less than 13? miles). If mt whitney is 10/10, how would you rate half dome hike.

Thanks a lot guys. Btw, i havent paid for the permit yet. Im willing to share my permit because i originally applied for 3 permits (for my brothers in cali) , but unfortunately they dont have time to train for the hike. So if ever you wanted to join just pm me and ill gladly include you on my permit application granted you are willing to pay for the $15/head fee (?)

Top
#36019 - 04/24/14 12:10 PM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: ponzy]
Snacking Bear Online


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 499
Loc: Saugus, CA
Half Dome:

Stats - 4800' of vertical gain, 16.8 miles RT.
That's 570' of gain per mile.

X Factors - Loads of big granite steps. Sandy ground through little Yosemite Valley. Cables. Possibly heat.

Whitney:

Stats - 6400' of vertical gain, 22.1 miles RT.
Thats 579' of gain per mile.

X Factors - ELEVATION SICKNESS. Hard granite pavement or ankle-breaker scralus past Trail Crest.

I'd say Whitney is the more difficult of the two. It's just higher and longer.

If you consider Whitney 10/10 and you did half dome all the way I'd put Half Dome at 6/10 with Whitney.

The altitude makes a huge difference. There is no substitute than getting up over 10,000 feet. I've also noticed that having good nutrition, eating a lot (even when you feel sick)drastically reduces the effects of AMS.

For your training with the loop hike, I'd try to do 2 laps and make it 10 mi with 1600 feet and as you get closer, do even more laps.
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

Top
#36025 - 04/24/14 01:13 PM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: ponzy]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7598
Loc: Fresno, CA
Ponzy: What Snacking Bear said.

12 hours on Half Dome is on the slow side, but you said you were taking it easy. You will likely want to pick up the pace on Whitney. I'd rate Half Dome at about 60% of a Whitney hike.

I might do Half Dome as a warm up hike for Whitney, not for the acclimation, but to get the legs warmed up to the long distance. If you can increase your loops so that you can do 16-20 miles in one day, then you will do pretty well on Whitney. The one thing you might consider in addition, is spending two nights at Horseshoe Meadows before Whitney to get yourself better acclimated to the altitude. Please understand: You are starting the Whitney hike at the elevation of the top of Half Dome. Altitude is a big factor on Whitney, and not at all on HD.

Beware: You have 6 more days to pay for your permits, or they will be cancelled on Apr 30. I would pay for 1 and let the others go. You will find plenty of friendly hikers on the trail.

Top
#36028 - 04/24/14 02:46 PM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: Steve C]
Snacking Bear Online


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 499
Loc: Saugus, CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Ponzy: If you can increase your loops so that you can do 16-20 miles in one day, then you will do pretty well on Whitney. The one thing you might consider in addition, is spending two nights at Horseshoe Meadows before Whitney to get yourself better acclimated to the altitude. Please understand: You are starting the Whitney hike at the elevation of the top of Half Dome. Altitude is a big factor on Whitney, and not at all on HD.


Steve is absolutely right. I wouldn't touch Whitney without a couple of 15+ milers under the belt in the two months leading up to Whitney.

If nothing else that should limit your challenges to naught but the altitude, but even that can be helped.

If you are able, try small runs throughout the week. If nothing else, running increases your cardiovascular efficiency along with pacing your breathing.

My policy @ altitude is three-fold:

1: Respiration up and heart-rate down.

2: Decisive use of NSAID's. I don't like the idea of Diamox simply because it is a diuretic and you lose a lot of fluid already, so I use Ibu to combat the headache. Of my three-pronged stratagem this is the only one wouldn't necessarily "recommend."

3: Keep Hydrated and fueled at any cost. Altitude is an insidious malefactor. During hikes your muscles and brain are constantly leeching water, nutrients, and oxygen. Digestion, coincidentally, also requires a large amount of oxygen to occur. At altitude what little oxygen is present (At 14,000 feet there is 50% of the oxygen present at sea-level) is prioritized to the brain and muscles. In response you begin to feel weak as the nutrients in your body get depleted, but your digestion system triggers nausea because your digestion system is slowing down due to the lack of oxygen. So altitude lays siege to your body as your oxygen is limited and your desire to take in nutrients plummets.

I make sure that I'm forcing down whatever food I can. I also use a combination of cytomax and whey protein to keep a steady stream of macronutrients (lipids, carbs, proteins). Having those calories to drink makes 'em easier to stomach.

Honesty time... I'll practicing singing when I'm alone and on trail it strengthens the diapraghm

Top
#36029 - 04/24/14 03:11 PM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: Snacking Bear]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7598
Loc: Fresno, CA
> I make sure that I'm forcing down whatever food I can.

Excellent point. I should add: force it down early in the hike, because due to the effects of altitude, you may lose your appetite regardless of all the preparations, and you won't be able to stomach anything above 12,000'.

Top
#36037 - 04/24/14 07:14 PM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: Steve C]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 203
Loc: New York
Ponzy,

Since you are in NJ, before coming out to contemplate Whitney, I would suggest taking a couple weekends and do some of the longer climbs in the Adirondacks which, depending on where you are in NJ, is 4-6hrs drive north.

Climbs such as Mount Haystack (5000+ft gain over 19 miles)-don't confuse this with Haystack Mountain which is smaller to the north, Nippletop/Colvin combo, Colvin/Blake/Indian head, Gothics/Armstrong combo, Both Wolf Jaws/Armstrong, Marcy/Phelps, all of which will be over 5000ft gain and 16-19 miles over Hard terrain. If you can do these and have gas left over at the end of the day, your legs will be ready for Whitney. Now you need to think about the elevation.

As others have said, you will need to develop your acclimatization strategy since on The Main trail, you'll be hiking at ~14,000+ft for over 5 miles once you reach Trail Crest and back. Think about this: Half Dome max's out @ less than 1000ft above the trailhead for Whitney.

You can eat a ham sandwich on the summit any east coast peak, but at 12,000 ft, you might only want a gel pack or candybar, so know what fuel your body can deal with. Also, come out to the Sierras a few days early and climb either Boundary Peak (13k) or even better, White Mountain 14.2k in the White Mountains - its only 15miles/+3000ft gain but will give you an idea of how your body responds to altitude.

You'll also lose a lot of elevation on the backside of Whitney so if you run into trouble, you won't be in a good spot, so make sure you know how your body functions at altitude after a long day out. Assume 12-18hrs for a day hike if you're not planning on camping. If it took you 12hrs to do Half Dome (from happy isles), it will take you more like 17+hrs on Whitney.

Good luck with your training!

Top
#36038 - 04/24/14 07:43 PM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: ponzy]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
I did Half Dome about 10 yrs ago before I was really into hiking. I did it with no training and up until 2011, it was still the hardest hike I had ever done.

In 2011 someone convinced me to hike Whitney with them. We trained all summer and I was still surprised at how difficult it was, mainly due to the AMS factor. I didn't really enjoy Half Dome all that much (I didn't like the cables), but some day I would like to do it again just to see how I'd rate it's difficulty now that I have more experience hiking.

Last year I invited two of my 'halfdome buddies' to fly out from the east coast to do Whitney with me. Here is a portion of an email I sent to them in regards to training:
Quote:

We're less 11 than weeks out from the Whitney hike and it's time to start thinking about training.

Most of the things I've read about training for Whitney have stressed quality of training over quantity. Shorter hikes with more elevation gain seem to be more beneficial than longer hikes without much climbing. That being said, here are a few benchmarks that can help you prepare for a summit attempt:

1. a hike with at least 5000 ft of elevation gain or a workout with 5000 ft of continuous climbing
2. a hike that's at least 15 miles long (20 miles is better)
3. a hike that takes 10+ hours to complete

For those of us that live in Southern California, a hike up San Gorgonio will satisfy all three benchmarks. For those travelling from the east coast, #1 will be very difficult to fulfill. This sounds like a horrible way to spend an afternoon, but here is a suggestion I got from a man that lives in Atlanta, but hikes Whitney at least once per year:

"I hit the gym about a week out and put in 6000 feet of gain on a treadmill set at 15 degrees, just to make sure my legs can handle it in one day. I've been hiking and climbing western mountains for about 10 years, and the biggest problem in training here in the east is the inability to get sustained gains in these low mountains. Your legs always get a downhill break after no more than 2000 feet, which is definitely not the case in the Sierras. The treadmill always tells me how ready I am."

This could also be done on a stair climber (my preference if I were going to torture myself). For reference, some googling shows that 100 flights is roughly equivalent to a 1000 ft of elevation gain.

While #1 is about leg strength/conditioning, numbers 2 and 3 are helpful in preparing your feet for summit day. For those of us that sit at a desk all day, spending an entire day walking can be very painful. On summit day you will need to be prepared to hike ~18 miles, which will likely take 12 hours or more. Another thing to consider during training is pack weight. Overnight packs will probably weigh 30-40 lbs. On summit day, our packs shouldn't weigh more than 20-25 lbs. While training for a big hike, I tend to carry a pack that has a weight greater or equal to what I'll carry on the big hike. With this in mind, I would try get in a 5 mile hike with a 40 lb pack and do the majority of your training while carrying 20+ lbs.

Reaching these benchmarks is not necessary - you may be able to summit without doing them and doing them doesn't guarantee that you'll summit. If you do the training necessary to reach them though, I do believe that your hike will be more enjoyable.



Both the guys from the east coast were able to summit. One of them said it was tougher than any of the marathons he's done. The other said that Half Dome would 'be a cake-walk' compared to Mt. Whitney.


_________________________
HikingGeek.com

Top
#36041 - 04/24/14 09:10 PM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1559
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Of all the quantitative comparisons, the one that puts all the others away is that the summit of Half Dome is 1,200 feet lower than the entrance to the Whitney Zone.

HD is literally a walk in the park.

On the other hand, you can't get a Mooseburger anywhere in Yosemite.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

Top
#36045 - 04/25/14 12:04 AM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: saltydog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7598
Loc: Fresno, CA
> On the other hand, you can't get a Mooseburger anywhere in Yosemite.

Pizza at Curry Village is my reward in Yosemite. Or Ice cream just around the corner from the pizza place. smile

Top
#36077 - 04/26/14 06:16 AM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: Steve C]
ponzy Offline


Registered: 04/05/14
Posts: 10
Loc: nj
Wow. I guess i underestimated the whitney hike big time. Thanks guys for all the replies and detailed notes. It made me not think twice nor thrice but a million times to pursue this hike. The inner me make me want to commit on this. Well theres only one way to know for sure if i can do this or not is to be on it.

Based on nyker's suggestion, I reserched online The closest trail to my location is the devils path off Catskills'(about 3.5 hrs). I might give it a try one of these weekends.
I was off yesterday and i did the giant stairs loop in opposite direction(as it felt harder and steeper doing the other way) 3x and and 4 round trips on 520 ft (.3 mile) for 8.5 hours. I stopped cause my legs were cramping bad that i had a hard time finishing up the 4th round trip on the 520 ft trail (.3 miles). I wanted to finish up 4 laps and at least additional 5 round trips on the .3 mile 520 ft ascent before i go to devils path.

Again, thanks again for all the replies.


Edited by ponzy (04/26/14 06:45 AM)
Edit Reason: changed. little bit to big time!

Top
#36078 - 04/26/14 06:47 AM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: ponzy]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 203
Loc: New York
Yea, the Devils Path is a pretty good hike to train your legs. We did half of it last year. Just make sure you get used to being on your feet for 12+hrs with a pack at altitude for a Whitney-type climb.

Years ago, Half Dome from Happy Isles was my first real hike/climb as an adult and honestly, coming from sea level (like you), it was very hard, especially with the relative elevation and we did it as a dayhike. I learned some things from that hike and came back a couple years later and did it again more prepared and felt much better, enjoyed the climb and shaved an hour off my ascent while feeling less tired.

Don't be discouraged with Whitney. I think everyone is just making sure you know what you're getting into. As Whitney Main trail is such a popular route, many hikers come from sea level unprepared (not that anyone is suggesting you would) and there have been people injured/rescued/killed or just hitting the wall and need help getting down. We want to make sure that (1) you enjoy your trip and (2) ascend and descend safely.

One question - have you ever been to higher altitude or hiked anything higher than Half Dome?

Top
#36085 - 04/26/14 10:46 AM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: nyker]
ponzy Offline


Registered: 04/05/14
Posts: 10
Loc: nj
Nyker,

To answer your question, I did the maggies peak at south lake tahoe last year prior to hiking half dome and nothing else. I hike with a 15# day pack with those and im training now with 20# pack.


Ive never been at higher altitude other than those 2.
Ive taken reservation on the portal already and horseshoe meadows is a first come first serve basis so ill try to be there Monday for my Wed hike. Ive acquired some acetazolamide(diamox is too expensive for my insurance) rx too, so if i feel some "symptoms" monday then ill take some on monday night or tues am @125mg every 12 hours.


Edited by ponzy (04/26/14 11:59 AM)

Top
#36086 - 04/26/14 10:52 AM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: ponzy]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7598
Loc: Fresno, CA
> I've acquired some acetazolamide(diamox is too expensive for my ins) rx too

Acetazolamide IS Diamox. So you are covered there. The recommendations are to start taking it before you get to altitude, so take it before you feel any symptoms. Wouldn't hurt to take two doses at home to make sure you don't have any odd side effects.

Hosreshoe Meadows is technically one-night-only, so camp then move to another spot. It will not be crowded.

Top
#36091 - 04/26/14 01:38 PM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: ponzy]
Snacking Bear Online


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 499
Loc: Saugus, CA
Originally Posted By: ponzy
Wow. I guess i underestimated the whitney hike big time. Thanks guys for all the replies and detailed notes. It made me not think twice nor thrice but a million times to pursue this hike. The inner me make me want to commit on this. Well theres only one way to know for sure if i can do this or not is to be on it.


Do it man. Commit.

In the words of Louis Pasteur "My strength lay solely in my tenacity."

Willingness to suffer is 40% of my approach. 20% is determining a margin of safety. 10% is being willing to spend as long as I need to finish the job. The rest is just training and prepping to make it more enjoyable.
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

Top
#36092 - 04/26/14 02:47 PM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: Snacking Bear]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1017
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Some of the food and nausea comments can easily be explained by fatigue alone, AMS alone, and not oxygen deficiency that is more important at extreme altitude(by definition over 18, 000 ft). AMS symptoms are due to multiple factors such as barometric pressure changes and not strictly oxygen levels. The body must reset its "sensors" and other metabolic mechanisms, taking some time, and is called acclimatization. Steve is correct to say if you are taking Diamox for its (relatively small) benefit, then to start early before symptoms develop. It has it's greatest benefit on the disturbed sleep of altitude but some benefit to daytime performance as well. It is listed as a (PED) performance enhancing drug, but probably only a significant benefit for the subset of people who actually have AMS, not so much for those unaffected.

For all the talk about fitness, food, and hydration just remember that while these are important, a night or two or three( depending on individual) sleeping at say 8k or 9k before Whitney is very important, in fact, many would say it is the single most important factor. Not just opinion, but plenty of experience and studies by others. Yes, there are people who can just show up and "do it" but risk management improves the odds of success. I would value a night of acclimatization over all of the other factors. Yes, I have done HD and W multiple times. AMS is the wild card.

Top
#36093 - 04/26/14 03:10 PM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Snacking Bear Online


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 499
Loc: Saugus, CA
Great Info Dr Lankford! Thanks for catching that!
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

Top
#36094 - 04/26/14 03:35 PM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: ponzy]
63ChevyII.com Offline


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

I agree with the acclimatization comments. I was actually creating galleries of my 'acclimation hikes' to share here when Dr. Lankford made his comments!

How many days are you going to be in the Whitney area? Do you have an acclimation plan?
(edit: I started writing this post 8 hrs ago, left for a couple hours, came back and edited/uploaded the pics, and posted it before seeing your post from this morning)


I try to do something different every year. Here are some examples:

2011 - We spent some time at Tom's Place and hiked in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest .

2012 - We spent the day at Horseshoe Meadows and hiked to Trail Peak

2013 - Part of the group were from the east coast, so we spent more time at elevation. We spent a day and night near the Little Lakes Valley, then spent the following day/night near Horseshoe Meadows/Cottonwood Lakes. We also spent a few hours hanging out/napping at Outpost camp (10,600 ft) before the summit attempt. One of the hikers had spend some time skiing in CO a few months prior to the hike. He had AMS symptoms there and didn't ski as much as he hoped. He had no AMS symptoms on the hike.

2014 - My father-in-law is flying out from NH. We are planning on staying in Mammoth 2 nights and doing some dayhikes near the area, then will stay overnight at Lone Pine Lake or Outpost Camp.

Spending the night at Whitney Portal Campground and/or Horseshoe Meadows may be the closest/easiest options for you, but if you are interested in exploring other areas, the members here will give you lots of ideas.

Top
#36098 - 04/26/14 06:33 PM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: ponzy]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Ponzy, you've gotten a lot of excellent advice from the responses to your post, so not much to add except: be cautious about overdoing it just prior to Whitney. You'll be surrounded by a vast array of cool, tempting hikes, but remember why you're there. Keep any warm-up or acclimation hikes to a minimum in the 48 hours prior to your goal. Dayhiking Whitney is strenuous and your best chance of success is to keep your legs fresh.

Maybe something mild (Lone Pine Lake OAB) two days before Whitney, and virtually nothing the day before, especially since you'll have a very early wake-up ahead of you.

I mention this as a fellow eastern lowlander who heads to Cali each year for some Sierra fun, and we just cannot train and prepare to climb a fourteener like our brethren to the west. I feel your pain, brother. Every year, my first couple of days at elevation has me dragging pitifully. By day 4 I'm reasonably well acclimated, and sleeping at 12K' and hiking to 14K' isn't a big deal. Cut two days acclimation off that schedule and it's torture trying to go above 12K'. Harvey hit it dead-on (as you would expect from one of the leading experts in high-altitude medicine) - acclimation first, especially for a lowlander. Hydration, pace, fuel are all important, but if your body's not ready for the elevation you're likely toast. Given the fact that this will be your first attempt at these elevations, I can't over-emphasize the acclimation factor.

Best of luck. I'll be out there the last two weeks of July, so hopefully I can hear your success story at the Portal over a beer.

Gary

Top
#36118 - 04/28/14 07:43 AM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: Bulldog34]
ponzy Offline


Registered: 04/05/14
Posts: 10
Loc: nj
Thanks for all the replies, info and tips guys.

As what Gary said. I shouldnt be overtraining that i might end up injuring myself. I had a bad sore the weekend that i thought i sustained a muscle strain. I was willing fo hike again and endure the soreness yesterday (Sunday) if i was not stopped by my wife. Good thing she did and i was able to recuperate. But this does just reminded me that i am not ready yet and should be training more.

A friend of mine is a physical therapist and advised me do some "interval training" 2 x a week then do an "endurance hike" once a week on my usual hiking route. Its a high intensity interval workout training focussing on strength endurance on the legs with an "ideal pack weight" and at the same time increasing my V O2 max.

(from Wikipedia: VO2 max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake, peak oxygen uptake or maximal aerobic capacity) is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption as measured during incremental exercise, most typically on a motorized treadmill. Maximal oxygen consumption reflects the aerobic physical fitness of the individual, and is an important determinant of their endurance capacity during prolonged, sub-maximal exercise.)

All i have to do is run up thru a series of switchbacks (a section of my usual .3 mile trail of 520 ft ascent) until i reached my TARGET HEART RATE (220 - YOUR AGE). Then continue on running or walking up without going over my target HR. Then walk down normal pace (as my heart rate and respiratory rate returned to normal (baseline HR and of RR). And do these for at least 30 min (for my intended whitney hike an hour is the minimum).

Its sounded simple but i guess not that simple. I tried that already a few weeks ago running up and failed to do it in consecutive "interval training" for 30 min. But im out of ideas. Ive got to try this. Anybody of you have tried this sort of "training".

I thought this training is essentially beneficial for all who have access in the gym (with stairmaster or a treadmill with at least 15% of incline setting) for more controlled environment.

Just sharing what i thought may help those in training specifically for novice hiker just like me. Im all open to any corrections of what i have thought of "interval training".

Thanks again guys.


Edited by ponzy (04/28/14 07:44 AM)

Top
#36124 - 04/28/14 09:15 AM Re: how would you compare half dome hike to whitney dayhike? [Re: ponzy]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7598
Loc: Fresno, CA
Your interval training is good. I like it because it concentrates on increasing your aerobic stamina.

The fact that you got injured doesn't mean it is a bad training plan. It's likely only an indication that you started out doing too much. Take it easy at first, give your body time (it takes place over weeks' time) to build up strength.

The most important and maybe most difficult part of any training program is to keep doing it. Quitting after a few weeks is easy. Sticking with it is not.

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >