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#38346 - 07/06/14 10:50 PM Acclimatization Plan (Need some guidance)
Sam Das Offline


Registered: 04/17/14
Posts: 41
Loc: California, USA
I have a day hike permit for 7/20 and would like to get some guidance and comments to my acclimatization and trip plan as laid out below. I am coming from San Francisco

Plan A
7/18: Leave SF at 5am, drive through Yosemite, spend sometime seeing Big Bear Lakes and use that opportunity to spend time at high elevation. Get to Whitney Portal Campground in evening, spend the night.
7/19: Spend time at Whitney Portal, get permits, do some small hikes around.
7/20: The big day, leave campsite at 2am.

Plan B
7/17: Leave SF at 7pm and drive to sleep at Tioga Lakes or Touloume meadow in Yosimite (that is 8k-9k ft)
7/18: Go see big bear lakes, do some hikes, sight seeing at also high elevation. Get to Whitney Portal campground in evening and spend the night.
7/19: Get permits, spend time hiking in the whitney portal area.
7/20: The big day, leave campsite at 2am.

Ofcourse, plan B would be better, but do you think Plan A is enough?

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#38347 - 07/06/14 11:54 PM Re: Acclimatization Plan (Need some guidance) [Re: Sam Das]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 252
Loc: SoCal
I think it really depends on you and how your body acclimates. Have you done this before? Have you needed more than a day for your body to adjust in the past?

The best I've felt on the trail to Whitney was after I spent three days and two nights at the Portal camping with my family before I left. The buddy that came with me for the entire camping trip and the hike got sick at Trail Crest despite the three days of camping at the Portal. I also have tried driving from about 1000 ft. to the Portal and leaving straight away and wound up with AMS. But I have friends that can spend a night at the Portal and be fine even though they live barely above sea level.
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One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

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#38348 - 07/07/14 07:42 AM Re: Acclimatization Plan (Need some guidance) [Re: Sam Das]
Steve Chamberlin Offline


Registered: 06/17/11
Posts: 55
Loc: California
I'm doing something very similar to your plan A on almost the same dates, also leaving from San Francisco, but I plan to spend the first night at Mammoth Lakes (elevation 8000) instead of driving all the way to Whitney Portal (elevation 7800). No need to leave SF at 5:00 AM that way.

On the first day passing through Yosemite, I like Gaylor Peak as an acclimatization hike. It's 11,000 feet, but it's an easy two hour round-trip hike from the Tioga Pass entrance station.

Day two, drive to Lone Pine, pick up the permit, and do a high altitude day hike in the Whitney area. Sleep at Whitney Portal or Horseshoe Meadow campground.

Day three, Whitney @ 2:00 AM!


Edited by Steve Chamberlin (07/07/14 07:42 AM)

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#38351 - 07/07/14 08:22 AM Re: Acclimatization Plan (Need some guidance) [Re: Sam Das]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
A variation of your Plan B with some other options:

7/17: Leave SF at 7pm and drive to sleep at Tioga Lakes or Touloume meadow in Yosimite (that is 8k-9k ft)
7/18: Hike Mt. Dana (13k) or Mt. Dana area (Gaylor Peak??, Saddlebag Lake??). Get to Horseshoe Meadows (9.5k) campground and spend the night.
7/19: (EASY)Hike in the Horseshoe Meadows area (10K+). Get permits, spend night at Whitney Portal campground.
7/20: The big day, leave campsite at 2am.

Horseshoe Meadows could be substituted with Little Lakes Vally/Mosiquito Flat ( photos here ).
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#38353 - 07/07/14 08:38 AM Re: Acclimatization Plan (Need some guidance) [Re: Sam Das]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7596
Loc: Fresno, CA
Where are Big Bear Lakes???

I like 63Chevy's idea the best.

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#38355 - 07/07/14 08:50 AM Re: Acclimatization Plan (Need some guidance) [Re: Sam Das]
2Old4This Offline


Registered: 05/27/14
Posts: 51
Loc: Northern California
Personally, I like the idea of hiking up Mt Dana if you are in Yosemite anyway. I did that 3 days before Whitney, but not for acclamation, just to see how I would react to the elevation, 13k feet. I also recommend very limited hiking the day before. Though a hike up to Lone Pine Lake to familiarize yourself with a portion of the trail you will be travelling in the dark is a good idea, I did that two days ahead. It's a pretty easy hike though (and nice views). You might consider it for the day before.

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#38540 - 07/10/14 10:06 PM Re: Acclimatization Plan (Need some guidance) [Re: Steve C]
Sam Das Offline


Registered: 04/17/14
Posts: 41
Loc: California, USA
I screwed up.. I mean Mammoth lakes, not big bear lakes!!!!

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#38541 - 07/10/14 10:07 PM Re: Acclimatization Plan (Need some guidance) [Re: 2Old4This]
Sam Das Offline


Registered: 04/17/14
Posts: 41
Loc: California, USA
I thought about that but afraid that Mt. Dana may be make me soar and legs tired for the Whitney hike. How long and hard is Dana, Thoughts?

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#38542 - 07/10/14 10:09 PM Re: Acclimatization Plan (Need some guidance) [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Sam Das Offline


Registered: 04/17/14
Posts: 41
Loc: California, USA
Hi. I have done Gaylor Peak and that is good acclimation. I thought about Mt. Dana, but I wonder whether doing that 1.5 days before Mt. Whitney may make my legs and joints soar before the big Whitney day. Concerns about knees and joints taking too much pressure coming down Mt. Dana and then got to face the up and down of Whitney.

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#38544 - 07/10/14 10:44 PM Re: Acclimatization Plan (Need some guidance) [Re: Sam Das]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7596
Loc: Fresno, CA
> I thought about Mt. Dana, but I wonder whether doing that 1.5 days before Mt. Whitney may make my legs and joints sore...

Quite true. A week before would be better. So Gaylor is a good compromise.

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