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#42348 - 04/29/15 10:34 AM Training for Whitney
jt33 Offline


Registered: 04/29/15
Posts: 9
Loc: San Diego, CA
Hi,
i won the lottery for Whitney for 1 day hike in august.
I have few question on the training, here is what i am currently doing:
- 7 mile hike (3.5 miles up, 3.5 miles down) elevation gain of 1900 feet (able to do it in 2.75 hours) -- doing it once a week, with 8 pounds pack
- running 3 miles on treadmill twice a week followed by jumping ropes, squats, lunges, pushups...
- elliptical 2 times per week followed by squats lunges, pushups...
- cross fit training once per week
Am i on the right track? what else i should add to my schedule to be ready? please advise.

Thank you

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#42349 - 04/29/15 11:06 AM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: jt33]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 498
Loc: Saugus, CA
Dude, I think your on a great track.

The first time I did Whitney I was 290, and did 30-45 minutes on a stair-stepper 4 times in the preceding two weeks. I got crazy altitude sick but I got within 500 ft of the summit.

I think many people (under 40) are capable of doing it, they just choose how much they are likely to suffer for their lack of prep. I may stir the turd with that...

I think that you are off to a phenomenal start. If you'd like to add anything, make sure you do a couple of big hikes in the months preceding. I'd say 2-3 in excess of 13 miles and 4000' gain no further spaced apart from one another than 2-3 weeks. If you can, get above 9,000 in elevation that would be desirable.

Altitude has laid low many fit people who didn't acclimate well.

I would also take 4-7 days of rest before your actual Whitney climb (pending a small acclimatization hike the day before). If you're a quick recover (as cross-fit people are wont to be) maybe give 2-3 days rest.
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#42350 - 04/29/15 01:08 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: jt33]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 830
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Originally Posted By: jt33
Hi,
i won the lottery for Whitney for 1 day hike in august.
I have few question on the training, here is what i am currently doing:
- 7 mile hike (3.5 miles up, 3.5 miles down) elevation gain of 1900 feet (able to do it in 2.75 hours) -- doing it once a week, with 8 pounds pack
- running 3 miles on treadmill twice a week followed by jumping ropes, squats, lunges, pushups...
- elliptical 2 times per week followed by squats lunges, pushups...
- cross fit training once per week
Am i on the right track? what else i should add to my schedule to be ready? please advise.

Thank you


Don't know where you live in CA, but you MAY want to do some altitude hikes Baden-Powell, Baldy, San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, ect.

Instead of running on a treadmill, try loading up your pack with 20 pounds and walk those 3 miles.

Train Heavy, Tread Light.

Other than that, you should do well, but I highly recommend some altitude.
_________________________
Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#42351 - 04/29/15 01:14 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: + @ti2d]
jt33 Offline


Registered: 04/29/15
Posts: 9
Loc: San Diego, CA
hi,
i live in San Diego ca, just updated my profile to reflect that smile
Thank you for the prompt response, i have been visiting this forum ever since i got my application picked to get more info in the next challenge.

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#42352 - 04/29/15 01:16 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: jt33]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 542
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
As an indicator of preparedness for hiking Whitney I have a couple of old saws (adages) that I find work well. They both assume a training program that has been underway for at least a few months. To be properly prepared you must meet the requirements of both saws.

These saws are based on your target hike’s profile. For Mt. Whitney, main trail: 22 miles, with 7,000’ elevation gain - you actually lose altitude at several spots along the way, so the elevation gain is more than the peak altitude minus the trail head altitude. You lose/gain this elevation going in both directions.

1. Your weekly total should exceed your target profile. This is the easier of the two conditions. For Whitney, this means that each week for the four weeks leading up to your hike you should be hiking a total of 22 miles, with a total elevation gain of at least 7,000’.
2. You should be doing at least one hike/week that is equal or greater than 1/2 (one half) your target profile. So, for Whitney, at least one hike/week that totals 11 miles with at least 3,500’ elevation gain. You should have been doing this for the previous 4 weeks.

So, with your current status, you need to increase your big hike by 5 miles, and 1,600' elevation gain. I would also advise adding additional hikes instead of the treadmill to get a total (minimum) of 22 miles/week, with 7,000' elevation gain.

If you are hiking near sea level, you should also consider increasing your speed a bit.

Let us know how it goes.

Good luck.

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#42353 - 04/29/15 01:51 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: jt33]
goldscott Offline


Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 112
Loc: San Diego, CA
Let me guess, you're hiking Woodson?
That's good for a local trail, it's got some steep sections.

Both times I did Whitney, I hiked San Gorgonio a week before. The South Fork Trail is like 20-21 miles round trip and a similar elevation gain, so it's a good replica of the main trail (though 3000 feet lower in elevation). It also helps with the acclimatizing process.

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#42354 - 04/29/15 01:57 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: goldscott]
jt33 Offline


Registered: 04/29/15
Posts: 9
Loc: San Diego, CA
no, i am doing san miguel mountain in Chula Vista.
Planning to start doing el capitan preserve hike in El cajon soon which is 12 miles/4300 feet gain.

Thank you


Edited by jt33 (04/29/15 01:58 PM)

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#42355 - 04/29/15 02:10 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: jt33]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Jt33, focus on vertical gain as much as you possibly can. Conditioning, strength and mileage are all great benefits, but a fourteener like Whitney will stress your body the most through the elevation gain (and loss). John's advice is spot-on. The only thing I would add is if you stick with treadmill workouts, kick the incline up to 15. On Whitney, of the 11 ascending miles over 10 of them will be sustained inclines. An under-appreciated fact is once you summit (we're being positive here), and your legs are screaming, you then have 11 miles of sustained downhill to deal with. It's hard to prepare your body for that unless you're actually doing it in training.

You're in SoCal - take advantage of it. Hit Baldy, Sanny J, Gorgonio, whatever, but get high and see how your body reacts to 10-11K' after a long climb. Do this early rather than later - that way you have time to adjust your regimen if you experience difficulties. Maintain a pace that keeps your breathing deep and regular, but not overly so. If you find yourself panting or gasping above 12K' you're inviting the AMS gorilla to jump on your back, and that's usually game-over.

You didn't mention your hiking background. If you don't have experience on big mountains like Whitney, there's more advice that can be offered. If you can clarify that it will likely assist anyone responding to your questions.

Best of luck.

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#42356 - 04/29/15 02:22 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: Bulldog34]
jt33 Offline


Registered: 04/29/15
Posts: 9
Loc: San Diego, CA
bulldog34, thank you for the advise. i plan to do gorgonio in june after i build up more stamina and muscles in my weekly routine.
No i don't have experience on big mountains. How big of backpack (liters?) do i need for the Whitney day hike?

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#42357 - 04/29/15 02:43 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: jt33]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Jt33, for an August dayhike you can probably get away with a 20-liter pack, but I personally prefer one in the mid-20s. Even in August you need to carry all the ten essentials (12? 15? It keeps changing), sufficient clothing for potentially cold/wet conditions, food, and a minimum capacity of 3 liters of water once you're beyond Trail Camp. Unless you're an experienced ultra-light hiker, you'll likely be looking at a minimum of 14-15 pounds if you're properly outfitted. Some go as heavy as low-20s, others less than 10. It truly depends on the weight and bulkiness of your gear.

When you hike Gorgonio, gear up exactly as you would for the Whitney hike. That will be your best indicator of optimum pack size.

And if you don't already do so, trekking poles are highly recommended. Even if you're a beast on the uphill, those poles can be a blessing during that torturous 11-mile descent. Lots of folks coming off the trail at the Portal walk like they've spent all day in a saddle.

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#42358 - 04/29/15 02:48 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: jt33]
eje67 Offline


Registered: 07/09/14
Posts: 73
Loc: Los Angeles County
Sounds like you are on the right track for sure. I would do a 3 mile trail run with some moderate hills instead of 3 miles on the treadmill. Also, during the other run, maybe do some intervals (for example, 5 x 400 meters or 5 x 800), without fully recovering between intervals. For me, it kind of simulated the oxygen deprivation you feel at altitude. You get used to the discomfort and learn to push through it.

You'll want to get some 12+ mile hikes under your belt, at altitude, with 4000+ feet of elevation gain. Lots of options in the San Bernardino mountains. The closer to your Mt. Whitney hike the better! Getting used to laboring at altitude is really important.

If you haven't hiked Mt. Woodson yet, I highly recommend it! It's about 7 miles round trip with ~1900 feet of elevation gain. I hiked there last month on a family vacation to kick off my own training for this year's Mt. Whitney hike. Try to avoid hiking there in the heat!

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#42359 - 04/29/15 03:10 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: jt33]
Hobbes Offline


Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 124
Loc: The OC
Originally Posted By: jt33
hi,
i live in San Diego ca, just updated my profile to reflect that smile
Thank you for the prompt response, i have been visiting this forum ever since i got my application picked to get more info in the next challenge.


My friend, do I have a training hike for you (Mt Laguna). Do this one or two times at a quick pace, and you'll find the adage 'train heavy, tread light' very true:

http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12632

Drive out I-8 to the Boulder Oaks campground (near Lake Morena), park your car, and head for either Burnt Rancheria CG (15.5 miles) or Laguna CG (22 miles) via the PCT.

Spend the night and walk back down. Coming back down is just as important as going up. A whole different set of muscles to stress and condition.


Edited by Hobbes (04/29/15 03:30 PM)

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#42363 - 04/29/15 04:49 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: jt33]
KevinU Offline


Registered: 04/06/15
Posts: 3
Loc: San Diego
El Capitan is a great San Diego hike. Bring a lot of water and sunscreen this time of year. Very limited shaded areas along the trail.

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#42365 - 04/29/15 08:04 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: KevinU]
trident777 Offline


Registered: 04/14/15
Posts: 35
Loc: California
I am doing Whitney as well and it's going to be my first time. Although I have done other high altitude treks. I've summitted White Mountain peak almost as high as Mt. Whitney as a day hike, and i've also done Mt. Everest base camp to 18,600 ft. which was interesting.

All I can say is that the altitude is more of a problem that fitness. I am not the fittest guy but I consider myself a bit above average, I can do 10 mile hike at sea level without even blinking. I did Mt. Baldy and did not find it difficult at all. However the White Mtn royally kicked my behind, after 13000 ft I just came to a standstill as I just could not find any energy reserve to move my legs...it was that bad. I would move 10 ft and my heart would race like crazy. Only through sheer perseverance I made the summit. I acclimated the prior night at 8000 ft but I think that was completely inadequate.

I plan to do Mt. Whitney as a 2-day hike, acclimating from prior afternoon at 10000 at the Portal and then again at high camp 12000 overnight before the summit so I hope that should be OK.

I also plan to take Diamox, I have a few tablets left over from my EBC trek wink Diamox is a LIFESAVER, my o2 levels went from a dangerous 74% at a small Nepalese village 14000ft to 86% at the summit of Kala Pattar almost 19000 ft. I highly doubt I would've made it to that altitude without Diamox.

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#42367 - 04/29/15 10:16 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: jt33]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 232
Loc: California
Here's my training plan:

Hike up Mt Diablo at least once a month until my Whitney trip. (3300 elevation gain) I live nearby, so this is my 'training mountain'. It once seemed like a challenge... now a fun day hike. smile

One of those will be a overnight trip that includes two complete summit trips (possibly with my full weight Whitney pack-or at least the weight equivalent).

And a hike up Mt Lassen and Brokeoff Mountain for some time at elevation.

And if I can get a permit, Half Dome as a bonus. (of course with the cables going up early, I may go up as soon as two weekends from now)

Probably some shorter hikes in between those... try to do a 6 to 15 mile hike each weekend... the bay area has so many good hikes.

I'm tempted to visit Badwater in Death Valley before heading up to Whitney Portal to say I went from the lowest elevation to the highest in the lower 48. Won't be hiking from badwater to Whitney Portal... of course. smile
_________________________

http://wandering.earth

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#42368 - 04/29/15 10:42 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: trident777]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Trident777 hit the nail on the head.

(Only trident, Whitney Portal is 8000' elev.)

jt33, you can be in fantastic hiking condition, but AMS can take it ALL away. ...or you can be one of the 25% of the lucky ones who can do Whitney and not be affected. But it is really disappointing if you get to Trail Camp, and find you are in the other 25% that is nearly incapacitated by AMS.

Here is what I would do: Keep yourself in good condition -- what you are doing is good. But arrive in the Whitney area two full days before your hike: Drive up to Horseshoe Meadows, arrive at bed time (even midnight), and sleep. Next day, drive down and pick up the permit, then get back up to HM (it's 10k elevation). Spend at least two nights there. On hike day, get up super early and drive to Whitney Portal and start the hike. If you can spend three nights before the hike, then do the first two at HM, and the third at WP. The 3-night process will practically ensure your success on the hike.

Good luck!

P.S. You might check into getting some low-dose Diamox (Acetazolamide) and taking it 2 days before the hike.


Edited by Steve C (04/29/15 10:47 PM)

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#42449 - 05/09/15 09:18 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: jt33]
kmcboogie Offline


Registered: 02/02/15
Posts: 43
Loc: Montreal, Quebec
My 2 cents (what works for me):

Keep on hiking or other aerobic exercise (running, stair climbing, etc.) Don't add extra pack weight to training, the goal is to get your heart rate up for extended periods of time. Just hike with what you need for your training hikes. Do longer training hikes, or do your current hike twice in a row once/week, as you get closer to your date in August. If running, do intervals and hills.

I wouldn't bother with squats, lunges and pushups.

2 weeks before your Whitney date, taper your exercise. You want to be well rested before the hike. Do half your normal workout for 1 week, and very little during the week before Whitney.

Don't forget not to over-train, to prevent injuries, work in some rest days, 2/week at least. It sounds like you're training 6 days/week. It might be better to train longer aerobically, but fewer times/week.

The Diamox dose is 125 mg. twice/day, start at least 2 days prior to Whitney. If you have allergies to medication, make sure that it's safe to take. Diamox increases your respiratory rate and depth, increasing your oxygen intake, and can be very helpful for those who don,t acclimatize well.

Something else that will help your success is a positive mental attitude. Doing long hikes prior to Whitney won't only help you physically, but also mentally. If you can do your regular hike back to back (or other long hikes), then you will be better mentally prepared for Whitney. Your body will be used to long hauls and your mind too.

Starting in the dark can also help mentally, as you can't see how much farther you have to go for the first couple of hours.

Good luck and enjoy.

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#42521 - 05/16/15 04:59 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: kmcboogie]
slowpoke Offline


Registered: 05/16/15
Posts: 4
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: kmcboogie
I wouldn't bother with squats, lunges and pushups.


Haha. That's funny because squats and lunges were pretty much all I did. I also did very little cardio work. Really goes to show that different things work for different people.


Edited by slowpoke (05/16/15 05:00 PM)

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#42918 - 06/04/15 02:04 PM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: jt33]
summit83114 Offline


Registered: 09/11/14
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
We live in San Diego also. We started training in May for our Labor Day summit. I can only share what worked for us. To give this a little perspective I am 57 and my wife is 58, although we are really good physical shape. Sounds like your 7 mile – 1,900’ elevation hike is Mt. Woodson.

We started doing hikes on most weekends at Mt. Woodson and Iron Mountain. Days we couldn’t devote the time we would walk/run around Miramar Lake. We did two warm-up overnights since we hadn’t been backpacking in 20+ years. We also wanted to get some elevation to see if the Diamox would really work. BTW it did for us. The first overnight was one canyon south of Whitney at Muir Lake 11,500’ out of Horseshoe Meadows. The second a week before our summit was up to Kearsarge Pass ~12,000’ one canyon north of Whitney.

We did not do it in one day. We overnighted on the way up and after the summit. You’ll be fine! Good luck

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#44023 - 08/19/15 06:55 AM Re: Training for Whitney [Re: summit83114]
jt33 Offline


Registered: 04/29/15
Posts: 9
Loc: San Diego, CA

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