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#48242 - 08/29/16 12:43 PM Re: A Dayhike Nightmare - What NOT to do [Re: gr8life0223]
over1812 Offline


Registered: 07/24/16
Posts: 33
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
The good news is that you made it off and lived to tell about it. I hope you still try again, with a better partner. Good luck!

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#48243 - 08/29/16 01:09 PM Re: A Dayhike Nightmare - What NOT to do [Re: Briang191]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Briang191
I would disagree with your statement stating season hikers with extensive back country experience.

I was able to summit Whitney on my first attempt (day hike)I only came across two individuals that did not make the summit one a day hiker and one an over night hiker.

I've been hiking for about a year.

Briang191, how old are you, what do you do to stay in shape?

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#48244 - 08/29/16 04:14 PM Re: A Dayhike Nightmare - What NOT to do [Re: Steve C]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 579
Loc: Manchester, NH
Thanks for sharing your story.

I also disagree with Yury that hydration is over-rated. He may be the only person I've ever heard make that comment. It's essential to hydrate, and most beginners will never drink too much. I've been hiking for many years, and don't know anyone, nor do any of my hiking friends, of someone who overhydrated. Mostly it's a myth - drink more fluid than your body needs and you'll simply pee more often.

Taking 8-9 hours to reach the switchbacks is a tad slow, but not alarmingly so, all things being equal. On any given summer day, my hunch is lots of dayhikers are in the same boat.

One last observation - another alternative in your situation was for your companion to stop on the trail and wait for your return, assuming she still had adequate food and water. That would have given her 2-3 hours to rest/recover, although one wonders whether she would have actually waited, given her performance to date.

Hope you have a speedy recovery.

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#48245 - 08/29/16 04:51 PM Re: A Dayhike Nightmare - What NOT to do [Re: KevinR]
gr8life0223 Offline


Registered: 08/25/16
Posts: 16
Loc: Bay Area
Originally Posted By: KevinR


One last observation - another alternative in your situation was for your companion to stop on the trail and wait for your return, assuming she still had adequate food and water. That would have given her 2-3 hours to rest/recover, although one wonders whether she would have actually waited, given her performance to date.



When we were at 1.20 miles from the summit, 2 women hikers stopped and spoke with us. When my partner said she didn't think she could go on they told her she should wait behind and allow me to summit. Like you said, it would have given her roughly 2 hours to sit and rest, get back to her pack she dropped at the 1.9 marker. When I said it would be a 2 hour wait she chose to push on. And.... based on my post, we know how that decision ended. In addition, I absolutely do not believe she would have waited for me and that would have brought about a whole new set of problems. Again, in looking back there were so many foolish decisions I made but first one was doing this hike with the wrong person.

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#48247 - 08/29/16 09:44 PM Re: A Dayhike Nightmare - What NOT to do [Re: Steve C]
Briang191 Offline


Registered: 03/17/16
Posts: 28
Loc: Ca USA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Originally Posted By: Briang191
I would disagree with your statement stating season hikers with extensive back country experience.

I was able to summit Whitney on my first attempt (day hike)I only came across two individuals that did not make the summit one a day hiker and one an over night hiker.

I've been hiking for about a year.

Briang191, how old are you, what do you do to stay in shape?


Steve I'm 35 and I use to run 5 days a week and hike on Sunday's. I suffered a foot and leg injury about 6 months prior to my Whitney day hike. I had to scale back and stop running. I only hiked once a week for my training for whitney. I gained about 15 lbs and wasn't in best shape. I've just recently got back into running during the week.

How do you determine if someone has extensive back country experience?

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#48254 - 08/30/16 08:19 AM Re: A Dayhike Nightmare - What NOT to do [Re: Briang191]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Briang191
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Originally Posted By: Briang191
I would disagree with your statement stating season hikers with extensive back country experience.

I was able to summit Whitney on my first attempt (day hike)I only came across two individuals that did not make the summit one a day hiker and one an over night hiker.

I've been hiking for about a year.

Briang191, how old are you, what do you do to stay in shape?


Steve I'm 35 and I use to run 5 days a week and hike on Sunday's. I suffered a foot and leg injury about 6 months prior to my Whitney day hike. I had to scale back and stop running. I only hiked once a week for my training for whitney. I gained about 15 lbs and wasn't in best shape. I've just recently got back into running during the week.

How do you determine if someone has extensive back country experience?
I don't know about the "extensive backcountry experience". But all I know is that at 65, Whitney is waaay more difficult than it was 30 years ago -- when I ran 3x per week. I recall back then I did the day hike with 2 others, and we were up and back in under 11 hours! This time, it took over 15, and we used the shorter MR on the way up! ...and I still workout--hard, 3x/week.

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#48255 - 08/30/16 08:24 AM Re: A Dayhike Nightmare - What NOT to do [Re: KevinR]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: KevinR
I also disagree with Yury that hydration is over-rated. He may be the only person I've ever heard make that comment. It's essential to hydrate, and most beginners will never drink too much. I've been hiking for many years, and don't know anyone, nor do any of my hiking friends, of someone who overhydrated. Mostly it's a myth - drink more fluid than your body needs and you'll simply pee more often.

Kevin, hyponatremia is not a myth, though I've never heard of a hiker having the problem. I have seen write-ups describing novice marathon participants suffering from it. The most famous one, though, is the Sacramento, Ca, radio station that held a "Hold your wee for a Wii" contest. One woman (who lost) went home and died due to the problem. (Her survivors won much more than a Wii.)

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#48258 - 08/30/16 01:32 PM Re: A Dayhike Nightmare - What NOT to do [Re: Steve C]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 989
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Originally Posted By: KevinR
I also disagree with Yury that hydration is over-rated. He may be the only person I've ever heard make that comment. It's essential to hydrate, and most beginners will never drink too much. I've been hiking for many years, and don't know anyone, nor do any of my hiking friends, of someone who overhydrated. Mostly it's a myth - drink more fluid than your body needs and you'll simply pee more often.

Kevin, hyponatremia is not a myth, though I've never heard of a hiker having the problem. I have seen write-ups describing novice marathon participants suffering from it. The most famous one, though, is the Sacramento, Ca, radio station that held a "Hold your wee for a Wii" contest. One woman (who lost) went home and died due to the problem. (Her survivors won much more than a Wii.)


Hyponatremia (low blood sodium concentration) has been reported in wilderness journals in hikers, not just marathoners, etc. Over hydration can and does happen. Yury is correct.

Diamox is way over-rated. Does not help much for most people. It is on the WADA list of performance enhancing drugs, but generally only if the person has AMS, or periodic breathing at night.

Way back in the story has the mention of HALLUCINATION. If that is true, then there was more than AMS going on.


Possibilities include:
1. electrolyte disturbance (such as sodium imbalance, HACE high altitude cerebral edema -even on a moderate mountain like Whitney it can happen,
2. rarely on Whitney, severe hypoxia (unlikely unless there was HAPE or HACE),
3. drugs
4. other medical conditions,
5. etc
I do not know if the report was an exaggeration, but if there were true hallucinations, then someone was more than just slow.

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#48259 - 08/30/16 02:06 PM Re: A Dayhike Nightmare - What NOT to do [Re: Harvey Lankford]
gr8life0223 Offline


Registered: 08/25/16
Posts: 16
Loc: Bay Area
Originally Posted By: Harvey Lankford
Way back in the story has the mention of HALLUCINATION. If that is true, then there was more than AMS going on.

Possibilities include:
1. electrolyte disturbance (such as sodium imbalance, HACE high altitude cerebral edema -even on a moderate mountain like Whitney it can happen,
2. rarely on Whitney, severe hypoxia (unlikely unless there was HAPE or HACE),
3. drugs
4. other medical conditions,
5. etc
I do not know if the report was an exaggeration, but if there were true hallucinations, then someone was more than just slow.


There was no exaggeration in the story. What would be the point as then I would not learn anything from my experience or from any of you. It took 16 hours to ascend. We were awake for 7 hours prior to that. So by the time we reached the summit we had been up for 23 hours. I had drank 3 1/2 liters of water and was empty by the time I got to Trail Camp. Refilled but used all of my water up, another 2.5 liters on the switchbacks and hydrating the partner I was with) after we hit the 1.9 marker. My water was all we had at that point. I had used cliff shots, blocks, crackers and almonds, etc all the way up. I was eating up until we summited which is when I got severely ill. I used ibuprofen and aspirin only, no diamox during the hike. I did not have a pounding headache heading to the summit. I was not out of breath, I felt strong but I was thirsty. I was exceptionally thirsty and I was more concerned hydrating the partner because she had no water! It wasn't until I started vomiting, had shortness of breath, and could barely stand (I could not drink when I was offered water) did the hallucinations begin. They started roughly around 8-9 pm which would have been a little less than 30 hours straight being awake. I saw snakes, cats, a baby laying in the trail, jellyfish, patchwork quilts, white granite rocks, to name a few of the hallucinations. Exaggerating what happened? No need.
It was terrifying enough as it was. The 12 hours down felt like days. I've never been more scared In my life. I didn't feel any better until we reached the lone pine lake area. The hallucinations did not go away completely until I slept for a few hours when we finally got back to our hotel. 29 hours in the trail. 35 hours awake.

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#48260 - 08/30/16 03:24 PM Re: A Dayhike Nightmare - What NOT to do [Re: gr8life0223]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 989
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
the word exaggeration was not used to be critical, but to get a better clarification not about the whole story but about just the hallucinations themselves, now provided.

Presumably, your hallucinations were from sleep deprivation. Some people are more likely to have that than others. I would be interesting to hear from a neurologist or related expert. May have been multiple factors.

A while back, we had one person post her story from Whitney- hers turned out to be a strange manifestation of migraines.

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#48261 - 08/30/16 03:50 PM Re: A Dayhike Nightmare - What NOT to do [Re: Harvey Lankford]
gr8life0223 Offline


Registered: 08/25/16
Posts: 16
Loc: Bay Area
the word exaggeration was not used to be critical, but to get a better clarification not about the whole story but about just the hallucinations themselves, now provided.

My response wasn't intended to sound as though I was offended by your use of that word but to reinforce/clarify the details. I myself am trying to figure out what exactlyy had gone on as I went up to a little over 14,000 feet that hike with only mild symptoms.
My original post was about how taking care off someone first, instead of myself, got me into a dangerous situation. From the feedback to it, from everyone's suggestions and own experiences, I've learned that so many things went wrong. That's what is most important to me. Learning and continuing to learn from this hike. I appreciate everyones comments and discussion because it'll help someone else too, not just me.

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