A little late on the trip report, but Tuesday, August 30, 2016, was my 3rd time solo hiking the Mt Whitney Main Trail.

Last year I turned around about a mile from the summit due to the condition of the trail (snow) and uncertain weather. This year the weather and trail were both perfect.

I started the hike at 2:16 a.m. and reached the summit at 8:19 a.m. (On the way I took a ten minute break at Trailside Meadow to fill up with water, lots of water flowing there.) Spent about 45 minutes on the summit, and another 4:50 hours hiking back to the Portal. Round trip took 11:39 hours.

When I started the hike I wore shorts and a hooded baselayer, adding a windshirt a few miles into the hike, then liner gloves, then a down parka and wind pants at the summit, where it was cool and windy, I'd estimate low 40s if not a little cooler. Removed the parka half way to Trail Crest, then the windshirt, wind pants, and hooded baselayer at Trail Camp, and put on a button down linen shirt for the rest of the way back to the Portal which was pretty warm, I'd say low to mid 80s and sunny. I did not use trekking poles on the hike.

No headaches or nausea, although I struggled a bit on the switchbacks. Felt great from Trail Camp to the summit. Great appetite at the summit. I did have some stomach discomfort during the hike which I attributed to what I had been eating while camping before the hike.

Had a bacon cheeseburger and a coke at the Portal store at the end of the hike and drove home.


On the Sunday before the hike, I drove to Onion Valley and hiked to Kearsarge Pass, then camped at Onion Valley until the morning of the hike. I'm glad I hiked to Kearsarge Pass but I think it took more out of me than I expected; on Mt Whitney I did not feel like I was hiking with fresh legs. The general strategy of hiking to ~11000-12000 feet on day 1, camping/resting at ~9000 feet the rest of day 1 and day 2, then hiking Mt Whitney on Day 3 seems to be a good one for me.


Last year I had debilitating IT band issues, so this year I did not go hard on my training hikes, and did fewer training hikes. I did some low intensity running and swimming as well. I focused primarily on endurance and perceived exertion and being able to sustain a consistent pace without needing to stop for rest breaks. This worked really well; my last training hike was San Gorgonio (Vivian Creek Trail) and after that I had confidence that I had sufficient endurance to complete the Whitney hike. Next year I'd like to train a little harder, with more trail running, and higher intensity running with intervals and tempo runs, etc.

Anyway, looking forward to doing it again next year!