Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
0 registered (), 10 Guests and 88 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3657 Members
10 Forums
5527 Topics
50636 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Topic Options
#48720 - 11/08/16 08:55 AM Energy
pnord Offline


Registered: 03/07/16
Posts: 6
Loc: Arizona
Question for the group on how to do a successful summit next summer.

My son (15) and I tried to Summit this summer (June) in a day hike; we made it up the switch backs to Trail Crest (well within 200 feet) when he started feeling so bad that eventually I decided to turn around. We've been at 13,000+ before without problem and he's normally the way stronger hiker on like a regular 15 mi hike. He walked down fine albeit very slowly (exhausted). Bummer.

We want to try again next year and I want to avoid a repeat but I'm not sure what caused it. No headache, no throwing up. Now he did have an episode 48 hours before we took off with throwing up several times (not at any elevation).

Any suggestions on what to do different next time? I really, really would hate to turn around at 75% done again. I just have to get to the summit! smile

Top
#48721 - 11/08/16 10:08 AM Re: Energy [Re: pnord]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7615
Loc: Fresno, CA
Barfing 2 days before a marathon hike would definitely have an effect on his abilities. But getting to 13K, the altitude likely had a major influence, too.

I would advise you to car-camp at Horseshoe Meadows for two nights before the hike (or one at HM, and the second in the Whitney Portal walk-in sites). Those two nights at elevation will really help the acclimatization.

I hope others will have more suggestions...

Top
#48722 - 11/08/16 11:21 AM Re: Energy [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1561
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Acclimation will help, but this sounds like simple exhaustion. Hydration, electrolytes and calorie intake. Barfing incident could have contributed to dehydration, from which 2 days may not have been enough to recover.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

Top
#48723 - 11/08/16 11:36 AM Re: Energy [Re: pnord]
britonwhit(ney) Offline


Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 76
Loc: UK
If you're going to take a couple of days acclimatisation anyway, then you could just make it a 3 day trip and hike in from horseshoe meadows. Adds a few miles, but reduces the climbing and much prettier IMO.

Top
#48724 - 11/08/16 02:34 PM Re: Energy [Re: pnord]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
I'm not going to be as nice as the other responders. It seems obvious that your son was sick before the trip began, and you should have had him checked out by your doctor before you dragged him off to nab that "summit you just have to have..."

Top
#48725 - 11/08/16 02:51 PM Re: Energy [Re: saltydog]
pnord Offline


Registered: 03/07/16
Posts: 6
Loc: Arizona
Thanks for all help and suggestions from all of you! It such a great forum. Greatly appreciated feedback that will help us a lot next time we attempt this.

To clarify to some of the other comments below, my son was perfectly fine before the trip started as well as the morning of the hike, otherwise we wouldn't have attempted the hike in the first place.

Top
#48726 - 11/08/16 06:12 PM Re: Energy [Re: pnord]
Goose Offline


Registered: 07/17/16
Posts: 15
Loc: NY
In late August of 2015 and within sight of the summit hut, I turned my son around when his energy level and mood bottomed out and he complained about his chest hurting. We had spent the night at trail camp after a slow hike up to there, too. A tough call but, the right one.

In June of this year we set out from Horseshow Meadows on Father's Day morning and spent five nights working our way around to the tarns above Guitar Lake, four of which were above 10,000'. We summited on the 6th day and descended to trail camp for one last night. A huge difference that still could have been thwarted had it not been for a very nice lady with precisely the right snack right around our turnaround spot from the year before. Best advice I can give you--do not underestimate the difference between 13,000' and 14,000' (it is huge), and be sure to have adequate snacks--that your son wants, no matter how junky--for that last push. A healthy snack is useless if you cannot get it in the kid's belly.

I would be happy to share the details of what the challenges were along the way if you would like.

Top
#48727 - 11/08/16 08:51 PM Re: Energy [Re: Goose]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7615
Loc: Fresno, CA
Share away, Goose! I'd like to read your experiences.

At the beginning of this summer, I had great plans for my 11 y.o. We got up to 9500' Lower Boy Scout on a quick day hike trip, and that went well. But several weeks later, a backpack starting at 7k, and then overnight at 9k went bad. We had to turn around instead of moving on to 11k. Dizzyness and lack of appetite set in. There was no way we could climb higher with those symptoms. We'll try again next summer, but "the kid" is sure altitude sensitive!

Top
#48728 - 11/09/16 12:46 AM Re: Energy [Re: Steve C]
wagga Online


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2246
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
You need to carry sardines.
_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

Top
#48729 - 11/09/16 08:09 AM Re: Energy [Re: Steve C]
britonwhit(ney) Offline


Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 76
Loc: UK
We notice that our kids (9 and 6) are impacted by the altitude in very different ways to us. Their appetites are much more suppresssed even for food they normally love, at least for the first 4-5 days. They also become much more sensitive to the cold - to the extent that this year we took chemical hand warmers with us (I.e. Carried them for 9 days despite only really mattering for 2hours).

The success of our trips with our kids (daughter summitted whitney at 6 and son at 7) is heavily dependent on nutrition and figuring out what they will eat. They don't have the same kind of glycogen and fat reserves that we have, and when at altitude and cold, they burn what little stores they have very rapidly. If we get the food right, they will happily hike 5-10 miles a day.

Top
#48730 - 11/09/16 08:49 AM Re: Energy [Re: britonwhit(ney)]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7615
Loc: Fresno, CA
Wagga, her mom liked sardines, but she won't even get close!

briton: She can go from too warm to shaking like a leaf in half a minute! I need to learn how to attend to those differences. Oh, and mosquitoes practically fly away with her, too. Poor kid.

Top
#48810 - 11/22/16 03:03 PM Re: Energy [Re: wagga]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1018
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: wagga
You need to carry sardines.

Believe it or not, there is even a sardine quote from the classical mountaineering literature of the 1930s.

There is something peculiarly unappetizing about a frozen sardine in gelatinous oil at 25,700 feet

Frank Smythe, Camp Six, in
Frank Smythe, The Six Alpine/Himalayan Climbing Books, p 602

Top