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Acclimation hikes
#49964 05/30/17 01:42 PM
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Hi,
I want to hike Mt. Whitney on june 12th and have two days of staying around lone pine /Bishop before.
I'd like to do a longer and a Shorter acclimation hike in the area.
Considering the current conditions, which hikes will be a good Choice?
Thanks in advance (and also for all the other valuable Information in this Forum!)
Ines

Re: Acclimation hikes
1104 #49966 05/30/17 06:52 PM
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Most trails will still have considerable snow cover above 9500 feet. However, two day hikes are really not sufficient for being acclimated for the altitude of Mt. Whitney. Just go for it, take your time and don't worry. If you start feeling ill, come down to a lower altitude. Enjoy the beauty of the Eastern Sierra Nevada.

One local trail that is snow-free to 8500 feet is the Pine Creek Pass trail, just north of Bishop. Here are the local Forest Service campgrounds:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/inyo/recreation/camping-cabins/?recid=20228&actid=29

Re: Acclimation hikes
Bob West #49967 05/30/17 09:25 PM
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My favorite acclimatization spot is Horseshoe Meadows. (Google map)   Elevation is 10,000' (3050 m).
The road is now open, and the campground will be open when you are here. I like to sleep here one night, then at the Whitney Portal walk-in sites (just below the trail head) the night before starting up the trail. If you can sleep at these higher elevations, your acclimatization gets well under way.

Seeing you are coming from Germany, I hope you are driving a car, as transportation in these places without a car depends on your thumb, which takes a long time sometimes. If you can bring just enough light camping gear (you don't need a tent!!), the two places I use are the best you can do.

Though you will probably run into snow, Trail Peak is an easy hike out of Horseshoe Meadows. You can hike up the Main Mt Whitney Trail as far as Lone Pine Lake without a permit, too.

Re: Acclimation hikes
1104 #49968 05/30/17 11:35 PM
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The objective is to exercise and sleep as high as you can for as long as you can before you go higher. What is “sufficient” depends on many factors, including your personal physiology.

Just one night at Whitney Portal is better than one night in Lone Pine. Moderate exercise at relatively high elevations also helps, but don’t overdo it. If you have two days to acclimatize, do exactly what Steve says.

Re: Acclimation hikes
bobpickering #49969 05/31/17 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted By: bobpickering
The objective is to exercise and sleep as high as you can

Just one night at Whitney Portal is better than one night in Lone Pine.


Bob has stated it perfectly - but I will make it even stronger.

Lone Pine at about 4,000 ft is a nice place for after the hike, but before the hike it will do nothing for altitude acclimatization.

The official medical definition of where the body experiences significant effects of altitude is 8,000 ft. Based on the Mexico City Olympics and Boeing and Air Force and other data, many believe that figure should be 7,000 ft. To expose your body to enough altitude-effect to begin the acclimatization process, you should sleep that high or higher.

Can people climb Whitney without pre-acclimatization nights? Yes, but the odds of success (and enjoyment) are much better with sleeping higher.

Re: Acclimation hikes
1104 #49971 05/31/17 08:49 AM
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Thanks for your advise. TraIl Peak Sounds good. I'm attunded to hike on Snow (of Course Since there will be a lot of it on the whitney Trail smile ). It's just Important that the Trail is generally accessable and Not to strenuous smile.
What are your thoughts on white mountain Peak?

Re: Acclimation hikes
1104 #49972 05/31/17 09:32 AM
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Right now getting to the trailhead for White Mtn is an issue. I drove up to the Visitor Center at the Schulman Grove recently, and had no issues. However, there's a sign posted there that says there's still deep snow on the road beyond that to the trailhead, which is several miles away. I'd call the US Forest Service Ranger Station in Bishop as you get closer - they'll have the most up-to-date info.

Also - do you really want to hike two 14'ers back-to-back? Unless you're incredibly fit, that level of activity is beyond most of us, even when acclimatization is not an issue. As they say, hike your own hike, but ...

Re: Acclimation hikes
1104 #49973 05/31/17 09:45 AM
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> What are your thoughts on White Mountain Peak?

On top of the road access, White Mountain's trail head is more than a 2-hour drive from Lone Pine. It is definitely worthwhile to go and see and hike, but if you only have 2 days, not so good.

Understand, also, that Horseshoe Meadows is a 45-minute drive from Lone Pine.

Re: Acclimation hikes
Steve C #49975 05/31/17 12:44 PM
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Right, you asked:
I will have a rental car (Jeep).
I know they're not Allowed on Dirt Roads which i Used to ignore, otherwise Would have Missed a lot Great hikes in the Southwest eek)
But driving in Deep Snow is definitly not a good Thing.
(I just thought i hike up as far as feeling good without summeting )

I will think about your Suggestions / get informed about the Road.
Again: thank you very much for your Input. There is nothing like hiking in the US!

Re: Acclimation hikes
1104 #49977 05/31/17 03:11 PM
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Also suggest you inquire as to whether the Jeep is AWD or 4WD. I rented a Jeep a couple of years ago, and it was a 2WD.

Re: Acclimation hikes
KevinR #49978 05/31/17 03:31 PM
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Always the First thing I'm Looking for! Then throwing myself down to Check the Tires and the clearance grin

Re: Acclimation hikes
1104 #49979 05/31/17 03:39 PM
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As long as you stay out of snow, 2-wheel-drive is sufficient to get to the White Mountain trail head, if you use the road (Hwy 168) out of Big Pine.

Re: Acclimation hikes
Steve C #49993 06/02/17 07:24 PM
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I've been hiking Mt. Whitney the last several years using the same two day acclimatization plan (before it was just 1 day). The first three years I would sleep at Horseshoe Meadows and then at the Portal Family campground. However going from sea level to 10,000 feet is a little too jarring, especially trying to sleep in a tent. I sleep very little at the Portal campground 2000 feet lower, much less there (where it's often very windy). I guess if you had a nice camper with a bed it would make a big difference.

The last two years I spent the first night at Mammoth Mountain Inn (about an hour north of Bishop), which is at 9000 feet but more important is a full service hotel with comfortable beds to sleep in. The sleep you get two nights before the hike is gold, and fortunately I can sleep pretty good there and get acclimated at the same time. There are some good trails there but I've never used them (I think rest is more important before a big hike, although I'll walk up to the Portal store from the campground to kill some time). It's only a 2 1/2 hour drive from the hotel to the Whitney Portal, which you would do in the morning anyway. In my case it's very convenient because it's practically right on my way anyway (coming from the SF Bay Area).

Re: Acclimation hikes
bruce #49996 06/03/17 10:22 AM
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I never sleep very well the first night under the stars. I take benadryl to help. I understand a few people feel groggy for some hours after taking it, but I wake up feeling great.

Re: Acclimation hikes
Steve C #49997 06/03/17 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted By: Steve C
I never sleep very well the first night under the stars.

Come on now, Steve, you just need to hike longer those days.

Re: Acclimation hikes
Harvey Lankford #50002 06/03/17 10:58 PM
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> Come on now, Steve, you just need to hike longer those days.

Forgot to distinguish... At the end of the day hiking, I can and do sleep pretty well. But this is a thread about acclimation. It's when I drive to the trail head -- or to Horseshoe Meadows, and try to sleep -- that I have trouble.

A favorite way for me, (as long as the hike doesn't start too high in the altitude): On a JMT section, we drove to Tuolumne Meadows, eating dinner near the trail head. Then set out about 8 pm, and hiked for 3 hours, with headlamps. The frogs singing in the meadows as we headed up the Lyell Fork were memorable. That night, sleeping was easy!


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