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#52033 - 09/05/17 08:37 AM Similar day hikes to Whitney?
nicebloke Offline


Registered: 07/20/15
Posts: 17
Loc: Petaluma, CA
My wife and I have completed Whitney twice now, and would love to see more of what the Eastern Sierra has to offer for day hikes (we're not big into backpacking). We love the challenge of Whitney in terms of elevation gain, length and peak altitude.


I've heard that climbing Olancha, Langley and Tyndall offer a similar experience. Any others we should look at?

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#52034 - 09/05/17 09:47 AM Re: Similar day hikes to Whitney? [Re: nicebloke]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 771
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
A couple of good ones for you:

Mt. Agassiz, which has a nice class 2 route directly from Bishop Pass. The pass is an enjoyable 6 mile hike from the South Lake trailhead, (near Bishop, CA)with many beautiful lakes along the way. It can be done in a long day, and the route has very solid rock. Excellent view of the Palisade Glacier group from the summit.

http://www.summitpost.org/mount-agassiz/150921

Mt. Dade, which has a class 2/3 route, at the upper end of Little Lakes Valley, in the Rock Drainage just north of Bishop. Another beautiful hike with lot of lakes. Starts from the Mosquito Flat trailhead. Round trip about 10 miles.

http://www.summitpost.org/mount-dade/150604



Edited by Bob West (09/05/17 09:52 AM)

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#52035 - 09/05/17 09:56 AM Re: Similar day hikes to Whitney? [Re: Bob West]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7194
Loc: Fresno, CA
Langley has a trail to the top, the others don't.

Not in the Sierra, but well worth hiking it is White Mountain. There is an old fwd road/trail to the top.

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#52040 - 09/05/17 12:17 PM Re: Similar day hikes to Whitney? [Re: nicebloke]
bruce Offline


Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 74
Loc: Novato, CA
Originally Posted By: nicebloke
We love the challenge of Whitney in terms of elevation gain, length and peak altitude.

Any others we should look at?


I don't think there are any trail hikes in California which will satisfy all three conditions, but there are several which satisfy the first two.

In Kings Canyon,

Granite Pass (21.5 miles RT, 6300 elevation gain) start at Roads End 5065 feet and climb to 10800 or so (there is several hundred feet of descent after Granite Lip before you resume climbing).

Kennedy Pass (24 miles RT, 6400 elevation gain) start at Deer Cove trailhead around 4400 feet and climb to the pass around 10800 (or so)


In Yosemite,

Clouds Rest (20 miles RT, 6000 ft gain) start at Happy Isles at 4000 ft and climb to 9920 ft.


In Sequoia NP,

Franklin Pass (about 18 miles RT, 4100 gain) start at Mineral King trailhead at 7800 ft and climb to the pass at 11800 feet.


Cactus to Clouds, Start in Palms Springs at the Museum at around 400 feet and climb to the top of Mt. San Jacinto at 10800 (or so). 15.5 miles each way. over 10000 feet of climbing and you can take the Tram down after descending about 5 miles and 3000 feet.

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#52041 - 09/05/17 12:24 PM Re: Similar day hikes to Whitney? [Re: bruce]
bruce Offline


Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 74
Loc: Novato, CA
BTW as an aside, I just went to Kings Canyon last Sunday to hike Granite Pass, but the bugs, heat and air quality were so bad that I bailed after a couple of miles. Since it was just a practice hike for Whitney and I was alone, I decided to just do the practice hike on my treadmill. Did four "sets" of 50 minutes with 10 minutes break between (to mimic my hiking to break ratio). Wore a loaded backpack at 18 pounds and set it at a 15 degree angle. Set the speed (between 2.4 and 2.8 mph) so that my heart rate and perceived effort was about the same as doing the actual hike (although obviously I would hike slower at altitude and over varying terrain, so that's why I used my HR to monitor intensity). The treadmill say I climbed over 6000 feet in those 4 hours so that's good enough for me. Hopefully I'll be ready this coming Monday for Whitney once again.


Edited by bruce (09/05/17 12:26 PM)

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#52045 - 09/05/17 02:33 PM Re: Similar day hikes to Whitney? [Re: bruce]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7194
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: bruce
The treadmill say I climbed over 6000 feet in those 4 hours so that's good enough for me. Hopefully I'll be ready this coming Monday for Whitney once again.

Bruce, please let us know how it goes. I am wondering how the treadmill will compare.

...seems to me, based on the physics of it... on a treadmill, even though you set the angle to simulate a climb, you aren't actually lifting your body weight and the pack "up" against gravity, so no net work done. That is strictly theory, of course, and we know it requires work for your body to stay on, and keep up with, the treadmill. Anyway, that's why I am curious how the treadmill compares to the real thing.

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#52047 - 09/05/17 03:16 PM Re: Similar day hikes to Whitney? [Re: Steve C]
bruce Offline


Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 74
Loc: Novato, CA
Yeah it seems that way Steve, but you are actually "climbing" on an inclined treadmill. The gain is achieved by gaining back that step that you lost, with the back step being 15 degrees lower than the front. However they say to set the incline at 1 degree to make up for the lack of wind resistance. So since the treadmill say I climbed 6500 feet, I multiplied that by 14/15 to get around 6067 feet. It's a heck of a lot tougher to do a treadmill at 15 degrees than flat, especially with a pack on, so obviously you are doing a lot more work.

I think it will help quite a bit. I was actually bummed about chickening out of the practice hike and I felt like a punk. But I know my body well enough to realize when it's time to quit and on the way home during my boring 5 1/2 hour drive I got the idea and doing the practice hike on my treadmill. It was very boring, but it was over in 4 hours, and I didn't have to do any downhill. smile Driving to Kings Canyon to mimic the Whitney hike is a 22 hour adventure and losing sleep. Next year I'll probably do the treadmill again unless I have company.


Edited by bruce (09/05/17 03:19 PM)

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#52053 - 09/05/17 08:27 PM Re: Similar day hikes to Whitney? [Re: Steve C]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 246
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Originally Posted By: bruce
The treadmill say I climbed over 6000 feet in those 4 hours so that's good enough for me. Hopefully I'll be ready this coming Monday for Whitney once again.

Bruce, please let us know how it goes. I am wondering how the treadmill will compare.

...seems to me, based on the physics of it... on a treadmill, even though you set the angle to simulate a climb, you aren't actually lifting your body weight and the pack "up" against gravity, so no net work done. That is strictly theory, of course, and we know it requires work for your body to stay on, and keep up with, the treadmill. Anyway, that's why I am curious how the treadmill compares to the real thing.


A treadmill is essentially the only thing I did to prepare for my last Whitney hike. Similar to what bruce was saying, I'd set my incline to 15 degrees and go at ~3mph for 45 mins, take 10 mins, and then do 45 more.

Being a teacher, I don't get a lot of weekdays to get out and hike, and my kids take up my weekends. So aside from a hike up the Ski Hut trail on Baldy about three weeks prior, the treadmill and I were together nearly nightly during the week for a few months before my Whitney ascent. We made it just fine, and I really couldn't tell much of a difference between this last hike and the one prior where all I did was hike outdoors on trails. Except for being two years older. That part is always gonna suck.
_________________________
One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

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#52055 - 09/05/17 08:51 PM Re: Similar day hikes to Whitney? [Re: GandC]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1097
Loc: NorCal
Shout out here for the inclined treadmill workout. If you have a heart rate monitor that the machine can read, you should be able to set a target heart rate and the machine will adjust the incline to keep you at your target heart rate. I love that feature. You control the speed and the machine goes up and down as needed. Set it low to get warmed up, then higher as you get your second wind. I even do High Intensity Intervals with this technique. Using a target heart rate is much better for long-term training fitness. Some days you're feeling strong and some you're not. A heart rate monitor compensates for that. My wife is a personal trainer so I get exposed to this stuff.

Another tidbit I've learned is to use an elliptical machine pedaling backwards. This will strengthen your leg stabilizer muscles which really helps with the knees.

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#52057 - 09/05/17 09:58 PM Re: Similar day hikes to Whitney? [Re: SierraNevada]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7194
Loc: Fresno, CA
I wondered why I'd see people at the gym going backwards on the ellipticals.

SN, I'm curious what heart rates you aim for. I'd assume a longer workout would have a lower rate??

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#52060 - 09/05/17 10:11 PM Re: Similar day hikes to Whitney? [Re: Steve C]
bruce Offline


Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 74
Loc: Novato, CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
I wondered why I'd see people at the gym going backwards on the ellipticals.

SN, I'm curious what heart rates you aim for. I'd assume a longer workout would have a lower rate??


I use a heart rate monitor all the time for hikes, running and everything. For hiking at altitude on a steady climb like Whitney, my heart during the first few hours is in the 120s or 130s (my max is around 190). Of course accumulative fatigue (and the effects of altitude) sets in as you go along and on the switchbacks and after it's in the 140s and sometimes in the low 150s.

For the practice on the treadmill I set the speed so that my HR was in the low 120s to start. My average speed was roughly the same through my four sets of 50 minutes each. But my average HR rose during each set: from 120 to 124 to 128 and finally 132.

But true, the longer the workout, the lower the average HR.

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#52063 - 09/06/17 07:27 AM Re: Similar day hikes to Whitney? [Re: Steve C]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1097
Loc: NorCal
What Bruce said. Max rate is strongly rated to age, but genetics, health, and conditioning are factors. Simple formula is

MaxHR = 220 bpm - Age (yrs). For a 50-yr old that's 170 bpm. That doesn't mean you'll drop dead at 171, it's related to your maximum aerobic capacity to exchange O2 and CO2.

Target HR (as a percentage of MaxHR) can vary a lot with your condition level and length of workout. I warm up at 120 and then 125-135 for a sustained cardio/calorie burn type workout depending on how I feel. For weight loss, a lower HR workout for longer is more effective.

My wife got me into doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Repeated cycles of high bpm / recover at low bpm. Science shows this is highly effective especially if you're in good shape and want to improve. You can this with timed cycles or by hitting a high target heart rate and then slowing down as fast as possible for a short recovery.

My wife uses a special variant of this in her spin classes called Tabata Protocol, which is 8 rounds of 20 seconds full out and then 10 seconds rest. A treadmill can't adjust that quickly, but you get the idea.

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#52065 - 09/06/17 08:07 AM Re: Similar day hikes to Whitney? [Re: SierraNevada]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7194
Loc: Fresno, CA
SN, thanks for the heart rate info. My workouts are pretty intense at the end. I like to hit 160 at the end. But I do more of a steady rise to that point, over 8 minutes, or more often over 16. All I know is I feel really good the next day. smile

Bruce, what do you use for the monitor? Does it enable graph or stats readouts?

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#52068 - 09/06/17 09:00 AM Re: Similar day hikes to Whitney? [Re: Steve C]
bruce Offline


Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 74
Loc: Novato, CA
I've been using Suunto watches for the last 17 years. Right now I have a Suunto Spartan Ultra and before that the Suunto Ambit 3. It records the track and logs HR, altitude and other data every second. It also has an altitude graph during the hike.

For me, using a HR monitor is essential to proper pacing, especially on hikes. One has a tendency to start out too fast.

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#52069 - 09/06/17 09:09 AM Re: Similar day hikes to Whitney? [Re: bruce]
bruce Offline


Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 74
Loc: Novato, CA
There is another day hike I think is worth mentioning. If you're really up to something extreme, then try Forester Pass. Start at Roads End in Kings Canyon NP at 5060 and make a steady climb for 21 miles to the pass at 13200 feet. If you want, you can climb up to one of the peaks that it passes by. But by the time you get there, you probably won't feel like it. The total round trip distance of 42 miles is pushing it, and to do it in a day without needing a permit you'll have to start around midnight.


Edited by bruce (09/06/17 09:17 AM)

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