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#54097 - 08/16/18 03:00 PM Summit Attempt 7/15/18
Kimmy Offline

Registered: 04/26/18
Posts: 15
Loc: CA
After planning and training for 7 months, we departed Whitney Portal at 2:00am. Me and one other group member started getting altitude sickness at about 10,000 feet. We immediately regretted not taking some Diamox!! We just weren't sure how it would affect us. I was dizzy, nauseous and had a slight headache, but we pushed on. Felt better once we reached Trail Crest, but was having some balance issues and that was quite scary given the fact that you can fall thousands of feet to your death if you slip. Less than a mile from the summit we decided to call it and turn back. We just were afraid of not being able to make it back down safely. It was disappointing, but we had a great time nonetheless. We were all in excellent physical shape so fitness was not a problem. We also had plenty of food, water and clothing. The altitude was a killer. Next time we will definitely take medication.

#54099 - 08/16/18 05:04 PM Re: Summit Attempt 7/15/18 [Re: Kimmy]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7978
Loc: Fresno, CA
Kimmy, thanks for the report. Too bad about the dizziness. Hiking poles can help that, in case you weren't using any.

Since you started feeling it already at 10k elevation, it's a good idea next time to spend 2 days and nights at least at 8k -- Whitney Portal or Mammoth both work. Even better, resting and sleeping overnight at Horseshoe Meadows, at 10k, will put you ahead, as long as just being there doesn't give you the dizziness.

Your unfamiliarity with the trail may have added to your uncertainty. Next time you go, you will notice how much better that part seems.

Start planning your next trip -- I am sure you will have better success next time. ...and the mountain will always be there.

#54102 - 08/16/18 07:14 PM Re: Summit Attempt 7/15/18 [Re: Kimmy]
Alex Oleata Offline

Registered: 06/23/17
Posts: 7
Loc: San Diego, CA USA

Steve said it best, acclimation is key. Medicine can only do so much, but spending a night or two at altitude before launch increases your probability of avoiding altitude sickness greatly, and in turn better chances of making the summit!

It was a good move to follow your gut, value the groups safety, and turn around. The mountain is going no where, and she'll be ready again when you are!

Did ya snag any cool photos along the journey?

Cheers! -Alex

instagram: nevernotexploring

#54136 - 08/27/18 02:45 PM Re: Summit Attempt 7/15/18 [Re: Steve C]
Kimmy Offline

Registered: 04/26/18
Posts: 15
Loc: CA
Hi Steve,
Yes, we did have hiking poles which made a huge difference! Definitely saves your knees on the way down and helps with balance. Unfortunately, we did not have any extra time to acclimatize, but will DEFINITELY plan that next trip. So true about being unfamiliar with the trail also...makes it seem a lot longer when you don't know what to expect. Thanks for your feedback!

#54137 - 08/27/18 02:47 PM Re: Summit Attempt 7/15/18 [Re: Alex Oleata]
Kimmy Offline

Registered: 04/26/18
Posts: 15
Loc: CA
Hi Alex,
We did get some great pictures, which I will post sometime soon. Acclimation will definitely be built into our plan the next time. Thanks for your response!