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#56224 - 09/05/19 09:35 AM September 4th trip report by a trail runner
Professor Offline


Registered: 06/20/18
Posts: 6
Loc: San Diego
Picked up our permits at 3:30PM on the third, spent the night at the Best Western and started our trip to the summit at sunrise on the fourth.

6:25AM start in shorts, tank top, trail running shoes and a little over a gallon of fluids. Lots of sunscreen but no bug spray and no mosquito issues. Got to trail camp in a little over two hours and the summit in just under 4 1/2 hours. I put light gloves and a beanie on at trail crest but aside from that the weather was great. It seemed like 90% of the people on the trail looked like they were dressed to climb Denali, not Whitney in early September.

There was slush right near the summit that, I thought, made coming down great as the footing was more controlled. Took the beanie off at trail crest but kept the gloves on for the descent which was good as I ate it twice on the way down. Lots of water on the 99 switch backs still. I kept the feet dry on the way up but splashed through it all on the way down.

3 1/2 hours down for just under 8 hours round trip. Everyone on the trail was super-friendly and had no problem letting us pass when space became available. It also seemed, compared to last year when we climbed in early July, that everyone looked good and able to summit without issues.

Random information:
ALtra MT King trail shoes
Alarm set every 30-minutes. Drank 8-16 ounces every alarm on the way up, every hour on the way down.
Bone broth the first two hours, powerade after.
Trekking poles from trail camp to summit and for the entire descent.
Additional calories:
4 GU gels and one packet of blocks
"Iced" the legs and cleaned up in the stream by the parking lot and was back home in San Diego five hours.

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#56230 - 09/05/19 02:44 PM Re: September 4th trip report by a trail runner [Re: Professor]
sumptimwong Offline


Registered: 03/15/19
Posts: 34
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Congratulations, and fantastic pace! Must've been nice to do the whole trip in daylight. A few questions if you don't mind:

1) Have you had any issues with AMS on short/fast trips like these?
2) Do you feel good about your decision to carry nearly a gallon of water at the start given how much water was available up to trail camp?
3) What was your total pack weight at the start?
4) Did your pace drop off as you went further up in elevation?

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#56238 - 09/06/19 10:25 PM Re: September 4th trip report by a trail runner [Re: sumptimwong]
Professor Offline


Registered: 06/20/18
Posts: 6
Loc: San Diego
Thanks sumptimwong,
1. I got altitude sickness last year when I did Whitney in 9 hours but I made the mistake of really pushing the pace from trail crest to the summit last time whereas this go-round I maintained a steady pace and didn't push it the second half of the climb.
2. I drank 16 ounces of water right when I woke up and another 12 ounces of water right before starting so the gallon of fluid I had ended up being more than enough. I also usually do my long runs (+/- two hours) with nothing at all so I think that helped. I front loaded the fluids I had knowing that if I could feel good at the top I could get down quick enough without needing much. last year I did not do that as I was saving it thinking I would need it if things went bad. When things go bad on Whitney they don't turnaround with additional calories or water. You have to do your best to prevent it from happening in the first place.
3. I'm guessing less than 15 pounds as all I had was the gallon of fluid, a couple of GU's and chomps, a light wind breaker, gloves, beanie and waste bag.
4. My pace, both up and down, was by far the slowest on the 99 switchbacks as they just wear on you. They keep going on the way up and with all the change of direction you cannot get going on the way down. I got my second wind on the down hill from trail crest to the John Muir sign on my way to the summit. That slight decline got my turnover up again that I maintained to the summit.

You heading up soon?

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