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Re: Going up Whitney on a whim with minimal hiking experience
Harvey Lankford #57766 07/22/20 05:19 PM
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I figured that this thread could use an update, so I will say that I finally managed to day-hike Whitney on Monday, July 20. You can take a look at the Picture Gallery if you're interested in seeing the photos I took that day.

As far as trail and weather descriptions go, user "Big Pine" pretty much nailed it on the "Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail" thread. Snow, ice, stream crossings, earthquake damage, water availability, and bugs were non-issues. The main concern that day was avoiding the mid-day and afternoon showers and thunderstorms.

Re: Going up Whitney on a whim with minimal hiking experience
CouchToWhitney #57780 07/24/20 10:59 AM
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Congratulations Couch or your successful summit. My wife and I have tried to summit as a day hike each of the last three years (not counting this year). and failed each time. We did get farther each year and last year we were probably less than a half mile from summit when I just completely gave out of energy and knew we had a long way back. I was so glad to get back to the trailhead. We are both 65 and live at sea level in North Carolina so don't think another attempt would be any better. Each year was a good adventure and the hike was beautiful until exhaustion set in. We enjoyed meeting other hikers on the trail and one shared an energy bar that was better than anything I had and probably eating it is the only reason I got back to trailhead before dark.

Re: Going up Whitney on a whim with minimal hiking experience
tarheel1 #57782 07/24/20 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by tarheel1
Congratulations Couch or your successful summit. My wife and I have tried to summit as a day hike each of the last three years (not counting this year). and failed each time. We did get farther each year and last year we were probably less than a half mile from summit when I just completely gave out of energy and knew we had a long way back. I was so glad to get back to the trailhead. We are both 65 and live at sea level in North Carolina so don't think another attempt would be any better. Each year was a good adventure and the hike was beautiful until exhaustion set in. We enjoyed meeting other hikers on the trail and one shared an energy bar that was better than anything I had and probably eating it is the only reason I got back to trailhead before dark.
Thanks! Don't give up yet - spending more days at altitude before the hike might do the trick, and if that doesn't work, you can always try a backpacking adventure from Cottonwood Lakes or Onion Valley to Whitney. I also met a guy in his 60s who went up from the Portal to the summit and back twice within a 4-day period. That was pretty impressive!

Interestingly enough, I had no appetite on the way down. Even after arriving in downtown Lone Pine, I finished less than half of the tasty, juicy 12 oz ribeye I ordered that evening. My appetite didn't return to normal until the following day.

Re: Going up Whitney on a whim with minimal hiking experience
CouchToWhitney #57787 07/25/20 10:36 AM
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> My appetite didn't return to normal until the following day.

AMS symptoms don't show up until you have been at altitude for some hours, so there is probably a similar time-lag for all the symptoms to dissipate.

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