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Climbing Mt Whitney on May 23 - 3 Day Visit
#58617 05/09/21 09:23 AM
Joined: May 2021
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Hello all,

I'll be traveling to LA and driving up to Lone Pine on the 21st. I have had experience in 14ers before, having summited Mt Elbert and Longs in Colorado. This trip is twice as long as Mt Elbert and 1.5x the elevation, which tells me should be more endurance based and elevation gain should be more relax. I have not ascended with snow however, and will be bringing microspikes and an ice axe.

My questions comes mostly for acclimatizing, I will arrive early on the 21st and would like a good hike between LA and Lone Pine as I plan to drive directly to it from the airport and once I'm done, to my hotel in Lone Pine. Second day the 22nd, I'd love another recommendation close by which will help prepare me. Third day I'm looking to begin the Mt Whitney ascent 3-4am and will attempt to tackle it in one day.

I look forward to recommendations on good preparation hikes, tips for those dates and general advice would be most welcome.

P.S. I also bought permits for May 22 and May 29 for day passes to Mt Whitney which I will not be using and am happy to give them to someone who will use them.

Cheers,

Gustavo

Re: Climbing Mt Whitney on May 23 - 3 Day Visit
Gustavo I #58618 05/09/21 11:41 AM
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If you will have one down day to acclimate, then the best option for you is to drive up to Horseshoe Meadows (which is not too far from Whitney Portal) and hang out there for a day. You could also hike up to Cottonwood Pass which sits at 11,100ft. or you could hike up to Trail Peak which is at 11,600ft. Both are accessible from Horseshoe Meadows - Cottonwood/Trail Pass Trailhead. This will give your body a good day to get use to the altitude. But spend as much time as you can there - the more time at high elevation the better you will perform when hiking Whitney.

Good Luck!

Re: Climbing Mt Whitney on May 23 - 3 Day Visit
Gustavo I #58625 05/09/21 10:19 PM
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fit2climb's recommendations are right on...

You don't need an ice axe. Might need microspikes, but might not. I climbed earlier this week only in hiking boots, but there were a few icy spots on the trail.

My method is to sleep the first night at Horseshoe Meadows-- either on the ground or in your car (if it is big enough to lie down inside). Then second night, sleep at the Whitney Portal -- walk-in camp sites, or in your car. If renting a car with that much room doesn't work, then spending as much time high up and sleeping in Lone Pine is the next best option.

If you can drive up to Horseshoe Meadows and spend some time hiking on 5/21, Trail Peak a good quick hike. I think I did it one time starting at 3 PM, but got back to the parking lot in the dark. Here's a link: Trail Peak: Warmup / acclimatization hike

On 5/22, you could drive up to Whitney Portal and hike up to Lone Pine Lake, and see the part of the trail that you would be hiking in the dark. Here's a good list of other warmup hikes: Whitney warmup hikes

When you do the full hike, don't start out with too much water. Take a filter (or do like I do, just dip and drink), and get water from the streams along the way. There are streams at 1 mile (North Fork Lone Pine Creek), and second just before Lone Pine Lake, a spring at Bighorn Park (just before Outpost Camp), and a stream leaving Mirror Lake, then Trailside Meadow, and Trail Camp. Final water is at switchback 25 (of the 99 switchbacks). The only water I wouldn't dip and drink are Trail Camp pond and a pond just below Trail Camp. You should take 3 liters up the 99 switchbacks: 1 for the switchbacks, hide one at Trail Crest for the way down, and drink the third up to the summit from Trail Crest and back.


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