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#5914 - 07/12/10 11:45 AM White Mtn, other acclimatizing hikes?
Laura C Offline


Registered: 07/12/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Heading up to Lone Pine on Sat 7/24 to spend 2 days acclimatizing before our hike day of Mon 7/26. Last year we did a hike in Onion Valley, and another one in Horseshoe Meadows. Onion Valley was great and I'd do it again, but I'd like an alternative to Horseshoe Meadows. How far away is White Mtn from Lone Pine? Would that be a good choice? Since it's for the day before our Whitney hike, I'm looking for something relatively easy yet at a high elevation for a good portion of time.

thanks

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#5915 - 07/12/10 12:38 PM Re: White Mtn, other acclimatizing hikes? [Re: Laura C]
+ @ti2d Online


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 830
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Hi,Laura

White Mountain is "about" a 1 hour drive from Lone Pine to Shulman Grove -- home of the bristlecone pine forest. The loop trail is approximately 10,000 feet in elevation. I believe the trail is 4 miles RT.

The drive to Schulman to Barcroft gate is another story requiring high clearance vehicles (some low clearance have made it). Can make for a very bumpy ride.

If this is a day before your scheduled MW hike, I would take it easy and hike the grove. Bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, jacket. Don't orget to bring that camera. The one tree you are taking a picture of could be Methuselah!

Have fun.
_________________________
Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#5916 - 07/12/10 12:50 PM Re: White Mtn, other acclimatizing hikes? [Re: Laura C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
White Mountain is a good distance from Lone Pine. Google Maps shows 82 miles. Getting to Big Pine and up to Westgard Pass is a nice drive, and so is the paved section of White Mountain road. But then there is a 20 mile section that takes at least an hour each way. So one way, it is 2.5 to 3 hours.

The nice thing is that you start hiking at 12,000 ft elevation, so the hike is great for acclimating. It would be good for two days before Whitney, but not the day before, since it is still pretty strenuous -- 14 miles round trip.

For an easier day before Whitney, you could just drive to the first Bristlecone Pine forest on that road, Schulman Grove. That would cut almost an hour off the drive, all on paved road, and gets you to 10,000 ft. And there is a nice loop trail around the grove so you could get in a little hike.

Here's a map of that area: postholer.com / Schulman Grove

Edit: After posting this, I see + @ti2d beat me to the same suggestion. smile


Edited by Steve C (07/12/10 12:51 PM)

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#5917 - 07/12/10 12:53 PM Re: White Mtn, other acclimatizing hikes? [Re: Steve C]
+ @ti2d Online


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 830
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
White Mountain is a good distance from Lone Pine. Google Maps shows 82 miles. Getting to Big Pine and up to Westgard Pass is a nice drive, and so is the paved section of White Mountain road. But then there is a 20 mile section that takes at least an hour each way. So one way, it is 2.5 to 3 hours.

The nice thing is that you start hiking at 12,000 ft elevation, so the hike is great for acclimating. It would be good for two days before Whitney, but not the day before, since it is still pretty strenuous -- 14 miles round trip.

For an easier day before Whitney, you could just drive to the first Bristlecone Pine forest on that road, Schulman Grove. That would cut almost an hour off the drive, all on paved road, and gets you to 10,000 ft. And there is a nice loop trail around the grove so you could get in a little hike.

Here's a map of that area: postholer.com / Schulman Grove

Edit: After posting this, I see + @ti2d beat me to the same suggestion. smile


We are so docent-like, eh?
_________________________
Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#5918 - 07/12/10 02:33 PM Re: White Mtn, other acclimatizing hikes? [Re: + @ti2d]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1012
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
lots of redundancy on the two Whitney websites. here's my post from the other. Harvey


[White Mountain]- that would be a 1.5hr one way drive from Lone Pine to Big Pine and up rte 168 and turn off to White Mt Rd. I've been to the Sierra Overlook there many times for a glorious morning view of the Owens Valley and the looming Wall of the Eastern Sierra. 2 miles beyond that is the Schulman visitors center/short discovery hike of 30 minute or so, some old trees, and thin air (thin enough for day one!) hint, hint at 10,000 ft.

12 miles on dirt road beyond that will get you to the oldest trees ( Patriarch Grove). beyond that is the jeep trail to White Mt. I have not done that. Here is one persons report
http://www.naturalbornhikers.com/WhiteMountainPeak/WhiteMountainPeak.htm

That side is very dry, barren and long. Personally, I never had any enthusiasm for going there. An alternative? Much prettier, say, going to Bishop South Lake, dayhike from there, maybe few miles round trip to Treasure Lakes 10,700 ft, for example. No need to wear yourself out trying to acclimatize on the long, hot, dry, shadeless 14,000 ft White Mt .

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#5925 - 07/12/10 09:23 PM Re: White Mtn, other acclimatizing hikes? [Re: Laura C]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Laura, curiously enough I and my family did the Methuselah Trail at Schulman Grove this afternoon as a pre-Whitney hike. First, an absolutely glorious panorama of the valley, the Sierra, and the ranges to the east of the Whites. Most breathtaking view I've seen in the eastern Sierra.

The drive from Big Pine to Schulman Grove took about an hour up (and around 25 minutes down smile ), with no traffic, but several stops to admire the scenery. We drove it from Mammoth Lakes, but I'd guess another hour max for the Lone Pine to Big Pine segment, so allow 2 hours each way to be safe. CHP loves 395 . . .

The Methuselah Trail hike - the longest one at Schulman Grove - is a 4.3 mile loop beginning at 10K' and reaching about 10,800', but the cumulative elevation gain seems a helluva lot more. I swear this trail has more up than down, which is a neat trick for a loop. My wife, 10 YO daughter and I took about 4 hours to do this, stopping regularly for photos, lunch, admiring the view on the east side of the trail, etc. The Ancient Bristlecones are just amazing, and the trail itself is fun. Maybe not the best choice for a first acclimation hike right out of the chute if you're coming from the lowlands (like us), but this was our 3rd day of hiking above 10K', so everyone was well-adjusted.

I start up Whitney Wednesday, 2 days away, and this was just about all the work I would have wanted that close to permit day. Cool-out, rest day tomorrow. Last year I did the two Cottonwood trails and Mono Pass in the 4 days before Whitney, and I think I may have overdone it. I strongly discourage you from putting forth much effort/energy at least 24 hours before you start Whitney. Best of luck!

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#5951 - 07/13/10 10:44 AM Re: White Mtn, other acclimatizing hikes? [Re: Bulldog34]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Horseshoe Meadow and Onion Valley are the two main places for acclimatization. I like the former because it non-taxing and the latter because its magnificent views from the pass.

My guess is you haven't taken seen all there is in these areas.

Horseshoe Meadows...Go to Trail Peak, I was blown away by the views from this peak earlier this year.

Onion Valley...Robinson Lake is an ok hike.

Why leave Whitney Portal...

Hike the Meysan Lakes Trail...the upper part of this is extremely pretty and as challenging as you want it to be.

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#5954 - 07/13/10 11:16 AM Re: White Mtn, other acclimatizing hikes? [Re: wbtravis]
Laura C Offline


Registered: 07/12/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Thanks all. Last year to acclimatize we did a hike from Onion Valley towards Kearsage (sp?) Pass, but did not go all the way to the Pass. That was Sat. On Sun we did an easy hike in the Horseshoe Meadows area. Although it was a high altitude, which was great, I didn't like it enough to repeat it again this year.

Our hike date is Monday. I don't think I'd want to do Meysan Lakes as I don't want to do anything that will tire us our or make us sore for Monday. Otherwise I'd like to try it as I've heard many times it's a pretty hike.

So I guess what I'm really looking for is an easy yet high altitude alternative to Horseshoe Meadows for the day before Whitney. I wouldn't mind doing two different trails from Onion Valley on Sat and Sun if the best alternatives are there. Just trying to spend as much time at higher elevations as possible over the weekend. Not looking for butt-kicking hikes - been doing them every weekend for a while!

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#6271 - 07/25/10 08:29 AM Re: White Mtn, other acclimatizing hikes? [Re: Laura C]
ARR Offline


Registered: 07/25/10
Posts: 2
Loc: California
You're probably on the mountain right now - sorry to hear it. White is a 14'r of course, but the down slope and then the up slope, etc., are a painful way to acclimate for Whitney. I'd recommend spending more time on the Whitney trail itself, Lone pine lake overnight, Outpost overnight, TC, etc., or hanging out at the trail head at Langley is about 10,000 feet and a fine place to kick it back and get the blood cells to open up.

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