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futbol, RenoFrank, sachiker10, Snacking Bear
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Original Post (Thread Starter)
Where to rest before the hike #58950 07/01/2021 5:19 AM
by sachiker10

This topic has probably been discussed ad nauseum, but I have to ask it because I got permits to hike Mt. Whitney on July 11th. Going to start the hike at 12 am on July 11th.

Where do you rest before the hike? I was looking at Whitney Portal, but it has no spaces available on July 10th. My understanding is that people often sleep in their cars at Whitney Portal before the hike. Also, I heard that dispersed camping (without a reservation) is also allowed at Whitney Portal. Is that true?

Thanks for any advice.
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Re: Where to rest before the hike #58959 Jul 2nd a 12:42 PM
by Harvey Lankford
Harvey Lankford
Originally Posted by Snacking Bear
* = FYI, if you are not familiar your anaerobic threshold is 80-95% of your max heart rate and can be calculated this way: (Your age - 220) x 0.80 = Minimum Anaerobic HR.

Let's turn that around. The rule-of-thumb formula is actually (220 - age) X .80
and some formulas use .85
The formula is approximate. Obviously there is individual variation because of genetics, endurance, fitness, over-heating, nutrition and more.

So for me, age 70, it is (220 -70) X .80 = 120 , or if using .85 it is 127.
This means that a heart rate of 120-127 is a sustainable rate all day long. I can, and do, but at a necessarily slower pace than 20 years ago

For those not counting pulse or using pulse watch, clinical clues to that rate may include varying amounts of pounding in your head, needing forced respirations, or breathless while talking
People can go above their anaerobic threshold for a while, then use a "cool down" period to pay back the oxygen debt, as in interval training.
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Re: Where to rest before the hike #58954 Jul 1st a 03:34 PM
by bobpickering
If you are trying to acclimatize, the best sleeping altitude is the highest altitude at which you don’t get sick. I always sleep at the portal in the comfortable bed I built in my car. You couldn’t pay me to sleep in Lone Pine. I started at 1:00 AM in 2010, when I climbed Whitney twice in one day. Otherwise, I don’t think I ever started before 5:00 AM. I need my sleep.
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Re: Where to rest before the hike #58953 Jul 1st a 02:55 PM
by RichardK
Do what Snacking Bear says. Spend the night before in a Lone Pine motel room. I could never really sleep, but I would lay down about 4PM and drift until 10PM. Then, eat something and head for the hill. Leaving at midnight is smart. You will be off the summit before the afternoon thunderstorms start. Plus, we were always able to get a parking spot in front of the trailhead. Good luck and please post pictures.
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Re: Where to rest before the hike #58952 Jul 1st a 01:44 PM
by Snacking Bear
Snacking Bear
The old mountaineering adage concerning efficient acclimatization is "climb high, sleep low." Meaning, to trigger your body's blood-oxygen carrying capacity you must climb high, high enough to trigger the change, and then sleep lower than your high point that day, while still at altitude, for your body to rest and keep that oxygen-increasing process rolling as you sleep. I'm not currently aware of any research that shows anything different (please let me know if you know of more recent research).

I usually recommend doing a warm-up hike the day prior (above 8,000) making sure that you are hiking uphill, for at least 30 minutes, until your heart rate hits your anaerobic threshold* for a couple of minutes. This is the "climb high" portion. I never go very hard, then I will spend the night before Whitney sleeping above 7000'. Any high campground in the Eastern Sierra will do: Horseshoe Meadows especially, even Onion Valley is within striking distance of the Portal.

I will make a caveat concerning sleeping high, but lower than your hiking high point. Good sleep is important. Some folks have a hard enough time sleeping at sea level. If you believe that sleeping in Lone Pine gives you a better chance of getting good rest than toughing out a stoic night at 7k-10k elevation, then do that. If you hike high the day before, you've still done your body a big favor.

* = FYI, if you are not familiar your anaerobic threshold is 80-95% of your max heart rate and can be calculated this way: (220 - Your age) x 0.80 = Minimum Anaerobic HR.
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