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Lone Pine, California Map
3 days ago

ok, some practical tips on hiking mt whitney now:
1. bring some trekking poles. they may not be very useful when you go up, but definitely helps when you go down. the "costco" poles are great. amazon sells them too but at higher price. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XM0YGW8?ref=emc_b_5_i .
2. water is heavy. there is plenty of water along the way, but the creek is polluted with e.coli downstream (yes, you know what it means). so a reasonable strategy is to carry about 1.5-2 liters with you and invest into something like https://www.rei.com/product/890900/sawyer-mini-water-filter?CAWELAID=120217890000753957&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=15877492480&CATCI=aud-129902659960:pla-188341660360&cm_mmc=PLA_Google%7C404_10386%7C8909000004%7Cnone%7C936cefd5-699c-40cf-b2dd-387ed04cd5b4%7Caud-129902659960:pla-188341660360&lsft=cm_mmc:PLA_Google_LIA%7C404_10386%7C8909000004%7Cnone%7C936cefd5-699c-40cf-b2dd-387ed04cd5b4%7Caud-129902659960:pla-188341660360&gclid=Cj0KCQjwxdPNBRDmARIsAAw-TUm9fpnZZbWXv8FwAXj1-FlTnd4mTkwMRLzt6cRnNfxf92eHls9KuCAaAiy5EALw_wcB - and then try to refill as high as you can (the main camp is at 12000 feet, so streams above 12k is much cleaner). or you can just carry about 3L, that should do it.
3. start as early as you can. 1:30am, 2am. Hiking at night is much easier. Weather is nice, you need less water and you have more time to finish.
4. it often rains in the afternoon, so bring some layers. hiking in rain is annoying because of mud and slippery rocks, but doable. However, if there is a chance of thunderstorm - the rangers will likely close the summit because it's dangerous.
5. gloves! when it gets cold and windy turns out a lot of people have everything protected but hands :slightly_smiling_face: I've seen some people walking with spare socks on their hands - it's a nice trick too
6. keep your feet dry. the trail crosses a creek multiple times and in many places you have to step into water. just a couple inches deep but if your boots are waterproof - it helps a lot. it also helps to bring spare socks.
7. sunscreen and sunshades! UV is much more intense at higher altitudes, so try to cover as much skin as possible, protect eyes and face, especially your nose :slightly_smiling_face:
8. food. you'll need calories and the easiest once to digest are carbohydrates. think bars, dried fruits. Caffeine - it helps some but makes worse for others, so unless you're sure - stay away. You may want to grab some gels. They are generally not sustainable for all day hike, but they may give you energy for the final push or if you get really exhausted.
9. headlight and spare batteries. you'll be hiking in the dark.
10. backpack. you'll need some water, food and clothes, so a typical day hiker carries about 14-20 pound backpack. You backpack should have a tight fit belt so you can off load your shoulders.
11. assuming you're not allergic etc, you may bring Advil with you. 2 tablets every 4 hours is the normal dose. If you are sure your body handles advil well, you can take some more, otherwise stick to the normal.
12. before you go, download google offline map on your phone. you should also use some tracker (like strava, endomondo or alltrails.com) - they'll help you to stay on the path and get some stats. but when you hit the trail - switch your phone into airplane mode. the map and trackers will still work, they just need GPS signal and it's available in the airplane mode, but your battery will last much longer (phones burn a lot of energy trying to find non-existent signal)
13. The trail will look really busy in the morning, but most people are trying to summit before 1 pm, so if you stay longer - you can still make it, but there will be very few people around, so you might be on your own.

ok, that's all i could think about

I did this hike on 9/8/17 in one day. The entire hike took me 12 hrs. and 25 minutes and I started at 2:40 AM. I am a rather fit, young teenager so I did not feel the effect of altitude sickness very much and I also took a few ibuprofen during and before the hike to help with the symptoms of AMS. To prepare for the hike, I had done a few day hikes in the months proceeding but none very serious or long with any decent elevation gain. The most I did to prepare was 12 miles with 2,500 feet of elevation gain, less than half of Mt. Whitney and not at altitude either. The day before my ascent of Whitney, I did a day hike to Lone Pine Lake just to acclimatize. For me, I did not need the elaborate training regiments I saw many other people write about, but I'm sure it can't hurt to do it either. Mainly, just being in good physical shape and having endurance will help. The hike was difficult but it most certainly was not the hardest hike and I would rate it an 8.5/10 in terms of difficulty.
I summited at 9:20 AM so the hike to the top took me 6 hrs. and 40 minutes. I stopped for 5 breaks on my way to the top though to ensure I was not ascending altitude too quickly. I stayed at the summit for a little less than an hour and then headed back down the trail without taking many breaks and arrived back at the Whitney Portal at 3:05 PM.
My main advice to anyone considering hiking Mt. Whitney is to start early, not stop too often, and bring very warm clothes because my hands and body froze after I reached Trail Camp and I was miserable for the rest of the ascent. The gusts and temperature were so cold that the water running down the 97 switchbacks was frozen. It doesn't really warm up until midday coming down the 97 switchbacks so if not dressed properly, you may be cold for hours on end which takes away from the beauty of the hike. If you know you are a fast hiker, try delaying your start to 4 AM so that you don't reach Trail Camp at sunrise when it is extremely cold.
That being said, the hike was magnificent. Hiking alone in the darkness of the morning was calming and quiet and then watching the sunrise at Trail Camp while surrounded by boulder fields and jagged peaks was serene. Reaching Trail Crest and looking out to the east and west presents once in a lifetime views of landscape for miles. Reaching the summit is filled with a sense of relief and also a breathtaking view of much of the Sierra Nevadas.
This hike should definitely be on every hikers bucket list and getting to the top is such a great feeling. The overall experience as a whole was nearly perfect (except for the cold weather). As a final note, don't be discouraged just because you didn't reserve a permit in the lottery; I monitored the permit site in the weeks before my trip and got one and saw openings pop up nearly every day.

Amazing...Every hiker who can, should do it at least once! Start early...We did it in one day, but many hikers backpack in.

One day hike to the summit on 8/31. Made it to the top @ 2:30pm, probably the last of the day...some clouds but we had sun on the summit and no rain until the last 3 miles of the trail... we were soaked by the time we got back to the car! Talk about a way to keep our minds off our aching feet... just jog down in the rain!

Overall, amazing views along the way...unforgettable. Indescribable. We are amateurs but managed this Herculean feat. Most physically demanding thing we've ever done. Most mentally challenging, too. Neither of us had done anything so drastic but our stubborn will kept us going. We were also blessed to avoid altitude sickness. Camped at the Whitney group sites for three nights prior.

While a one day hike is doable and incredibly rewarding, I think if I ever do it again (minimal chance), I'd camp overnight to split it up. I still can't believe we did it. Very empowering. Just be sure to train!!!

It's 3.3 miles from My Whitney Portal and 2.8 miles going down. it was a beautiful hike, good use of trekking poles, Rocky, and a lot of switch backs, dogs are able to use this trail.

Did this in one day and got my butt kicked. If you think the fatigue starts during the 97 switchbacks, you are dead wrong. So conserve your energy because there's a lot more butt kicking after that.

Well worth it though. Will hike again but will split this up into a two day hike.

Anyone know the exact distance? A lot of the articles say 22 miles and I see all trails mentions 18?? My husband and I are planning a day hike starting at 3 am early October (assuming the weather cooperates). We frequently do 10k and over 10k elevation day hikes in the Reno Tahoe. Been up to 11k in elevation and don't have any issues with altitude. Thanks for any help! Dale and Carolina Smith.