Mount Whitney Day Hike 2013
Mt. Whitney SunriseI did the day hike on 7/31/2013. It took me 4:25 to top and 4:25 back to Portal. I had a permit but nobody seemed to care. I hiked alone and decided early on into my hike not to waste time taking pictures going up. I kept a high tempo and did not really stop until at about 14,000 ft where I got a nose bleed. I stuffed some toilet paper in my nose and continued like a maniac since I did not want to lose time. Coming down it was a different story: I took pictures, looked around but most importantly, all hikers I passed on my way up were coming up puffing and struggling. The rule of the mountain is that who’s coming up gets the right of way, so I had to pull to the side and let everyone pass.
Mount Whitney TrailA few tips: 1) do not make the mistake, as many do, to attempt to sleep in the car at the Portal for acclimatization and early start. There is so much noise at the Portal during night, one cannot rest. Lots of people told me how tired they were due to noise, bright Moon-light and other factors. Cars are coming and going 24 hours. People drag coolers, laugh, scream, open and close the metal food storage containers all the time. Also, if you are not used to sleeping in the car, you’ll never rest properly for the big hike. 2) There is lots of water along the trail up to Trail Camp. If you don’t like drinking right from the creeks, get a filtration pack. It’s much lighter that carrying all the needed water up and down. I needed 3 bottles of water and 2 of Gatorade for the whole hike. I got hydrated very well the day before and drank a good coffee and Gatorade 01 Prepare before the hike. 3) If you are not used to altitude get a prescription of the altitude pills. They helped me a lot. I live almost at sea level: altitude over 11,000 ft kills me. With the pills though I did not feel the effects of it.
Mt Whitney - view from summit. The trail goes to the right of those small lakes.I slept in a motel in Lone Pine. The drive to the portal was 25 minutes. I woke up at 4:AM, eat and left by 4:30. At 5 to 5:AM I was at the Portal. It was so dark I could not see a thing. I used the time to store everything with scent I did not need for my hike into the metal storage contains. I started the hike at 5:15 AM when there was a bit of light, enough to see the trail. I did not want to carry the flashlight with me all day for 15 minutes of darkness. By 5:25 AM there was total daylight. I did train very good for this hike. Do not take my time as a guide. There are people that hike to the summit much faster but I also run into a guy that was coming down and he said he was hiking for 26 hour nonstop! The guy left at 4:00 AM the previous day, made it to the summit and now he was coming back. It was 6:00 AM and he still had 2.5 miles to go.
If you are remotely thinking about hiking Mt. Whitney, please do it. It will personally give you a great sense of accomplishment. There is not much you can tell others since they will not understand or care, but to you it will mean a lot. You will see what I mean after you’ve done it. Good luck.
Mt Whitney - house on the summit