Getting in Shape to climb Mt. Whitney

Tips, tricks, workouts, injury advice.
no avatar

Posts: 1586
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 10:20 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Getting in Shape to climb Mt. Whitney

by Zzyzx » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:36 pm

Dingus Milktoast wrote:
nancybloomfield wrote:Last year I made it to 14,000 feet and then had to turn back and let my spouse summit alone.
I got altitude sickness along with feeling weak.
Does anyone have suggestions for a 59 year old women to get in shape to summit Mt. Whitney? Right now I am doing the Biggest Loser Boot Camp workout and running 4 miles 2 times a week. Whenever I get a chance I carry 20 lbs. in my back pack and hike hilly terrain.

Stop and rest 10 minutes out of every hour on the trail.

Drink water frequently. If bladder, well, sip frequently. If more of a canteen type of person, drink as much as you can at each 10 minute rest stop. Don't like force it and over drink though.

EAT some food, whatever you like (don't worry about space age bullshit, if you like, for example, peanut butter sandwiches and glazed donuts... take em. Its important to eat. What's not important is having the latest fad in outdoor crap food). Eat at every rest stop, even if its only 2 or 3 bites.

Walk at YOUR pace, not your partner's. Breathe through the nose most of the time. If you find yourself huffing and puffing, particularly on the lower part of the mountain, SLOW DOWN.

Lastly, at some point you have to 'push through' whatever it is that ails you, on a given hike/climb if you are going to top out. Its your decision - turn back or keep going. Stubbornness alone may get you to the top but be careful you don't spend your last internal resources (nothing left for the descent).

Eat often, drink more often, rest 10 minutes out of every hour, and WALK YOUR OWN PACE.

The exercise you're doing sounds fine to me.


Nancy, that's pretty much all you need to get to the summit of Whitney. If you have time the day before you can also drive to a higher elevation and do some easy hiking. That may help a little with acclimatization. White Mountain is one of the places where you can drive to over 10,000 feet.
Good luck with your next attempt!

User Avatar

Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:38 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

by chrismarks » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:13 am

I tired Whitney myself this year, I was pretty out of shape and had done no real climbing or hiking in almost two years. So I decided I was going to devote myself to training. Three days a week I went out running, at least once a weekend I did some hiking, and since I live in california, backpacking a legitimate option near the coast, so I threw that in as well.

I wish I did more acclimation but I do feel like I did a lot right.

I work up well before dawn and got going on the trail and that allowed me to take my sweet sweet time. I drank plenty of water along the way, probably 5 or 6 full nalgenes. I rested often, including a full hour for lunch at Outpost Camp.

I actually turned around due to my poor campon technique, but I seemed to have made the most of my poor physical condition by just going super slow and fueling myself often.

My attempt:

no avatar

Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:07 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Getting in Shape to climb Mt. Whitney

by sierrasavages » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:09 pm

This website has a comprehensive guide on training and nutrition specifically for Mt. Whitney.

User Avatar

Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:44 am
Thanked: 6 times in 5 posts

Re: Getting in Shape to climb Mt. Whitney

by ChristopherFranklin » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:11 am

I just did the mountaineers route about a month ago I did far more training. I did two a day workouts for months, but as far as what to do on the mountain to improve your chances this is what I did.

1) Water at least 3 liters a day while climbing, then more at camp.
2) Eat! Lots of food. Not hungry? Eat anyways.
3) Start a good multi pack of vitamins, not that one a day crap. Your body is trying to produce red blood cells give it all it needs.
4) Get at least 24hrs at the base of the mountain prior to your hike and be active during that time.
5) Don't go too high too fast.

Hope that helps -Cheers


Return to Technique and Training


  • Related topics
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests