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Mt Whitney in a day 7-8-14 Part one - The Preparation


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I am a planner. I read books, studied maps, poured over trip reports hoping to glean the one obscure tip that would be my salvation. I fretted, obsessed, analyzed, memorized. I watched youtube videos of the trail, did a virtual flyover on Halfmile Maps google earth. I worried over hikers who fell off the trail wondering what tripped them up. I dreamt about things I could not control and wondered if my trail runners were going to be sufficient. I left no stone unturned.

I did a reconnoiter road trip to Lone Pine the month before to check out the portal during daylight hours and hiked up to Lone Pine Lake and around Horseshow Meadows. The 3 mile hike to Lone Pine Lake normally should have been a piece of cake, but I felt fatigued. It could have been the 5 hr car ride or starting the hike at noon in the 90 degree heat, but it kinda shook my confidence. At that point I gave myself permission that if I could not make the summit bid, it would be okay. In fact, I would consider the trip a success the minute I buckled on my pack and stepped onto the trail. My friend and I made a pact that we would have fun no matter what and that it would be a great adventure - however it turned out.

Two weekends in a row before Whitney, I camped and hiked at around 10,000’ at 20 Lakes Basin and Virginia Lakes. I took Ginko Biloba for about 7 days prior after reading antidotal stories how it might help with my oxygen usage. I am not sure it really worked; certainly didn’t hurt though.

My gear: A lightweight Osprey daypack decorated with prayer flags and with a 100oz hydration bladder, Steripen Ultra, SPOT Gen 3, Garmin GPS, Nikon 9300 point n shoot, iPod, map, compass, whistle, trail notes: milestone distances, switchbacks and water sources, headlamp, extra batteries, first aid supplies (copious amounts of Advil, a hunk of moleskin, duct tape, roll of gauze, sunscreen, antibacterial gel), 2 WAG bags (what if I get a stomach ache from the excitement?) and a gallon ziplock baggie for WAG portage, TP and Wet Naps, eyeglasses and sunglasses, emergency Sol bivy, plastic poncho, silver emergency blanket (mostly to wrap around myself in case I had to use the WAG bag out in the open) and Black Diamond Ultra Distance trekking poles.

Clothing On: Brooks Cascadia 8 trail runners, leopard print dirty girl gaiters, Smartwool hiking socks, REI long pants with zip-off legs, two layers of thin performance shirts (one short sleeved, one long sleeved) in bright colors, because bright color is energizing and makes me feel good and a visor.


Clothing in the bag: A new pair of Incredisock for the trip back down, down jacket, compression tights, buff and gloves, waterproof Tyvek jacket.

Food: Separated into two giant baggies (one for the trip up and one for the trip down because I like to eat!! A custom trail mix blend (Fritos, Chex Party Mix, bacon jerky (yes, BACON! a kickstarter project I kicked in for), nuts, M&M’s, chocolate covered goji berries, Hot Tamale candies, Jolly Rancher gummy chews, wasabi peas), assorted Fig Bars/Trail Bars, some Babybel cheese, Electrolyte/Energy chews, Electrolyte tabs for the water and GU. Lots and lots of GU. Highly recommend the Salted Caramel flavor. ...to be continued...see part two The Hike

Edited by TollerMom
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