Joined: January 20th, 2004, 9:07 pm

February 18th, 2009, 9:51 pm #11

Flip a coin. If it comes out heads, stay longer. If it comes out tails, stay longer.

When are you going to be there anyway?
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 5:18 am

February 18th, 2009, 11:03 pm #12

I'm planning my trip for September 21-29. I've already applied to the California lottery for the main Whitney Trail with 2 choices. The first is 9/26-28; the second is 9/23-25. IF (big if) I get my first choice, that will leave me with all day on the 22nd and 23rd to play in Hawaii with one of those days for Mauna Kea. The 24th would be the day up in the air. Do I go to CA on that day and give myself plenty of time to get to Lone Pine for a mid-morning start on the 26th OR to I leave on the 25th and have a semi-hectic travel day getting to the Whitney trailhead in time?

I like your coin flipping method and really feel like 3 days is a boatload of time for Whitney. I'm fairly confident I could dayhike it but 6K elevation gain is a lot at altitude for a lowlander and I don't want to chance it. Anyway, I'm looking forward to it intensely.
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 9:07 pm

February 20th, 2009, 12:42 am #13

Good time of the year to be up the mountain or on the Hilo/Volcano side. Still could rain, but better odds it won't. No chance of snow up top though.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 8:13 pm

February 20th, 2009, 1:34 am #14

I'm planning my trip for September 21-29. I've already applied to the California lottery for the main Whitney Trail with 2 choices. The first is 9/26-28; the second is 9/23-25. IF (big if) I get my first choice, that will leave me with all day on the 22nd and 23rd to play in Hawaii with one of those days for Mauna Kea. The 24th would be the day up in the air. Do I go to CA on that day and give myself plenty of time to get to Lone Pine for a mid-morning start on the 26th OR to I leave on the 25th and have a semi-hectic travel day getting to the Whitney trailhead in time?

I like your coin flipping method and really feel like 3 days is a boatload of time for Whitney. I'm fairly confident I could dayhike it but 6K elevation gain is a lot at altitude for a lowlander and I don't want to chance it. Anyway, I'm looking forward to it intensely.
Having done Whitney as an overnight backpack in 2001, with two nights at 8,000' in Mammoth Lakes and one dayhike to 11,000' worth of acclimation first, I'd be leery of flying back to CA and hitting the main Whitney trail the next day. Remember, you'll have been (literally) at sea level in HI and will have had a fairly long (5 hours) flight at cabin altitude (8,000' or so) before returning to sea level at LAX.

Much as I'd like to say "spend the extra day in HI," I vote for coming back to CA and spending a night (and preferably a day) at altitudes between 8k' and 10k' before hitting the trail for Whitney. Altitude sickness is no fun and if it keeps you from summiting Whitney, you'll be kicking yourself.

Also, keep in mind the schedule of the ranger station in Lone Pine. You have to pick up your permit in person (and listen to the requisite bear lecture) so depending on your HNL-LAX flight schedule, you might not make it to the ranger station in time to pick up your permit if you want to get an early start on the trail.

Hawaii is worth several short trips or one really long one...I've been there twice now and have yet to make it out to Maui, so I'll look forward to a third visit someday. I'm just conservative about acclimation any time I'm headed over 13k', so I think the tradeoff favors a quicker return to CA, despite my bias toward seeing more of HI.

Mark, chime in if you think I'm way off base but that's my call on the choice...
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 9:07 pm

February 20th, 2009, 7:36 am #15

Everyone's different. As long as i pressure breathe and hydrate like crazy, i'm ok going high right away. For me the problem is sleeping above 11K. Whichever you do Mark, it might make sense to save Mauna Kea as the last thing you do before leaving Hawaii, so whatever slight acclimation benefits you might gain won't entirely disappear. It's not like anything much can go wrong (knock on koa) that would make you want to have a back-up day.
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 5:18 am

February 20th, 2009, 10:45 am #16

Everything you guys are saying is dead on. The biggest issue is getting to Lone Pine the day before to physically obtain the permit. Not much way around that. I'm not too terribly concerned with the acclimitization on Whitney although I do move slow about 12.5K or so. I use Diamox which helps and the time on Mauna Kea and possibly Mauna Loa the day before will benefit me.

I guess I just gotta sit on my hands at this point and wait to see if and what days I get on the permit. If the permit doesn't happen, I'll have to explore other options for Whitney. Thanks again guys.
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