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RONDARC's Photo RONDARC Posts: 9,771
7/19/12 7:08 P

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Sounds like you had a great time anyway! emoticon

~~ Ronda~~

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

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I'm celebrating my SEVENTH anniversary with SparkPeople in the June 3-9, 2007 class.



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SEBASTIANALADY Posts: 871
7/18/12 10:19 A

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Sounds like you have a great plan for next year.

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HAWAIIANMAMMA's Photo HAWAIIANMAMMA Posts: 2,792
7/17/12 8:49 P

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Wow! What a great thread! There is a small group of us thinking of going up Whitney next month. Of course, we didn't order permits far enough out so we might just have to do the lottery and cross our fingers. I don't think we were going to do the huge summit, though. I haven't looked too far into it, but the group was talking about spending just 2 days. In any event, I learned a lot from your experience, so thanks for posting! I'll keep you guys posted on if I do Whitney or another nearby peak next month.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.


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WATERFELON's Photo WATERFELON SparkPoints: (18,441)
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7/17/12 12:32 P

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Thanks, all! I really do not feel defeated, I had a great time, just a little disappointed that I didn't make it. That said, it can still be my choice what to do with it-and I'm leaning towards acceptance that I challenged myself, did my best, and came home still feeling very fulfilled and satisfied and happy with what I did accomplish!

I told my bro last night that "next time" I think we should plan that I go up a week before he does and I'll get acclimated by taking it slow, slow, slow up the hill, then wait for him at Trail Camp (the last place you can camp before going up the summit). Then he can come up and meet me, we go to the summit, then come back down together. That way I can take my time to get acclimated and he can not be away from his apnea machine for too long! I meant it as a joke, but he said......."yeah, that might work, we might have to do it that way next year"............Doh!

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LINDAKAY228's Photo LINDAKAY228 Posts: 16,423
7/16/12 10:31 A

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I'm totally in awe of what you accompliashed! That's a high altitude that you did reach. Altitude sickness is a problem for many people and since you don't have much chance to acclimate it's good you turned back. I couldn't have done that. I live at 6500 feet but have been to the top of Sandia Crest in Albuquerque (once hiking a number of years ago and a few times driving) and it's 10,000 ft and I felt the changes and was a little light headed and got a headache. So getting to 11,000 or 11,500 would be really hard. Glad you enjoyed the scenery and you don't feel it was a wasted effort. You did totally awesome!

Linda

Last is just the slowest winner."-C Hunter Boyd







 
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SEBASTIANALADY Posts: 871
7/16/12 7:34 A

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I'm super impressed with what you did accomplish. I know many people who climbed/attempted Mt Fuji and every one of them came away remarking how much more demanding it was than they had anticipated. Even my friend who led weekly group treks up it had enormous respect for the climb.

As for me, I felt the altitude with headaches just at the stage 6 point where the groups tend to leave the gift shop area for the upper stages of the hike. I'm in total awe of what you accomplished.

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo LYNDALOVES2HIKE Posts: 33,955
7/16/12 12:45 A

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There's no way I could climb Mt Hood or Mt Rainier, even though they aren't quite 'as high' as some we have here. It's hard to get acclimated to altitude when there's nothing accessible that's high enough. Well, there is an 'elite' 24-Hour Fitness that has an 'altitude chamber' for training purposes for pro athletes - it's at the Ultra gym in Newport Beach and I think the membership is something like $150/month with extra charges for the chamber - so I guess if you have enough $$, you can find a substitute for the mountain, haha!

Seriously, though, there just aren't a lot of options for getting acclimated but you can also ask your doctor for a prescription - I don't remember the name but there is a med that helps to prevent altitude sickness. At any rate, you might get another chance so store what you learned and put it to use 'the next time.'

Happy trails!
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Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

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God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."


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WATERFELON's Photo WATERFELON SparkPoints: (18,441)
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7/16/12 12:18 A

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Yeah, the first day heading up we met some people who were coming down who didn't make it, either. It seems like an unwritten rule up there to not ask whether the people coming down made it or not! We talked to a couple of groups who did make it and they were really nice, but there were also several people who were just dragging themselves down the hill-don't think they made it but it seemed rude to ask!

Yes, it was an amazing experience, I really enjoyed it regardless! The scenery is amazing and it was nice to spend the time with them. We're planning a 3 or 4 day, 30 mile, Oregon Coast trip for next month-much less altitude gain and totally different scenery. I think they'll enjoy it and I'm in much better shape for that!

The altitude training is the hardest for me. I live in the Northwest, so we have snow/glaciers at the higher elevations all year round, so it's very hard to get acclimated to the higher altitudes up here. I can get to Mt. Hood to ~5,000-7,000' levels without any trouble, but higher up requires a lot more snow climbing skills that I just don't have. And this year, we had 3 or 4 people at Mt. Hood and several more up at Mt. Rainier die this year trying to climb those mountains. It was a really bad year for people having problems up on the mountains this year, so I didn't push it. My brother and nephew live near Las Vegas, so they can go up to Mt. Charleston and other nearby high peaks all the time to train and acclimate. My nephew was getting tired when we turned back, but I think he could have made it.

I don't know about going back up-unless I take a week or more to do it-and the problem with that is my brother has sleep apnea so needs one of those machines that helps him breath when he sleeps. So he can't be away from the machine for more than 2 nights or he has problems, so we're kind of out of luck!

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo LYNDALOVES2HIKE Posts: 33,955
7/15/12 5:08 P

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Don't feel too bad because more than 2 out of 3 people who try it turn back before reaching the summit and most of the people who do make it have had a previous attempt that didn't work out. I've heard that 75-90% of people on their first attempt turn back and the ones who make it are usually people who have climbed other 'tall peaks' before. It just ain't an easy thing to do.

And heck, you're waaaaaaaay ahead of me! I'm in awe that you gave it a try - as for feeling the altitude, I was feeling it 'big time' at 8k last week - took me several days before I could breathe more normally, even on a flat hike, and I didn't feel really acclimated until after a week - even then, I had some feelings of altitude sickness! So I think you did the right thing to turn back - as for getting individual permits, if you had a severe enough reaction, you could have collapsed even on the way back to your base camp so I personally think it would have been a good idea for your two hiking companions to turn back with you anyway to be sure you could make it. Tough call but it's better to all stay together, I think!

At any rate, you might not have made the summit but what an adventure! And definitely a successful climb to the elevation you reached - 11k to 11,500 is pretty darned high!
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Maybe you can arrange more time in the mountains to acclimate 'next time' before making the attempt - there are a lot of places in that area where you can spend the night above 8k elevation for a few nights before heading out. Considering you live at a MUCH lower elevation, it's good to give your body ample opportunity to acclimate - plus there is medication you might want to take 'next time' that could help.

Either way, congrats for attempting it and I agree that anyone who has made it deserves hats off!!
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Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

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God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."


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WATERFELON's Photo WATERFELON SparkPoints: (18,441)
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7/15/12 4:28 P

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Defeated at Mt. Whitney! I tried my best, but didn't make it last weekend. I started feeling the headache around 11,000' and by 11,500' I was nauseous and couldn't really even hold a few sips of water down. We were making decent time up the hill, but after I took a small stumble due to a bout of sickness that made my head swim, I just couldn't go on.

In the future, we did learn a good lesson, though. Always get individual permits for hiking the major peaks! There were plenty last Friday when we showed up, but didn't even think to get individual permits, so we had to stay together as a group. If we had gotten individual permits, I could have descended back to our base camp and my brother and nephew could have kept climbing-they were doing great and I think they could have made it if they could have kept going. I feel really bad that they had to turn back with me just for the paperwork issue!

We saw some AMAZING scenery up in the hills and I am so happy that we went! Above the treeline, the rock formations and water features are just striking. It is so humbling to be up in the big mountains and know that we humans are so small and puny compared to them!

For anyone who has made it to the top of Mt.Whitney, hats off to you!

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