I climbed San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek trail yesterday. Felt great the first 7 miles and then hit a ‘major wall’ at about 10,000 feet. I did persist and made it to the top, but all I kept thinking was “if this is hard going to 11,500, how am I going to do Mount Whitney which is 3000 feet higher?” Is this hike supposed to feel like a cakewalk before attempting Whitney?
Billy, in my experience, San Gorgonio is always tough. I usually start to really feel the altitude around 10,000 feet. My pace slows down, and I rest more frequently. But I don’t get altitude sickness.
Part of the challenge is acclimating to the higher elevation. If you live near sea level and hike San Gorgonio as a day hike, your body isn’t fully acclimated. For Mount Whitney, you want to give yourself one night at Whitney Portal or Horeshoe Meadows to acclimate before your hike.
Also, prehydrate and drink water alternating with electrolytes on a schedule. In cold air, I don’t always feel thirsty, but I force myself to drink at least once hourly.
Do some reading on the signs of altitude sickness.
And remember 5hat even with acclimatization you will slow down as the oxygen thins out.
Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
Thank You! We plan on camping at trail camp after spending night at Lone Pine.
No, San Grogonio is not a cakewalk, even compared to Whitney. Although going down does feel like a cakewalk! 🙂 but certainly not while trekking through mile 8,9,10.
Whitney as a day hike will feel a lot like Grogonio, but a lot harder at times….Especially at the 99 switch backs. There wasn’t a single person on Whitney or Grogonio that was unphased by the altitude, everyone slows down and rests often.
My GPS recorded 20.7 miles in 2017 when I summited Grogonio, I did it in 10.5 hours total time. Whitney was 22 miles and it took me 14 hours, total time. We got to the parking lot at 7:10pm. Just remember, if you did Grogonio, You CAN do Whitney!!!!!!! Have a great hike!
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Flex your adventure muscles!