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Mt. Whitney / SEKI, CA

Aug 25 - Sep 2, 2018 -- $1250 ★★★★★

At 14,505' Mount Whitney is the highest peak in the continental United States. You already know that summiting is a life-list goal and nonpareil personal challenge that will give you a great deal of personal satisfaction (and you can impress your friends by casually mentioning it to boot).


But what you may not know is just how beautiful the rest of the High Sierra is, with stunning all day views of distant lesser and unnamed peaks, beautiful mountain lakes and redolent wildflowers. Because of all this, and the fact that we will be on the famous Pacific Crest Trail and John Muir trail, it is one of the most popular and sought after hiking destinations there is.


While Mt. Whitney is officially located within Sequoia / Kings Canyon National Park, we will start and end in the Inyo National Forest, and pass through the John Muir Wilderness along the way.


Our journey will begin and end at the Cottonwood Campground Trailhead South of Lone Pine. One nice thing about starting here is that the elevation is already 10000'. This is about the highest automobile accessible trailhead near Mt. Whitney.


Come summit the highest peak in the Lower 48 and create a lasting memory. Why not join us this summer?



Weather

Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Expect daytime hiking temperatures well into the 70s and nighttime temperatures in the 40s & 50s. However, be prepared for the possibility of day temperatures in the 80s and as low as 30 plus violent afternoon thunderstorms. Here is the historical August weather.



Trip Leaders

Rick Romine
Miles Gordon


Cost

$1250 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Las Vegas, NV (LAS), personal equipment, restaurant meals eaten off the trail and any gratuities.


Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 7 days of trail meals, ground transportation, National Park permits, Satellite Phone, insurance, and 2 awesome guides.



Difficulty

The trails through the Inyo National Forest and Sequoia / Kings Canyon National Park are well groomed with good footing. However, elevation gain and loss can be dramatic. Our trip is a long, difficult journey not only because of the distance we'll cover, but because the thin air at high elevation can induce altitude sickness. In order to combat this, we will spend 3 days backpacking at between 9000-11000 feet to acclimate to the elevation and will endeavor to stay super-hydrated as well. That said, the continually changing incredible scenery few ever get to see, should keep you engaged even when cumulative fatigue begins to set in.



Important Notes

We must be continually mindful of the elevation and acclimate to it. We won't have too much of an opportunity to do this since the base of the trip (Las Vegas) is only 2000' above sea level. Contrary to popular belief, fitness level has little to do with altitude acclimation. Your body chemistry is what dictates its effects. Staying super hydrated and cutting caffeine can help.


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Packing List
Itinerary
Weather
Guides for this trip
Cost
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
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Itinerary


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Fly, bus or drive into Las Vegas, NV (LAS). Sometime between Noon - 3PM is the ideal time to arrive, but if you can save a substantial amount on trip costs by arriving a few hours earlier or later, you can do that if you let us know.


Take the free airport shuttle to Baymont Inn & Suites Las Vegas South Strip, 55 E Robindale Road, Las Vegas, NV, 89123, 702-273-2500


Equipment shakedown. We go through your pack and examine everything you brought.


Trail mix distribution


"Before" body composition measurements taken


Go to REI Las Vegas, 710 S. Rampart Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89145, (702) 951-4488, for last minute or forgotten equipment


Go out for a group welcome dinner (not included in trip cost)



Sunday, August 26, 2018

Second set of "before" measurements taken


Free hotel breakfast


If you drive, you car may be left at hotel. However, the hotel may charge you a fee and assumes no responsibility for your car's security and will have you sign a document saying so.


All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and placed in storage


Shuttle to Cottonwood Campground Trailhead, Inyo National Forest (about 4.5 hours). We will pass through Death Valley National Park along the way but will not stop for any appreciable time.


Begin hiking at Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead Campground, elevation 10,000'


Hike 5.7 miles into the John Muir Wilderess to spectacular Long Lake, elevation 11,200'


Camp at Long Lake, elevation 11,200'


Miles today: 5.7 miles. Total to Date: 5.7 Miles


Possible Bailout: Cottonwood


Monday, August 27, 2018

Hike 3.2 miles up over New Army Pass (elevation 12,080') to the Siberian Pass Trail, elevation 10900'


Turn right and hike 0.6 miles to the Army Pass Trail, elevation 10800'


Turn left and hike 3.5 miles on the Army Pass Trail to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), elevation 9800'


Turn right and hike 1.6 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail to Lower Rock Creek, elevation 9520'. This is the lowest elevation on the entire trip.


Camp at Lower Rock Creek, elevation 9520'


Miles today: 8.9. Total miles: 14.6


Possible bailout: Very distant, no good options



Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Hike 2.8 miles on the PCT to Guyot Pass, elevation 10880'


Hike 3.0 miles on the PCT to The John Muir Trail, elevation 10700'


Turn right and hike 0.8 miles to the Crabtree Ranger Station, elevation 10700'


Hike 2.8 miles to Guitar Lake, elevation 11500'


Camp at Guitar Lake, elevation 11500'


Miles today: 9.4. Total miles: 24.0


Possible bailout: Very distant, no good options



Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Day-Hiking Only today, leave tents set up


Day-Hike 2.8 miles to the Mt. Whitney Trail, elevation 13748'


Day-Hike 5.6 round-trip miles to the summit of Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the Lower 48, elevation 14505'.


There is a reasonably good possibility of snow on Mt. Whitney


Day-Hike 2.8 miles back to Guitar Lake, elevation 11500'


Camp at Guitar Lake, elevation 11500'


Miles today: 11.2. Total miles: 35.2


Possible bailout: Very distant, no good options. In an emergency only, we can evacuate to Whitney Portal



Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hike 2.8 miles on the John Muir Trail to the Crabtree Ranger Station, elevation 10700'


Hike 1.2 miles via Crabtree Meadow to the PCT, elevation 10330'.


Turn left and hike 5.1 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail to Lower Rock Creek, elevation 9520'


Camp at Lower Rock Creek, elevation 9520'


Miles today: 9.1. Total miles: 44.3


Possible bailout: Very distant, no good options


Friday, August 31, 2018

Hike 1.6 miles on the PCT to the New Army Trail, elevation 9800'


Hike 4.3 miles on the PCT to the Siberian Pass Trail, elevation 11040'


Hike 3.1 miles on the PCT to Chicken Spring Lake, elevation 11240'


Camp near Chicken Spring Lake, elevation 11240'


Miles today: 9.0. Total miles: 53.3


Possible bailout: Horseshoe Meadow


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Hike 1.6 miles on the PCT to Cottonwood Pass, elevation 11200'


Turn left and hike 3.4 miles to Horseshoe Meadow, elevation 9920'


End of hiking


Miles today: 5.0. Total miles: 58.3


Possible bailout: Horseshoe Meadow


After measurements taken


Go out to celebratory dinner (not included in trip cost) and awards ceremony in Lone Pine


Shuttle 4.5 hours back to Las Vegas. Check into La Quinta Inn & Suites Las Vegas Airport North Convention, 3970 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV, 89109, 702-796-9000


Your stuff will be transported here shortly after we arrive and check in


This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.


Sunday, September 2, 2018

Free hotel breakfast


Free airport shuttle


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