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Gear List for Mt. Whitney
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James Block
(jsblock11) - F

Locale: Southern California
Gear List for Mt. Whitney on 06/21/2012 11:58:06 MDT Print View

Looking for input on my clothing/sleep system gear list for a July 15th-16th summit attempt of Whitney. One night at the 12,000ft trail camp then early morning to summit and back. Perhaps warmer clothes or shelter variations than my typical Sierra list below? I haven't slept above 10,000ft or so, so I'd expect colder temps even on July 15th.

Long Underwear Top Patagonia Capilene 2 Crew
Long Underwear Bottoms Patagonia Capilene 2 Bottoms
Socks One extra pair wool socks
Pants Columbia convertible hiking pants
Insulated Jacket Montbell UL Thermawrap jacket
Outer Shell Layer Patagonia Houdini Wind Shirt
Warm Hat REI Baclava
Gloves North Face Fleece gloves
Rain Gear Frogg Toggs Dri Ducks (always carry these, never actually used)

Shelter Tarptent Squall 2 (any place to stake at 12kft? could tie off to rocks perhaps? I also have an MLD bivy/tarp system but figured tent is better option on this trip)
Sleeping Bag Montbell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 (30deg rating)
Sleeping Pad Ridgerest size small (48" long) with pack under feet

I also use an ION headlamp, perhaps I should get something brighter for potential early AM start before first light? I've never hiked via headlamp before.

Brad Walker

Locale: SoCal
Re: Gear List for Mt. Whitney on 06/21/2012 12:11:23 MDT Print View

Looks pretty good to me, but I'm sure those with more experience will chime in.

Sun hat and sunglasses? Lighter/more airy shirt than the cap2 to hike in? I don't know at what temps you overheat, but I'd probably bring a "travel" style longsleeve collard shirt.

Pretty safe to bring a down jacket if you have one instead of the Thermawrap.

At that elevation and with a pretty open view east you should get very early morning light. The trail's also really easy to follow so I don't think you need a better headlamp.

James Block
(jsblock11) - F

Locale: Southern California
Whtiney on 06/21/2012 14:13:27 MDT Print View

I do have a wide brim hat and sunglasses, as well as my usual long sleeve collared hiking shirt that I did not have on the above list. I don't have a down jacket, the Thermawrap is the only option I have right now.

Dave Ploessel
(mailesdad) - F
bring lots of sunblock on 07/04/2012 09:21:55 MDT Print View

Check the moon phase. If it's anywhere near a full moon, you won't need a headlamp at all really (still bring one, but don't worry about getting a brighter one). One of the best experiences is hiking above treeline by moonlight - all that granite reflects the moonlight and you can see everything so bright and clear.

Always bring warm clothes (like your rain gear, it's a safety thing), but I doubt you'll need your base layers unless you plan on spending a lot of time sitting still on the summit. Last time I climbed whitney in july (last year), I was wearing shorts and a thin t-shirt at 2 AM on my way up from guitar lake. Along those lines, I would suggest leaving the long underwear at home unless you are only planning on wearing it to sleep in.

It starts out cold, but, I don't know if you noticed, climbing, even up an easy trail like whitney, is pretty physically demanding, and you will end up sweating your butt off if you wear all those layers.

Have you ever climbed Whitney before? Try and make it up for the sunrise =0)

Todd Hein
(todd1960) - MLife

Locale: Coastal Southern California
Sleeping high and hydration on 07/06/2012 14:22:02 MDT Print View

I think the key elements to success on this hike are sleeping at Horseshoe Meadow (at 10,000 feet)at least one, hopefully two, nights before the hike starts and adequate hydration. Hydration should start 24-48 hours before the planned start date. These items can help avoid altitude sickness...

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Shelters at Trail Camp on 07/06/2012 18:49:43 MDT Print View

"Any place to stake at 12kft? could tie off to rocks perhaps?"

Staying at Trail Camp requires the capability to "rock" your shelter. You might find a spot (it's crowded) that will work for stakes, but go prepared with long tie-outs that let you stack rocks on your stakes without risking damage to the tent. If you can, put a loop in the tie-outs for the stakes and place your tensioning half-hitchs at the tent loops. That will make it easier to tighten things. And stack 'em high - wind is a given.

"I've never hiked via headlamp before."

Find a way to mount it at your waist. If you go with it on your head you won't "see" the bumps and holes. Try this at home, and you'll understand. Take a 2nd handheld light for route finding.

Edited by greg23 on 07/06/2012 18:59:47 MDT.

Mike In Socal
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
Looks good on 07/06/2012 23:01:52 MDT Print View

Hi james,
Your clothing list looks good. I didn't see a short sleeve t-shirt on it but I wore one all the way up to 12000' this past July 4th - we had perfect weather until about 7 pm when it started to hail (tiny) followed by 90 minutes of rain. The temperature dropped to about 30° overnight.

Definitely heed the hydration advice and drink plenty and drink often. I did not and when I hit 11,000' I got a small headache and had a slight buzz until we got into camp. Fortunately, it went away with some rest, lots more water and more food. I also had not eaten enough - I just don't like to eat when I am on the move and it caught up with me. Although I woke up fine the next morning, we had already planned to descend - there were some other factors that played into my decision.


James Block
(jsblock11) - F

Locale: Southern California
Thanks! on 07/08/2012 21:16:13 MDT Print View

Thanks to all for the tips, I've decided to share my hiking partner's free standing tent at Trail Camp so that should simplify the shelter issue. We're going to stay at Onion Valley, day hike up to Kearsarge pass two days before we start Whitney, and rest at Onion Valley camp the day before we start on the Whitney trail.