Whitney Training for Me, Half Dome Training for Her

On Sunday [5.3.15], my friend and I decided to hike Em & Iin training for our upcoming adventures.  I rarely ever see this girl, but ran into her on Mt. Baldy just the week before, and decided to do a hike together.

In all fairness, I went out the night before, had a couple drinks… and woke up not as early and I would have liked.  I was even thinking about cancelling, but I just woke up later and we didn’t get to the hike until maybe 11 am or so, which reminded me why I like to start early… it was warm and parking was full.

We picked the Cucamonga Peak trail because she had not done it before and I think it has one of the prettier summit views… but we did not quite make it up there.  We got about 1 mile away from the top but decided to turn around since we were losing daylight and my friend is not a fan of hiking in the dark.  You should know by now I hate starting a hike and not finishing it… but 1) this is a peak I’ve already conquered and 2) this day was more about training and the journey than the destination.

My friend is very much into bouldering/ rock climbing, while I, on the other hand, have no experience in that but love hiking.  Well, her adventure to Half Dome was in May and she’s climbing the actual rock!! I find that very impressive.  Only problem is… she doesn’t actually like to hike, and you have to hike to the climb, so she wanted to train endurance.

I have just under three months to train for the Mt Whitney hike and it’ll be the highest I ever attempt, the toughest hike to add on my list… and something I’ve never even thought about doing until earlier this year.  Well, I’m in shape enough that I can hike a longer distance (long as in 10+ miles… not 100+ haha) with elevation gain, but my issue is with weight.

Whitney will be my first backpacking trip and I’m expected to carry at least 20 lbs on my back.  OH THE STRUGGLE!  I think I carried 8 lbs on this hike and my back was killing me -_- … I realize now it might have been because I used a regular daypack and all the weight sits on my lower back… but I went into REI to try on a backpack with an added 18 lbs… and oh man… still a struggle.

I think we did good though, despite not summitting.  It was definitely nice to take our time and catch up also.  It’s amazing how a good break can help your body push forward.

Got to Icehouse Saddle around 2pm

 Cucamonga Peak Trail

Our stopping point.. the last set of switchbacks before the peak. We reached 8279 ft of elevation.

&… going down.

Hike summary:

⊗ Trail:  Icehouse Canyon Trail & Cucamonga Peak Trail
⊗ Distance:  12.08 miles
⊗ Time:  6 hrs 23 mins
⊗ Elevation Gain:  3760 ft (max: 8279 ft)
⊗ Difficulty Level: strenuous. long w/ elevation climb

8 thoughts on “Whitney Training for Me, Half Dome Training for Her”

  1. Amazing shots! How far away were you from the summit? wish we had mountains like that where I’m from here in Toronto. It’s quite flat here. However in the west coast like British Columbia they’ve got the Rockies and a much more interesting landscape.

    1. Thanks, Glen. We were only about one mile away. I always see beautiful nature & mountain pictures of Canada but I’m never sure where exactly they are from, so I always assumed Canada had lots of amazing places to hike! A lot of the mountains around here start to look the same.

      1. Oh you guys were so close to the summit. Will you do the climb again to conquer it? Yes, the mountain pictures that you see of Canada are usually in the west coast British Columbia and Alberta. Here in the east coast Toronto it’s just plain flat lands. Not really a lot of amazing hiking sites. Have you been to the east coast? What’s the mountain range there in Cali, in BC it’s predominantly the Rockies…

        1. I’ve already summitted Cucamonga Peak this past March; you can read about that blog post here

          I’ve been to the east coast but not for nature. I will have to check it out one of these days. There are a lot of mountains in California, but I hike primarily in the Santa Monica Mountains and Angeles National Forest.

          1. Ah okay. Will check that out. Yeah the east coast does have some mountains the Cascade Mountains that run along NY state and bit up north here in Ontario. You guys have it good there since it doesn’t snow there huh, so you don’t have to go through the brisk cold weather? The most recent hike was actually posted here on my blog titled photography just a few pics though. Will probably add more….

  2. One of my favorite hikes! We do that one a few times a year. Make sure to get a good pack for Whitney, your shoulders and back will appreciate it. Those 99 switchbacks are not joke to start things off before Trail Crest. A great hike though!

    1. Ya I heard a good pack makes a world of difference… I ordered the Osprey Aura 50 which is actually supposed to arrive tomorrow so I’m very excited to test it out! 😀 & I read about the 99 switchbacks… there’s nothing I hate more on a hike than switchbacks… 🙁

      Did you do Whitney in one day or multiple? Have any advice?

      1. The Osprey Aura is a great pack, you should have no problems with it. I did the hike in one day, so the 99 switchbacks got old pretty quick! The views from above made it worth it though. The best advice is just to keep training. It’s really not a difficult hike for those that come prepared.

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