In 2011, when I first set out to train for Mt. Whitney I attended a meeting at REI, I realized I wouldn’t be in good enough shape until 2012. On a weekly basis I began hiking as far as I physically could once a week. By year’s end I had completed all the Angeles Forest hikes on the “Dirty Dozen” list. No longer finding them challenging and “off season” for San Jacinto or San Gorgonio, I sought longer hikes with more elevation gain in the same areas I hiked last year by connecting other trails.
Since the altitude is obviously not anywhere near duplicate-able anywhere in Angeles Forest (Mt. Baldy at 10,054′ being the highest peak) and a straight gain with no loss of 6500′ over just 11 miles doesn’t exist here either, I decided I wanted to make sure I could meet and eventually exceed the overall mileage and gain required to day-hike Mt. Whitney.
This isn’t as easy to do as it sounds. If the distance is longer and the gain is equal than the grade isn’t as steep and it’s questionable that any additional benefit is being accomplished. Therefore, I’m more focused on exceeding the gain requirements than the mileage ones as hiking steeper on average in order to exceed those gain requirements should accrue some benefits.
My original intention was to share my weekly Whitney training hikes with the same features I use to share the shorter hikes I went on last year or are going on now with family and friends. However, these longer hikes have more segments and are proving cumbersome to generate in time for anyone else to benefit from for this year’s treks into Mt. Whitney. So, I’ve decided to simplify these Whitney training hikes and simply provide the step by step directions with photos only of the key points that one needs to be aware of how to navigate the trails. I will upgrade their format as the opportunity arises.
Here’s a list of day hikes that roughly cover the distance and/or elevation gain required to day hike to Mt. Whitney from Whitney Portal (22 miles, 6,500 feet of gain).
Icehouse Canyon up to Mt. Baldy and down to Manker Flats: 16.4 miles, 6784′ gain, 5524′ loss–car shuttle required.
Cobb Estate to San Gabriel Peak Trailhead [under construction]
Cobb Estate to Mt. Wilson [under construction]
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