Monday, August 15, 2011

Week 5: Official Kickoff After Time Off

Climbing Mount Whitney

Having spent the last couple of weeks on the road, I didn't walk much. However, I had plenty of opportunity to think, espcially while vacationing on a cruise to Alaska. Though the family and I were active walking at the Mendenhall Glacier area, kayaking in Hines, I spent much time reading the book The Lost Dogs and One Best Hike, Mt. Whitney. I'll write about both of these in later posts, though The Lost Dogs has nothing to do with the hike. It's the story of how Michael Vick's dogs were found and saved.

In the process of reading the Mt. Whitney book, I learned of additional hiking locations in the local mountains to prepare for the Mount Whitney climb. I'll spend the next three weeks researching and scheduling each hike. By the beginning of September, I'll post the full training regimen here.

Though I've not yet finished the Mt. Whitney book, I've already covered the chapters on the planning, dangers and conditioning for the hike. Some of the notes on the dangers of the climb were alarming, especially the sections about evacuation in case of severe high altitude sickness. Nevertheless, I'm more excited than ever to start the process.

Also, since the last post we now have five members in our team of climbers: Yours truly, Chris T., Scot T., Ard R., and Ferchie C. Ferchie is our lone woman representative. One other item I learned reading the Mt. Whitney book is that our party will need five leads (in case one of us can't make it), but it can have 15 total members.

So, I'm casting the net for any additional people interested in the climb. Given we only have one woman in the group, and since I've been accused of sexism for the eschewed ratio, I want to insure we give equal opportunity for the women interested in the climb. First and foremost then, we're looking for three more women to join. Keep in mind, we need people that can at least commit to the training (more on that later). Befor the permit application deadline, we'll ask everyone willing to take the hike to commit to completing it in our agreed-upon length. This'll be one to two days, depending on the group's assessment during our training and before the February 1 deadline. Any takers?

Last, though I spent a few weeks walking and testing the backpack with varying weight in the past four weeks, our training starts this week. This means our team will need to each complete two hikes each week for the next three weeks, with each hike no shorter than 4 miles and, preferably, in terrain with some hills. Each subsequent three-week period means an increase of one-mile and difficulty level in the hikes. Once we reach 10 miles, we'll start hiking the nearby mountains for our second day on the weekends to better acclimate to elevation and rocky terrain. Here's a grid summary of the regimen:

Weeks

Miles / Day

Location

Terrain

Elevation / Gain

5-7

4

Local

Hilly streets

N/A

8-10

5

Local

Hilly streets

N/A

11-13

6

Local

Hilly streets

N/A

14-16

7

Local

Hilly streets

N/A

17-19

8

Local

Hilly streets

N/A

20-22

9

Local

Hilly streets

N/A

23-24

10

TBD

Local Mountains

2-4k ft / 1k ft

25-27

11

TBD

Local Mountains

3-5k ft / 1k ft

28-30

12

TBD

Local Mountains

4-6k ft / 1k ft

31-33

13

TBD

Local Mountains

5-7k ft / 1k ft

34-36

14

TBD

Local Mountains

6-8k ft / 1-2k ft

37-39

15

TBD

Local Mountains

7-9k ft / 1-2k ft

40-42

16

TBD

Local Mountains

8-10k ft / 1-2k ft

43-45

17

TBD

Local Mountains

9-11k ft / 1-2k ft

46-48

18

TBD

Local Mountains

9-12k ft / 2-3k ft

49-51

19

TBD

Local Mountains

9-12k ft / 2-3k ft

52

20

TBD

Local Mountains

9-12k ft / 3-5k ft

53-54

Rest

Ready? Set? Go!


What Do You Think?

Do you have any suggestions on how to improve this routine? Feel free to share your thoughts below.