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Highest Summit

12:16 a.m. on October 16, 2009 (EDT)
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I was wondering how high has anyone climbed and did you reach the summit? Has anyone been on K2

12:38 p.m. on October 16, 2009 (EDT)
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Never been to Asia, but I have been on Denali and Kilimanjaro

3:00 p.m. on October 16, 2009 (EDT)
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Thanks I'll ask questions aftet rereading a few times. I like the details. This Gu? and the heart rate thing? I like reading climbing books;kind of feels like I can see and feel what is happening. Your story opened up areas the books usually don't go into. Maybe someday Pikes Peak probably not. The hoofer club has a campout here on the lake zero elavation gain. Great Summit Photo.

10:47 p.m. on October 17, 2009 (EDT)
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Mt Mitchel, 6,684 ft.

I know that's laughable to some, but it was cool to me!

BTW I did not drive up.

The summit seemed to be covered in a dense black substance, some other hikers told me it was something called "pave-ment".

2:31 p.m. on October 18, 2009 (EDT)
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The highest summit is a bit of a trick question. My highest was Whitney at 14,505 ft... but you start the climb (it's a hike really) at The Whitney Portal which is at 8,360 ft. It sounds huge and it was but it's really only a 6,145 elevation gain. There are some much bigger hikes out there with a lower summit...As i write this my wife is freaking out because she has to finish her portfolio for her Doctorate, do laundry, clean the house... etc. etc. etc. Cirses management time... I don't have time to finish this thought so my point is?

Go figure? I will let the reader decide for him or herself what I am trying to say and hopefully comment.

4:04 p.m. on October 18, 2009 (EDT)
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The highest summit is a bit of a trick question. My highest was Whitney at 14,505 ft... but you start the climb (it's a hike really) at The Whitney Portal which is at 8,360 ft. It sounds huge and it was but it's really only a 6,145 elevation gain. There are some much bigger hikes out there with a lower summit...As i write this my wife is freaking out because she has to finish her portfolio for her Doctorate, do laundry, clean the house... etc. etc. etc. Cirses management time... I don't have time to finish this thought so my point is?

Go figure? I will let the reader decide for him or herself what I am trying to say and hopefully comment.

Yes, net elevation gain is something easy to overlook.

You have to subtract your starting elevation from the summit elevation.

10:10 a.m. on October 27, 2009 (EDT)
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For those of us that cannot afford (physically, mentally or monetarily) a high altitude assault and following on with BigSmoke's thought on not how high it is but how high it is to get there..

http://www.dsusd.k12.ca.us/hikes/Cactus%20To%20Clouds.html

For one in the 'back yard' of USA, this is one of the highest 'lift' trails in US at 10,400' (give or take) AND you get snow and ice (at times) also.

There is an option to get the ultimate elevation gain, by walking up to the trail head from 'down town' Palm Springs. Its a tad lower at 450'.

When I first went up Mt Langley (14,041) in the Sierra, the trail (abandoned, but still there) started at 5500 down by the power station. Since then a road has made its way to a 10,400' trail head and parking lot.

In the same range Mt Williamson 14,375', has a trail head that starts at around 6200'.

The best you can do in USA is from Bad Water (Death Valley NP) to Mt Whitney. There is a scheduled run every year if you are interested in getting to Whitney Portal. A few of the hardy ones take it from there on up to the top for an additional 22 mile round trip.

Or follow along on this gent's trip report.

http://www.badwater.com/stories/1999/99ulrichsolo.html

One of Mt Everest's base camps is 17,039' for a total 'lift' of around 12,000' to the top. It's a given that it is a nastier walk tho.

3:07 p.m. on October 27, 2009 (EDT)
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Gee, speacock, I had forgotten about the San Jac hike. Years ago, long before the tram was even discussed much less built, 2 friends of mine and I did that hike, all members of the CalTech Alpine Club. Instead of going back down, we continued over the top and down to Idyllwild. We got dropped off at about an hour before dawn to start. I don't remember how long it actually took us, but we got to the trailhead at Humber Park just before dark. Our driver hiked up to meet us with some extra food. There wasn't any actual trail in those days, and we had to do some 3rd and 4th Class scrambling. It may not have been where the trail is now, either.

Denali's West Buttress route starts at 7200 ft on the Kahiltna Glacier and goes to 20,320, so 13,120 ft of gain. Or you can do the original route from Wonder Lake, starting at about 2000 ft, so you have 18,000+ ft to climb.

6:47 p.m. on October 27, 2009 (EDT)
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Addendum: Those 'lifts' above in my post are Lower 48, USA, numbers.

Bill, now when you do that trip (Cactus/Clouds) with wife acting as shuttle driver (with the promise of a dinner at Idyllwild's Gastrognome -- which you can walk to from the trail that is off to the side of the main road in Humber Park), it is all on a well prepared footpath. It is a long, direct walk but no bushwacking and no more fun of extracting yourself by going down the Devil's Slide or equivalent un-aided.

Yeah, but going up Denai, you get to pull a punk too -- lots more fun so you don't get any handicap on those numbers :). Does anybody do Wonder Lake now? That's a long walk.

Colorado doesn't have any big gainers as the foundation is too high. Well, maybe Colorado Springs at 5200 (at the Library) to 14,110 Pikes Peak is about it. But that is a LONG approach. 'sides, they run marathons up it every year AND there is a road to the top (races there too) AND a 9 mile cog rail which we used to have races down in college.

5:37 p.m. on October 29, 2009 (EDT)
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I did Whitney from the Whitney Portal, it is a very easy hike up, usually a very wide trail and normally a gentle "Wheel Chair Accessible" incline for most of the way, especially on the paved 99 switchbacks.

We encountered many little old ladies on the trail and even some up on top.

Altitude sickness and possibility of bad weather is the main area of concern. That, and the lack of water after starting on the switchbacks, though we did encounter some snow melt springs on the lower portion of the switchbacks, but don't count on it being available while you are there.

Now I would not recommend anyone in a wheel chair attempt Whitney, but I would not be surprised if it has already been done.

6:36 p.m. on October 29, 2009 (EDT)
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Whitney via wheelchair has been done a number of times, as well as with Kinney sticks (a good friend of Barb's parents had polio as a kid, and used Kinney sticks to do not only Whitney, but the whole JMT in sections - and he wasn't the only one). In the 1950s, National Geographic had an article about doing Whitney. In it, there was a mention of a "naturist" group that hiked Whitney annually in the Fall, wearing only tennis shoes. That was in the days when there were no permits required and very few hikers on the trail after Labor Day.

12:50 a.m. on October 30, 2009 (EDT)
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The highest I've been was to the summit of Popocatépetl, near Mexico City, at 17,800 feet. I climbed it many years ago when the summit was still snow covered. In the States I've climbed Whitney East Face, Ranier, and all the major summits in the Tetons (the Grand nine times, once on New Year's Day), and dozens of minor summits. Oh, and a winter accent of Mt Washington.

11:46 a.m. on October 30, 2009 (EDT)
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I've done the local Sierra Blanca Peak here in New Mexico a few times. Its 12,000' summit just got blanketed with 13" of new powder. The same storm that just nailed Colorado. Looks like a good ski season and much-needed snowpack ahead for this season.

2:13 p.m. on October 30, 2009 (EDT)
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Jim Doss,

Well you did better on Popo than I did. We had to turn back at about 15,500 because the sulfur fumes were getting too strong and the CO monitor was screaming (we were headed up to place some monitoring instruments in the mid-90s as it was becoming active again - I have a photo 4 days later of the plume when it gave a big belch, pushing the cloud to about 24,000 ft). But on other trips, I did get up Ixtacihuatl and Orizaba.

April 17, 2014
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