Screen Name Required

A screen name is required for sharing content on REI. Click here to create a screen name before continuing.

Set screen name

Training for a Big Hike? REI Outdoor School Can Help

Are you fairly new to hiking but with a big hiking goal in your future?

In Southern California, lots of hikers dream of summiting Mount Whitney (14,496'), the highest point in the lower 48 states. So many, in fact, that the REI Outdoor School created a popular series of "Whitney Training Hikes" to help hikers improve their odds of success.

REI Outdoor School group at trailheadI tagged along on last Saturday's REI Outdoor School hike of San Gorgonio Peak (11,502'), the highest peak in Southern California. The summit trail along Vivian Creek is a long grunt of roughly 17 miles round-trip and 5,600' of elevation gain.

Our savvy guides, Gene and Ed, dispensed lots of time-tested hiking advice along the way.

Good nutrition was one key topic. To avoid bonking, participants learned how best to keep hydrated (hint: hydration packs encourage regular sipping) and how to replace your lost salts and calories. Other tips included rest-break strategies along the trail, the importance of being aware of your surroundings and the basics of the Leave No Trace philosophy.

My fellow participants shared a variety of hiking dreams: from Kilimanjaro and Whitney to just getting back into an outdoor lifestyle for fitness.

All in all, it was a great day. Though not everyone in the group summited, the physical exertion and lessons learned are certain to get any hiker closer to his or her goals.

Below: Our guide, Gene, offers some navigation tips to the group.
Gene offers navigation tips
Below: Our co-guide, Ed (left), filters water along the trail at High Creek.
Ed filters water at High Creek
Below: The rockpile summit of San Gorgonio Peak, Southern California's highest.
Summit of San Gorgonio Peak
Below: Mike and Ed give a thumb's up as they near the summit.

Posted on at 7:25 PM

Tagged: Hiking, Mount Whitney, REI Outdoor School and San Gorgonio Peak

Ratings and Comments

(0) (0)
write a comment
You already voted on this.
Log in to comment or rate.
OldNSlow

Although I am not training for a "big hike" I am trying to get back to the outdoors and recently summited Mt San Jacinto. Isn't Vivian Creek the steepest of the trails up San G? I would love to do this, it is a summer goal, but the price seems as steep as the trail. Also your blog says "fairly new to hiking" but the description for the August trip calls for experience. Seems a bit confusing.

Flag as Inappropriate

Flagging Questionable Content Protects the Community at REI.com

In what way this content is inappropriate? Please check one:

More Details (Optional)

Submit answer

Reply

Type your comment here.

Reply

Unable to Post Comment

We were unable to post your comment at this time. Your opinion matters, so please try again later.

Close
  • Most Recent
  • Most Commented

    No entries found

    No entries found