5-Solo Self Contained SSC

The summary of Marshall Ulrich trip from 1999

  1. No IVs.

  2. No aid of any kind from an outside source and/or person.

  3. No using any shelter other than nature’s shade (i.e., boulders, creosote bushes, trees, etc.).

  4. You must have everything from start to finish: food, clothing, equipment, and all necessary water. If a water source along the course is available, it cannot be used.

  5. Trailers or any other apparatus are allowed as long as that apparatus is pushed, pulled, or carried. No motorized trailers. The trailer or apparatus can be disposed of only at the Lone Pine Junction (the intersection of Whitney Portal Road and Hwy. 395) or the Whitney trailhead.

  6. With the exception of water, nothing can be disposed of along the way, not even trash.

  7. Medical emergencies must be dealt with and/or administered by the individual only. No help or supplies can be used from an outside source.

  8. Only a.m. starts are valid.

  9. No leaving the course is allowed; you must remain on the course at all times.

  10. There must be at least one person monitoring the above compliance at all times.

Several Guidelines that were added thru the years ( you need to have at least 2 ways to track your movement )

(A) a live GPS tracker with tracking at 2. 5 min ( Spot) or 2 min ( Garmin) intervals. One of the biggest problems we saw in the past is especially with SPOT trackers that skip a point or two. In Jul/Aug 2020 Garmin InReach had at least 2 incidents where their point were not transmitted for many hours

(B) an NON related "person monitor" ( non related, not your best friend, spouse, kids, GF/BF) ***or*** a SECOND GPS tracker that will track at 30-60 seconds interval when you are several miles before and after area where one could get or buy provisions ( like all the Oasis, Lone Pine, Whitney Portal )

~ Just as an idea, certain people had a 1 minute interval non-stop time lapse camera, like Brinno


The main reason we have added the guidelines (A), (B) and so on , was to allow people to do a SSC even without a "person monitor". To not have a "person monitor" , we concluded that one needs to be at least TWICE as strict

SSC (A) - the reason we require a GPS tracker started with people that did not have an athletic background, and where their handheld GPS track was missing large portions of the course and still they claimed they finished. Plus nowadays satellite GPS trackers are easy to find or rent. There are several reasons why we require a 2 or 2.5 min interval. First , if the interval would be greater like 5 or 10 minutes, could allow somebody to go to the store, grab a bag of ice, leave $5 and be back to the cart in no time. We are not saying that people are trying to cheat , but we are trying to help you so nobody will ever have any doubts about your crossing. Second, some of the satellite trackers sometimes miss a point. So if you are in 2 min interval and you miss a point , you will still be tracked every 4 minutes. But if you are at a 5 min interval and you miss a point, then you are unaccounted for 10 minutes or more.

SSC(B) -You need at least a second way to track your movement. Having a "non related" person monitor, this came after people with no athletic background were crewed by wife or girlfriend. So as a SECOND way to track the self contained , we came with the ideas that one must have a SECOND GPS TRACKER that will track at at least 1 minute interval or more often. **OR** they need to be monitored by a non-related person , not a relative, not a best friend, and so on

Just as an idea, one person that did the SSC had a time lapse camera set to take 1 timestamped picture every minute