I was a first timer on saturday 6/18 on the Whitney trail. My family wouldn't allow me to take an ice ax or crampons with me on my hike because I lacked the experience to use them safely. I was going it alone and didn't want to take chances. The trail was easy until after Lone Pine Lake. Above the lake is the beginning of the end. The trail disappears into the snow. Large cravasses have developed and add to the hazardous conditions. I ran into some other hikers and i borrowed an ice ax and practice glassading until I felt confident on it. It was a BLAST! Then I turned around and headed down. I wasn't tired at all but knew if i continued on I risked losing the trail and possibly falling with no way to stop myself. The snow was softer/slusher but it was very difficult to get traction in going up the incline. So I couldn't imagine coming down it.
Everyone on here always talks about the chute. Well after lone pine lake there are several chutes that have to be traversed. I was shocked at the steepness of these chutes and was surprised people weren't more acurately describing vastness of the snow fields.To me as a beginner these chutes made the trail impassable. Other fellow first timers I ran into on the trail agreed.
I still had a fabulous time and can't wait to tackle Whitney when snow is not a factor. The beauty on the hike was something to be experienced.
"If you're gonna be stupid, you've got to be tough."