Like a lot of the posters here, I made it to the top of MW on the 17th on a 1-day permit. I was there with 3 of my brothers and I'm quite sure we were the last group to make it to the top (3PM) and the last group to get off the trail (midnight). (There were 2 solo dudes left on MW, but I think they were camping there for the night.) Let me tell you, it was an eerie feeling to not have "friends" on the way down before reaching Trail Camp again. Well, in hindsight, it was pretty cool, but not on that day.

That was my first time ever hiking Whitney and we weren't all that familiar dealing with snow. Yes, the trail is mostly clear of snow, but it sure as hell seemed like there was a ton of snow still in the surrounding areas around Trail Camp & the switchbacks. As you can imagine, it was pretty F'ing cold in the evening.

But let me cut to chase. It was my idea to hike MW with my brothers and I felt a lot of responsibility to make sure we made it back safe and sound. I wasn't going to be the one to bring bad news home to mom. I'm the kind of guy that would insist on having a tank and a machine gun before I go strolling around South Central LA.

I remember there being 5 snow crossings the entire trail. 2 crossings before Trail Camp, 2 crossings at the very top of the switchbacks and 1 at the summit. I wouldn't stress out over the first 2. The 2 crossings at the top of the switchbacks were pretty safe, but the potential damage from slipping and falling does screw with your mind a little. I would consider those switchback snow crossings as 1-way only at a time. So please be patient there. The summit snow crossing was a little tricky since there were a couple big boulders to navigate around. I think this was the toughest crossing, though not the most intimidating. Again, 1-way at a time. Oh yeah, bring gloves!

As you are coming back down, be extra careful as you are about to get off the cables section of the switchbacks. It's a slight jump, but a stumble and loss of balance could be deadly. Not trying to scare you or anything like that, but you will see what I mean.

One other thing, try not to lose the trail from Trail Camp on down. For some reason we lost the trail, and lost a lot of time trying to find it again. It was dark, cold, tiring and of course, momma bear concerns.

Hope I was able to help! Have fun! Good luck!

Last edited by Keo; 07/20/11 05:07 PM.