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#13505 - 05/02/11 04:41 PM 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip
jonco4 Offline


Registered: 05/02/11
Posts: 6
Loc: San Diego, Ca
Perfect weather this past weekend for the last no lottery permit weekend. We drove up from San Diego on Friday morning and made it to trail camp. (FYI, push to get to trail camp instead of base camp. It makes for a much easier summit push.)
On Saturday we got up and started towards main trail to trail crest. In snow/winter conditions all the switchbacks are covered in snow or ice depending on the weather conditions. Here you might need crampons/ice axe. (They are not a necessity. I didn't need them going up but did going down when the sun was starting to go behind the mountain.) On colder/cloudy days or early morning/evening the snow pack will be hard and icy. For us it was sunny 40-50 degrees. It did take us a bit to make it to trail crest, but after making it there you will feel like the summit is just around the corner. We then followed the trail round the backside of Mount Muir and up to the backside of Whitney. For this area it was mostly rocky gravel but there were some hairy areas with snow and long falls if you slip. We made summit around 3pm, hung around for about 20-30 min with two other climbers who made summit just before us.
I would say make summit by 3pm, 4pm at the dire latest. Otherwise you will be hiking in much colder weather, and all the snow that was easy to walk in will now be icy. At trailcrest we slowly butt scooted/glissaded down. And were back at our trail camp around 7pm. Made a quick dinner, then to bed for a Sunday morning hike out. Then of course the celebratory beer and burger at the portal store or the Whitney restaurant in Lone Pine.
Okay, quick tips (especially for first timers):
1)Waterproof your boots, and then waterproof them again. Wet boots will be frozen the next morning.
2)Make it to trail camp first day.
3)Pack light, bring the right gear for the weather and time of year you are hiking(iceaxe/crampons)
4)Sunscreen. Snow and Sun will make a quick sunburn of your face. Lather it on thick repeatedly. I had 65spf on and still got sunburnt and raccoon eyes from my sunglasses.
5)Melt snow for water, save packing weight, and if you are still wary add a few water treatment drops.
I'll add pics as well in the pic message board. Good luck to all and safe hiking.

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#13511 - 05/02/11 06:21 PM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: jonco4]
Tomcat_rc Offline


Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 49
Loc: Ridgecrest
Originally Posted By: jonco4
On Saturday we got up and started towards main trail to trail crest. In snow/winter conditions all the switchbacks are covered in snow or ice depending on the weather conditions. Here you might need crampons/ice axe. (They are not a necessity. I didn't need them going up but did going down when the sun was starting to go behind the mountain.) .


That is pretty scary advise, especially for people not getting back to Trail Crest until later in the afternoon when the shadows will make for potentially icy conditions. You will not know if you need them for the descent until you are on the return trip. I am glad you made it safely, but there are many stories of people not being so lucky under similar conditions.

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#13514 - 05/02/11 07:01 PM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: Tomcat_rc]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7680
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks for the trip report, Jonco. Was there much of a boot track through the snow, or did you have to break trail?

Did you posthole much?

Pictures are here:   4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip


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#13515 - 05/02/11 07:12 PM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: Tomcat_rc]
jonco4 Offline


Registered: 05/02/11
Posts: 6
Loc: San Diego, Ca
In Reply to Tomcat:

Yep, mountaineering can be a scary dangerous activity. I was in NO way was trying to express that anyone should not bring the right equipment or advise them not to bring crampons/ice axe. I was just trying to describe the exact detail of our trip and what equipment we used. Everyone should know their own limits and err on the side of caution.
Also of note this was my third attempt at summiting Whitney in the winter. Getting to the top is not the end goal, getting home safely is. Never be afraid to turn around, mountains don't disappear, they've been there for millions of years and will be there another day for you to conquer.

Also I "always" take my spot gps with me.

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#13517 - 05/02/11 07:17 PM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: Steve C]
jonco4 Offline


Registered: 05/02/11
Posts: 6
Loc: San Diego, Ca
In reply to steve's question:


A little of both, mostly boot tracks but in some parts it was better to hike the hard packed snow than the deep boot tracks.


Edited by jonco4 (05/02/11 07:17 PM)

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#13523 - 05/03/11 04:26 AM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: jonco4]
Tomcat_rc Offline


Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 49
Loc: Ridgecrest
April is a great month to summit Whitney. Thanks for the reply. I was just hoping people did not read the wrong information regarding equipment needs.

Even better that it took several times to successfully summit in snow conditions. It makes the summit all the sweeter. I enjoyed the pictures.

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#13545 - 05/03/11 10:11 AM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: jonco4]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 453
Loc: San Diego
Thanks for the trip and conditions report Jon. Go team San Diego!

1) Water proof boots AND gaiters. I had waterproof boots but forgot the gaiters on my last trip and paid dearly with wet frozen feet that was pink for days afterward from mild frostbite.

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#13548 - 05/03/11 12:02 PM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: 2600fromatari]
James Offline


Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 66
Loc: CA
Nice TR and photos, glad you guys had a great trip.

I'm hoping to get up there this week sometime, if anyone's going to be up there see you on the trail!

Tomcat, your avatar, are you kissing the blarney stone west?

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#13553 - 05/03/11 02:53 PM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: 2600fromatari]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7680
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: 2600fromatari
1) Water proof boots AND gaiters. I had waterproof boots but forgot the gaiters on my last trip and paid dearly with wet frozen feet that was pink for days afterward from mild frostbite.

Fromatari, are you sure it was frost bite ...or was it Trench Foot?

Last June, a PCT hiker starting in Canada and hiking south spent 5 days hiking primarily in snow, and ended up with a bad case -- took his feet a month to recover. He had to keep the feet elevated and couldn't move around.

Here are several links:

CDC: Trench foot or immersion foot
Quote:
What is trench foot?

Trench foot, also known as immersion foot, occurs when the feet are wet for long periods of time. It can be quite painful, but it can be prevented and treated.

What are the symptoms of trench foot?

Symptoms of trench foot include a tingling and/or itching sensation, pain, swelling, cold and blotchy skin, numbness, and a prickly or heavy feeling in the foot. The foot may be red, dry, and painful after it becomes warm. Blisters may form, followed by skin and tissue dying and falling off. In severe cases, untreated trench foot can involve the toes, heel, or entire foot.


MyFootShop: Trench Foot
Quote:
Details:   Exposure to damp, cold conditions can result in tissue damage of the foot. This condition is called trench foot, immersion foot, chillblains or pernio. The mechanism of soft tissue damage in these conditions is not fully understood. Cellular damage occurs to the skin, subcutaneous tissue, blood vessels and nerves. The longer the exposure to cold, the greater the chance of injury. Injury may be temporary or may result in permanent damage particularly to the nerves of the feet. Chillblains is used to describe permanent symptoms following one or more incidents of trench foot.


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#13554 - 05/03/11 03:08 PM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: Steve C]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 453
Loc: San Diego
Steve, hhmmmmmm, it could be trench foot now that you posted those links. I don't want to be melodramatic and call it frostbite when it wasn't.

My foot didn't look like that picture though. It was just a hot pink color for a few days. I do not remember any blistering. Either way, it was a miserable feeling that I do not want to repeat. I had a repeat recently on San Jacinto. My new leather "water proof" wasn't so water proof. I'm not wearing cheap shoes on snow hikes anymore I'll tell you that!

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#13578 - 05/04/11 08:36 AM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: 2600fromatari]
Burchey
Unregistered


Trench foot! What a great name for a condition. I almost want to get it just to say I've had it.

Atari, you'll find that your feet are very important in them hills - the extra spent on the right footwear is well worth it. That doesn't mean go buy the most expensive footwear available, but get the correct pair for the conditions and make sure they fit well. You'll thank yourself. ALso, keep an eye out for sales.

To the original poster - be careful the advice you give on iceaxes and such, we don't want to steer anyone wrong. For myself, I typically carry two main axes, and then I have an extra backup set of 2 axes with extra replacement blades and handles for each. It may sound like overkill, but it isn't...

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#13584 - 05/04/11 09:11 AM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: ]
jonco4 Offline


Registered: 05/02/11
Posts: 6
Loc: San Diego, Ca
Yeah, that's sounds overkill for hiking. If you need 4 ice axes for a hiking trip you are either doing something wrong or climbing something you shouldn't be trying.
Are you refering to ice climbing? That's a whole different ball game than a winter hiking trip up Mt Whitney.

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#13587 - 05/04/11 09:20 AM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: jonco4]
Burchey
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: jonco4
Yeah, that's sounds overkill for hiking. If you need 4 ice axes for a hiking trip you are either doing something wrong or climbing something you shouldn't be trying.
Are you refering to ice climbing? That's a whole different ball game than a winter hiking trip up Mt Whitney.


Not ice-climbing, just for the main trail on Whitney.

And it's more than 4, really. 4 assembled axes (2 main and 2 backup), and then a backup blade and handle for my two backup axes. I thought about carrying backup blades and handles for the 2 main axes, but that would be RIDICULOUS.

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#13589 - 05/04/11 09:28 AM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: ]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 453
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: Burchey
Trench foot! What a great name for a condition. I almost want to get it just to say I've had it.

Atari, you'll find that your feet are very important in them hills - the extra spent on the right footwear is well worth it. That doesn't mean go buy the most expensive footwear available, but get the correct pair for the conditions and make sure they fit well. You'll thank yourself. ALso, keep an eye out for sales.

To the original poster - be careful the advice you give on iceaxes and such, we don't want to steer anyone wrong. For myself, I typically carry two main axes, and then I have an extra backup set of 2 axes with extra replacement blades and handles for each. It may sound like overkill, but it isn't...


Burchey, don't know if you're looking, but:

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/,61270_Alico-Summit-Backpacking-Hiking-Boots-For-Men.html
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/,64724_Alico-New-Guide-Mountaineering-Hiking-Boots-For-Men.html

They're better than a pair of LL Bean Cresta that I have FWIW.

There's an additional 25% off coupon floating around...


Edited by 2600fromatari (05/04/11 09:30 AM)

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#13598 - 05/04/11 10:35 AM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: 2600fromatari]
Burchey
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: 2600fromatari

Burchey, don't know if you're looking, but:

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/,61270_Alico-Summit-Backpacking-Hiking-Boots-For-Men.html
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/,64724_Alico-New-Guide-Mountaineering-Hiking-Boots-For-Men.html

They're better than a pair of LL Bean Cresta that I have FWIW.

There's an additional 25% off coupon floating around...


Thanks Atari, but I'm set for boots. Picked these up this season Nepal EVO Gtx and they are treating me just fine. We'll see when warmer weather comes.

I have been looking for another set of axes to carry as a true third backup set - keep an eye out for me on the sales. Thanks man!

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#13614 - 05/04/11 02:44 PM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: ]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 453
Loc: San Diego
You should ask Steve to have your screen name changed to The Deflator.

I was happy to summit Whitney twice last year, then read your recent hike and went "wow".

Saved up some money for another decent pair of boots and I see your ultra chic and technical footwear, looked at the price tag and went "WOW". LOL. Just messing with you. Keep representing America's Finest City.

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#13620 - 05/04/11 04:47 PM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: 2600fromatari]
Burchey
Unregistered


You're cracking me up, Atari. It would seem we've sidetracked the hell out of this thread. Good mountain boots will last you years if you take care of them, so the cost works itself out. Again, look for sales.

-Deflator

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#13647 - 05/05/11 06:04 AM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: ]
Burchey
Unregistered


I know there was probably some confusion or concern with my comments about the number of axes/backup axes I carry and how important it is. It can become cumbersome, so I dug up a picture of me from Dobbs Peak to show my carrying method. It's not too bad if you tuck a couple of them under the lid. This was before I knew any better - I also carried a walking axe which you can see in the picture. How dumb was I? If there isn't enough room in your pack to store the extra blades and handles for the backup axes, they fit great down in your gaiters.


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#13652 - 05/05/11 08:22 AM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: ]
jonco4 Offline


Registered: 05/02/11
Posts: 6
Loc: San Diego, Ca
Haha, nice cut and paste job of your extra axes in the pic, Burchey

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#13653 - 05/05/11 08:56 AM Re: 4/30/11 Whitney Summit Trip [Re: jonco4]
Burchey
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: jonco4
Haha, nice cut and paste job of your extra axes in the pic, Burchey


No way, that's legit. It wasn't done in Paint.

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