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#15379 - 06/21/11 06:25 AM June 17-18 Main Trail
mja Offline


Registered: 11/28/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Ohio
Returned home from Whitney after camping at Trail Camp Friday night and summiting on Saturday.

Weather was absolutely perfect and enough snow has melted to follow the trail to just above Mirror Lake. From there, the route to Trail Camp and beyond was mushy snow with lots of boot traffic.

The chute to Trail Crest was an adventure - we tackled it early on Saturday hoping to get to Trail Crest by 9 am before the snow on the slope softened. Back side is mostly clear of snow with one snowfield over the last 200 feet or so before the summit.

Crampons not needed on the back side but definitely helpful to travel the chute. I saw all sorts of approaches to the chute including crampons, microspikes and plain old hiking boots. Given the recent weather - 20s at night and 30s during the day - our plan was to ascend at first light and descend mid day. People who ascended mid day fought the snow and post holing from Trail Camp to Trail Crest. I would not have wanted to ascend the chute in early morning firm conditions without crampons and an ice axe.

We glissaded down the slope on the way back and the snow melt in mid-afternoon kept the speed comfortably slow and the pants uncomfortably wet!

The cables on the switchbacks are visible but the trail below the cables is buried in snow. From what I could see, there were no tracks leading up to the cables. Likely that the trail at the cables has not melted enough for easy passage and it is probably very icy should you chose to climb to it.

Plenty of campsites were open (not snow covered) through Trail Camp and water was available at all of the usual spots including the pond by the slabs at Trail Camp.

As usual met a bunch of interesting people and had a tremendous time. Hope this is helpful and here are some pictures -

The trail below Trail Camp


Trail Camp


The Chute at sunrise


The Chute




The Summit


The snowfield just before the Summit

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#15380 - 06/21/11 07:11 AM Re: June 17-18 Main Trail [Re: mja]
andeo2L Offline


Registered: 05/11/11
Posts: 12
Loc: CA
Excellent report, and great pictures! The weather looks spectacular. Has the trail become more visible now that the snow has melted somewhat? I've been reading parts have boot paths going in all sorts of directions, making for a little confusion. Did you have any trouble finding your way?

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#15383 - 06/21/11 08:08 AM Re: June 17-18 Main Trail [Re: mja]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 246
Loc: SoCal
Great pics! Thanks for the TR, I only have a couple of weeks left here...
_________________________
One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

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#15387 - 06/21/11 08:41 AM Re: June 17-18 Main Trail [Re: andeo2L]
mja Offline


Registered: 11/28/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Ohio
You should be fine finding your way - the trail was mostly clear of snow and fairly easy to follow until reaching the slabs above Mirror Lake.

Leaving Lone Pine Lake just make sure you don't follow the tracks leading left up the draw - instead head straight toward the switchbacks that lead up to Bighorn Park. Once you are above Mirror Lake and over the slabs you will lose the trail under snow pack but it is fairly easy to find your way to Trail Camp - just continue up the draw with Trail Crest visible in the distance.

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#15393 - 06/21/11 10:34 AM Re: June 17-18 Main Trail [Re: mja]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Nice report, Mike.
Glad you figured out how to post some of your pics in the report.
Sure does make me want to be out there.

CaT
_________________________
If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)

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#15395 - 06/21/11 11:43 AM Re: June 17-18 Main Trail [Re: CaT]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7444
Loc: Fresno, CA
Say! Mike got a nice picture of the classic Sierra Wave south of Lone Pine on the 395:

Beautiful!



And Mike's album of the hike gives a great perspective of the current conditons. (Mike, I hope it is ok to post the link.)

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#15396 - 06/21/11 11:47 AM Re: June 17-18 Main Trail [Re: Steve C]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Whoa!!!
Beauuutifuulll!!

CaT
_________________________
If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)

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#15452 - 06/22/11 08:30 AM Re: June 17-18 Main Trail [Re: Steve C]
mja Offline


Registered: 11/28/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Ohio
Steve

I wasn't familiar with the Sierra Wave but I am now - the sunset was spectacular! It also looked like there was a face in the main cloud.

Mike

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#15456 - 06/22/11 09:40 AM Re: June 17-18 Main Trail [Re: Steve C]
JimC Offline


Registered: 02/26/10
Posts: 57
Loc: SoCal
Hmm. I see two eyes, a partially hidden nose, and a big mouth looking down on Lone Pine. I'm thinking Cookie Monster. laugh

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#15461 - 06/22/11 10:07 AM Re: June 17-18 Main Trail [Re: JimC]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7444
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's my picture from June 10, 2010, 8:17 PM

Click here for the original size.


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#15463 - 06/22/11 11:03 AM Re: June 17-18 Main Trail [Re: JimC]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
OMG! I do see the cookie monster!!!

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#15465 - 06/22/11 11:20 AM Re: June 17-18 Main Trail [Re: Steve C]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Murrieta, CA
That last pick kind of reminds me of a Georgia O'Keefe......:-)
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"Turtles, Frogs & other Environmental Sculpture"

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twitter: @josephquillan

If less is more, imagine how much more, more is -Frasier

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#15479 - 06/22/11 03:17 PM Re: June 17-18 Main Trail [Re: quillansculpture]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
Spectacular shots Mike and Steve. ,Mikes Pic has a scary looking monster in it for sure. Not sure it is the Cookie Monster though but creepy looking for sure.

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