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#15547 - 06/23/11 09:06 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
Steve,
Assuming I am able to pick up a permit in the morning, I am planning on going up the old trail tomorrow. I'll be taking photos.

If I get the permit, planning on staying at outpost camp tomorrow night and trail camp area on Saturday night.

Not planning on making it to the summit. On Sunday I may see how far up the switchbacks I can go without cramps. Or I might head over to the chute and hike up a little bit so I can practice glissading and self arrest.

If I can't get a permit.....gonna see how far up meysan trail I can go.

Tom

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#15558 - 06/24/11 01:14 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: tdtz]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Hey, Tom: Could you put your SPOT on Track so we can follow you up the old trail and switches?
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#15560 - 06/24/11 01:35 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: saltydog]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
yup.....I have to put batteries in it in the morning, but it is all set up.

and the permanent link to this hike will be:
http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=31244e0460885d10d

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#15574 - 06/24/11 09:56 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: tdtz]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
at LP subway. Have permit. Plenty available. Sent SPOT message to test. On trail by 2pm. Heading to outpost. Beautiful day here.

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#15575 - 06/24/11 10:05 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: tdtz]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 552
Loc: Murrieta, CA
Hey Tom, Congrats on the permit. PM me when you get back, I may have a couple of open spots for next Tuesday, but waiting on my friends to confirm if they are going or not. Let us all know the conditions when you get back. AND have fun..............
_________________________
"Turtles, Frogs & other Environmental Sculpture"

www.quillansculpturegallery.com
twitter: @josephquillan

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

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#15581 - 06/24/11 02:00 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: quillansculpture]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
on the trail . Tried to findd old trail. Got lost . Had to double back and ended up significantly higher than the sign that marks start of old trail. Did some class three scramblimg. Even had to take the pack off and throw it up on ledge so I could get up.

my trail finding skills suck!!

onward and upward

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#15584 - 06/24/11 02:15 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: tdtz]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
That's too bad, Tom! From your SPOT track, I can see you were too far south. The old trail runs generally in a west-northwest angle. Your SPOT track points are a touch south of due west.

Try to find it on the way down. Hit the North Fork Lone Pine Creek, then backtrack a little looking for tracks that cut down-slope from the main trail. At that point, the trail heads southwest.

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#15593 - 06/25/11 03:28 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Hislaw1st Offline


Registered: 06/14/11
Posts: 6
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks Steve. Going to attempt the summit the 28th. Leaving for the portal today so we low landers can acclimate.... Thanks!
_________________________
W. Stevens Barefoot

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#15604 - 06/25/11 12:48 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Volunteer Ranger Bob R has posted a trip report here:

Whitney Trail, June 22 & 23

The details of the report are in the captions to the pictures, so please view them: 2011-06-22 Mt. Whitney via the trail

Heed the warnings about going up the snow slope without any hardware (ice axe and crampons): The slope can ice-up after the late afternoon shadow hits!

Here's his intro to the pictures:
Quote:
I hiked to Trail Camp, spent the night. Next morning ascended 'the chute' to Trail Crest and went on to the summit. Got back to the Portal in time for a burger and beer.

The trail was pretty much snow-free up to Trailside Meadow, then constant snow from there on.

Temperatures were mild, and my 40 deg bag was fine. Water was available all the way to Trail Camp. Snow in 'the chute' was great for climbing and glissading during the mid-day hours. Icy at night, though.

It appeared that a party tried the switchbacks, but bailed after the cables. My guess is that 'the chute' will be the preferred route to Trail Crest for at least the next two weeks and maybe four.

Thank you for posting the report, Bob R!

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#15605 - 06/25/11 01:21 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Inyo National Forest has posted a web page showing current conditions as of June 18:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5309995.pdf

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#15606 - 06/25/11 01:25 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Looks like tdtz may have had a rough time. Spent the night at LPL, then got a late start this am headed back down to the Portal. Does look like he found the old trail on the way out.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#15609 - 06/25/11 04:40 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: saltydog]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
I'll post a whole trip report, but yes, I had a rough time yesterday. I actually asked the girl in the portal store how to find the old trail. She said "look for the big rock at the behind the fishing pond and go behind it. The communication error was in the definition of "big". I saw a prominent 20'/sq boulder that I would call "big". She was referring to the massive granite outcropping 50' to the right of my "big" boulder.

Basically, I was off trail the minute I got on it. I ended up significantly south of the trail near lone pine creek. Most of my tracks do not show up because I was in a heavily wooded area with a steep cliff to one side.

If you look at my 5th track and go south into the woods, that's about the point where I decided to double back and see if I could find another way to the trail.

If you look at my 7th track, that's where I finally found the main trail.

And though i was lost, I wasn't ever worried...I was only lost in the sense that I couldn't find the old trail (or the main trail at that point). It would have been easy enough to get back to the portal and I knew that if I went up just to the north of lone pine creek that I would have to hit the main trail eventually. Unfortunately, the trail that I was following ended so I had to turn around.

I got pretty cut up climbing the rocks And I was just beat up in general, so I decided to head back today.

Lots more detail in the forthcoming trip report. And, I did take photos of the starting point of the old trail as well as others along the way.

Needless to say, I feel a bit like a bonehead.

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#15612 - 06/25/11 07:36 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: tdtz]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Tom,

Do not feel bad.

There was the time I lost my car at the trailhead parking lot, because my headlight burned out...and it was pitch black -- ready to camp in lot, until I bumped into car.

Once, I went too far off trail for bathroom stop, and it took too long to find the trail; almost did not find it.

Once on a date to a symphony , I came back too late from intermission. It was dark. I did not have my ticket stub. I sat in the back row alone for 90min til the end of the performance. The date did not end well.

Tomorrow is another chance to get it right.
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#15620 - 06/26/11 06:49 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Bee]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Tom:

Absolutely, not a time to feel bad at all. Look at it as taking one for the team. Probably lots of us who would like to knock a half mile or so off that end of the trail, and your spot track is now a really valuable tool. Your sacrifice is appreciated.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#15622 - 06/26/11 07:42 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Bee]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
Bee,
one of the advantages of being a guy. Don't really have to wander too far off the trail to take care of business.

I tell ya what though, on my route yesterday, I had all the privacy you could ever want...

Tom

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#15623 - 06/26/11 07:44 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: saltydog]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
P,
I don't really feel bad. More frustrated with myself for making more work than necessary. I really do hate having to double back and hike down when I am trying to hike up.
Tom

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#15627 - 06/26/11 09:32 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
photo album of my trip:   https://picasaweb.google.com/tfdietz/MWJune2011
MWJune2011

feel free to post any photos that you like.

Old trail start has notes

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#15690 - 06/27/11 11:47 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
cmonikan Offline


Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 2
Loc: atlanta
Did the day hike on June 21st. I know things have probably changed a little bit. But I am hoping my experience and the timings are of some use for the next few days since the snow and ice will still remain on the switchbacks.

First off, hats off to Doug at portal store. I was a nervous wreck till I met him and he made it feel like I could hike up with a baby stroller. He also gave me the precious Oklahoma gortex, which are life savers.

My friend and I started the day hike at 4am. We had 3 quarts of water, gatorade and food. We consumed over 8 quarts of water during the entire trip. There is plenty of creeks along the way to fill up. We got a portable pump that filters the water.

As soon as we hit the Carillon creek, around mile 1, we wet all the socks. I wore the waterproof, Merrell hiking boots and soon realized by the cold tingling sensation that its not running creek water proof. This is where Doug's Oklahoma gortex would come handy.

The trail all the way till trail camp is fairly straight forward. You will hit snow on and off but finding the trail will not be hard. Once at trail camp, the beast of a chute reveals itself. My friend has climbed Rainier and I have done hikes on Shasta. But this 2000 feet in less than a mile was pretty daunting. We arrived at trail camp at 9:15 and started up at 9:30. We had crampons and ice ax and got to trail crest by 12:00. I think the slow pace helped me get up there without getting too tired. Not to be a chicken, I was scared when I looked down the chute. The snow was soft and traction was hard.

After trail crest, there are couple of places where there is ice on one side, a narrow step next to it and then a few hundred feet of rock face next to it. So take a deep breath and keep going. Like someone who posted a while ago. This thing is not an everest or k2. But for a beginner its good to be afraid and be careful. We got up to the summit at around 2PM, stayed there for an hour or so and headed back.

We got lost right after we left the summit and the only way to get back to the trail was cutting across snow fields. Be WARNED that the snow here is soft and on more than one occasion we were waist deep in snow. I was stuck for good 15 minutes and the snow started icing up. I panicked and somehow found the brains to free myself by digging myself out with the ice ax. We took the extreme step of glissading down the snow near the summit to reach the rocks below, which were easier to walk on to get back on trail. We also ran out of water and we had left the pump at trail camp to shed some weight. Bad move. Luckily I had some tablets. I collected some stream water, treated it and drank it till we reached trail crest. It was 5pm when we got there.

We looked down the chute and decided it will be too long to walk down so the sliding began. It was tough since the snow was still too soft and each step caused us to sink knee deep. But sliding down was fun. We were cautious of going too fast so we dug in the ice ax to control the speed. It helps to have some upper body strength for this.

We got off the chute, freshened up and headed to get off the mountain. One the way down, we got lost somewhere in outpost camp. We wandered for almost an hour before we ran into some campers who showed us the way. By this time darkness fell and we would get lost few more times.

The final time we got lost it was near lone pine lake. Each time there is snow, the trail just seemed to disappear. It was dark and we had only the head spot light. After another hour of resting and searching, we fell back on the trail and hurried down to the parking lot. It was close to 10PM when we got off the mountain.

In summary, we took longer than expected but were prepared to collect more water, carried spare socks and a trail running shoe to replace the heavy and hard hiking boots. We didnt rush, took our time and made it. It was very tiring, but worth every minute. But for day hike, you better be prepared and be in some shape to get through the day.

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#15694 - 06/27/11 12:59 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: cmonikan]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
Great job!!! Many try few succeed. You are in a special category of a select group who have summited Mt. Whitney.

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#15717 - 06/27/11 04:06 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date) [Re: cmonikan]
DudimusMaximus Offline


Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 10
Loc: San Diego
wow, what a story and accomplishment... by the way what is Oklahoma Gortex?

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