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Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
MarkRimmer #16081 07/06/11 02:33 PM
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Mark,
thanks I will look forward to hearing your report. I am leaving this Saturday and have an overnight permit for Monday, so it sounds like you are coming back on the day I am leaving.
Scott

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
DudimusMaximus #16103 07/07/11 10:30 AM
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Scott- Looks like we'll be on the trail at the same time. Planning on trail camp on Sunday and Christine and I will summit Monday if conditions permit...Probably out on Tues. for a bit of fly-fishing in the valley. Best of luck- Mark


Mark Rimmer
Temecula, CA.
Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #16195 07/09/11 05:34 PM
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Pictures of switchbacks 7/6/2011:
Switchbacks pictures 7/6/2011

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Zzyzx #16204 07/09/11 10:32 PM
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Excellent pics. I really appreicate that information. I leave cottonwood lakes TH on july 22...so hopefully by the time i am heading down the switchbacks, they may quite clear, or mostly. Thanks a lot.....Eric..


"With each failure, you take another step towards success as long as you don't ever give up"
Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Norcalhiker67 #16211 07/10/11 07:44 AM
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Just returned-- camped at Trail Camp Thur. the 7th and summited Fri. the 8th. Part of our group took the chute up/down (with axe/crampons), and rest took switchbacks up/down (they had axe/crampons too but not everyone used them; some were ok with just poles). Both routes were quite do-able and the weather held up beautifully. Gratefully, all of us who started from T-Camp made the peak and back.

We started from T-Camp around 4:30-4:45AM. Summited around 10-10:40 and got back to camp between 1-2PM. My pals who took the switchbacks said they were mostly clear with some crusty/snowy/slushy/wet parts depending on the time of day. Just take care on the snowy traverses. They're only small patches now, but a slip would still be dangerous.

The snow was quite soft by the time we began our descent from the summit around 11AM. IMHO, if you glissade from the top of the chute where the angle is steep, you should definitely know how to use your axe or poles to control your speed-- do begin slowly! The deep gutter carved by the many buttocks sliding down is very soft by midday and will not keep you from heading straight down toward the rocks if you gain too much speed at the top. Of course, you don't have to follow that track; you can just make your own way down, which is what my buddy did. He slid straight past the right-turn and eventually self-arrested before the rocks.

Many thanks to this forum and its members! Good luck and safe hikes, everyone!

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
wncj #16216 07/10/11 08:15 AM
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wncj, thanks for that update. I plan to be on the MMWT in about 10 days with my wife and 11 YO daughter. First time for both of them, so I really want that snow gone along the higher switchbacks. I've read that there's already a narrow dry-footed path along the cables - that didn't really bother me, having dealt with pretty much the same conditions each of the past two years. I'm just not real keen on my daughter micro-spiking her away along a snowy, steep traverse. Sounds as if we'll be copacetic with 10 more days of melt before we begin.

Thanks again for the TR!

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Bulldog34 #16252 07/10/11 07:01 PM
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Ah, what you said about the narrow path made me realize that I should clarify what i said-- by "switchbacks [sic] were mostly clear" i meant that there's usually a place to put one's foot on the trail much of the way up. Not that the whole trail was actually nearly clear of snow. Zzyzx's photos above were still pretty accurate for conditions on the 8th.

Hope my rushing to put up the trail condition info didn't mislead anyone...

Best wishes for your trip, Bulldog34!

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
wazzu #16327 07/12/11 05:02 AM
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This was my first time up Whitney 7/10/11 was hike day
The weather was perfect. We went up the switchbacks which were easy to navigate and glissaded down the chute. First time glissading for me. Unless you are planning to glissade down all you need are trekking poles. One person in our group only used one pole but I liked having 2. No crampons, micro spikes, stiletos, ice axes or gaiters are required. We started on the trail at 4am and got back at 9pm. We had a fair number of stops so we were a little slow starting. We han a 10yr old in our group who only made it to just below Trail Camp. However the 85yr old stud in our group made it to the top of Trail Camp

Last edited by Rob Herried; 07/12/11 05:07 AM.
Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #16344 07/12/11 01:40 PM
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Glissading: The people who know what they're doing make it look easy. Don't be deceived if you don't know what you're doing, it could cost you your life on the Chute. My son and I just made it back from a successful summiting on July 9th. We were dead tired after climbing the entire Mountain including the Chute, making the summit in one day. By the time we returned to Trail Crest, the thought of an easy slide down the Chute overcame my natural fear of heights. We decided to try glissading and though we made it down, our inexperience made the trip harrowing and bloody. The problem was the ice/snow on the Chute had such variable consistency. One moment you'd be sliding nicely and the next you're out-of-control because your axe can find no purchase in the slush. Then, in the next instant your axe hits hard ice and stops dead but your body is still hurdling down the glacier causing a wrenching stop, if you are able to hold on to your axe! If you do it anyway, make sure your axe is well teathered to your hand. Bring gloves and be prepared for a bloody elbow.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #16394 07/14/11 11:22 AM
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Hi everyone,
We have two nights (sat jul 16 and sun jul 17) at trail camp and would like to attempt Whitney and Muir on Sat. I've seen posts that crampons and ice axes are not really necessary now on Whitney except for glissading. What about Muir from the whitney trail? Any advice on current conditions or generally what to expect on that route?
thanks!
Justin

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
justinv #16412 07/14/11 09:38 PM
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Muir will be like the rest of the western slope: dry

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #16416 07/15/11 05:05 AM
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Hi Steve.

Any last words of wisdom re Whitney? I'm leaving today to get to Lone Pine to get ready for the climb on Sunday morning with my two sons. Any updates on trail conditions including ice, snow and crossing swollen streams would be appreciated. Thanks.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Terry #16421 07/15/11 07:14 AM
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Try to spend most of Saturday up high to get the boys acclimated -- Horseshoe Meadows is the closest.

At Whitney Portal, you might walk up to the first (and the only major stream crossing) to see how bad it is. If you try crossing it as practice, you could then come down the old trail (just across the stream, look for it on the left.) If you used that in the actual climb, you could skip the crossing.

Take layers of clothing. Use sunscreen. Snack and drink water often.

Good luck!! smile

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
JohnW #16442 07/15/11 04:52 PM
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Thanks for sharing the pictures, heading up on Aug 2nd for a first attempt! Cant wait. Looked like you guys got a beautiful day to summit! Keeping my fingers crossed for such a nice day!

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #16444 07/15/11 05:11 PM
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Thanks Steve!

I think we'll be good to go!

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #16496 07/17/11 08:26 PM
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Hello all, Mark Rimmer here. I sure wish I had a great report for you all on the conditions. Christine and I received a call just an hour or so before we hit the trail...the call no one ever wants to get. Christine's mother, my mother-in-law suffered a tragic stroke last Saturday morning. Needless to say that call came in at 4:42am and we were on the 395 southbound at 5:00...We lost a wonderful mom and wife at 8:28...She was truely loved and will be sorely missed... Best of luck to all of you as you summit. Christine and I will be there again next season...Godspeed.


Mark Rimmer
Temecula, CA.
Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
MarkRimmer #16499 07/17/11 09:01 PM
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I am sorry for the loss to your family, Mark. I hope that in the days to follow, you find comfort in her loving memory.

Bee


The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
MarkRimmer #16500 07/17/11 09:25 PM
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My thoughts are with you and your family. If you need anything, let me know. I'm in nearby Murrieta. JQ


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Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
MarkRimmer #16501 07/17/11 09:50 PM
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I'm sorry for your family's loss, Mark.


One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson
Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
MarkRimmer #16502 07/18/11 05:00 AM
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Mark,
My condolences to you and your family.

Wazzu

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