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Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #18504 09/19/11 03:47 AM
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Hello All,

I am from Columbus, Ohio and have never even been to California so I need some help as to what to expect for late September weather.

I will be climbing on September 26th, and could use a little help on current weather conditions and predictions for the mountain.

I believe I read a post that there was some early September snow? How much snow should I expect in late September? How cold and windy should I expect the summit to be?

I've climbed in the Rockies in snowy conditions, but nothing that required crampons. Will I be ok without them in light snow on Whitney?

Any help would be greatly appreciated for this down and out Buckeyes fan this Monday morning.

Thanks guys.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
charlieinthebox #18506 09/19/11 07:53 AM
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The snow that arrived 8-9 days ago has disappeared from the Main Trail, but it exists in the lows and cracks around the boulders. So unless another storm comes, you will have a fine hike.

As for the weather on your particular hike day, it could be a quiet, sunny day, or it could be stormy. The storms are infrequent in September, so your chances are very good.

Keep an eye on the links on the Mt Whitney Weather page.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #18731 09/26/11 01:40 PM
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hello everyone. new here to the board. finding all the information here quite useful. would like to know a little more about the trail this week. does anyone have any news on the current conditions as of 9/26/11? planning to head out and hike on friday 9/30/11 and would like to be as prepared as possible. thanks in advance!

fran.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #18734 09/26/11 02:50 PM
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Here are several pictures that DobeMom posted from Sept. 16.

Some of the snow on the trail at the summit may have melted, but the shaded icy sections won't thaw out much.

From the west side just beyond Trail Crest:




The trail near the summit:




The cable section:


Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #18736 09/26/11 03:10 PM
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I hiked the mountain this weekend (came down yesterday). The cables section has a bit more snow/ice than is shown in the above posting (from 9/16). It wasn't bad going up, but coming down was a little 'fun'. From the cables up there was spotty snow up the switchbacks. Some may have melted off - there was a hailstorm Sat morning that deposited quite a bit of consolidated hail - especially on the last long switchback.

The back side actually isn't too bad. There are a few places you have to watch your step due to a bit of ice or snow, but not long stretches. The 50yd or so snowfield is still there just before the trail switchbacks up the last bit of the actual summit. Those switchbacks had an inch or two of consolidated but very easy to walk on snow pretty much up to the summit itself.

I did the hike in just hiking boots with my trekking poles. A few stretches would have been made easier with yaktrax or microspikes (esp that last long switch back and the cables) but other than that, most snowy/icy spots weren't long enough to warrent them.

I think weather is supposed to be good this week, so more of the snow/ice may melt away before any more comes along.

I have pictures of the switchbacks and cables and will try to post them later.

=) tif

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
tif #18763 09/27/11 01:26 PM
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thank you steve and tif! the information is very much appreciated! tif, looking forward to your pictures! thanks in advance and congrats on a successful summit! smile

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
fran dominguez #18764 09/27/11 02:21 PM
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here's the cables:


and i thought i had a better one of the switchbacks, but i can't find it. this one shows the amount of snow accumulation on the rocks and only a tiny bit of the trail


=) tif

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
tif #18825 09/29/11 12:36 PM
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thank you for posting these pictures tif. will be starting tomorrow at 1am. these pics help better prepare for tomorrow. will post update when i come back. cheers!

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
fran dominguez #18875 10/02/11 06:03 AM
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Our group had an excellent summit day on Sept 30. We left the summit a little before noon and experienced some "snowy hail" on the way past the pinnacles and down the switchbacks over the course of the next ~2 hours.


Mike S
Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #18882 10/02/11 10:21 AM
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Thanks to all who posted comments and photos regarding current conditions on the trail. My friend and I are hiking up Oct. 7th, so it's nice to get a heads up. I realize things can change drastically in a day, but it's still nice to know what the conditions have been.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
JG1975 #18898 10/03/11 06:55 AM
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With this weather system rolling down from the north this week we may be out of luck for a summit attempt. My group is scheduled to be at the portal on the 8th, and on the trail the 9th and 10th of Oct. This is a great forum and I hope we get some updates on the trail as the week progresses. Good luck.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #19047 10/08/11 10:18 PM
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Here is a picture from perhaps the last of late summer conditions on Mt Whitney, taken Oct. 2, by Bob R:



Bob's pictures are here: 2011-10-01 Mt. Whitney

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #19049 10/08/11 10:36 PM
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Here are several pictures taken by JG1975 on Oct 7, following the first winter storm on Oct 4. Most of this snow is likely to stay until spring, so the trail will be more difficult.

Fall conditions are here, winter conditions will be soon.

Click on each picture for the full size. More pictures here: Day Hike Attempt, Whitney Trail Oct. 7, 2011

Trail before Outpost Camp


Trailside Meadow

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #19069 10/09/11 07:28 PM
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Pictures taken Oct 8 can be found in the thread started by So.BayMark: Main trail 10-8-2011

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #19087 10/10/11 09:58 AM
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Trail conditions in a backward form:

Conditions were pretty sweet after Trail Crest too. Snow was powdery mostly unconsolidated with a 1/2 inch styrofoam crust beginning to form. Thin single track with a bit of crumbling wrapped around the Westside slog. Easy route finding up to hut. No ice as of yet.

Coming down the switchbacks we encountered more fluffy break-away snow. Steps were finally solid at about the 1/2 way down point. Bottom 1/3 nice and firm. Great trail all the way down, ice reforming on the trail slightly after Outpost and significantly after Lone Pine Lake. Off trail time - 7pm.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
SanDi_carole #19118 10/11/11 10:35 AM
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Did you do an overnighter or a day hike? What was your start time? Thanks.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
JG1975 #19153 10/12/11 01:46 PM
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It was just a day hike & start time was 3:30am.
**yawn**

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #19535 11/02/11 09:18 PM
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Last of the dry conditions for this year, since a storm is heading in for Nov. 3. The last snow field before the summit.

Tommyb's trip report is here: Oct 29th Whitney Main Trail Report!!

Here's a picture from Tommyb's report:

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #20306 12/21/11 03:38 AM
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Any updates on trail conditions within the past day or two? We are flying out after Christmas and going up the mountaineer's route. Haven't had much luck determining snow conditions, road conditions to the portal, etc...

Thanks!

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011 (Out-of-Date)
anthobuss #20308 12/21/11 06:50 AM
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This is turning out to be a very dry winter, so there is not too much snow yet. However, what is there is being blown around with a few places with thigh-deep drifts.

Richard P climbed the main trail Dec. 17, and posted a few pictures: Mt. Whitney - December 17, 2011

Here's his summit picture. There is never much snow on the summit since the wind blows it away. You would find deeper snow below.

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