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#23029 - 04/18/12 02:48 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
sylvain77 Offline


Registered: 04/16/12
Posts: 3
Loc: Sunnyvale, CA
Thanks Steve for the links and the update.
Sylvain

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#23048 - 04/19/12 11:05 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
CJS Offline


Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 1
Loc: Bay Area
First, thanks for the route condition update!
How was down climbing the last 400' chute? Was it particularly icy? Were there routes free of water ice?

Also, I'm new to the MR, do any of the other chutes tend to be easier and/or have less ice this time of year?

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#23066 - 04/19/12 11:10 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: CJS]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
> How was down climbing the last 400' chute? Was it particularly icy? Were there routes free of water ice?

Richard's pictures from 3/30, looking up:


The storms a week ago, though added a lot to this area. Here is a shot Richard took April 15, looking down from the top. Note the two climbers.
This is Picture 31 from this set.




> do any of the other chutes tend to be easier and/or have less ice this time of year?
No.

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#23387 - 04/28/12 10:40 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a picture near the top of the switchbacks, taken April 28. These hikers are NOT taking the switchbacks, since they are completely snowed in at this time. Instead, they're going straight up the snow slope, sometimes called the chute, just west of the switchbacks.

This picture from the set posted by gocarine on Flickr here: Whitney 4/27/12



This picture of the first stream crossing (North Fork Lone Pine Creek) where the Mountaineers Route branches off the main trail. Taken by Bob R on April 21. From his 2012 North Fork picture set.




Here's a picture of Outpost Camp, taken by Richard P. on April 27. His album here: Mt. Whitney - April 27, 2012

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#23440 - 04/30/12 12:25 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
fran dominguez Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 16
Loc: california
hey guys! i'm headed there sunday may 6th. thanks for the update and pictures. it's greatly appreciated. any tips regarding the chute/switchbacks and trail crest area? gear wise?

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#23445 - 04/30/12 03:51 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: fran dominguez]
SoCal Hiker Offline


Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 9
Loc: Pasadena, CA
I was on the mountain on the 27th as well and would agree that most of the switchbacks were still covered. Crampons needed for the chute and trekking poles or ice axe are a help. If you end up coming down the chute in the late afternoon, glissading is the fastest way down but will require an axe and the skills to use it.

From Trail Crest to the summit there was minimal coverage so by next weekend it should be better. We left our crampons at Trail Crest and I never missed them to the summit and back.

Have fun!

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#23480 - 05/01/12 04:36 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: SoCal Hiker]
fran dominguez Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 16
Loc: california
thanks for the additional info SoCal Hiker! very little glissading skills so will have to feel my way around on the way down. thanks again! smile

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#23500 - 05/02/12 10:50 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
Watch for grouse on the trail -- they have been reported recently, with some spectacular activity. (See this blog from April 29, search for "grouse".)

Please do not hurt them -- it is their habitat, not ours. One was killed by hikers several years ago.

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#23503 - 05/02/12 11:37 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
fran dominguez Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 16
Loc: california
oh jeez! as if i didn't have enough things to worry about. grouse are the honey badgers of birds. they just "don't care". ha ha

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#23514 - 05/02/12 05:07 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: fran dominguez]
Alana Offline


Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 28
Loc: California
We are coming up June 2 so keep the weather update flowing. Thanks for all the great info.

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#23515 - 05/02/12 05:12 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Alana]
Kali Offline


Registered: 05/02/12
Posts: 4
Loc: The OC (though we don't call i...
We're headed June 9! We're going the back route (Cottonwood, Army Pass, etc), so any updates on that route would be much appreciated.

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#23537 - 05/03/12 12:29 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Kali]
Alana Offline


Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 28
Loc: California
I will keep you posted since we are going up first...

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#23541 - 05/03/12 03:55 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 801
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Watch for grouse on the trail -- they have been reported recently, with some spectacular activity. (See this blog from April 29, search for "grouse".)

Please do not hurt them -- it is their habitat, not ours. One was killed by hikers several years ago.


They taste like chicken!

But I never hurt or killed an animal on the trail...

No harm no "fowl"...hah, I made funny!
_________________________
Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#23630 - 05/07/12 09:29 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Alex K Offline


Registered: 05/07/12
Posts: 1
Loc: Manitoba
Heading up on May 22, any idea if the switchbacks have opened up yet? Will crampons still be necessary?

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#23634 - 05/07/12 10:10 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
From Alex K's post above:
Originally Posted By: Alex K
Heading up on May 22, any idea if the switchbacks have opened up yet? Will crampons still be necessary?

Walter Runkle posted a link to his pictures on the wpsmb board.   Mt. Whitney Day Hike (hiked on May 5, 2012)

Here is his picture of the cables area:


And a picture of the switchbacks:


This is currently the route used instead of the switchbacks -- the slope (sometimes called the chute) just west of the switchbacks. People climb straight up, and ONLY if snow is soft, sit and glissade, on the way down. This area ICES UP in the late afternoon when the mountain shades the snow and temps drop, so beware! Most hikers use crampons and ice axe to climb, and REMOVE the crampons to glissade, using the ice axe as a brake.


Weather and temperatures over the next few weeks will determine how quickly the snow melts.



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#23668 - 05/07/12 04:45 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
fran dominguez Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 16
Loc: california
just got back from mt whitney 05-06-12. here are the conditions for the entire trail:

PORTAL to LONE PINE: clear.

LONE PINE to MIRROR LAKE: patches of black ice before 5am.

MIRROR LAKE to TRAIL SIDE MEADOWS: minor patches of snow. no gear required.

TRAIL SIDE MEADOWS to TRAIL CAMP: significant amounts of snow. gear use optional.

SWITCHBACKS: inaccessible. only way is up THE CHUTE. takes about 2-3 hours. crampons, axe, poles, gaiters required.

TRAIL CREST to SUMMIT: snow and icy patches. Micro spikes + poles will help tremendously.

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#23695 - 05/07/12 10:15 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: fran dominguez]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thank you Fran. like! Excellent report. thanks

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#23726 - 05/08/12 09:35 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: fran dominguez]
Jefe B Offline


Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 4
Loc: San Diego
Thanks for the info. Well done!

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#23733 - 05/08/12 11:30 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: fran dominguez]
Alana Offline


Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 28
Loc: California
Thanks for the info. We are climbing up on June 2 so hoping for the snow to melt.

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#23787 - 05/09/12 01:22 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Alana]
fran dominguez Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 16
Loc: california
you're welcome guys. glad i can contribute for once(i always feel like i'm only getting info off this board).

@alana: june 2nd is a ways from now but i wouldn't count on it. hopefully reports coming in between now and then bring good news but my best suggestion is to mentally prepare to go up the chute. it's tiring (lot of upper body workout) but doable. this was my first time not just hiking up the chute but hiking up inclines with snow altogether.

the reason it'll take a while for the snow to melt is because it's in the mid 20's at the warmest time of the day these days and it doesn't look like it will warm up significantly between now and then.

just pointing this out so that you have a realistic idea of the mountain and can better prepare yourself for it. don't let the elements bring you down. take them on! grin


Edited by fran dominguez (05/09/12 01:24 PM)

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