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So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
#24475 05/29/12 07:11 PM
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I'm just curious how many times people who post here have hiked or climbed to the summit of Mount Whitney.

I've only done the hike 5 times. Three times up the Mule Trail (Main Trail) from the Portal, once up the Mountaineer's Route, and once as I was heading out after camping at Guitar Lake; so I'm not a Whitney expert like some of the folks who post on the forum and give advice. I'm probably still considered a Whitney novice (I don't like the use of the slang term noob for someone without a lot of experience).

Anyway, what's your number of successful Whitney hikes/climbs and why do you keep going back?

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
KathyW #24478 05/29/12 08:27 PM
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Just once, why you ask? Because it was there.

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
KathyW #24482 05/30/12 05:14 AM
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Kathy -

I've done it about 15 times, and many more times up to Trail Camp as a somewhat rigorous day hike. When I lived in Inyokern, I tried to do it twice a year - spring and fall.

As to why - well, I hike alot, and so it comes into the 'rotation' on a regular basis. It's a very pretty hike - spectacular in some places. And doing it regularly gives me feedback on my general fitness level. It's also relatively close by, so getting to the VC for a pass is about an hour's drive.

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
KathyW #24485 05/30/12 06:43 AM
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I think twice for me. Once from the West doing the High Sierra Trail and then again by the MMWT. Went West to East over the crest once but did not have time to do the summit.

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
RoguePhotonic #24492 05/30/12 11:11 AM
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Twice in 5 attempts. Backed off first attempt by snow etc in August, 1964. Summitted on second with parents and 9 year old brother, July, 1967. Backed off third by girlfriend's AMS, July 20-21, 1969. That night, we were two of very few people on the planet not watching the first moonwalk on TV. We had a better view than that. Third attempt summitted solo, up the chute June 19, 1993 and had the summit to myself for about an hour. Glorious. Last year, backed off by snow and ice below Kaweah Gap, July 12. Technically, that was backed off twice, for six attempts. Drove around from SEKI and couldn't get enough permits, mid week, no less. Interagency Center was deluged the weeks after the switches finally cleared.

I keep trying to find the rock I bivvied under in ice water on the first attempt. Oh, and taking loved ones to a favorite spot.

Last edited by saltydog; 05/30/12 11:15 AM.

Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!
Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
KathyW #24506 05/30/12 07:04 PM
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Let's see... once via East Face, once via East Buttress, once via Mountaineer's route, and via the trail 6 times, twice as a day hike. So 9 times. I have turned around at Trail crest 3 additional times for various reasons.

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
KathyW #24510 05/30/12 10:35 PM
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I have been to the summit 4 times and to Trail Camp 6 times. Why? Read my trip report from 8 years ago. My first few trips included people who had Summit Fever. That inspired me to take a lot of notes to share with first timers.

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
KathyW #24558 05/31/12 11:05 PM
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I did it last year for first time. Day hike starting at 3:00 am. Overall time (breaks included) 9:30 hs to reach the summit. 45 years old in good condition. Reached Trail Camp in 4 hs,long break there, 2 hs hiking the switchbacks but from Trail Crest to summit I felt the altitude with nausea but no headaches and took me a little more than 2:30 hs to cover that distance.
I'm going for my second summit at the end of july.


"Las montañas no son estadios donde satisfacer nuestra ambición deportiva, sino catedrales donde practicar nuestra religión."
Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
KathyW #24570 06/01/12 11:22 AM
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11 times in the last two months from all sides of the mountain in snow and dry land love the climb every time will be back at portal tonight for # 12 leaving early AM working on best time, and i don't say this with a cocky attitude i am thankful and blessed and love being on the trails.

MW85

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
KathyW #24574 06/01/12 12:40 PM
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5 times up the main trail
3 times on the backside past Trailcrest
2 times turned back due to time/weather
1 summit

Trips summary:
  • Tried to get to Trail Camp first day and didn't make it. Much harder hike than expected. Made it to Outpost Camp with sore feet from much too small of boots ( black toenails for almost a year afterwords ). Summit day was getting as far as Trail Camp. Hiking slow and taking too many pictures. From now on I do multi day ascents stopping at Outpost and Trail Camp.
  • Successful ascent stopping overnight at Outpost and Trail Camps. Hiking slow and taking too many pictures! Summit day I turned back at the Keeler Needle notch due to weather. Was resting late in the day wondering if we should turn back when suddenly the air went still. This usually isn't a good sign weather wise, so we headed down. Sure enough, it was raining/hailing a good part of the way to Trailcrest.
  • Ditto to the previous trip except this time the weather was better and got to spend almost an hour at the summit running around taking pictures!
  • Didn't even try for the summit. Spent some time exploring around Trail Camp and climbed Wotan's Throne. Found and signed the register.
  • Wasn't planning on trying for the summit, but ended up giving it a try. We were staying a couple of days at Trail Camp. The first day the group I was with was going to the summit and I joined them rather than stay at camp. Hiking slow and taking too many pictures! While the pictures look great, they DON'T convey how miserably cold and windy it was. I got almost to Keeler Needle and was no longer having any fun. While I was resting along side the trail, the rest of the group, that had gone on ahead long before, passed me heading back down and I joined them. The next day I achieved my main objective for this trip when I went partway up the NW ridge of Wotan's Throne and took this Gigapan Mt Whitney ridge line and south east face as seen from Wotan's Throne ( oops, guess I need to enter a real description for that Gigapan )

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
Joel M. Baldwin #24577 06/01/12 01:31 PM
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Joel Baldwin wrote:
> The next day I achieved my main objective for this trip when I went partway up the NW ridge of Wotan's Throne and took this Gigapan Mt Whitney ridge line and south east face as seen from Wotan's Throne ( oops, guess I need to enter a real description for that Gigapan )


Joel!!! Where have you been hiding that picture?!!

I just checked it out, and in the left side, I can find nearly all the switchbacks, from Trail Crest almost to Trail Camp. By the way, I found four hikers near the bottom, and a few at Trail Crest, but none in between. Even the Trail Crest sign is visible!

Please.... Start a new thread describing it. I want to put it into the "Links to important Whitney information" post. What date did you take the picture(s), and what time of day? What sort of camera and equipment???

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
Steve C #24586 06/01/12 03:35 PM
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Once last year, day hike to summit. Going again in August and I am thinking about going Tuesday.

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
Steve C #24592 06/01/12 05:11 PM
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Yes, the first three switchbacks are blocked by one of Wotan's ribs. Excellent giga photo!

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
KathyW #24597 06/02/12 05:15 AM
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5 summits in 6 tries. The one failure was due to a thunderstorm. We turned around at the John Muir Trail junction. The last summit was 3 years ago for my 60th birthday. I might try again when I turn 65.

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
KathyW #24601 06/02/12 06:50 AM
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Sorry, I don't know how to say this without appearing elitist or given to lecturing. My intent is simply to be helpful--perhaps to open some eyes. Maybe I can edit this later to do a better job.

Mt. Whitney is just one of about fifteen fine peaks accessible from Whitney Portal: Russell, Thor, Candlelight, LeConte, and more. To say nothing of a dozen spires--Keeler, Muir, Discovery, etc.--that, if targeted in their own right, are equally enjoyable objectives.

My claim is that a person who climbs each of those fifteen once, for example, comes away with a deeper sense of fulfillment than a person who does one of them fifteen times. The audience of this thread clearly enjoys the mountain experience, and some might want to think of this wider view.

-----

Having sidetracked KathyW's question, I'm happy to put things back on topic. So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??

Last edited by Bob R; 06/02/12 01:49 PM.
Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
Bob R #24607 06/02/12 03:37 PM
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I'll echo Bob R's comments. There are dozens of worthy peaks to climb in the Sierras. Some are not as easy to "climb" as Mt. Whitney, but just as personally satisfying.

Here is a short list of peaks North of Whitney, on the east side of the range, that can be actually climbed without undue difficulty - perhaps Class 2 to 3: Split Mountain, Mt. Sill, Mt. Gayley, Mt Aggasiz, Basin Mountain, Hurd Peak, Mt. Johnson, Mt. Tom, etc. The list could go on and on.

Admittedly, most of these peaks don't have hamburger cafes at the start of the climb, and most don't have well-trodden hiking trails to the summit, which might make them less than attractive to some folks. I've only mentioned a few on the East side, and the West side of the range also has dozens of peaks worth climbing.

The High Sierra, by R.J. Secor, is an excellent resource for new adventures for those who might have become burned out on endlessly repeating the same old route up Whitney. Now, my next comment is probably going to really tick-off some of you, but too bad, sports fans.

There almost seems to be some kind of compulsiveness in ascending the same route over and over again, unless it becomes easier with repetition. Is there some kind of Guiness record being sought? Who is the big winner? Tah Dah!






Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
KathyW #24610 06/02/12 07:39 PM
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I have climbed Mt. Whitney 16 times. My first time was 1971 when I was 11. The second time coming from Onion Valley I spent the night ontop that was 1977. The 3rd time was with my wife back in 1996 when I got back into hiking after marriage and having kids. I go back every year for a day hike most of the times with my wife who has done it 10 times.

I am trying for #17 & 18 this summer when we take our kids from Onion Valley to Whitney in August then, my day hike in September.

I keep going back because of the challenge and the beauty.

Happy Hiking!

Scott

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
calsurfer #24612 06/02/12 08:28 PM
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Thanks for all the responses.

I do hikes to Mount San Gorgonio a number of times a year because I live close to it (I was up there today); so if I lived close to Mount Whitney I'd probably do it a few times a year. Seeing as it's a 3+ hour drive to the Eastern Sierra for me, I tend to like to check out different areas and try to get up other mountains to check out the view. Also, the crowd on the Whitney trail is difficult for me to deal with - If I'm going to drive to the Sierra, I like to go where the trails are not so crowded.

I agree there are some wonderful mountains in the area surrounding Whitney - the few that I've been up were well worth the time and effort to scramble up. I've had McAdie on the list for a while; so maybe I'll get a chance to try that one this summer. I think I might try it from Crabtree Pass instead of Arc Pass.

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
KathyW #24614 06/02/12 09:13 PM
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I think I've climbed Mt Whitney half a dozen times or so. Camped on top three times. But I must say, doing a number of other peaks has been lots of fun. I completed all the CA Fourteeners (well, except for that technical one, Polemonium) some years ago, don't have the urge to do them again.

But branching out, I've pushed a mtn bike to the top of White Mountain, and have done a few TSDHs (Trans-Sierra Day Hikes). Then I started doing a few legs of the JMT and PCT, so now I have covered everything from Mt Whitney to Echo Summit at the south end of Lake Tahoe.

I have a few more hikes and mountains on the list. ...so little time, so many mountains to climb!

Re: So, how many times have you been on the summit of Whitney??
Steve C #24632 06/03/12 08:32 PM
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Several times. But like they say, "you never forget your first."

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