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#2546 - 02/26/10 02:59 PM cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR
Bernie Offline


Registered: 02/02/10
Posts: 11
Loc: PA
Just a quick question does anybody know is there and where on the MR there is cell phone coverage. Wife and kids like to hear from me when gone for several days. Wife wants to know if she can collect on life insurance

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#2547 - 02/26/10 03:06 PM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: Bernie]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 552
Loc: Murrieta, CA
When I summited last Summer, I couldn't get service with ATT. But another person had Verizon and I called my wife with his phone.
He let several people use his phone for calls. Whoever he was....thank you.
p.s. I couldn't even get service out of Lone Pine with my phone.
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#2551 - 02/26/10 08:09 PM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: quillansculpture]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 579
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: quillansculpture
When I summited last Summer, I couldn't get service with ATT. But another person had Verizon and I called my wife with his phone.
He let several people use his phone for calls. Whoever he was....thank you.
p.s. I couldn't even get service out of Lone Pine with my phone.
I also have AT&T and have had similar experience on the summit but find I can usually use it at the Portal.

In years past I've had good luck with TracFone. You might blow $20 bucks on one if it's essential you call from MW and you don't have Verizon. I think they're still available at K-Mart.

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#2555 - 02/27/10 08:10 AM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: Bernie]
So.BayMark Offline


Registered: 11/01/09
Posts: 78
Loc: Torrance, Ca
Bernie..the only place I called out when I was going to the MR was below UBSL I got a signal and touched base with family. Haven't been up chute so can't tell you on that. On summit I have once before and ney the other times...mark

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#2556 - 02/27/10 08:58 AM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: So.BayMark]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 311
Loc: Reno, Nevada
I have Net 10, and I find coverage to be unreliable and unpredictable. On good days, I've had success below UBSL, east of Iceberg Lake (Overlooking Lone Pine), and from the summit. On bad days, I can't get coverage, and my wife assumes I'm dead. I gave up on the phone and got a SPOT.

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#2577 - 02/28/10 09:04 AM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: Bernie]
AxeMan Offline


Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 29
Loc: Puppetville West
(Or, you could just take the wife & kids with you...)

The main reason I switched from AT&T to Verizon was because of the better reception in remote areas, especially southern Sierra. With my old, beat-up Motorola Razor I've been able to: make calls lying in my sleeping bag in the hiker's camp at the Portal; make calls from UBSL and Iceberg (though you need to walk up to the ridge for line-of-sight); call from the summit, though I find the best spot is the summit edge south of the hut and not right on top. I haven't made calls, but I do get bars above Iceberg to the notch.

You can also make calls (if you feel the need) from just about anywhere on the East Buttress or Face, too.

I've been up several times with people using Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T and they almost always need to use my phone. (Their phones will show bars fluctuating, but very rarely do they actually connect.)

And no, I don't work for, nor do I much care for, Verizon. I just know that I can get calls through in some pretty remote places if I have to. I hope that helps.

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#2587 - 02/28/10 03:55 PM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: AxeMan]
Bernie Offline


Registered: 02/02/10
Posts: 11
Loc: PA
Wife never try a trip like this. My 16 year old daughter wouldf try but not this trip. But back to topic. I have Verizon so it sounds like I should be able to get a call off and a few texts to so everyone will relax that group is doing fine

Thanks for all the info. [spoiler][/spoiler]

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#2590 - 02/28/10 05:40 PM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: Bernie]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
Well I have verizon and cell coverage is spotty at best from half way up the portal road to the summit.I have gotten calls out from the portal but only intermittantly and could never get a call out from anywhere I tried on the MW main trail or summit.I wouldn't count on getting a message out to reassure a family member. Best bet is to let them know if they don't hear from you it doen't mean you are in trouble just unable to get cell phone service.
I know some people say they have been able to use their cell at certain places on the mountain.My buddy and I couldn't use our phones anywhere past Lone Pine.

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#2594 - 02/28/10 07:29 PM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: Rod]
So.BayMark Offline


Registered: 11/01/09
Posts: 78
Loc: Torrance, Ca
Rod.. I have verizon, have you tried the windows on the back side of MW trail after trail crest, thats where I usaually make my call or text with full bars..

At portal campgrounds I just walk over to portal road for cell service..

Remember to keep cell phones off while hiking otherwise the phone searching for a signal will zap the battery...

mark

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#2595 - 02/28/10 07:46 PM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: So.BayMark]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
No Mark I didn't try at the windows. I did try at Trail Crest and on the summit.I tried several places on the MWMT and never found the magic spot. Funny I was in the parking lot at the portal and was talking to my wife and turned sideways and the call dropped. I was never able to get a call out after that no matter where I stood even though I had a few bars saying I had service.That was a few phones ago so maybe my new phone will work better.Hope to be able to make a call from the summit sometime this year.

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#2604 - 03/01/10 07:38 AM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: Rod]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1239
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
What we all do without cell phones on the Main Mt. Whitney Trail? I love technology but I have absolutely no desire carry a cellphone with me in the backcountry. Hmmm....Mt. Whitney Trail...backcountry...hmmm....never mind.


Edited by wbtravis (03/01/10 07:38 AM)

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#2606 - 03/01/10 08:11 AM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: wbtravis]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
I agree wbtravis.It is a little incongruent to be back packing in the back country with a cell phone.I brought it along for an emergency and then thought oh what the hell let me see if i can call home and try to share the experience with someone.It never worked but I see your point and agree. I hate cell phones in general especially while treating patients in my office or in line at the grocery store but I am afraid they are here to stay.

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#2628 - 03/01/10 06:12 PM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: Rod]
AxeMan Offline


Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 29
Loc: Puppetville West
Um, yeah, nothing within the Whitney Zone is "backcountry."

(And I much prefer seeing someone pull out their cell phone on a summit, than spending most of their hike with their nose buried in a GPS screen trying to match waypoints and endlessly braying about "elevation adjustments" and "signal anomalies." Gosh, I sure can't wait until the "texting" SPOTs come out...)

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#2630 - 03/01/10 06:37 PM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: Rod]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1239
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Rod,

I hate cell phones. The only reason I have one is the job.

Do I take it on hikes? Yeah, but that is to keep wifey happy and knowing full well were it will and will not work...this is a domestic tranquility issue.

Axeman,

The Main Mt. Whitney Trail is reclaimed as wilderness in the winter. I've been up to Trail Camp a few times where it has been just me and a few friends. Other times, we've few than a half dozen people. It is a completely different experience in the winter than summer.

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#2648 - 03/02/10 07:00 PM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: wbtravis]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: wbtravis
I hate cell phones. The only reason I have one is the job.


I feel the same way, especially since I'm forced to use ATT for my BB by my employer. It's been a few years, but when I was carrying Verizon service I actually had a call come through at Badwater Basin in Death Valley. Absolutely stunned me, as I can't recall ever picking up a signal anywhere in the park before or after. Probably an atmospheric anomoly that wouldn't repeat in a zillion years, but it never would have happened with ATT.

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#2652 - 03/02/10 07:56 PM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: Bulldog34]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
Axeman you are right about MW not really being back country.
wbtravis put it best on his website when he said the "MWMT is not a wilderness experience."
Never the less there is something really special about the Whitney Zone for some of us.
I have packed into some really pristine areas and I would still carry my cell phone anyways for some strange chance that it might help in an emergency.
And I still hate cell phones in the city.

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#2658 - 03/02/10 11:41 PM Re: cell phone coverage on WHITNEY MR [Re: Rod]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1239
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Rod,

I have gone up the MMWT during Whitney Prime Time (the 4th till Labor Day) once in the last 10 years...down is another story, because it is not a wilderness experience.

My quota season trips start elsewhere, usually in mid to late September, so I might have a wilderness experience on my way to the Smithsonian Hut. In 2006, 3 people between NAP and Lower Trail Crest during that year's Whitney Trip...and about 2 dozen deer. Last year, less than a dozen folks between Bullfrog Lake and LTC.

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