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Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Akichow #26034 07/17/12 12:04 PM
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I was at the summit on the 14th via the mountaineers route.
we returned on the main trail. There was no snow any where on the actual trail. The forcast was for a 60% chance of heavy rain and thunderstorms. The weather ended up being perfect.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #26044 07/18/12 01:10 AM
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Here's a mid-July update to current conditions:

The trail is completely open, with no snow at all to cross. The two most important things to beware of are weather and altitude sickness (AMS).

Thunderstorms can occur any day during the summer, but between mid-July and the end of August is when they are more frequent. Pay close attention to the weather forecasts (See the Mt Whitney Weather links, especially the NOAA site for the Mt Whitney summit.

AMS affects a high percentage of Mt Whitney hikers. Symptoms are: headache, lack of appetite, nausea, disorientation. (While it is rare, people can die from the worst altitude symptoms: HACE and HAPE.) If all you experience is a slight headache, or your appetite leaves, you might be ok. But if things get worse: bad headache or vomiting, dizziness or disorientation, TURN AROUND and descend immediately. Here's a trip report worth reading: MMWT July 13th 2012   There are three sections in the Orientation Notes covering altitude issues and acclimatization.

Also, this year for the first time, a cougar (mountain lion) has been encountered just above Outpost Camp / Bighorn Park. If hiking in the dark, hiking with a group is best. Here's a list of do's and don'ts from www.cougarinfo.org

Edit: No additional mountain lion reports have come since that time, so it has probably moved on.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #26047 07/18/12 07:02 AM
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Skeeter Report - Surprisingly few skeeters on July 13 & 14. I didn't have any mosquito repellant on and I wasn't bothered at all.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #26048 07/18/12 08:33 AM
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I have my permit scheduled for a day hike on 8/14.

Since I have planning an early start, can I tag along with the first group I encounter at the outpost? Is this proper "etiquette" to join a group to stay safe from mountain lions?

I don't want to be weirding people out in the middle of the night with a "hey guys/gals, mind I join up with your group?".

Given that I usually hike solo, I have no idea what's ok or not and I don't want to be an ass.
wink

Chris.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
ChrisInLongBeach #26049 07/18/12 09:26 AM
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Don't be surprised if a group asks you for them to join you. :grin:

Make friends on the trail...you'll be glad you did.


Journey well...
Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #26060 07/18/12 06:40 PM
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I'm doing a day hike this Sunday. Planning on driving up from San Diego Friday morning. How difficult is it to get a campsite at Whitney Portal on the weekends?

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #26149 07/23/12 12:44 PM
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What is the water situation at the 97 switchbacks and Horseshow Meadow?
I am going up this weekend.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
phycon #26151 07/23/12 01:24 PM
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I was there yesterday and there was some running water down the first part of the switchbacks. I filled up a liter bottle there. On the way down it started pouring rain though so there was water everywhere

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
ruckustrx11 #26274 07/27/12 01:13 PM
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Any word on the mountain lion situation?

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
ChrisInLongBeach #26935 08/13/12 07:07 PM
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Just day hiked it on Saturday...i didn't even know mountain lions existed on Whitney...but if you find a group with a similar pace to yours you might want to join them just to not be lonely. How early are you planning on starting?

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #27172 08/22/12 07:53 PM
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Went up 8/19. Water was still flowing from the spring above Switchback #23 (that you cross the runoff on the way to Switchback #24). There were people working on some of the rocks in the trail above the cables (i.e. above Switchback #46). At the summit hut, both doors were open and there were people working next to each door frame.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
VersatileFred #27174 08/22/12 09:33 PM
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For those who may not know, the Main Trail will be closed to anyone hiking from Whitney Portal the two weeks after Labor Day weekend: Tuesday-Friday, Sept 4-7, and Monday-Thursday, Sept 10-13

Discussion here.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #27215 08/25/12 06:27 AM
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Trip report coming, but just a quick update on the trail - from my dayhike on 8/24:

Plenty of water is flowing on the lower switchbacks - I filled up on #23 on the way up and down.

There are signs along the trail warning of trail work and delays, but there was no work being done today. This was my first visit so I don't have anything to compare it to, but the trail was extremely well marked and seemed in great condition to me.

There was barely a cloud in the sky so staying adequately protected from the sun was probably the biggest concern. It was warm the whole way - I wore light hiking pants and long sleeve hiking shirt which I recommend to hep protect from the sun. The ranger at the permit center told me there were thunderstorms for 3 straight weeks but that they ended around 8/23 so right now is prime weather conditions.

It was a solo trip but there were people generally around (within 15 minutes or so) the whole way- no mountain lions, bears, etc.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Kerry #27235 08/25/12 08:39 PM
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Kerry, thanks much for the update!

                  thanks

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #28074 09/26/12 08:17 PM
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As of 9/25 I did not notice any water on switch back 23. I started at 5:15 am from trail camp so it is possible I missed the water due to it being frozen or too dark to see. Be cautious and fill up at trail camp to be sure you have sufficient water.

Summit was sunny as can be and at 9:45 am only a handful of others on the top. Still chilly though. Trip report will soon follow.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #28132 09/28/12 07:38 AM
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Here's a picture posted from last year: October 8, 2011. (posted by Norma R here.)

There was a major snow storm, dropping a foot of snow at Trail Camp. Most snow melted away later in Oct.



This year, the trail is currently dry, but a little frosty in the mornings.

Make sure you watch the weather forecasts before you go!

  Mt Whitney Weather page. (Link is always above on the left.)

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #28176 09/29/12 10:58 PM
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Latest report is that the water at switchback 23 is frozen early mornings. Best to fill up at Trail Camp to be safe.

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #28178 09/30/12 05:09 AM
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If you don't have a filter I think you have to fill up at Trailside Meadow a mile earlier. One month ago there was easily accessible running water that we were counting on at Trail Camp just before the swithbacks. This time only pond water was readily available. We ended up borrowing a filter (I didn't bring mine!).

Last edited by Chicagocwright; 09/30/12 05:11 AM.
Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #28205 10/01/12 07:51 PM
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Bob R took these pictures on Sept 29. Ice is beginning to form at the cables. What is there won't thaw until next July or August. It is currently easy to walk past the ice on the rocks.







Bob reports that the spring at Switchback 23 is frozen/dry in the mornings, but running again in the afternoon. It all depends on the temperatures and the amount of melting going on farther up the slope.

With the cold and frosty mornings, beware that rocks on the trail can become slippery with frost. ...Last year, one group of hikers had to turn around at a stream crossing when one of their members stepped on a rock in the middle of the stream that had a layer of ice. (They had started their hike in the dark, so they couldn't see the difference between wet and icy rocks with their headlamps.) The hiker did a face plant in the stream! Be careful!!!

Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C #28206 10/01/12 08:34 PM
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Wow -- we were in this exact same spot two years ago (to the day) and there was so much more ice than pictured!


The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
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