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#26573 - 08/06/12 11:36 AM Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike
thx123 Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 31
Loc: Anaheim, CA
Hi,

If I can't get walk-in permit for Mt. Whitney trail, I'm thinking about going to Mt. Langley instead.

Is Mt. Langley easier to complete as a day hike? Can somebody give me a quick comparison?

How hard and dangerous is "old army pass" above Cotton Wood lakes this time of the year?

Thx123
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Thx123 "Woody"

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#26584 - 08/06/12 04:30 PM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: thx123]
HyltonHiker Offline


Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 17
Loc: Lake Isabella, CA,USA
Its not any easier maybe a little quicker than Whitney. There is a little snow at the top of Army Pass but its not that bad you can still get through. Be careful going through there a hiker got killed a few weeks ago, if you stay on the trail you should have no problem.

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#26585 - 08/06/12 04:39 PM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: thx123]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
Langley is a tad bit easier as there is not as much elevation gain, but the mileage is about the same if not another mile or two round trip.

The first six miles is almost flat with little gain although very tough mentally (for me at least) because I got sick and tired of that forest. Once you exit the forest, it is spectacular. Rock walls and lakes all around. I do not think Old Army is dangerous as long as you're careful. The trail is not maintained any longer and it shows, but it's not some death defying traverse. A gentleman recently died there, but I believe this was partly due to foul weather. Beyond OA, it's a bunch of use-trail and light scrambling near the top. There are multiple use-trails so don't get caught up trying to find the "right" one.

Old Army would be "spicy" in the winter and under torrential rain. I've been there in the winter...it's either fun or scary depending on you. This is the best time to go but you should probably bring Deet. Mosquito galore if you go at the wrong time.

You'll have fun at either mountain. Langley is just as nice if not nicer than Whitney.

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#26588 - 08/06/12 05:01 PM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: 2600fromatari]
thx123 Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 31
Loc: Anaheim, CA
Thank you both for the advice. Yes, I've been tracking the news of the gentleman who died there, RIP

And thank you for letting me know about the deet too... that didn't even cross my mind.
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Thx123 "Woody"

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#26589 - 08/06/12 05:08 PM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: thx123]
tif Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 49
Loc: colton, ca
The first 2/3 of Langley is easier, the last 1/3 well it sucks... As others have mentioned the round trip mileage is more or less the same (give or take a mile) and the gain is ~1500-2000 less than the Whitney main trail. On paper, it's easier, but the slog up the last 2k' of Langley is scree and/or rock and boulder scrambling. The scree is the worst and the longest of it.

Old Army pass is currently clear the whole way up. The tiny patch of snow left isn't on the trail.


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#26594 - 08/06/12 06:06 PM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: thx123]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1239
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
The 10 miles of solid rock kills ya at Mt. Whitney. The sand gets ya at Mt. Langley.

The yack trail out to either Army or New Army Trail rocks and rolls and sandy. Once you get to about 12,300', 1 trail become thirty routes to the summit. The steeper more direct ones are best.

I would take Army Pass, it more direct and it eliminates the 300' back to New Army Pass, which is a royal pain in the rear end. There are a couple small blocked sections near the top of Army Pass that are easy to navigate your way through.

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#26595 - 08/06/12 06:11 PM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: wbtravis]
tif Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 49
Loc: colton, ca
Originally Posted By: wbtravis
The 10 miles of solid rock kills ya at Mt. Whitney. The sand gets ya at Mt. Langley.

The yack trail out to either Army or New Army Trail rocks and rolls and sandy. Once you get to about 12,300', 1 trail become thirty routes to the summit. The steeper more direct ones are best.

I would take Army Pass, it more direct and it eliminates the 300' back to New Army Pass, which is a royal pain in the rear end. There are a couple small blocked sections near the top of Army Pass that are easy to navigate your way through.


I second this - take the rocks/steeper way up (as long as you are comfortable scrambling a bit). We took the scree (stayed to the left) and cursed loudly the whole way up.

The summit is WAY up there compared to how it looks from the bottom. We thought we were at the summit about 4 times before we were there.

I also second the advice to take Army Pass (rather than New Army) that 300+' of up from Army Pass up to New Army looked AWFUL by the time we finished summiting. I was never so happy to not have to hike back up.

As far as being 'blocked' I didn't feel there were any blocked sections of trail when I hiked it two weeks ago (7/28). There were one or two places you moved around or through the rocks a bit, but no exposure or sketchy moves. You really didn't even need your hands at all. Otherwise just watch footing a bit on looser rocks on the trail - and it's just that... trail all the way up right now.

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#26605 - 08/07/12 01:47 AM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: thx123]
Eugene K Offline


Registered: 08/15/11
Posts: 40
Loc: San Diego, CA
In terms of fitness equipment, Whitney is a stairmaster, Langley is a treadmill.

Even though the distance is roughly the same, Langley is easier. Especially if you're fit. There's a limit to how fast you can go up and down Whitney, because running is not an option about 2/3'rds of the way. You can run most of the way up and down Langley.

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#26618 - 08/07/12 10:38 AM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: Eugene K]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
What is the recommended map for Langley?

I looked into getting permits online, but all I've seeing are overnight permits. Is it pretty easy to walk into the ranger station and pick up permits for the next day?
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#26624 - 08/07/12 11:59 AM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
There is no permit needed for a dayhike, hence you can't find them.


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#26625 - 08/07/12 11:59 AM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Eugene K Offline


Registered: 08/15/11
Posts: 40
Loc: San Diego, CA
You don't need a permit if you're not hiking overnight.


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#26628 - 08/07/12 12:35 PM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: thx123]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Thanks for the info and the map.

So the wilderness permits are just for overnight? In some places I've read about the hike, it almost seems like 'wilderness permits' and 'permits for overnight' are two different things.

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#26632 - 08/07/12 01:35 PM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Eugene K Offline


Registered: 08/15/11
Posts: 40
Loc: San Diego, CA
BTW, there's one small inaccuracy in that map. It's showing switchbacks south of Lake 4. In reality they are to the west of the lake.

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#26640 - 08/07/12 02:56 PM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: tif]
thx123 Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 31
Loc: Anaheim, CA
Tif,

Thank you so much for the detailed info.
Planning on camping one night at the cottonwood lakes.
How long does it take to summit from the lake?

Thx123
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Thx123 "Woody"

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#26645 - 08/07/12 03:50 PM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: thx123]
Eugene K Offline


Registered: 08/15/11
Posts: 40
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: thx123
Tif,

Thank you so much for the detailed info.
Planning on camping one night at the cottonwood lakes.
How long does it take to summit from the lake?

Thx123


It depends. Last summer it took me about 5 hours from the lakes to the summit via New Army Pass, but I was fairly slow. A person in a decent physical shape starting at one of the upper lakes and taking Old Army can get there under 3.

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#26647 - 08/07/12 04:54 PM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: thx123]
tif Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 49
Loc: colton, ca
It took us about 4-5 hours to summit from the lakes, the down hike was ~2.5 with a few longish breaks. Had we taken the rocks up, we would have shaved at least 1/2 hour off compared to the scree slog we did.

We hiked from trailhead to the lakes in just over 3 hours FYI 7am-10:15am or so). Left the lakes around 11am-ish give or take and summitted around 3:45p (3:00p for the fastest in our group - but he did take a 15-20 min nap at one point)we spent somewhere around 20-30 mins on the top and were down to army pass within about an hour and a half from the summit. We were back at camp a bit before 7pm.

If I had to do it over again, I'd summit on day 2 rather than on day 1 of an overnight backpack, the hike out from the lakes is quite easy. That slog up the scree (the unavoidable part before the boulder/rock section) is HARD in my opinion - coming down ain't so bad but going up feels like two steps forward one step back...

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#26651 - 08/07/12 07:11 PM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1239
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Originally Posted By: 63ChevyII.com
What is the recommended map for Langley?

I looked into getting permits online, but all I've seeing are overnight permits. Is it pretty easy to walk into the ranger station and pick up permits for the next day?


I use Cirque Peak and Mt. Langley 7.5' quads. I like the 1:24000 format better. Most use Harrison Maps.

The Cottonwood Lakes are misnumbered. The correct numbering for the CL is on the info board at the trailhead.

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#26652 - 08/07/12 07:16 PM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: thx123]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1239
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
How long...

It depends on a lot of factors, which lake select for camping, how long it take to figure out the line you want to take, which route you take up once you reach the mountain.

Experience does matter here. More you have with this mountain the less time it will take. We cut well over an hour off our time the second time up.

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#26690 - 08/08/12 10:56 AM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: tif]
thx123 Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 31
Loc: Anaheim, CA
Wow, this forum and you guys are awesome. So much useful info I could never get else where.

One last question, is it safe to camp at the Cottonwood lake during thunderstorm?

(Obviously I won't try to summit Mt. Langley if I see thunderstorm forecast.)

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Thx123 "Woody"

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#26691 - 08/08/12 11:09 AM Re: Mt Whitney VS. Mt Langley day hike [Re: thx123]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
In my opinion, the likelihood of being struck by lightning at Cottonwood Lakes during a thunderstorm are lower than getting into a car accident getting to/from the trailhead.

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