Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
0 registered (), 10 Guests and 82 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3214 Members
13 Forums
5289 Topics
49318 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Page 1 of 11 1 2 3 ... 10 11 >
Topic Options
#29788 - 02/06/13 01:03 AM Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date)
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7191
Loc: Fresno, CA
The posts below have been moved from the main Current Conditions thread, for trail reports during 2013. (Posts are moved periodically after they no longer represent current conditions.)

2014 Conditions

Previous years:
    2012 Main Trail Conditions
    2011 Main Trail Conditions

Top
#29789 - 02/06/13 01:05 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7191
Loc: Fresno, CA
A group from CLMRG (China Lake Mountain Rescue Group) climbed Thor Peak last weekend, and lower sections of the Mt Whitney trail are in these pictures. The group was able to drive almost to the Meysan Lakes trailhead (within a mile of Whitney Portal). Bob reported a good boot track up to Bighorn Park / Outpost Camp, but no tracks beyond that. He said it "would be hard to get to Trail Camp" due to the dry, sugary condition of the snow.

The creek crossing, North Fork Lone Pine Creek -- about 30 minutes hike above the trail head:


The log crossing:


The "trail"


Camping at Bighorn Park


From Thor Peak: Trail Crest on the left, Mt Whitney on the right



Looking down on Mirror Lake. The Main Trail goes through the trees, and up on the granite in the upper right.


Here is the set of all pictures: Stemwinder

Top
#30288 - 03/13/13 04:16 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
choclab Offline


Registered: 03/06/13
Posts: 14
Loc: los angeles
My son and I are going up to whitney next week, 23-26. This is our first time. We plan on camping at the portal first night, then to outpost camp the next night. Any suggestions? Do you think we could make it to outpost camp in one day? provided weather is good?
_________________________
really enjoy the outdoors. started backpacking with my son and we both really enjoy it.

Top
#30313 - 03/14/13 10:14 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: choclab]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7191
Loc: Fresno, CA
Choclab, you should have no trouble making it to Outpost Camp from the Portal in a day. It is a 2000 ft elevation gain, and there likely won't be too much snow on the trail up to that point.

You haven't written much about your plans, but you might try hiking farther up the trail -- as far as you feel comfortable -- the next morning from Outpost.

Weather at the Portal is reportedly having highs at 50 - 60, so snow should be sparse.

This picture below, of the Lower Boy Scout Lake area on the North Fork is similar in elevation to Outpost Camp. It was taken March 9. I would think you should find bare ground to camp, but not sure. Maybe microspikes, like YakTrax, might be useful.

Picture from Akichow's trip report, Mountaineers Route 3/7-3/9



And try to take pictures! If you send them to me, I can post them.


Top
#30337 - 03/14/13 06:42 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
choclab Offline


Registered: 03/06/13
Posts: 14
Loc: los angeles
hey steve,
thanks for the info. looks like snowshoes are required. what do you think? provided weather holds up and there is no fresh snow. we have crampons.
we have backpacked in snow before, are ready for cold weather. it looks like at lower elevation it won't get that cold (may teens at night).
we are planning on driving up from los angeles friday and sleeping in lone pine, and heading out sat. morning. camping either at portal or outpost camp the first night, and evaluating the situation from there. not sure where to go from there if trail camp is a possible or not. or if we can camp anywhere else
_________________________
really enjoy the outdoors. started backpacking with my son and we both really enjoy it.

Top
#30363 - 03/15/13 10:25 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: choclab]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7191
Loc: Fresno, CA
Snowshoes were good on that trip as it was a stormy time and it is off trail. If little or no more snow falls between now and your trip, I doubt snowshoes will be useful.

By the way, the Whitney Weather page (link above on the left) has more NOAA weather locations besides Whitney Portal, as well as a number of other links. Be SURE to watch those especially close to your trip.

If the weather is clear, people do drive beyond the road closed sign (at their own risk). If no more snow appears, vehicles might be getting pretty close to the Portal. The road is not cleared beyond the sign, so there is always significant rock fall.

Top
#30377 - 03/16/13 08:20 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
choclab Offline


Registered: 03/06/13
Posts: 14
Loc: los angeles
steve, thanks for your suggestions/help. we are getting excited about our trip. have you ever stayed at the whitney hostel? we are planning on spending the night there prior to starting up the mountain. any other suggestions for lodging or favorite places to eat? we are going up friday night and planning on heading up the mountain sat. as far as driving up to the mountain, would you suggest chains past the gate?
_________________________
really enjoy the outdoors. started backpacking with my son and we both really enjoy it.

Top
#30378 - 03/16/13 08:37 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: choclab]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: choclab
steve, thanks for your suggestions/help. we are getting excited about our trip. have you ever stayed at the whitney hostel? we are planning on spending the night there prior to starting up the mountain. any other suggestions for lodging or favorite places to eat? we are going up friday night and planning on heading up the mountain sat. as far as driving up to the mountain, would you suggest chains past the gate?


Hostel is where I stay, and the chains can stay at home. They won't help you any higher than the snow melt itself, and should you need them lower down, it's best not to even try to drive past the gate. Don't leave your car up there unless the forecast is bombproof for clear and dry weather. You may also get a ticket if the Ranger comes around.



Top
#30379 - 03/16/13 10:13 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Fishmonger]
choclab Offline


Registered: 03/06/13
Posts: 14
Loc: los angeles
how far from the gate to portal? 3 miles?
_________________________
really enjoy the outdoors. started backpacking with my son and we both really enjoy it.

Top
#30384 - 03/16/13 10:54 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: choclab]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7191
Loc: Fresno, CA
I think I have seen somewhere that it takes about an hour and a half to walk from the road closed sign. It is the CHP who come up once every several years to pass out tickets, often just before the road crews open the road -- in May.

Like fish said: Don't venture past unless the forecast is perfect. If you need chains, don't go past.

Whitney Portal Hostel is the best for inexpensive. Bunk beds in a shared room. It is fairly new, and is clean and tidy. If you want an entire room, any motel will do.

My favorite breakfast is the Alabama Hills cafe, across the street from the Hostel. Pizza factory is great for dinner.

Top
#30386 - 03/17/13 01:05 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
No shared rooms right now (off season) at the hostel. Still a good value...you get the whole room for $50 or 60 (1 bunkbed) or $80 (2 bunkbeds), includes all taxes, own bathroom, TV, etc., and you can walk to the good restaurants, supermarket, sporting goods stores. One negative, individual heating system fan runs all night unless you turn the heater off, which is what I do now.

If not at the hostel, the Best Western is quite nice, prices include hot buffet brkfst (not gourmet...but basically passable). Best Western has very nice room furnishings and linens, etc. One downside is you have to get in your car to go to town (1 minute drive).

Best brkfst is Alabama Hills Cafe, yum!

Merry-go-round is very good for dinner--fun atmosphere, and they have both a Chinese and American menu. Haven't tried the American side yet, but Chinese side was quite good. A little pricey compared to home, but competitive for the area.

Seasons is also very good, a little pricier.


Top
#30393 - 03/17/13 10:52 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Akichow]
choclab Offline


Registered: 03/06/13
Posts: 14
Loc: los angeles
thanks for your suggestions. will for sure take go for it.
one thing i forgot, is there a ranger station to check in at, or let know that we will be on mountain. want to be sure that if there is any need for help someone now we are out there.
also will i need a gps, or are the triails able to be followed?
is gps better than iphone app?


Edited by choclab (03/17/13 10:59 PM)
_________________________
really enjoy the outdoors. started backpacking with my son and we both really enjoy it.

Top
#30394 - 03/18/13 07:40 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: choclab]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
You have to get permits. Interagency permit station is big building off 395 a few miles south of Lone Pine at turn off to Death Valley. Info re its location is elsewhere on this website.

Your question re navigation gives me concern. Navigating in the snow, particularly above Outlook Camp or Mirror Lake, will not be straightforward at some point. While a GPS is helpful, it is an electronic tool that can fail and should not be relied upon (iPhones are great with GPS-enabled maps installed, but same problem, and you burn through the battery way too quickly ...probably would run out of charge after less than one day if GPS left on continuously). Need to be able to read topo, use a compass. Trail will be covered in snow at some point, very easy to get disoriented unless you have experience with snow travel, use of appropriate tools.

Top
#30396 - 03/18/13 07:56 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Akichow]
choclab Offline


Registered: 03/06/13
Posts: 14
Loc: los angeles
thanks taking topo and compass as well
_________________________
really enjoy the outdoors. started backpacking with my son and we both really enjoy it.

Top
#30420 - 03/20/13 12:05 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7191
Loc: Fresno, CA
We finally have a trail conditions report this year! Walter R hiked up above Mirror Lake on March 16. He drove all the way to the Portal, and then hiked. His pictures are here: Snowshoe to Trailside Meadow

Walter used snow shoes starting several miles up the trail. Some of his pictures are from off-trail routes. Hikers unfamiliar with the area will find tracks in the snow leading all over the place, not necessarily following the trail. This occurs every spring when snow makes trail travel difficult, and some shortcuts are more appealing.

Several of Walter's pictures:

The first stream crossing (North Fork Lone Pine Creek)




The log crossing


Bighorn Park (Outpost Camp is in the trees) Mirror Lake behind the higher trees. Wotans Throne above that, and Mt Whitney peaking out.


Top
#30422 - 03/20/13 06:45 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
Steve - not to nitpick, but it appeaars people were using snowshoes within about 2 miles of the Portal, not several. The sign for the North Fork is about a mile, and the bog bridges where Walter turned right and headed up the Bighorn Meadow drainage bushwhack are just before Lone Pine Lake, which is around 3 miles. The photo where the 4 fellows are putting on snowshoes is about 1/2 way in between the North Fork turnoff and Lone Pine lake.

FWIW - Doug once told me that once the snow starts to melt, the snowline moves uphill about 500' a week. That factoid has stuck with me.

Top
#30426 - 03/20/13 08:39 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: choclab]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1239
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Originally Posted By: choclab
thanks taking topo and compass as well


I've been up the MMWT plenty in these conditions. I do not remember ever pulling out navigation tools. Yeah, there are some mistakes you can make, especially around Lone Pine Lake, and it some of the short cuts willy-nilly but his is really a straight forward hike, just like summer.

Just study the your map before heading up the trail. The first time up that is all I did and there were no major surprises.

Top
#30427 - 03/20/13 08:53 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: KevinR]
choclab Offline


Registered: 03/06/13
Posts: 14
Loc: los angeles
my son and i are going up friday and starting up trail saturday. any suggestions on time to start, if we plan on camping at outpost camp the first night?
will we be able to make it up to trail camp?
is the permit office open on saturday? i will look it up as well.
_________________________
really enjoy the outdoors. started backpacking with my son and we both really enjoy it.

Top
#30428 - 03/20/13 09:46 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: choclab]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: choclab
my son and i are going up friday and starting up trail saturday. any suggestions on time to start, if we plan on camping at outpost camp the first night?
will we be able to make it up to trail camp?
is the permit office open on saturday? i will look it up as well.


I would suggest starting from the Portal NLT than mid-morning. As to whether you could make trail camp - that would depend upon how fast hikers you are/size of your packs/experience with snowshoes/crampons/level of experience, etc. My hunch is it would be a bit ambitious for you and your son, especially if the snow is as soft as shown in Walter's pictures. Keep in mind also the sun will drop behind the Crest by mid afternoon, and once that happens the temps will drop rapidly. Better if you have a good start on setting up camp by late afternoon - takes much longer/uses different techniques when on snow.

As for when the VC opens - it used to open at 8AM (and not a minute before!) 7 days a week. However, with the budget cutbacks - I'd give them a call to make sure.

Top
#30430 - 03/20/13 12:55 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: KevinR]
choclab Offline


Registered: 03/06/13
Posts: 14
Loc: los angeles
thanks kevin,
we are planning on making it to outpost camp first night then try to make it to trail camp next day.
?vc
_________________________
really enjoy the outdoors. started backpacking with my son and we both really enjoy it.

Top
Page 1 of 11 1 2 3 ... 10 11 >