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#30431 - 03/20/13 01:23 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: choclab]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 832
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
VC = visitor center...
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Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#30432 - 03/20/13 03:22 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: + @ti2d]
choclab Offline


Registered: 03/06/13
Posts: 14
Loc: los angeles
thanks
where is visitors center in relation to portal/main street?
_________________________
really enjoy the outdoors. started backpacking with my son and we both really enjoy it.

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#30433 - 03/20/13 05:57 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: choclab]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1032
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: choclab
thanks
where is visitors center in relation to portal/main street?



here:


View Larger Map
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#30434 - 03/20/13 06:04 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Fishmonger]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 595
Loc: Manchester, NH
The Visitor Center is 2 miles south of town. The road to Whitney Portal is at the stop light (only one in town) - it's about 9 miles to the Portal itself.

In Fishmonger's graphic, the new visitor center is the long building with the silver roof.

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#30444 - 03/20/13 09:34 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: choclab]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7719
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: choclab
where is visitors center in relation to portal/main street?

Choclab, there is a Lone Pine Layout diagram within the Orientation Notes (link above on the left). At the bottom of the layout, it mentions that the Visitor Center is 2 miles south.

The Layout might give you an idea where to find other places in Lone Pine. Do check out the Orientation Notes if you haven't already.

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#30453 - 03/21/13 10:38 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
choclab Offline


Registered: 03/06/13
Posts: 14
Loc: los angeles
can i expect to find other hikers/backpackers on the trail?
_________________________
really enjoy the outdoors. started backpacking with my son and we both really enjoy it.

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#30454 - 03/21/13 12:10 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: choclab]
wcm Offline


Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 3
Loc: san diego, ca
Hey Choclab,
you'll see 4 ppl coming up the trail from the portal starting at 3am.

we are heading the long route , not climbers trail.

Hopefully summit by 10am smile

Also, was wondering what you needed at the Visitor Center?

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#30473 - 03/22/13 08:27 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: wcm]
choclab Offline


Registered: 03/06/13
Posts: 14
Loc: los angeles
hey w, glad to hear. we are starting main trail by 11am. we plan on making outpost camp, and camping there. stop by and say hi
don't we need permit to be on the trail?


Edited by choclab (03/22/13 08:31 AM)
_________________________
really enjoy the outdoors. started backpacking with my son and we both really enjoy it.

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#30572 - 03/26/13 12:27 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7719
Loc: Fresno, CA
Davey McCoy posted a report on the WPS site here.

Summarizing:

The trail is clear the first mile or two, with snow beginning before Lone Pine Lake. If you start early and it is cold, the snow is solid and easy walking.

Microspikes work well up to Trail Camp, and crampons and ice axe are best above that point. Until the switchbacks open up, the slope to the west of the switchbacks is easier to climb.

The post includes this regarding someone trying to glissade without an ice axe for braking:
Quote:
On Saturday there was a young man who made it to the summit by way of the snow draw, which is recommended , however he did not have a helmet or ice axe. He thought it a good idea, when descending the draw to glissade. Half way down he lost control and started to cart wheel, for over 500' and there was NO way for him to self arrest, and he ended up in the boulder field below, leaving a giant laceration on his head, lucky is an understatement that he was not seriously injured or even killed. It resulted in him having to be taken out by search and rescue, who did an amazing job to reach him, leaving the portal at 9 pm Saturday night and working all night to rescue him.


Glissading is sitting and sliding on your butt. There are techniques for braking and controlling your speed using an ice axe. Without that is suicidal. And glissading while wearing crampons is a good invitation for a broken leg.

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#30604 - 03/26/13 10:10 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 just came back from staying above mirror lake. This was our first time on the mountain, we used microspikes about .5 to .25 miles from Lone Pine Lake. Slept at Lone Pine Lake Saturday night and were awakened by voices at around 11:30pm, must have been mountain rescue going up after glissader.

Headed above Whitney Zone sign Sunday, microspikes are needed. Traveling early is recommended as the snow gets slushy after 10am. I postholed a lot and even faceplanted a couple of times, gotta love it. Sunday night slept on a nice spot under a tree above mirror lake. Beautiful views of Mount Whitney and Owens Valley. Wish I had a thermometer with me as it got pretty cold at night. Coming down after 10 am just above Lone Pine Lake patchy ice. Past Lone Pine Lake trail cleared up.

Great time, just found out we didn't get lottery pass. Looking to summit in early August. How difficult do you think it will be to get a camping pass?
_________________________
really enjoy the outdoors. started backpacking with my son and we both really enjoy it.

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#30605 - 03/26/13 11:03 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: choclab]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7719
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks for the report, choclab!

> How difficult do you think it will be to get a camping pass?

I assume by "camping pass", you mean an overnight wilderness permit. There are cancellations and no-shows every day. Many regulars depend on those -- you just need to learn when they come available.

A good place to read up is in "Step 6" on our Wilderness Permit Options page (link above on the left). Please ask in the Lottery Info or some other thread if you have questions.

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#30729 - 04/02/13 09:32 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7719
Loc: Fresno, CA
Bob R hiked to Bighorn Park / Outpost Camp on March 31. His pictures are here: 2013-03-31 Whitney trail

Bob reported:
Ranger at the Visitor Center told him the CHP had been up the road a few days ago and ticketed all the cars, but they drove up to the Portal. The road has been completely cleared already, even with some asphalt patching done.

They encountered the first major snow about two miles up the trail. Below are pictures from Bob's set:

North fork of Lone Pine Creek, and first snow patch


The trail, below Lone Pine Lake


Also below Lone Pine Lake


The log crossing


Frozen waterfall at Outpost Camp



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#30819 - 04/07/13 07:18 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 203
Loc: New York
Thanks for the update Steve - regarding CHP ticketing cars at the TH - do you know when the road would open legally precluding the possibility of tickets? I know the opening is weather dependent, but do they have set dates they try and get it open for?

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#30824 - 04/07/13 08:13 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: nyker]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 544
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Whitney Portal Store expects to be open on April 19th.
Doug Sr. also reports that "the sign is down". Not exactly sure what that means, but could mean the "road closed" sign is down.


Edited by John Sims (04/07/13 08:14 PM)
Edit Reason: Add Doug Sr. comment

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#30825 - 04/07/13 08:47 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: John Sims]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 203
Loc: New York
ok, thanks John

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#30835 - 04/07/13 11:54 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: nyker]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7719
Loc: Fresno, CA
I have always read that they want to open the road in time for trout fishing season. In the Inyo National Forest website, they say:
Quote:
Most streams and lakes on the Inyo National Forest are open for fishing from the last weekend in April through the end of October each year.


So April 19 is just a week before fishing season opens.

Seems to me the CHP tickets cars about the same time Inyo County road crews are working on clearing the road.

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#30943 - 04/14/13 11:59 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7719
Loc: Fresno, CA
Road is open to Whitney Portal.

Walter R emailed and reported that on Saturday, Apr 13, he drove to Whitney Portal, and the road is completely open. The "Road Closed" sign is gone.

He hiked to Iceberg Lake on the North Fork route, using crampons. His ice axe was useful for several short glissades.

From his email:
Quote:

It looks like the snow level is at about 10400 ft. I did not take or need snowshoes. I did take a trekking pole with snow basket, ice axe and crampons. Figure the snow level will start going up about 500 ft per week.

Road to the Portal is open (no signs) and clear. I hear the store will open next weekend.


Pictures from his Mountaineers Route hike are here: Day Hike to Iceberg Lake

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#31024 - 04/21/13 09:14 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7719
Loc: Fresno, CA
Found a report from Friday, Apr 19:

Went up Friday to Trail Camp, only one there that night and had no problems finding the trail. Some of it is snowed over but should not be an issue. Summitted and came back Saturday afternoon. There were trails everywhere thru the snow. A lot of people making their own. Stay to the right after the switchbacks up from Mirror Lake to Trail Camp. Prepare for some minor postholing.

I wore crampons up the chute (west of the switchbacks) but nowhere else (not even sure they were needed due to the soft snow and potholing). No crampons from Trail Crest to Whitney peak and not used to come down the chute or back to Whitney portal. Snow shoes might be more useful depending on how conditions change.

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#31025 - 04/22/13 08:33 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1032
Loc: Madison, WI
Should have gone up the chute on Friday myself - had to turn around just below the cables, because there was a huge fresh snow pillow blown in that was rather bottomless and in a location where a slide would have been fatal. The cables themselves looked fine, but the last 100 feet below were sketchy. By now that should have all consolidated with a few melt-freeze cycles.

Had the mountain to myself on Wednesday and Thursday on the main trail, so that alone was worth the hike. Wore crampons from Lone Pine Lake up and down.


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#31028 - 04/22/13 10:37 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Alex Offline


Registered: 04/22/13
Posts: 1
Loc: USA
Considering the meager rainfall we've had this past winter and barring any big late season snow storms would you say the trail should be clear from snow (i.e. no crampons, no ice) by around early to mid June? Thanks.


Edited by Alex (04/22/13 10:38 AM)

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