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#36008 - 04/24/14 07:11 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
davidfrietz Offline


Registered: 04/23/14
Posts: 2
Loc: Arizona
Thank you. Will there be any vertical climbing? Or just upgrade hiking? Where is the best spot to set up camp. I plan on going Saturday to sunday

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#36012 - 04/24/14 09:39 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: davidfrietz]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7481
Loc: Fresno, CA
The most vertical is the slope to the right of the switchbacks in the picture above.

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#36055 - 04/25/14 10:16 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Randie Offline


Registered: 04/25/14
Posts: 3
Loc: California
Hi! Hiking Whitney may 11th. Would I need an ice axe and crampons even with this drought?

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#36056 - 04/25/14 10:54 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Randie]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7481
Loc: Fresno, CA
There is a storm hitting the Sierra today, NOAA predicts a few inches of snow should fall on Whitney.

People will likely be going up the slope west of the switchbacks well into May. Last year people were reporting using the switchers by May 23. It is likely this year will be the same.

So yes, take ice axe and crampons.

BTW, it is highly likely you can get a walk-in permit easily any time in June: Unused Whitney Permits - 2013

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#36060 - 04/25/14 02:47 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Randie Offline


Registered: 04/25/14
Posts: 3
Loc: California
What's your opinion on hiking Whitney after this storm with a few people in the group with no experience in hiking in the snow and 1 person with no hiking experience

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#36062 - 04/25/14 03:45 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Randie]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: Randie
1 person with no hiking experience


I wouldn't take anyone Whitney as their first hike. Then again, I'd be reluctant to even bring an experienced hiker unless I've personally hiked with them. This is under 'ideal'conditions, not in May when there could be lots of snow.

I may be in the minority though. Last month I met two girls on Skyline Trail in Palm Springs. One of them had never hiked before.

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#36063 - 04/25/14 03:58 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7481
Loc: Fresno, CA
When I was younger and crazier (and a college student), I'd take college friends on Memorial Day backpacking trips in Yosemite. Being May, the trails were often mostly covered in snow. Some of the hikers were completely inexperienced. They all made it!

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#36065 - 04/25/14 04:18 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Randie]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 534
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Originally Posted By: Randie
What's your opinion on hiking Whitney after this storm with a few people in the group with no experience in hiking in the snow and 1 person with no hiking experience


As long as you do not have any expectation of reaching the summit you should be OK. In other words, when/if you reach trail camp, and start up the chute, do not expect all hikers to get to trail crest, much less to the summit.

If you stay together as a group, this means the chute should be the limit of your travel. Going up the chute without ice axe, crampons, and self arrest skills is not advised.

Wait for another 4 to 6 weeks, and all might reach the summit. Even then it will be a test.

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#36069 - 04/25/14 07:47 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: John Sims]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: John Sims

As long as you do not have any expectation of reaching the summit you should be OK.


That's a good point John. My comments were made thinking they wanted to reach the summit and were planning on sticking together.

I'd consider Half Dome one of my first hikes (had no idea what I was getting into), followed up by going down South Kaibab and up Bright Angel in one day.

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#36079 - 04/26/14 07:40 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
josen88 Offline


Registered: 04/26/14
Posts: 5
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I'll be hiking it from Horseshoe Meadow thru Rock creek and Crabtree Meadow and ending at the portal on memorial day weekend, the last week of May. Im guessing the backside of Trailcrest won't be free of ice by then would it?

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#36087 - 04/26/14 10:53 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: josen88]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7481
Loc: Fresno, CA
josen88, you will encounter snow/ice on the trail.

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#36109 - 04/27/14 07:35 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Matthew Offline


Registered: 04/27/14
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Hi all. I'm planning on hiking to the top over Memorial Day Weekend. Do you think ice axes/crampons will be needed?

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#36113 - 04/27/14 10:19 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Matthew]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7481
Loc: Fresno, CA
Hard to say, it's a month away. See posts 36055 and 36056 above.

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#36163 - 04/29/14 11:03 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7481
Loc: Fresno, CA
Happytrails has posted a trip report and pictures here:  Whitney MT 4/27-29, 2014

All her pictures are here:  Whitney Main Trail 4/27-29, 2014

Here are a few pictures:

The log crossing:


Mirror Lake


Switchbacks in the center, the "chute" is the slope to the right of them.


The cables section is not being used

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#36254 - 05/05/14 10:34 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7481
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a current trip report with good pictures:

Mt. Whitney Trip Report and Photos: May 3, 2014



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#36489 - 05/14/14 12:33 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7481
Loc: Fresno, CA
A trip report from May 10:

Mt_Whitney_Day_Trip_5_10

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#36559 - 05/18/14 01:34 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
JPUtah Offline


Registered: 05/18/14
Posts: 3
Loc: Utah, USA
Wonderful images, but I have a question about "Switchbacks in the center, the "chute" is the slope to the right of them." Please forgive my ignorance!

I cannot see the purported switchbacks in the image, and I don't have a good enough topo to identify this area. Are you suggesting that an ascent should avoid the switchbacks, in favor of a direct ascent of the chute?

I got a lottery permit for June 1-2 and do not know what sort of snow conditions to expect, especially since the Whitney zone is to get a dusting of snow mid-week next week. Some posts are suggesting crampons/axe. The direct ascent of the chute, assuming stability and taking into consideration freeze/thaw conditions, would seem better.

Any advice would be appreciated!

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#36573 - 05/19/14 01:17 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: JPUtah]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7481
Loc: Fresno, CA
JP, crampons and ice axe are a very good idea.

Weather coming this week is for snow between Tuesday and Wednesday night, and a possible accumulation of a foot of snow. It will be interesting to read reports later in the week.

I like the NOAA weather page for the Mt Whitney summit (Link on the Mt Whitney Weather page, too). Also on the Whitney Weather page is Howard Sheckter's Mammoth Lakes Weather. Howard's text includes this:
Quote:
The storm is a very significant one from a precipitation perspective, for so late in the season. Although I want to see some more model runs today and tonight, the thinking with most models is that there up to a good solid inch of QPF in it over a 48 hours period for the South Central Sierra. . The storm will become very convective and so there will be some areas over the sierra, between Mammoth and Mt Whitney that may get up to a foot of snow, over the ridges. Once again this will depend upon the exact track and how it swings inland across Central and South Central CA. - See more at: http://mammothweather.com/#sthash.eHPTwzyY.dpuf


JP, from 2012 conditions, here are 3 pictures showing the cables section, a few switchbacks, and the chute to the west of the switchbacks (on the climber's right).

And for THE picture showing the switchbacks and the chute, BobR took this from Wotans Throne, and (the late) Wayne Pyle edited it and added the switchback numbers to the picture. You should be able to click on it, and zoom in and scroll around for the detail. This is Wayne Pyle's switchback chart


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#36623 - 05/20/14 12:13 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
John D Offline


Registered: 09/21/12
Posts: 14
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Sorry if this is not the right place to post this question. It's only my second time so be gentle. I've done the main trail several times so I thought I'd give the Consultation Lake route a try. I understand you get to the lake by following the stream from trailside meadow. However not sure the way from the lake to the trail at the base of the switchbacks. Is it easy to find/follow and how far is it from the lake to the trail below the switchbacks? Any insight provided will be appreciated. Thanks JD

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#36626 - 05/20/14 01:55 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Out-of-Date) [Re: John D]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Murrieta, CA
If you're just looking for privacy and not necessarily getting next to the water, I would go past Trailside Meadow and when you get next to the lake, make a left. Sounds simple, and actually pretty easy. There are some drop offs, but easy to get down to camping spots. Getting close to the lake is harder, but at least it's private and you can walk right back to the trail easily.
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