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Combining Mt. Whitney and Mt. Muir in a day hike
#36991 06/01/14 04:30 PM
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I'm interested in combining Mt. Whitney and Mt. Muir into a single day hike. For those who are familiar with it, how much extra time and difficulty would you estimate it requires to add Mt. Muir to a Whitney hike? Am I crazy to consider it?

My plan is to tackle Muir on the way back down from Whitney summit, only if I'm still feeling good and have enough time.

I'll be doing the hike in mid-July, and it'll be my first time at Whitney. My hiking buddy and I have pretty decent hiking experience at altitude, but we're not technical climbers - we walk up trails and do some boulder scrambling, but have little experience with mountaineering equipment. My first try at Mt. Shasta eight years ago, I had to turn around exhausted at around 12500 ft. Since then I've hiked the majority of the JMT, and successfully climbed Shasta, Langley, and White Mountain, and I'm also climbing Split Mountain in June as a pre-Whitney hike. My buddy has climbed Mt. Rainier and been to 17000 ft in the Himalayas.

All the other fourteeners I've done have been two-day affairs, camping overnight part way up the mountain, so doing Whitney (and Muir) as a day hike will be a new experience.

Re: Combining Mt. Whitney and Mt. Muir in a day hike
Steve Chamberlin #36997 06/01/14 08:46 PM
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Hi Steve,
I've not personally tagged Mt. Muir, but I have seen several photos of other folks making the climb. Mt. Muir is not far off the trail to Mt. Whitney, but the climb does involve lots of "exposure". Of the people I've seen climbing Mt. Muir none were using rope/harness/protection, but my guess is that many folks would prefer a bit more security.

With your experience I doubt you will have a problem with the extra distance/time, and the only consideration might be your comfort with exposure.

Scroll down to see pictures at the following link:
http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads...Photo#Post31205

Good luck,

John

Re: Combining Mt. Whitney and Mt. Muir in a day hike
Steve Chamberlin #36998 06/01/14 09:00 PM
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Not crazy as a dayhike at all. Muir is probably the easiest add-on that I can think of. It is literally several hundred yards away from the trail on the West side. This is how close it really looks from the trail:

http://www.summitpost.org/the-way-up-mount-muir-from/13800
http://www.summitpost.org/hiker-walking-by-on-the/24312/c-150495

This is probably the best photo I've seen showing you what the route looks like. If you're comfortable with that sort of scrambling, you'll be fine. If it looks scary, it's best to stay away.

http://www.summitpost.org/mt-muir-3rd-class-route/364878/c-150495

Re: Combining Mt. Whitney and Mt. Muir in a day hike
Steve Chamberlin #37000 06/01/14 09:14 PM
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If you aren't completely drained, you can do Muir as a side trip, although I've tagged it several times after spending the night on Whitney's summit. It shouldn't take more than 30 to 45 minutes round trip from the trail.

Re: Combining Mt. Whitney and Mt. Muir in a day hike
Steve Chamberlin #37009 06/02/14 09:54 AM
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Thanks for the info and photos. That last bit at Muir's summit block does look kind of gnarly, but I'll see how I feel when I'm there in person. I may take a pass on this one if it's too much.

Any advice on how to recognize when you're at the base of Muir and should leave the Whitney Trail? From what I understand, it's not very obvious. One report said it's about 15 minutes beyond Trail Crest when heading up, and there's a cairn and a faint use trail, but it's easy to miss.

Re: Combining Mt. Whitney and Mt. Muir in a day hike
Steve Chamberlin #37010 06/02/14 09:59 AM
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> One report said it's about 15 minutes beyond Trail Crest when heading up, and there's a cairn and a faint use trail, but it's easy to miss.

That is the best way. Watch for it on your way up, and pick out the trail landmarks. I think just north of the Muir approach there is a thumb-like outcrop where the trail crosses a saddle between the outcrop (west side of the trail) and the main ridge (east side of the trail). If you can identify the place on your way up, you should be able to watch for it on your way back.

Re: Combining Mt. Whitney and Mt. Muir in a day hike
Steve Chamberlin #37017 06/02/14 02:09 PM
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Only thing to add to Steve and 2600:

I used the route in blue from the last photo 2600 referenced(and I actually used the same photo to climb Mt. Muir), It was immensely helpful.

I had only done Langley (like you) when I first tagged Muir. The lower 3/4 is straight forward. However the mantle onto the summit proper was almost too rich for my blood. You have to wedge yourself between a leaning block and the summit block, I just decided to slide up on my belly and tap the high point before I boogied on down.

Good handholds and footholds. Breathe deep and trust your hands and feet and you should be fine.


@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for mainly landscape and mountain photos
Re: Combining Mt. Whitney and Mt. Muir in a day hike
Snacking Bear #37023 06/02/14 04:47 PM
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Yikes! I think I see that leaning rock you're referring to in the photo. At that point you're maybe 8 feet from the absolute top, but I can see how it might be a scary move. I'll definitely print that photo of the blue and red routes and carry it with me, thanks!

Re: Combining Mt. Whitney and Mt. Muir in a day hike
Snacking Bear #37024 06/02/14 04:50 PM
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I also followed that SummitPost photo, didn't have any trouble. I took some photos on the way up, start here and click through the next few shots:

http://qitnl.com/v/072210/whitney072210-143.jpg.html

This is the base of the route from the trail, pretty easy to spot:



Nice little summit. Hope that helps.

Re: Combining Mt. Whitney and Mt. Muir in a day hike
QITNL #37051 06/03/14 08:02 AM
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Nice photos.

Re: Combining Mt. Whitney and Mt. Muir in a day hike
Steve Chamberlin #37057 06/03/14 08:56 AM
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Muir as a side trip after Whitney--on dayclimbs or overnighters--is very common in my crowd. Like Steve's estimate, it should add 30 - 45 minutes. At my age now, though, for me it has to be an overnighter.

Some of my Flickr albums contain pictures, route lines, and comments on difficulty, etc. Some albums are more useful than others. Here's a sample: Mt. Muir. Others can be located in my albums and doing a search on "Muir," for example.

Some climbers and the popular guidebooks describe the route as exposed class 3, and some insist it is at least class 4. I've certainly retrieved a lot of rappel slings left behind up there.

Looking down at my companion in the wedge Snacking Bear describes:

132 Nathan squeezes into it

Re: Combining Mt. Whitney and Mt. Muir in a day hike
Steve Chamberlin #37062 06/03/14 09:41 AM
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Muir was my first 14er in 1988. It was just a 30-minute detour on the way to my first Whitney summit. The last time I was there was April 2013. I had just done the MR with Happy Trails and NYker. They waited on the Whitney summit while I scurried down to Muir and back. That was a two-hour round trip, with 30 minutes from the trail to the summit and back to the trail.

Can I climb Mt. Muir with just hking poles and day pack?
#38442 07/08/14 08:55 PM
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Hi. I just read that Mt. Muir is just a few 100 yards off the Mt. Whitney Trail. I'd like to bag this 14er if I can.

Do I need any mountaineering equipment to do this or are my hiking poles, day pack, hiking shoes and common sense enough?

thanks.

Re: Combining Mt. Whitney and Mt. Muir in a day hike
bobpickering #38445 07/08/14 09:23 PM
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Can it be done without repelling equipment? Can it b done with only hiking shoes, poles, and daypack?

Re: Can I climb Mt. Muir with just hking poles and day pack?
klm #38449 07/08/14 09:51 PM
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Yes, but leave the hiking poles and day pack by the trail. It takes about 15 minutes to climb. Hiking poles will get in your way, because it is strong 3rd class (you will need your hands on the rocks.)


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