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#38458 - 07/09/14 01:37 AM Mineral King to Whitney Portal
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
I'm in the planning stages of my next backpack: Starting at Mineral King on Sunday, July 13, exiting at Whitney Portal on Saturday, July 19.

I have friends who will drive me to Mineral King on Saturday evening, where we will spend the night, and then they will climb Sawtooth Peak with me. I am hoping they will haul a few pounds of my weight so I can keep up with them. smirk Otherwise, they will leave me in the dust.

Here's a Gmap4 map showing my intended route. You can zoom in and see the topo lines and trails.

Here are the mileages and elevations:

Elev Miles gain/loss
Mineral King 7800 0
Sawtooth Pass 11,700 4.5 +3900
Sawtooth Pk 12,343 -- +600-600 side trip
Columbine Lake 10,970 .8 -700 First campsite?
jct Little 5 Lks trail 9,550 3.4 -1400
jct Soda Creek trail 8,400 1.4 -1150
jct Big Arroyo 8,000 .5 -400
low pt, Big Arroyo 7,700 1.8 -300
ridge/hump 8,900 1.4 +1200 crossing: Big Arroyo-Rattlesnake Cr
Rattlesnake Cr 8,050 1.4 -850
jct Kern River 6,600 1.8 -1450 lowest elevation
Kern River to jct HST 6,700 2.5 +100
HST to Kern Hot Springs 6,900 1.5 +200 3/4th camp
Whitney Creek 7,800 5 +900
Crabtree Mdw 10,300 3+ +2500
Crabtree Lk 11,300 3 +1000 5th camp
Discov.Pinnacle/TrailCrest 13,650 2 +2350
Whitney Summit 14,500 2 850 6th camp
Whitney Portal 8,350 11 -6150


SPOT Messenger link   Note that I sometimes use the Help button for more frequent tracking signals. Do NOT raise any flags. I'll use the SOS button if I really want assistance.

Edit... After the trip:
The final trip report: Mineral King to Whitney Portal
The picture album: Mineral King to Whitney Portal, July 2014
Here is the Gmap4 link with the entire SPOT track shown: MK_Whit_Spot.kml
Here is the Spotwalla map with Spot links. Spotwalla
When at the Whitney summit, I documented the Whitney Mountaineers Route: Easy Walk Off from the Notch
Also:  Whitney Creek - Kern River Shortcut

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#38463 - 07/09/14 06:38 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1100
Loc: NorCal
Map link didn't work for me.

16 miles for Day 2, mostly downhill with a hot springs at the end of the day, not too bad. Day 1 looks harder with 4,500' climb, full food load, and camping at high elevation (11,000') without time to acclimate. I'd go further and camp lower the first day, maybe save Sawtooth peak for another trip, but that's just me.

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#38543 - 07/10/14 10:14 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: SierraNevada]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
SN, I sure hope the map link works. I've tried it on several browsers, and it does here.

I, too, am troubled with the 4k climb out of MK. On top of that, we'll be getting to MK Saturday night, but can't pick up the permit until ranger station opens at 8. So that makes for a late start. In a perfect situation, I could get an early start, and the 4k could be done in the day, and getting down the other side wouldn't be a problem. I did Glacier Pass AND Black Rock Pass in a day, but that was years ago.

I am thinking about getting to the hot springs on the third day. I have an extra day built into the plans anyway.

My other adventurous part is to climb xc just south of Whitney Creek and head directly up to Crabtree Meadow. That will cut out 10 miles of trail for 2.5 of off-trail (and only a mile of tough terrain with 1500' vertical). I'm hoping I am up for it when I get to it.

Final leg, I plan on heading to Crabtree lakes, and climbing the "dreaded sand hill" route to Discovery Pinnacle. ...that is if all else works out. Fingers are crossed.

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#38587 - 07/12/14 12:53 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Ok, I'll be off-line for a week. Ya'all behave!

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#38588 - 07/12/14 02:39 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
please keep an eye on Steve ----

his loving wife

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#38590 - 07/12/14 03:38 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
No doubt that many will follow Steve's journey via SPOT (self included). Looks like a great hike.


Edited by John Sims (07/12/14 03:39 PM)

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#38629 - 07/14/14 07:55 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 804
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
please keep an eye on Steve ----

his loving wife


Yeah, Steve, don't make us come out there to get you...

On second thought, my wife and I need an excuse...

Be safe and have fun.
_________________________
Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#38634 - 07/14/14 08:57 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: + @ti2d]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
I am really looking forward to Steve's hike today because, three years ago, while ascending Rattlesnake Creek, I tried to find the trail (route) over to Big Arroyo (from Rattlesnake Creek). Sadly, I couldn't and instead, had to cut over at Forester Lake/Little Claire and down Soda Creek to Big Arroyo. This detour added an extra day of hiking, however, I still enjoyed detour since I hadn't been on that trail before.

paul

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#38670 - 07/15/14 08:52 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Paul]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Looking at Steve's tracking, either he hiked down to the Kern via Big Arroyo (which is difficult, and he missed the route to Rattlesnake), or Spot is way off.

your thoughts?

paul

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#38680 - 07/15/14 09:45 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Paul]
MKT Offline


Registered: 07/15/14
Posts: 1
Loc: California, USA
We shared our campsite at Columbine Lk. on Sunday night/Mon. morning. Had great interaction and discussions about lightweight travel. I suggested to Steve that he go down the Big Arroyo rather than take the alternate route to Rattlesnake Ck. I told him I have gone down the Big Arroyo before and that he should have no problem in this low water year. I believe his Spot is working as it should and that he is proceeding down the BA today and will have more time for the Kern Hot Spring along his trek. He is a very capable hiker who should have no problem with that route.

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#38683 - 07/15/14 10:12 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: MKT]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Great.....Thanks for the update.

paul

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#38691 - 07/15/14 11:57 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Paul]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Interesting.

Looks like Steve is heading up Rattlesnake Creek? Maybe to check on the route he originally was going to take and check it out. I know that he was fascinated by the trail from Big Arroyo to Rattlesnake. We had talked about it and the forest service guaranteed him that it did in fact exist he said.

paul

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#38692 - 07/15/14 12:42 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Paul]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Interesting. I was wondering why he went south instead of north at junction of Kern River. I guess he still has plenty of time to get to the hot springs.

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#38700 - 07/15/14 02:56 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: John Sims]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Yes, when Steve exited Big Arroyo at the Kern River trail he was approximately 1 mile from Rattlesnake Creek junction, and only 1.2 from the HST junction. From the HST to the Hot Springs is 1.8 miles. So, you are probably right, he's exploring.

Paul

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#38709 - 07/15/14 05:34 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Paul]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Definitely a little recon and a lunch break.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#38710 - 07/15/14 06:14 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: saltydog]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Steve is now in a very narrow part of the Kern River trench, so tracking maybe a little difficult.

I wouldn't be surprised that he is at the Kern Hot Springs.

So far, his trip looks exciting.

paul

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#38712 - 07/15/14 07:13 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Paul]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Well, Steve is either sitting in the hot tub, soaking in the Kern River, or having dinner and chatting with the other hikers right now.

paul

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#38715 - 07/16/14 08:10 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Paul]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
8:00 AM: Sleeping in? Or no satellite contact.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#38738 - 07/17/14 09:36 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: saltydog]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Looks like Steve has reached Lower Crabtree Meadows.

It will be interesting to hear from him about the climb out of the Kern River.


paul

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#38740 - 07/17/14 09:49 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Paul]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Yesterday and today his spot track overlays very closely his intended route (per Gmap4 route). I'll guess that it "went as planned". Seems as though he is a day ahead of schedule, so not likely he encountered any real surprises. Good news I think:-)

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#38743 - 07/17/14 10:00 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: John Sims]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Waiting to see if he does indeed head up Crabtree. Next spot should tell. Also interested to hear about the climb up Whitney Creek. The route obviously goes, but just how well?
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#38757 - 07/17/14 04:00 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: saltydog]
Hobbes Offline


Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 109
Loc: The OC
A couple of questions/observations:

1. I too am curious about the x-c climbout up Whitney creek from Kern canyon. It sure would cut down on a couple of miles if it wasn't a bushwhacking nightmare.

2. If I had known about his planned route, I would have suggested he head straight up Crabtree meadows from where he joined the PCT, rather than walk over to the JMT/ranger station, then turn around and head up to the lakes. It would have saved him around 1 mile. I've come down from the lakes to the PCT, and it's an easy x-c stroll to the PCT from where the trail veers away towards the ranger station.

3. It looks like he is planning on going up Discovery the way Kent described here:
http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/10807

I wonder if he will choose the sand slog from lake 3456 vs the class 3 stuff below McAdie tomorrow when he considers his options. If it was me, I'd just pay the 4 hour price, rather then head up the watershed, find out the route was too technical, then head back down only to have to then go up the sand hill anyway. Yes, I'm a chicken.


Edited by Hobbes (07/17/14 04:02 PM)

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#38762 - 07/17/14 05:40 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Hobbes]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Steve sent me an email before he left....

It reads, "I plan on coming out on Saturday, with an overnight at the Whitney summit. But if I have any trouble, I can always just skip Whitney and hike out. My wife and family are driving over to meet me at Whitney Portal on Saturday. I have some extra time built into the trip, so I hope I can catch a few fish. Wish me luck!"

Over the years I have dreamed of taking the XC route from the Kern River to Lower Crabtree. It seems like more and more hikers opt to try it. This past June when I was camped at the Hot Springs, I met a group of 10 hikers attempting the route. It was their first attempt. A couple days later, I met them, and they said that it was one for the memory....whatever that means. I do know however, they loved doing it.

Paul

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#38763 - 07/17/14 05:56 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Hobbes]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
I'm guessing he'll go for the Class 3 rock. Steve did the MR solo last year, and that goes 4a in places.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#38766 - 07/17/14 07:01 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: saltydog]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
A little levity here....According to a very close up of Steve's hike (satellite level), it appears, according to the SPOT tracks that Steve, once at the shore of Crabtree Lake, swam a fairly good distance to the sandy shore on the other side. Way to go Steve!!!! A bath and hike at one time.

Paul

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#38779 - 07/18/14 07:59 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Paul]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Hey, I'll go that one better: last year, I sent Spot tracks from the middle of Lake Edison. When the ferry was not running.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#38792 - 07/18/14 02:21 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: saltydog]
Hobbes Offline


Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 109
Loc: The OC
Originally Posted By: saltydog
I'm guessing he'll go for the Class 3 rock. Steve did the MR solo last year, and that goes 4a in places.


Sand monster. Perhaps he read my post? LOL

The McAdie approach looks sketchy (I've seen other reports besides Kent's), but makes (some) sense from Crabtree pass if you don't want to lose elevation & then head back NE from the lake (where Steve camped).

However, if you're already at that lake, you can see looking up towards Discovery that it's basically a walk-up from that point, albeit one involving the dreaded 1 step forward, 1/2 step backward slog.

PS It looks like he left around 10:30, so I guess he was fishing this morning. Also, he's around 30 minutes-1 hr from Trail crest, so that would put the slog @ 4.5-5 hrs.


Edited by Hobbes (07/18/14 02:26 PM)

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#38795 - 07/18/14 03:39 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Hobbes]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
4.5 hours to Trail Crest. Brutal, and bravo!

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#38796 - 07/18/14 04:44 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: John Sims]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: John Sims
4.5 hours to Trail Crest. Brutal, and bravo!

And now about to summit!

Our Fearless Leader!
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#38797 - 07/18/14 05:31 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: John Sims]
wagga Online


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2212
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Stevo is sitting on top of the world USA!
_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#38798 - 07/18/14 05:55 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: wagga]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
It would be nice if he had a smart phone and posted a message of some sort to the board. However, I must say, it has been extremely exciting following him this past week.

I guess the question is, what time does Starbucks open up on Whitney?

Paul

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#38801 - 07/18/14 07:10 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Paul]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Is "SPOT" accurate? Steve seems to be wandering around the top of Whitney.

Paul

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#38802 - 07/18/14 07:14 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Paul]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Unless the weather is crappy he is probably planning to spend the night on the summit plateau. The weather looks good on the webcam. My guess is that he is getting himself situated on the West side of the plateau for the sunset. Bet he situates himself on the East side for the sunrise....

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#38807 - 07/19/14 12:03 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Akichow]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
LOL: he's not wandering and he's not setting up on the west side, at least not for sunset. (8:09 PM) The maniac downclimbed the final 400, it looks like east of the main chute, no less, and then reconnoitered the walk-off traverse, and returned to the summit! Probably to check it out in the wake of some questions posed about it here recently. Always thinking of us, Steve is, getting the straight beta.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#38809 - 07/19/14 12:52 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: wagga]
Chicagocwright Offline


Registered: 09/05/12
Posts: 172
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: wagga
Stevo is sitting on top of the world USA!


Sigh, we always get forgotten way UP here in Alaska.

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#38810 - 07/19/14 02:09 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: saltydog]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: saltydog
LOL: he's not wandering and he's not setting up on the west side, at least not for sunset. (8:09 PM) The maniac downclimbed the final 400, it looks like east of the main chute, no less, and then reconnoitered the walk-off traverse, and returned to the summit! Probably to check it out in the wake of some questions posed about it here recently. Always thinking of us, Steve is, getting the straight beta.


Ten to one we see definitive photos and maybe video of the Easy Walk-Off in a few days.

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#38813 - 07/19/14 08:49 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Bulldog34]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
No bet!
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#38814 - 07/19/14 09:36 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: saltydog]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Well, he's in the big city now, Trail Camp, population "too many", elevation 12,000'. No sigalerts on the trail, except maybe a little congestion.

paul

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#38821 - 07/19/14 11:42 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Paul]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Congratulations Steve, on a very cool hike and summit up a challenging route. Welcome back. OF course we are all dying to know:
1. How does the Whitney Creek ascent out of Kern go
2. What was the loop up around the Crabtree Ranger station all about
3. How do you feel about climbing sand dunes
4. What can you show & tell us about the walk-off traverse

oh, yeah, and how's the fishing at Crabtree Lakes?

grin
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#38826 - 07/20/14 03:40 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: saltydog]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Totally agree...... but I also want to know about the route down Big Arroyo, and if possible, the route from Rattlesnake Creek to Big Arroyo.

Okay Steve, you have a lot of explaining to do. Damm Steve, just write a book!!!!

paul

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#38827 - 07/20/14 07:18 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Paul]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Man! Eight days without the Internet or this forum....

That's a record.

I have a ton of reporting for y'all. It was a fun and successful trip! Getting unpacked, eating good meals. Will write more later.

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#38834 - 07/21/14 07:36 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 804
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Glad you are safe at basecamp.

Welcome home.
_________________________
Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#38845 - 07/21/14 09:35 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
tollermom Offline


Registered: 04/18/14
Posts: 26
Loc: Carson City, NV
Steve, it was nice meeting you on the trail as we were starting our descent on the switchbacks. :-)

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#38850 - 07/21/14 10:13 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: tollermom]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Ok, folks, this may be serious. Steve C is back from his epic Sawtooth Pass Rattlesnake Whitney Creek Crabtree Ranger Station Loop Back To Crabtree Lake Sand Monster Whitney Summit Assault Final 400 Walkoff Traverse Reconnaissance route, and he has diverted to a technical permit thread and a really twisted Chat Room Silly Joke response before even posting picture 1 under this TR thread:

Who else thinks its time for an intervention???
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#38852 - 07/22/14 12:30 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: saltydog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
95 pictures uploaded, at least 50 more to sort through and decide to upload or not.

Here's Tollermom and her crew, where I met them at Trail Crest -- just a minute after I first set foot on the trail after descending from Discovery Pinnacle.


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#38853 - 07/22/14 05:58 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
tollermom Offline


Registered: 04/18/14
Posts: 26
Loc: Carson City, NV
and thanks for the Kodak moment during our maiden journey and for the 'bump' in priorities. :-)

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#38871 - 07/22/14 08:00 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: tollermom]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Where are you uploading the pics to? Can we see 'em yet??
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#38874 - 07/23/14 02:16 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: saltydog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Pics are uploaded, with captions. Now I can start a trip report. Album: Mineral King to Whitney Portal, July 2014

Some geek on Sawtooth Peak, with the Kaweah range in view:


A hiker dude from Bakersfield climbed with me. Said he expected he would leave me behind since he was 20 years younger than me. grin

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#38879 - 07/23/14 08:48 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Great series of shots, Steve. Great exploration of the lower Big Arroyo and Whitney Creek areas. I think it will generate a lot of interest in the Whitney Creek route especially. Hope there is more on the walk-off?
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#38880 - 07/23/14 08:53 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: saltydog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Yes, I'll have a separate walk-off report, with videos. Short version: It is definitely easier than the "Final 400". I did not feel it was exposed to the point of requiring extra caution.

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#38896 - 07/23/14 04:27 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
That's good to know. I seem to recall horror stories about its being an express trip to Arctic Lake. Sounds like it is a viable alternative end-of-JMT exit.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#38901 - 07/23/14 05:24 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: saltydog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
It definitely looks more treacherous in pictures when there is ice and snow on it that is visible from the notch. It was dry when I was there, and it was definitely less exposed than the F-400.

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#38966 - 07/24/14 07:45 PM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Wish I had known that last year: could have used an express trip to a Mooseburger down the MR and and NFLPC. Would not have downclimbed the F-400 with my pack, but definitely would have done the rest of the route.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#38984 - 07/25/14 07:54 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: saltydog]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1100
Loc: NorCal
Great trip report and nice pictures, Steve. Going off trail like that by yourself sure adds a lot of adventure, but the risk makes me nervous when I do it alone. My PLB gives me a little piece of mind, but the SPOT tracking really helps manage that risk. I can imagine this was all going through your mind when you cut open your shin going cross country.

I can't figure out which Z-packs pack you have. No frame, top pocket, and padded belt? It looks like you took off the carbon fiber frame and mesh from the ArcBlast?

You only used 3 Esbit tabs out of 6. Did you not cook each night because your lighter failed, or did you intend to mix it up and only cook on some nights? I'm also wondering why the wood was wet, which caused you to wreck your lighter? (that's the most "W"s I can fit into one sentence).

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#38988 - 07/25/14 08:51 AM Re: Mineral King to Whitney Portal [Re: SierraNevada]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
The pictures with captions are not the report. Still working on a better one.

I would NOT go off trail alone in such remote places without a Spot or something similar. The SPOT sort of gives me a longer leash to what is ok for my family to tolerate and for me to feel like I have an emergency backup.

I see Zpacks doesn't offer the plain "Blast" pack anymore. It was 8 oz. The Cuben Fiber fibers are delaminating at key stress points, so it needs to be tossed. I am sad that they don't have it anymore. I would order exactly the same thing. All it had for frame was two carbon fiber rods, about 18" long. Main compartment, rear stretchy big pocket, two side pockets, two belt add-on pockets.

Esbit tabs: Half a tab or less heats my one-man Mountain House dinners. I usually put the dinner in the cup, add water, then put it on the stove. I'll eat the stuff before it boils. The last two nights, I just let the tabs burn up, since I'd have to carry them out otherwise. A fresh tab worked well on Mt Whitney. When you reuse the older ones, they don't burn very hot once they are small. I skipped two nights--friends had fish one night, broken lighter on the 3rd night. First hikers I met the next day gave up a spare lighter.

All wood, kindling, twigs were very damp where I broke the lighter. Seems like the area had a big downpour, soaking everything, in the past 24-48 hours. There were fresh clean gullies all over. Must have been a localized cloudburst. In hindsight, I could have started a fire with the esbit tablet. That would have maintained enough heat to dry the first batch of kindling.


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