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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7228
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: 7228
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: 7228
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: 7228
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: 1547
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: 1547
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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