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#42566 - 05/19/15 01:32 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Ernest Offline


Registered: 05/19/15
Posts: 20
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
thanks

Thanks! I summited last year early June and ran across patches of snow in the last portion of the switchbacks and past trail crest but it was a pretty dry year so we got lucky. This late storm system just got me second guessing.

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#42573 - 05/19/15 09:41 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Ernest]
Ysmtrnr Offline


Registered: 05/16/15
Posts: 4
Loc: Ca
Tom- please make sure to report back for all of us with June permits!
Thanks!!
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#42583 - 05/20/15 01:47 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
acpro Offline


Registered: 05/20/15
Posts: 1
Loc: Los Angeles
Driving up tomorrow night for camping friday/summit saturday. Right now I've got snowshoes/crampons reserved due to all the snow it was looking like, but from reading some of these replies it's sounding like it's less than I was expecting (made the mistake of mainly looking at mountain-forecasts)...so I guess we'll see how that goes. Plan is the main trail ->chute. I'll make sure to report back afterwards!

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#42594 - 05/20/15 04:44 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: acpro]
1962 Offline


Registered: 11/19/12
Posts: 11
Loc: Bishop, CA
I just spoke with a professional guide who verified drifts of up to 3 feet of snow on the summit this last weekend, May 16-17.
Local out the window weather observation this week... it has continued to add a bit more snow every day this week and seems to be sticking above 10,500 or 11.
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#42597 - 05/20/15 11:00 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: 1962]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thor Peak, in the webcam view, is not covered with loads of snow. So maybe up to a foot of snow on top, with drifts where wind may have blown the snow.

Here's a picture from facebook from the Mountaineers Route. While there is snow, and maybe drifts to 3 feet, I think most can be measured in inches.


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#42601 - 05/21/15 06:25 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
mgl Offline


Registered: 05/21/15
Posts: 5
Loc: los angeles
We had a date for 5/17 no go. We did a mini aclimasion hike Saturday morning to Lone Pine Lake and summit attempt Sunday. There was very light snow shower both days in the early afternoon. We went as far as Trail Crest and turned around. Spoke to a hiker group the night before at the Whitney Portal that went up in the AM but could not pass due to the snow being chest deep. I was told they managed to clear 50 feet taking turn with ice axe but decided to turned around. As of 5/17 the only way up to trail crest is the chute and it's a ***** and would highly recommend crampons and ice axe if you going past Trail Camp. I was also told at the Hostel that there has not been a summit for the last 2 weeks but don't let that discourage you, there are groups that are trying daily. I'll try to get some pictures up this weekend. Plan on going back up mid-June for a 2nd attempt.

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#42603 - 05/21/15 08:42 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: mgl]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
mgl, just email me the pics if you run into trouble. Seeing what you encountered would be very much appreciated by everyone.
Email address is in my profile.

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#42605 - 05/21/15 10:17 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Ernest Offline


Registered: 05/19/15
Posts: 20
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Thanks everyone for the update and yes please keep us informed! smile

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#42624 - 05/21/15 09:07 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Frankie Bones Offline


Registered: 05/21/15
Posts: 10
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Solo trip scheduled for the 29th through the 1st in case I have to wait out the conditions. Fingers crossed, first timer. I'll be sure to report back with photos.

FYI thanks for the tip about the weather exaggerations with some reports - predicted snowfall totals had me second guessing my adventure.

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#42625 - 05/21/15 09:09 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Ernest]
Ysmtrnr Offline


Registered: 05/16/15
Posts: 4
Loc: Ca
Hi All,
What is the "mountaineer's route".

Also- what is the best map so I can reference all these points you are talking about. I got every single book I could out from the library but nothing is very specific.

Please keep posting! Thanks for the info.
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#42626 - 05/21/15 10:19 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
ZoeClimbs Offline


Registered: 05/21/15
Posts: 6
Loc: California
Hi all,
I am planning a week-long hike on the High Sierra Trail. I will be coming up the JMT side onto whitney (from sequoia NP) on the 12th or 13th.
Anyone think I'll need an ice axe and crampons/ microspikes? I'll already be bringing trekking poles. If anyone has photos of the JMT side, that'd be great.
Thanks.

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#42628 - 05/21/15 11:22 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Ysmtrnr]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Ysmtrnr, the Mountaineers Route is the NON-trail route up the North Fork Lone Pine Creek. It requires the same day use permit as the main trail (On could hike either route), but requires its own permit to hike there and spend the night.
It is shown on this map as if there is a trail, and part of the line is completely wrong.

ZoeClimbs: I think by mid-June, the weather will be settling back to summer conditions, and snow will be melting out. You will likely cross some snow on the west side, but east side should be drying out by then. I wouldn't carry the microspikes if I were going, but then I am pretty sure-footed.

Doug at the Whitney Portal Store reported here that there is snow above 11k elevation, a few people are making it to the summit, but most are turning around at Trail Camp or just above. Yesterday saw 8" of snow high on the mountain. The wintery weather is convincing most to turn back.

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#42631 - 05/22/15 07:04 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
jbabs Offline


Registered: 05/20/15
Posts: 12
Loc: Columbus, OH
I have an overnight use permit for June 8th. Based on what people have been saying, it's going to be iffy for me to summit. Does anyone know about any good alternative options that won't have as much snow challenges around that time? I've heard williamson, langley, split mtn, mt sill are good options, but I haven't researched them enough yet. Does anyone here have experience on any of those?

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#42633 - 05/22/15 08:41 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: jbabs]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Of all those, Langley is easiest, and the trail approach gets you closest of any. Split has a steep talus section to navigate. Williamson has a tough Class 3 crack to climb, and getting to the base of the mountain is a long grind. Sill requires some glacier climbing and then some high third class work.

I think you might prefer to see how far you can get on Whitney. Since you are going overnight, take crampons and ice axe, plan on going slow and steady, and you can make it. If you are in condition, acclimatization will be the biggest issue -- try to spend two nights at altitude before hitting the trail.

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#42639 - 05/22/15 03:42 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Sara Fry posted these pictures today in the Facebook JMT group. Sara has founded the Sierra Mapping Project, and just hiked from Mineral King and out to Whitney Portal.

Her report:
Quote:
These 4 photos were taken yesterday afternoon from Mt. Whitney. There's a ton of fresh powder up there. Starting with ~2" at Crabtree Meadow and getting up to +3ft at 13k. With no wind or lightning I went up to Trail Crest to exit down to Lone Pine. It was at the Crest I encountered a team of 5 Russians who I went down with. We repelled the first 30ft with ropes then cut our own switchbacks into the fresh powder in white out conditions for the first hour. Visibility was less than 10 ft at that point. In my opinion an ice axe is 100% necessary, but my Russian friends only had their trekking poles. Snow starting at10k feet as of 5/20 was about 2-3" but I'm sure it's much more now, seeing as how its supposed to snow through Monday. 7 days of straight snow and I'm happy to be in Lone Pine. - Sierra Mapping Project


At the JMT / Main Whitney Trail junction, just west of Trail Crest:


Looking north on the trail from the junction toward the Whitney Summit:


View of the west side,


Descending the slope from the top of the switchbacks:

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#42642 - 05/22/15 05:01 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
goldscott Offline


Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 112
Loc: San Diego, CA
Thank you so much for the update, Steve!

I'm planning on doing Tyndall and Williamson this Saturday and Sunday, respectively. I suppose I should bring my touring skis with me and slay some powder.

Edit: Anyone know what the conditions are like on/near Shepherd Pass trail, as well as Tyndall's north face and Williamson's west face?
I'm planning on attempting Tyndall via the north rib and Williamson via the west face (I'm using http://www.scaruffi.com/travel/williams.html as my guide).


Edited by goldscott (05/22/15 05:05 PM)

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#42643 - 05/22/15 05:25 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: goldscott]
SanGorgonioHiker Offline


Registered: 03/24/14
Posts: 66
Loc: Southern CA
With this report anyone have any idea based on this of how conditions might be on Langley via NAP on June 12?
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"Come and Let Us Climb the Lord's Mountain!" -Isaiah 2:5

www.hikinginsocal.blogspot.com

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#42644 - 05/22/15 05:48 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: goldscott]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
goldscott, I found this on Facebook:
David Husted

If you don't have a FB login, I can post a few pics. It's pretty similar to Whitney: windblown snow. Crampons and ice axe are a good idea.

...and the same for Langley. Not sure whether ice axe would be necessary. But then June 12 is 2 weeks away. Warm weather will melt most of the snow.

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#42650 - 05/23/15 09:46 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
1962 Offline


Registered: 11/19/12
Posts: 11
Loc: Bishop, CA
Thanks for posting the photos and first hand report... very descriptive!
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1962

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#42656 - 05/24/15 07:06 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: goldscott]
Hobbes Offline


Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 124
Loc: The OC
Originally Posted By: goldscott
Anyone know what the conditions are like on/near Shepherd Pass trail, as well as Tyndall's north face and Williamson's west face?


Shepherd below the cornice (5/20/2015):


More at:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=...;_fb_noscript=1

A friend and I are going up the MR on Sat with SMC.

After carefully monitoring the ongoing weather situation, then seeing this picture of Kearsarge (5/21/2015):



Decided to bail on a planned trip this week over Taboose/Pinchot/Glen/Kearsarge. However, saw the weather projection models for next weekend and grabbed the last two slots for Whitney. 53 @ the peak (87 in LP; 92 via Wunderground) on Saturday:

http://www.whitneyzone.com/whitney_weather.htm

Booyah!


Edited by Hobbes (05/24/15 08:03 AM)

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