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#42754 - 05/29/15 01:33 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Bianca Offline


Registered: 04/01/15
Posts: 1
Loc: California
I am planning to summit via the main trail on Friday June 5th. Do you think I will need micro spikes to get up to the summit? I know there was a lot of snow but hoping that much of it will melt by the time I get there. Also, because of the snowmelt, how are the stream crossings? This is my first ascent and I appreciate any tips.

Thanks!

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#42758 - 05/29/15 02:07 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: John Sims]
Blake95 Offline


Registered: 04/14/15
Posts: 4
Loc: Virginia
Cool. Thanks. Where can u rent bear cannisters?

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#42759 - 05/29/15 02:39 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Roger R. Offline


Registered: 05/29/15
Posts: 2
Loc: Bay Area
Will Whitney be skiable around the 15th? I know there was recent snowfall, but have no idea how long it will hold up.

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#42760 - 05/29/15 02:57 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Roger R.]
goldscott Online


Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 110
Loc: San Diego, CA
Doubtful that it will be skiable then, let alone now, unless you want to thrash your skis on rocks.

I got excited about the snow this past weekend and put my skis in my car, but there wasn't any white stuff until 11000+ feet. Not much fell the past weekend, just a couple inches. The warmth has probably already melted it away.

The north face of Tyndall (slope at 12-14k feet) had rock patches, ice patches, and super soft mushy snow. I'm an avid backcountry skier and was glad I didn't have my skis with me.

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#42769 - 05/30/15 10:44 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7191
Loc: Fresno, CA
Doug at the Whitney Portal Store posted an update on his message board:
Quote:
First day we are getting reports that people are making the summit and not having much trouble on the backside. A track is in now which should make the next few weeks somewhat normal for this time of year, so expect the the 500' snow line a week , meaning that from say 12,500' up the snow level will clear 500' a week and say 2-3 weeks the switchback should be somewhat clear if not before.

This depends on cloud cover during the day and if people start forcing a trail up the switchbacks may lay in a track sooner. Cable area will be like a month ago. The end section of cables will force you up onto a blind corner and you will need to move up and join switchbacks above , this is always a problem area.

BRING SUN SCREEN AND SUNGLASSES we are seeing many with burns and snow blindness . Try long sleeve and long pants, also hats that will cover the top of your ears.

Biggest takeaway: the importance of sun protection. Sunglasses are mandatory when hiking over snow!!! Sunburned eyes hurt for days, and feel like you have a load of sand in the eye.

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#42772 - 05/30/15 01:02 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
jbabs Offline


Registered: 05/20/15
Posts: 12
Loc: Columbus, OH
Steve, based on this latest report, would it be feasible that crampons wouldn't be necessary a little over a week from now?

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#42778 - 05/31/15 01:36 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2203
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Doug at the Whitney Portal Store posted an update on his message board:
Quote:
First day we are getting reports that people are making the summit and not having much trouble on the backside. A track is in now which should make the next few weeks somewhat normal for this time of year, so expect the the 500' snow line a week , meaning that from say 12,500' up the snow level will clear 500' a week and say 2-3 weeks the switchback should be somewhat clear if not before.

This depends on cloud cover during the day and if people start forcing a trail up the switchbacks may lay in a track sooner. Cable area will be like a month ago. The end section of cables will force you up onto a blind corner and you will need to move up and join switchbacks above , this is always a problem area.

BRING SUN SCREEN AND SUNGLASSES we are seeing many with burns and snow blindness . Try long sleeve and long pants, also hats that will cover the top of your ears.

Biggest takeaway: the importance of sun protection. Sunglasses are mandatory when hiking over snow!!! Sunburned eyes hurt for days, and feel like you have a load of sand in the eye.

UV bouncing up from the snow can burn the insides of your nostrils. Don't even think about hiking naked.
_________________________
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#42783 - 05/31/15 08:59 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Blake95]
AndrewChanez Offline


Registered: 05/31/15
Posts: 5
Loc: Seattle, WA
Planning to overnight on June 10th. I've been trying to find a report of the conditions at Trail Camp. Does anyone know if/expect trail camp to have snow then/now? I have a fairly light weight sleeping pad and will definitely need another layer of insulation under if it's going to be snowed in.

Thanks!

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#42786 - 05/31/15 10:19 AM 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
As a first time soloist, non-car camping adventure, and Whitney visitor I found this forum to be invaluable in preparing me for my attempt. Unfortunately I was unsuccessful and fell prey to poor choice in assault timing. Rather than start up the chute early in the morning I opted to witness the sunrise over trail camp not thinking that the hard packed snow would start to melt making progress increasingly more difficult (rookie mistake.) I made it fairly far up the chute, but was post holing up to my waist and at times chest. Conditions continued to deteriorate and although not tired my concern was getting down safely and as such opted to turn back.

So for those beginners, first timers, or the otherwise unaware hit the slope early if the switchbacks are unpassable, your pack weight should be mostly water, and as earlier discussed sunscreen, lip balm, and glasses are a must!

As for the reason I missed my early start - can't say i'm too disappointed with the view cool





Edited by Frankie Bones (05/31/15 10:20 AM)

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#42794 - 05/31/15 05:57 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: jbabs]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7191
Loc: Fresno, CA
Jbabs: Hard to say. But if you check the prior page, you can see AEC reported, "We did it with just poles (maybe not recommended but doable). I think most other people had crampons and ice axes." Yet DJB was happy for all the tools.

With the next week's weather forecast (highs in the 40s), lots of that snow will be melting. And with Frankie Bones trouble on the slope west of the switchbacks, I'd guess people will be using the switchbacks by the time you go. Hiking poles and microspikes on the switchbacks would be my personal choice, but that is not a final recommendation by any means. (I've been called sure-footed by others on this forum.)

AndrewC: I would guess the sun and hikers before you will have cleared many tent sites at Trail Camp by then.

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#42803 - 05/31/15 11:05 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
I did Whitney today via the main trail. Aside from a few minor patches, the snow line is now approx 13K'. As far as I could tell, everyone was using the chute for ascending/descending. I looks like someone did the switchbacks several days ago, but no recent traffic. Right now the trail is snow-covered above 13K, including the west side (other side of Trail Crest).

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#42804 - 06/01/15 12:10 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: KevinR]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 446
Loc: Saugus, CA
Would you say the switchbacks are viable?


I'm going up in about a week. Will a party that isn't using micros/crampons be able to make the summit?

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#42807 - 06/01/15 08:00 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Snacking Bear]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
Even though the snow is melting fast, I would say that would be optimistic. If a group were to open up the switchbacks, then maybe only micros would be sufficient on that portion of the trail. However, it would be difficult for most to do the chute without crampons. You could use just micros after trailcrest because the traffic is concentrated in one path.

There were lots of PCT-er's who'd come up from Crabtree, and I didn't see any wearing traction. There were some careful foot placement...

Doug uses a rule of thumb this time of year of melting at the rate of 500' a week.

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#42811 - 06/01/15 08:47 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7191
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a picture from a group at the summit, May 30.

They reported using ice axe and microspikes. Many were using crampons.


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#42812 - 06/01/15 09:01 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: KevinR]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7191
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: KevinR
I did Whitney today via the main trail. Aside from a few minor patches, the snow line is now approx 13K'. As far as I could tell, everyone was using the chute for ascending/descending. I looks like someone did the switchbacks several days ago, but no recent traffic. Right now the trail is snow-covered above 13K, including the west side (other side of Trail Crest).

Thanks for the report, Kevin! If the snow level is about 13K, it sounds like Trail Crest is pretty much free of snow. Is that what you found?

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#42814 - 06/01/15 09:40 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: KevinR]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: KevinR
I did Whitney today via the main trail. Aside from a few minor patches, the snow line is now approx 13K'. As far as I could tell, everyone was using the chute for ascending/descending. I looks like someone did the switchbacks several days ago, but no recent traffic. Right now the trail is snow-covered above 13K, including the west side (other side of Trail Crest).


I start the HST on June 17, hoping to summit on June 22. Would you carry micros or crampons if you were doing the same?
_________________________
HikingGeek.com

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#42816 - 06/01/15 10:18 AM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Ernest Offline


Registered: 05/19/15
Posts: 20
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Looks like there's snow showers in the forecast for this weekend. crazy

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#42824 - 06/01/15 03:01 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Andrewzuber Offline


Registered: 06/01/15
Posts: 14
Loc: Tarzana, CA
I'm a newbie to Whitney and my group is heading out June 16th, planning to camp for two nights on the way up and head for the summit on the 18th. As this is our first time, a couple of questions:

Given the date we plan to summit and the expected conditions, how likely is it that we'll need crampons? I know it's still two weeks out but just wanted to get a general idea.

I'm seeing some posts that refer to an alternate route that doesn't use the switchbacks - is that correct, and if so, what advice can you give us on using that route?

Thanks so much in advance!

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#42827 - 06/01/15 04:28 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
ClamberAbout Offline


Registered: 02/10/15
Posts: 3
Loc: California
Steve,

Hi. Long time no talk to. Say, in a post a ways back you say, "mountain-forecast.com excluded" regarding weather forecasts. Mind if I ask why it's being excluded?

Anything in particular about that site of interest? A colleague checks that site regularly regarding an upcoming hike, so just wondering.

Thanks!


Edited by ClamberAbout (06/01/15 04:30 PM)

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#42828 - 06/01/15 04:29 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Andrewzuber]
Tom G Offline


Registered: 06/01/15
Posts: 3
Loc: Annapolis, MD
Good questions. I will be climbing with a friend the same date with the same overnight plans

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