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Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2016 (Out-of-Date)
#44920 11/28/15 09:47 PM
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Steve C Offline OP
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The posts below have been moved from the main Current Conditions thread for trail reports during 2016. (Posts are moved periodically after they no longer represent current conditions.)

Previous years:
    Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015
    Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014
    Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013
    Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012
    Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #45286 02/12/16 02:55 PM
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Whitney summit, Feb 11, 2016


Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #45287 02/13/16 08:05 AM
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How? ... Steve has wings! much appreciated! Looks very dry. Did you get any shots of top 400ft of MR?

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
echo8 #45290 02/14/16 12:27 AM
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'twas my neighbor taking the pics, flying with a friend in the friend's RV-7, a small 2-seater. They used O2, flew to 17.5 k.

I didn't see any MR shots, but you can be sure it has considerable snow and ice.

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #45380 03/02/16 03:09 PM
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Alex H posted this picture on FB, of his campsite on the summit.



He wrote:
Quote:
Spent the night on the summit this past weekend after ascending the Mountaineers Route. Great snow/weather conditions. Water available at Lower Boy Scout lake. Upper Boy Scout Lake and Iceberg Lake were frozen solid. We met a group who dug through the ice for hours at Upper Boy Scout, but were unable to tap liquid water. . . . . plan on boiling snow if doing an overnight trip.

Also:
Quote:
We were able to park ~1 mile from the portal trail head though we would have been able to park directly at the trail head had there not been a snow plow blocking the road. Upon our return, we saw a number of 2WDs at the trail head.

We wanted to sleep on the summit, so we did the climb in 2 days to allow for acclimatization at Upper Boy Scout Lake on the first night. However, two of us still suffered from pretty bad headaches on the summit night.

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #45486 03/18/16 09:23 AM
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This is a picture going up the main Mountaineers Route chute below "the notch", from March 12-13.
Posted on facebook by Dominik N


Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #45583 03/29/16 06:43 AM
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Day Hike March 25, 2016

You can drive all the way up to the portal no problem (obviously go around the at road closed sign:)) definitely crampons and ice axe as you already know. I brought snow shoes just incase but we started so early everything was pretty hard packed. I did post hole a few times on the way back but not enough to put the snow shoes on because everything was getting hard/icy again. It's true you can by pass the e ledges but it's a lot of bush wacking on that side so we decided to just do them and stay on trail. No avy danger right now everything looked good and consolidated. Perfect conditions. I would recommend roping up going down the final 400. We went up the class 3 route up (not the class 2 traverse, although it might have been the better option). Very slippery even with crampons. There is mostly snow on that part...not sure if it's usually a ton of rocks in the summer but it's covered in steep snow (steeper than the chute) We used our ice axes as anchors on the way down the final 400. On the way down the chute it got pretty icy and windy but that's normal when the sun stops hitting it...derr. It was every type of snow...

beautiful, long day smile

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
sarahD #45591 03/29/16 09:30 AM
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Thanks for posting, Sara!!

SaraD's picture from Instagram:

Click it for a bigger view.


Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #45592 03/29/16 09:58 AM
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Here's a picture from March 28, near Trail Camp on the Main Trail, posted in Instagram by adventure_upstream

"Leaving Trail Camp at 12,000 feet for the summit of Mt Whitney at 14,496 feet.
#todsl #optoutside #adventure #hiking #backpacking #camping #mtwhitney #getoutside
"


Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #45594 03/29/16 10:48 AM
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Hi all! I am looking to do the Mount Whitney Trail the weekend of April 8. I have experience with many difficult hikes, but we are just getting into winter hiking. I have never used an Ice Ax or crampons before, but I have plenty of experience with snowshoeing. Any input on the difficulty of this hike for a first time ice ax/crampon user? Is it doable or not a good idea?

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
ahunter #45595 03/29/16 11:09 AM
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Here is a video from climbing from iceberg on 3.26.16 We camped at iceberg and started about 6am and think we summtited around 11 ish...

Condition were great, we took the first chute to the top from the notch, climbed over some rock and we used our axes for mixed climbing over the rock, then the video for the last part starts above that. we took the traverse down, since we didn't bring a rope you would probably want to Rap over the rock section. the traverse had great snow conditions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_IftakP1Yg

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Beantown #45598 03/29/16 12:50 PM
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Beantown, here's your video so people can watch here.

That wide-angle lens on the GoPro sure plays with the perspective.




Last edited by Steve C; 03/29/16 12:50 PM.
Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
ahunter #45600 03/29/16 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: ahunter
Hi all! I am looking to do the Mount Whitney Trail the weekend of April 8. I have experience with many difficult hikes, but we are just getting into winter hiking. I have never used an Ice Ax or crampons before, but I have plenty of experience with snowshoeing. Any input on the difficulty of this hike for a first time ice ax/crampon user? Is it doable or not a good idea?

Welcome ahunter,

It is doable if you don't hit anything too icy. Just be aware that with an ice axe and crampons, you can get into far more dangerous locations, but that's some of the fun of it. There are winter mountaineering courses available -- check out Sierra Mountaineering International. But many have picked up the skills by just going and trying things.

Just make SURE you don't get into something you can't get out of. For example, make sure you can descend a section before you commit to going up. Please read the Disclaimer.

Now as a minimum, check out these links and videos:

Ice Axe use: Watching this video by the British Mountaineering Council is mandatory:
  Mt Whitney hiking and climbing videos   Another good one:  Ice Axe Technique
Related: Glissading from Trail Crest and hazards
Trip report with glissading video on Whitney: 6/1/2014 Dayhike Summit by beginner hikers

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #45602 03/29/16 01:58 PM
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I posted a bunch of photos from Friday, Mar 25 in my trip report, http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/45601/Mt_Whitney_via_the_Mountaineer#Post45601

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
ahunter #45607 03/29/16 05:32 PM
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I highly recccomend practicing and getting comfortable with your crampons and self arresting. Watch the videos on YouTube on how to self arrest.

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #45667 04/05/16 01:04 PM
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I've found several reports for people climbing the Mountaineers Route for the past weekend. It sounds like a lot of people are climbing it on weekends. The past weekend was ideal weather. Click on the pictures for the enlarged size.

Ebersbacher Ledges at dawn, posted by robfu
Quote:
RC and Tammy climbing the Ebersbacher Ledges "E-Ledges" on Whitney's North Fork Trail (Mountaineers Route) 04-03-16
...the North facing sides had hard iced snow from 9000ft. The whole trail after 10k ft had snow
...Yes the snow starts at around 9k ft, none at E Ledges, then the rest of the trail is completely covered with snow
... The whole route passed Lower Boy Scout Lake is covered by snow/icy snow




Here's a picture taken from near Iceberg Lake, posted on instagram by ourmillionmiles.
Quote:
Tam and @robfu starting their way up the chute to Whitney's summit. It took about three hours. It's crazy how this picture makes the chute look small. But it actually seems to last forever. And for what it's worth, I'd choose doing this route in the snow any day. (4-3-16)




The Final 400, posted by ourmillionmiles.


Returning to the top of The Notch via the "Easy Walk-off". Posted by robfu
RobFu reported they came down this route because the Final 400 "had a traffic jam".
Rob's pics are on FB here



Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #45739 04/12/16 01:10 PM
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I think I'm talking to you in Instagram too smile

Is that the main trail? Is that the cute in front of you? Do you take the chute on the main trail and the mountaineers trail?

I just want to make sure I take the right trail!

Thanks,

E

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
ericploeb #45751 04/12/16 10:58 PM
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ericploeb, I copied the above pics from others' posts. The chute picture above is on the MR (the Mountaineer's Route), which is a steep non-trail alternate route up to Mt Whitney.

The Main Trail has an area west of the 99 switchbacks that some call a "chute", but it is more of a wide slope rather than a chute like the above. Here's the Main Trail info:
The chute on the main trail - where is it?

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #45822 04/19/16 09:49 AM
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Looks like we may get a little snow this week, but does anyone know at what point along the main trail one would encounter snow, as of today or the last few days?

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #45823 04/19/16 10:09 AM
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This was posted yesterday on Instagram by jasonmatkin

Quote:
After 10 hours of hiking and just shy of the summit, we had to turn back due to the deep snow and high winds, but Whitney didn't disappoint. Most amazing experience of my life.

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