Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
1 registered (dbd), 12 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3737 Members
10 Forums
5572 Topics
51016 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Topic Options
#46190 - 05/10/16 05:07 PM Departure time for MR
kmcboogie Offline


Registered: 02/02/15
Posts: 43
Loc: Montreal, Quebec
What time do people tend to leave, with respect to sunrise, for the Mountaineers Route day hike (summer)?

I keep reading about 2 a.m. starts for the regular trail, but that would be easy with a head torch on a trail, with plenty of others also starting at similar times. I would think that if someone doesn't have intimate knowledge of the MR, it could be easy to get lost in the dark.

20 years ago I did most of the MR, on the approach to the East Buttress. I'm pretty sure it was early August, and we started around 5 a.m., and it got light quite quickly (exact details are fuzzy, I remember the time we started, but not exactly which part of the summer. I remember huffing and puffing a lot on the way to the start of the climb!). This time it'll be September, so a later sunrise.

Thanks,

K

Top
#46193 - 05/10/16 06:58 PM Re: Departure time for MR [Re: kmcboogie]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 544
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Originally Posted By: kmcboogie
What time do people tend to leave, with respect to sunrise, for the Mountaineers Route day hike (summer)?

K


I suggest leaving the portal ~ 90 minutes prior to sunrise. Nautical twilight begins approx. 1 hour prior to sunrise. This allows 1 hour to reach the E-Ledges, and means that no head light should be required to ascend the E ledges.
In Aug. you will have approx. 14 hours of "day light" (not counting twilights), which is hopefully sufficient to get up and down. If you wanted to be a bit more conservative you could plan on returning via the main trail, since there would be less concern hiking in the dark (will likely take a bit longer than returning via the Mountaineer's route).

John

Top
#46194 - 05/10/16 07:51 PM Re: Departure time for MR [Re: John Sims]
sarahD Offline


Registered: 07/12/15
Posts: 12
Loc: San Diego/Paso Robles
Are you looking to day hike it? It just depends on what time of year but I say the earlier the better if you are planning on summiting that day.

Top
#46197 - 05/10/16 09:43 PM Re: Departure time for MR [Re: kmcboogie]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7719
Loc: Fresno, CA
kmc, of course it depends greatly on how fast you can ascend. It's 4,000' vertical to iceberg lake, and you need to be there by 10 AM. The last 2k from Iceberg to the summit will take more than half as long as the first 4k due to the higher elevation and thinner air.

I hope you can do some training hikes and try to gauge what a comfortable and sustainable rate of ascent is for you.

Top
#46205 - 05/11/16 02:24 PM Re: Departure time for MR [Re: Steve C]
kmcboogie Offline


Registered: 02/02/15
Posts: 43
Loc: Montreal, Quebec
Thanks for the replies. Our date is in September, and sunrise that day is 6:30 a.m., with first light at 6:04 a.m., according to this site: http://sunrisesunset.willyweather.com/ca/inyo-county/mount-whitney.html.

What about getting to the E-ledges, can that be confusing in the dark? I read one trip report that had a party getting lost on the way to the E-ledges after starting at 3 a.m.

I'm also concerned about parking. The 6:30 sunrise would have us leaving around 5:00. Even though we'll have a parking permit, I presume all the JMT hikers will be long gone by then, and their parking spots taken. I'll have to see how that aspect goes as the summer season unfolds.

And yes, it will be a day hike, and I was planning on returning via the regular route.

When I did the East Buttress 20 years ago, it took 5 hours to do the approach, which ends somewhere above Iceberg Lake. That was then, I was younger and thinner and at the tail end of a 3 week trip in the E. Sierras. This time it will be 1 week into a trip. We're steady hikers and I have some long, steep training hikes planned.

Top
#46211 - 05/11/16 08:23 PM Re: Departure time for MR [Re: kmcboogie]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 544
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Hi K,
I personally think Sept. is the best time to hike. Fewer (if any) mosquitos, fewer people, less water in the creeks to cross, and lower chance of rain/thunder storms. The days are a bit shorter, but I doubt you will have a problem, particularly if you descend the main trail. Finishing up in the dark is not a problem, and you will likely finish before dark in any case.

The road repairs were originally planned in three sections. I have not seen anything as to what the order will be, but I have to think that the area around the portal will be finished prior to Sept. Saving this area until "last" means some risk of early snow, and not finishing the project, which is why I "guess" it will done sooner.

Steve, do you have any info on this?

"If" (perhaps a BIG IF) that is the case, parking "should" not be a problem since roadside parking "should" be available. This also means that you "might" be able to drive up to the portal the day before your hike, and hike up to LBSL in preparation for your hike. This allows you to "scout" the area, get a good idea as to the route, and check the time reach the E-Ledges, making your trip in the dark much easier. There are a few "false" trails that look more inviting than the actual trail, so some care must be taken. They will not lead you too far off route before becoming obviously wrong, but still time and energy wasted. Some folks do the E-Ledges in the dark, although it is not my choice. If you leave the portal at 4:30 or 4:45 you should be at the E-Ledges at 5:30 or 5:45, just as "Nautical Twilight" begins, and no longer need the head lamps. That likely means that you will be at Iceberg lake by 9:15 or 9:45. Up the chute, and on top by 12:30 or 1:00. Depart by 1:30, and back to your car by 6:30 or 7:00. Even if these times are optimistic by 30 to 60 minutes, you still finish before dark.

Top
#46215 - 05/11/16 11:59 PM Re: Departure time for MR [Re: John Sims]
kmcboogie Offline


Registered: 02/02/15
Posts: 43
Loc: Montreal, Quebec
Thanks John. I'll be one of many keeping track of the road repairs and parking situation.

I was hoping to have a rest day prior to the hike, heading over to Horseshoe Meadows for a leisurely picnic after picking up the permit, or something like that, but a wander up the first part of the route could be an idea too, if the parking would be feasible.

Top