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#46522 - 06/01/16 08:33 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: climbslc]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7590
Loc: Fresno, CA
We're having triple-digit heat on the west side for the next week, and NOAA shows the temps even at the Whitney summit never getting down to freezing, highs in the 50s. So the snow is melting fast! There will likely be a boot-track on the switchbacks pretty soon.

You could always leave the crampons home and try to make it through. You can go with the idea that if conditions get too bad, turn around and head down.

...Here's what they say: The mountain will always be there for another try.

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#46524 - 06/01/16 09:07 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7590
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's an 8-minute video posted on YouTube by Rebo (Randy Berton), PCT hiker with his group of hikers, May 28-29, 2016. (This is his second year in a row hiking the PCT.)

They climbed Whitney from Guitar Lake in their PCT hiking shoes, and it appears with microspikes. They spent the night in the summit hut -- the last minute shows the conditions at dawn on the 29th.


These have to be the hardiest hikers you can find. 750 miles from the Calif-Mexico border already.


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#46525 - 06/01/16 09:59 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
climbslc Offline


Registered: 05/20/16
Posts: 10
Loc: Utah
That video is super helpful. Thanks for posting it!

I'll keep my eye on things and probably make the final decision on whether to put the crampons in the pack on sunday night.

That extra pound and the associated bulk would be nice to leave in the hotel, but not at the expense of failing to summit!

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#46526 - 06/01/16 12:45 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: climbslc]
anusha mcnamara Offline


Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 10
Loc: California
I think we're going to do the same. We're probably going to keep crampons with us just in case. Like you said, I'd rather carry extra weight to succeed summitting.

Excellent news about the temperatures! We're going June 5th. We have a pass for the day, but we're going to try to get an overnight for the night of the 4th, and camp at outpost. We'll let you know how it goes! Thanks everyone for all the help!

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#46527 - 06/01/16 01:32 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: climbslc]
Ashish M Offline


Registered: 06/01/16
Posts: 5
Loc: CA
I have pretty much same question looping in my head.. crampons or no crampons. Got a permit for June 5th, hiking in a group of 4 overnight acclimatizing at trail camp.

So far my plan is to keep microspikes, ice-axe and a pole, leave the crampons in the car if get some solid input on not needing them before heading on the trail.

Oh and information posted here is pretty helpful, thanks all


Edited by Ashish M (06/01/16 01:33 PM)

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#46528 - 06/01/16 02:02 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Ashish M]
anusha mcnamara Offline


Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 10
Loc: California
Ashish - when do you plan on getting up to summit? The conditions are looking beautiful on Saturday night into Sunday. 35*F overnight at the summit (at this point; we'll see as it gets closer) - I'm assuming this means the chute or the trail after trail crest won't be frozen.

I was thinking of waiting to summit later in the day so it's not so icy, but if the conditions are like this, I'm thinking we're (group of 2 - my husband and I) going to try to leave outpost around 2 AM. Maybe we'll see you at the summit!


Edited by anusha mcnamara (06/01/16 02:03 PM)

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#46529 - 06/01/16 03:47 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: anusha mcnamara]
Ashish M Offline


Registered: 06/01/16
Posts: 5
Loc: CA
Anusha, we were planning to leave from trail camp a couple of hours before sunrise (~3/4 am?).

Switchbacks still don't seem viable, are you guys planning to carry crampons and microspikes both (crampons for the chute)?

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#46530 - 06/01/16 04:24 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Ashish M]
Richmond Offline


Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 9
Loc: San Francisco
We're heading up on the 6th as well. We were thinking that throwing crampons in is really not that much to carry, and could be essential for summiting depending on conditions. Better to have it and not use it. Plus, I bought a pair just for this hike and there's no way I'm dropping $150 on a piece of gear and not using it! Heck, I'll run around the parking lot in them just to use them if I have to.

Good luck everyone this week/weekend!

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#46531 - 06/01/16 07:04 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Richmond]
climbslc Offline


Registered: 05/20/16
Posts: 10
Loc: Utah
Another video (from the 26th-27th) for your obsessing-about-the-route pleasure:



Edit:
Thanks for fixing it to embed.

And I found this on Youtube and linked it. I wish this was a video of our own successful summit bid. We will see on Monday!

Steve B


Edited by climbslc (06/02/16 05:23 AM)

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#46532 - 06/01/16 09:31 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: climbslc]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7590
Loc: Fresno, CA
Great video, Yongsung! Congratulations on the successful summit. I like your selfie stick.

Here's how to include a video:  Embed a video from Youtube

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#46536 - 06/02/16 10:38 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
anusha mcnamara Offline


Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 10
Loc: California
It looks like the group in the video didn't use crampons until past trail crest. Interesting.

Ashish - I think we're going to just bring our crampons (no microspikes). We're renting mountaineering boots, so I'm pretty worried about that because they're not my own broken in hiking boots. But I hear they're warm and dry, so that sounds appealing. We're evening thinking about using our own hiking boots to get to outpost camp, and then wear the rented mountaineering boots from outpost camp to the summit. Then we'll play it by ear with the crampons that we'll be carrying.

Good luck everyone!


Edited by anusha mcnamara (06/02/16 10:38 AM)

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#46537 - 06/02/16 12:02 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: anusha mcnamara]
YS Kim Offline


Registered: 06/02/16
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Hey, I am the guy in the video. smile
We used crampon most of the time from the tail camp to the submit.
We removed crampon for a short period of time when there was no snow in the trail.

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#46538 - 06/02/16 12:26 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
rpeers209 Offline


Registered: 05/25/16
Posts: 3
Loc: California, United States
Hi kevin108,

Would love to plan it together, only problem is this will be the culmination of a weeklong trek starting farther south. As such it'd be hard to coordinate a meeting place/time on the trail. I suspect by that time of year the trail and the mtn will be crowded with plenty of experienced hikers. It is my hope to solicit some company and advice along the way.

Cheers and Good luck! See you at the top.

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#46539 - 06/02/16 01:44 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: YS Kim]
climbslc Offline


Registered: 05/20/16
Posts: 10
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By: YS Kim
We removed crampon for a short period of time when there was no snow in the trail.


...and made Pacman motions with them!!


Thanks for chiming in and congratulations on the successful summit!

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#46542 - 06/02/16 03:16 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Richmond]
C's Offline


Registered: 06/01/16
Posts: 1
Loc: So Cal
I will be up on the 6th also. trying to make the same decisions. The switchbacks are the question!!??

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#46549 - 06/02/16 08:48 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: C's]
SierraSeeker Offline


Registered: 06/02/16
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Hey friends, thanks all for the info so far. Invaluable. Headed up on June 5th for an overnight. We are first-timers but have crampons/iceaxe and have been above 13K before as far as altitude.

Any tips on easiest way to go about the 2-day trip as far as camping location and best time to depart in AM to summit on June 6? Thanks again, hope to see others up there this weekend.

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#46555 - 06/03/16 08:28 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Phil K Offline


Registered: 06/03/16
Posts: 3
Loc: Gilbert, AZ
I'm heading up the Mountain for my second time on June 23rd. I know it's a ways out from now, but looking at all the current condition responses, there's no word of opportunity to use the switch backs to Trail Crest. Is the chute the only way to go still and do you all think the Switch backs will be open and safe to use by June 23rd? The idea of Glissading down the chute is not something I'm comfortable with right now. Just want to make sure I'm not gong to get all the way to Trail camp and have to turn around due to snowed-in switch backs.

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#46558 - 06/03/16 09:06 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Phil K]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7590
Loc: Fresno, CA
Phil K, I think the switchbacks will be the way to go in 3 weeks. There will be some ice at the cables, but people get past it with a little caution.

Sierra Seeker: If you are coming from near sea level, the best way would be to spend your night at Outpost Camp, since it is considerably lower than Trail Camp. Then get up early and try to leave for the summit at 5 AM. The lower altitude will help keep the altitude sickness symptoms down, but you are still close enough to summit and return in one day.

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#46559 - 06/03/16 10:17 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Phil K Offline


Registered: 06/03/16
Posts: 3
Loc: Gilbert, AZ
Steve, Thanks for the input. We had some snow pack last year around the cables and got through ok. Had to move off course a bit to get around it, but we skirted past that pretty easy. Once we got to Trail crest and started going up the backside, that's where it got a little tricky and concerning. I'm hoping that snow continues to melt with the local high temps and won't be too bad. I'll be prepped with Crampons and am hoping that's enough for that part of the trail. Thanks again for all your input. This forum is great for preparation.

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#46560 - 06/03/16 10:21 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: anusha mcnamara]
Ashish M Offline


Registered: 06/01/16
Posts: 5
Loc: CA
Anusha - I was planning to rent REI crampons but they came with mountaineering boots and they didn't have my size (it seems to be a popular weekend) I am getting both CAMP Stalker Universal Crampons (straps on hiking boots) and microspikes and then play it by the ear.

Looks like we have a crowd coming in for June 5th/6th so that's great smile

Good luck everyone, hope to see you all at the summit!

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