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#4904 - 06/04/10 10:44 AM Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7834
Loc: Fresno, CA
This thread is designed to hold posts displaying pictures and describing the current conditions of the Main Mount Whitney Trail (MMWT).  I hope everyone will contribute.

Please feel free to post pictures of your own or from any source (please post a reference to the original location), so that everyone can come here and easily find/read/see the conditions.

Older posts will be moved as conditions change. (As a result, some posts may appear to answer comments that are no longer in the thread.)

Thanks for everyone's help. Your posting trip reports helps untold numbers of hikers following you.

Older posts moved here:   Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2019 (Old)

Note: Sometimes this thread spans a number of pages. You can click through all the pages, or click here to display all in one page.


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#55595 - 07/01/19 07:14 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Irene Offline


Registered: 07/01/19
Posts: 1
Loc: Orange County, CA
Really appreciate all the valuable trail updates! We have a group of 4 going on July 4th. We will not go all the way to the summit. We will just go to Trail Camp, camp for one night, and head back. Thus, We will not be bringing ice axe and crampon (no experience using them anyway), but will have microspike and hiking poles. We are all in good physical condition, most of us have completed or almost completed the six pack of peaks, have backpacked before, and have been to high altitude areas. Now the question, can someone please provide some insight/update on the snow condition going from Lone Pine Lake to Trail Camp? I've been reading a lot about snow cavities, snow bridge, running stream underneath the snow... How are the snows around the trails that are near the streams past Outpost Camp (as shown on the map)? Are snows on the traverse slippery? From what I've gathered from reading other people's post, staying on the main trail is critical as snow is melting fast and off trail areas might be very dangerous. We will have both paper map and Gaia GPS in phone and we will really try to stick to the main trail. But I would still like to gather more information so we know what to expect. Thank you!!

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#55596 - 07/01/19 07:44 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Irene]
terraelise Offline


Registered: 06/29/17
Posts: 27
Loc: CA
You can see my & another report from the last few days: other than small runs on snow and water on the trail, getting above Mirror Lake is no big deal. After that there are snow fields, but it's still easy to follow and do in just boots and no poles. The melt is incredible right now, so the trail traverse I turned back on and the boot path that cuts across the drainages to the south both will be different by the time you go, but it seems like the boot path is deteriorating. Then again, the traverse i didn't like will probably still be there because of how much dang snow there is, but it will be more worn, likely, as more people use it. If you plant safe footholds in slushy snow, you will be fine - and in the mornings use microspikes: but all that is really only for around Trail Camp.


Edited by terraelise (07/01/19 07:45 AM)
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#55597 - 07/01/19 09:02 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7834
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here are two pictures posted on FB by Stus O. On June 28, they took the switchbacks up and down.









Here's a picture of the switchbacks shared on FB by BFR, taken 6/28/2019 from near Mt Muir:

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#55611 - 07/02/19 02:34 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
ChrisR Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 2
Loc: Missouri
What's the general consensus on when the main trail via switchbacks will become non-technical?

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#55612 - 07/02/19 04:11 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: ChrisR]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7834
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: ChrisR
What's the general consensus on when the main trail via switchbacks will become non-technical?

The Switchbacks are ALREADY less technical than the chute. We keep seeing reports, almost daily, of injuries and rescues from people descending the chute and getting hurt -- sprains, banged up, skinned up (ice peels skin!)

People can already hike the switchbacks more easily and safely than they can the chute. I don't understand why there is such reluctance to switch -- pun intended wink

They aren't NON-technical, yet. You still need spikes -- even below Trail Camp, as there is a not-so-easy side-slope traverse people have to get past. On the switchbacks, micro-spikes and hiking poles would suffice to get through several snowy sections.

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#55614 - 07/02/19 06:30 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Wiff Offline


Registered: 07/23/14
Posts: 61
Loc: LA
What's everybody's best guesstimate for the very end of July? No more snow?

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#55616 - 07/02/19 09:00 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Wiff]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7834
Loc: Fresno, CA
Trail runners by end of July

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#55619 - 07/02/19 10:38 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
IanS Offline


Registered: 06/14/19
Posts: 12
Loc: Northern CA
Agree with Steve, was just there yesterday, the Chute is being used by most people, but its difficult for folks without experience using crampons and axe. People are getting hurt, and the effort level required could even be more if you don't have the technical skills. Many people took the switchbacks, a couple snowy spots are passable, just require some focus, easier early in the day when snow is firm. Late in the day slushy snow is harder to navigate.

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#55620 - 07/02/19 11:44 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7834
Loc: Fresno, CA
Picture at the cables, July 1, 2019.

posted on FB by Amy W.S. They climbed the chute, descended the switchbacks. She reported a helicopter was picking up a woman with a broken ankle, likely from glissading the chute.

She wrote
Quote:
The switch backs were mostly clear. There were a couple of areas where you had to traverse a couple of snowfields and by this time of day (2ish) the snow had melted fairly significantly and sometimes you were postholing you’re way across. The biggest sketchy area of the switchbacks were the cables. The snow was thick enough in areas that you were outside the chains and a fall there would cause pretty significant injury. Watch your step, use strategic foot placement, utilize your ice axe and you’ll be fine. The rate of the snow melt right now I’d imagine the switchbacks will be snow free very soon.






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#55635 - 07/03/19 09:56 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
terraelise Offline


Registered: 06/29/17
Posts: 27
Loc: CA
Trail runners bu end of July? Nay, I saw 3 Sat 28th.

The chute is deteriorating and indeed the source of recent injuries... the rescue photo shows so much less snow than even a week ago, See post on FB:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2408178136086602&id=1752442271660195



Edited by terraelise (07/03/19 09:57 PM)
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#55643 - 07/05/19 06:28 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
abbey Offline


Registered: 07/05/19
Posts: 1
Loc: US
Has anyone been up on the JMT from Guitar Lake to the summit? Seems like everything posted is focused on the chute & switchbacks on the east side.

With snow melting fast, I'm still hoping we'll be able to make the summit on 7/13 via the west side and then back down to continue a northbound JMT hike. Any intel on this side would be much appreciated, thanks!

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#55645 - 07/05/19 08:47 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: abbey]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7834
Loc: Fresno, CA
The west side of Whitney always melts out sooner than the east side, so Whitney should be no trouble. Some of the passes to the north will likely give you more trouble than Whitney.

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#55651 - 07/06/19 08:58 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Joethebadape Offline


Registered: 06/09/19
Posts: 2
Loc: Texas
Any one know if the earthquake had any effect on Whitney?

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#55658 - 07/06/19 01:21 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Avi Offline


Registered: 02/15/18
Posts: 25
Loc: CA, USA
Any idea on the trail condition from Kearsarge to Whitney via Guitar Lake?

We are looking at an end of July/early August trip.

Thanks.

avi

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#55662 - 07/06/19 05:06 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Avi]
IanS Offline


Registered: 06/14/19
Posts: 12
Loc: Northern CA
We went up the main trail on 7/1 and met a guy on the Summit who came from Guitar Lake area solo that day, and he was headed back there from the Summit, so its passable but not sure what the actual conditions are like.

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#55671 - 07/07/19 10:10 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: IanS]
Avi Offline


Registered: 02/15/18
Posts: 25
Loc: CA, USA
Originally Posted By: IanS
We went up the main trail on 7/1 and met a guy on the Summit who came from Guitar Lake area solo that day, and he was headed back there from the Summit, so its passable but not sure what the actual conditions are like.


Thanks for the feedback. Anyone come through Forrester Pass recently?

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#55673 - 07/07/19 01:38 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Avi]
tpherson Offline


Registered: 03/24/19
Posts: 1
Loc: IN
Looks like 7 day forecast shows a rise in temps for Mt Whitney. Hopefully, speeding the snow melt. Any estimate from those with experience when the main trail will be clear of snow? Seems like a good portion is clear but several sketchy areas still remain.

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#55681 - 07/08/19 09:25 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: IanS]
frozengogo Offline


Registered: 07/08/19
Posts: 1
Loc: Irvine, CA
What is the trail like from Trail Crest to the summit? Icey, patchy snow? Hiking in from Guitar Lake the morning of July 16th.

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#55683 - 07/08/19 12:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Ian B Offline


Registered: 05/23/17
Posts: 8
Loc: Bishop, CA


A recent reminder of conditions from the Whitney Rangers.

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