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#50199 - 06/19/17 02:31 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Snacking Bear]
emceegull Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 1
Loc: CA - California
Does anyone know where a good place to practice glissading would be prior to taking on the chute this weekend? Have a couple days to acclimatize ahead of time and would really like to get some practice in.

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#50200 - 06/19/17 02:41 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Vineet]
JMD22558 Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 3
Loc: California
Vineet, I have been very successful with walk in permits, it's really pretty easy and the local policy of picking a number out of a hat has never caused me a delay. Enjoy your hike! I hiked to Lone Pine Lake this weekend as I only live a close distance, the lake was gorgeous as always, the trail still had patches of snow at this level. Not sure after that.

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#50212 - 06/20/17 08:50 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Snacking Bear]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6959
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Snacking Bear
Hi WZ community!

Anyone know what elevation the snow begins? What elevation does snow cover dominate?

I'm spending a week on the west side of SEKI, trying to gauge what to expect.


Posted on FB by the son of a hiking friend of mine: From the top of Sawtooth Peak (Mineral King area)

That picture is looking north from Sawtooth, standing on wink Columbine Lake (elev 10,970)


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#50213 - 06/20/17 08:58 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 417
Loc: Saugus, CA
Looks beautiful! Did he need full crampons for Sawtooth? We're camping in Mineral King starting Friday, trying to gauge what gear to bring.

Thanks Steve!
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@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#50214 - 06/20/17 09:30 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: fireresq21]
Team NEGU Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 5
Loc: CA, USA
Hello. My name is Veronica. I read your recent post about doing Mt Whitney and I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions?
I have been waiting to do Whitney for 4 years now. When I started getting into hiking and enjoying nature 4 years ago I never thought I would want to do more. But I fell in love with it. I have only ever done day hikes. I've done half dome and Gorgonio and Wilson and baldy and etc. point is. I've done so good hikes. However I've never been in snow conditions. The most snow I've been in was my first time to Yosemite and I dealt with the black ice on rocks while hiking the tall falls. I've never used crampons, or an ice ax. The only climbing I've done is indoor rock climbing. But I do hike often and I work out often and I'm in physical shape.
My questions are:
If I get the right equipment should I really even attempt the chute? Or is it only professionals that can complete it safely? I have two little kids to get home to. I'm not planning on glissading because I've read how dangerous it is for people who have never done it. So I'm not planning that.
I'm supposed to leave next week on Wednesday and have the day permit for next Thursday and what I'm scared of is spending all this money even in gas to try to attempt her when I know it's not safe to do the chute.
You did he chute but you sound like maybe you have experience with ice and crampons and ice axes.
Would you say someone who doesn't have any experience with any of this even with the right gear can do the chute up and down safely?
Sorry if I double sent this to you I was trying to reply but I'm new to all of this

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#50217 - 06/20/17 10:48 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Snacking Bear]
2ndjetty Offline


Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 3
Loc: Playa Del Rey, CA
Snacking Bear - we hiked to upper Monarch Lake in Mineral King as Whitney training a week and half ago. Lots of snow. The lakes were just melting (similar to the pic Steve C posted). We made it with microspikes and poles but I'd take crampons if going again. Of course, it's been warm up there the last week...
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#50220 - 06/20/17 11:14 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Team NEGU]
fireresq21 Offline


Registered: 05/25/13
Posts: 10
Loc: san diego
Hey Veronica,

First off, don't do it alone. no matter what. Thats just mountain safety 101

You can for sure ascend the chute as a first timer. Walking on crampons doesn't take any special skill. Just a little patience. Don't rush your steps. Plan every move out 1 by 1. The axe makes a nice grab handle when planted well. The chute is not technical climbing. Its just a wee bit steeper than you're probably used to. There is currently no other way up the main trail, so if you're sketched out, don't waste your time. Go later in to summer when you can do the switchbacks.
If your not going to glissade down, but rather walk, then know how to self arrest with the axe. Theres tons of videos on here on how to do it.

The only solid advice I can really give is, I had 5 people in my party that had never ever worn or used crampons or ice axes. We glissaded down with no incident and traveled safely back to our cars in one day. It just takes some patience, common sense and understanding to use that equipment. Yes I had done it before so I was able to coach. So maybe try and link up with somebody while your up there and travel in a safe group.

Hope it works out!

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#50226 - 06/20/17 01:36 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6959
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here are a couple of pictures and text from Instagram...

Posted by life_is_goodoutdoors, June 19, 2017:
Quote:
"Lunch on the chute" I don't know what I liked better, the mountain or the chatter...
-
As long as everyone is safe, hearing crying and whining is to be expected on some particular hikes. I also love and embrace complaining. For some, Whitney is not an easy hike. Especially up the chute. I witnessed a group of six ascend the chute in 40 minutes in Sunday. I would estimate they officially charged that thing. It took us 3 hours.
-
As for me, I welcome as many rest breaks as possible as long as we're on schedule.
Whitney is to be enjoyed and memories to be make. Every step there is magnificent and when the altitude steals your air, it only increases you already fast beating heart.




Posted by mermaidlife_outdoors, June 20, 2017:
Quote:
I climbed the wall of destiny and stared in the face of fear~
~
Before this climb I had mainly heard horror stories and have supported friends who have had their friends pass away on this trek. I attended a funeral and listened to family members describing their thoughts on why hikers do what they do since they don't truly understand the desire to take themselves to places like Whitney. My hands are sweating and I'm shaking just typing this out. This has been the scariest and also most beautiful hike I've ever accomplished. It's surreal. The pics are out of this world, but there's a lot involved in getting your body up and then back down this mountain safely. Do not take this trek lightly fam. Be safe and be smart. If you don't know then don't go and go with people who know more than you. ~
~
After the chute I thought holy f*** I'm going to have to go back down. Straight down and see how steep I climbed without having the white staircase in front of my face to look at...all view. Gorgeous and terrifying. So steep. But we only have 1.9 miles left after Trail Crest so this will be easy! The hard parts are complete. Guess again! The last 1.9 miles to summit are really f****ing hard on the body.




      Do NOT Forget the sunscreen!!!
Posted by alexandertseitlin, June 20, 2017:

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#50228 - 06/20/17 02:24 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: 2ndjetty]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 417
Loc: Saugus, CA
Great info. Thanks for the huge help!
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@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#50233 - 06/20/17 06:17 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: fireresq21]
Arnab Offline


Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Planning a day hike on 6/24. With all discussion going on about the chute, i am getting a different kind of doubt. is it very natural to end up/ climb up and hit the trail again once you have climbed the chute? It looks and sure is big - if one climbs at a wrong angle by mistake will that lead towards a dead end kind of spot?

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#50244 - 06/20/17 10:19 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Arnab]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6959
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Arnab
Planning a day hike on 6/24. With all discussion going on about the chute, i am getting a different kind of doubt. is it very natural to end up/ climb up and hit the trail again once you have climbed the chute? It looks and sure is big - if one climbs at a wrong angle by mistake will that lead towards a dead end kind of spot?

If I understand the question, if you find your way to Trail Camp, "the chute" (or slope west of the switchbacks) is easy to find your way. Just follow all the tracks at the top leading to the right (westward) to Trail Crest. From there, you will find mostly dry trail to the summit. Finding your way back is pretty easy.

It is the area between Outpost Camp to Mirror Lake that gives people more trouble. At Outpost Camp, stay northward toward the north wall, until you get to Mirror Lake, then climb the steep slope to the south, go up and westward. Check this area out on your way up, because it is where there are many paths heading off trail.

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#50245 - 06/20/17 11:56 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
leafsrule71 Offline


Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 1
Loc: PA, USA
Apologies All:
looking to hike up the mountain July 16 to the 19th. i am driving into the interagency office on 7/15 to try and get a walk-on permit. I am by myself.if anybody looking for a hiking buddy; or a party willing to take a newcomer - would be greatly appreciated. i'v done rainier and mt washington before. would really appreciate company/support for the hike.

- be safe out there!

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#50252 - 06/21/17 09:51 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6959
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a picture of "the chute", the slope between Trail Camp and Trail Crest, June 17, 2017. Taken by friend Mark A.



View of the Cables section of the main trail, June 17, 2017.



Doug Thompson, proprietor and Chief Cook, Whitney Portal Store.
                   

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#50257 - 06/21/17 11:57 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6959
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here is a view of Bighorn Park / Outpost Camp, taken June 19 by syoung79. His trip report is here.


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#50261 - 06/21/17 12:41 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Team NEGU]
WhitneyHiker085 Offline


Registered: 05/14/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Hey Veronica,

I did it solo and on a day permit as well. You don't need any technical or professional skills to get up the chute. It does look daunting at first, but very doable if you take your time and just take one step at a time. I had on crampons and ice axe, but I didn't use the ice axe until I got closer to the top of the chute as I relied more on my hiking poles. Also, when I went, the path up was literally carved into the snow so I used those path as footing heading on up.

It did take me about 2.5 hours to complete though and fairly steep. In fact, from Trail Crest, looking out, you don't even see the slope, looks as though it's a vertical drop but it isn't.

Trail Crest to Summit, was clear and dry, but I struggled at this section. Almost wanted to turn back too. The limited air just sucked the energy and desire to complete... but I finished smile

I did this on the 17th - not sure how it is today as I know snow is melting quickly.


Edited by WhitneyHiker085 (06/21/17 01:04 PM)

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#50268 - 06/22/17 07:39 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
david_garza Offline


Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 5
Loc: Glendale, California
_________________________
Permit for Aug. 10-11, 2017.

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#50270 - 06/22/17 08:48 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: david_garza]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6959
Loc: Fresno, CA


Picture of the fire from Lone Pine, posted June 21, by mtwhitneygear


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#50290 - 06/22/17 05:19 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
adventurer456 Offline


Registered: 11/09/15
Posts: 8
Loc: adventurer456
Hi All, anyone going up on Sunday 6/25? Going up solo then, fast hiker, and just wanted to wave a hello to others on the ice chute or at base camp, safety reasons. I am 23.

Thanks,
Andrew


Edited by adventurer456 (06/22/17 05:20 PM)

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#50291 - 06/22/17 06:55 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 121
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Steve C


Wow... this probably deserves it's own thread.

When I went up Whitney, a couple manned military fighter jets flew by a few times. I remember thinking that they looked to be flying pretty low, but of course it was that I was up so high that they seemed so low. smile

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#50293 - 06/22/17 09:02 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: WanderingJim]
Paul A Offline


Registered: 06/22/17
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
A group of us are doing Whitney Friday the 30th. Last year 2 of us did the hike in 1 day in early June. We used microscopes last year. I am reading that crampons are still recommended, but have read people making it in microscopes.

We did well in microspikes last year, obviously the snowfall was intense this year. Just looking for some clarity before we head up from some people that have done it this year. Thank you in advance.

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