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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6236
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.

Older posts moved here:   Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2016 (Old)

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#45583 - 03/29/16 06:43 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
sarahD Offline


Registered: 07/12/15
Posts: 9
Loc: San Diego/Paso Robles
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

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#45592 - 03/29/16 09:58 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6236
Loc: Fresno, CA
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
"


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#45594 - 03/29/16 10:48 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
ahunter Offline


Registered: 03/29/16
Posts: 1
Loc: TX
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?

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#45595 - 03/29/16 11:09 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: ahunter]
Beantown Offline


Registered: 06/11/13
Posts: 21
Loc: SoCal
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

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#45598 - 03/29/16 12:50 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Beantown]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6236
Loc: Fresno, CA
Beantown, here's your video so people can watch here.

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





Edited by Steve C (03/29/16 12:50 PM)

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#45600 - 03/29/16 01:36 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: ahunter]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6236
Loc: Fresno, CA
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

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#45602 - 03/29/16 01:58 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
goldscott Offline


Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 73
Loc: San Diego, CA
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

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#45607 - 03/29/16 05:32 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: ahunter]
sarahD Offline


Registered: 07/12/15
Posts: 9
Loc: San Diego/Paso Robles
I highly recccomend practicing and getting comfortable with your crampons and self arresting. Watch the videos on YouTube on how to self arrest.

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#45667 - 04/05/16 01:04 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6236
Loc: Fresno, CA
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



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#45739 - 04/12/16 01:10 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
ericploeb Offline


Registered: 04/12/16
Posts: 17
Loc: Los Angeles
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

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#45751 - 04/12/16 10:58 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: ericploeb]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6236
Loc: Fresno, CA
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?

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#45822 - 04/19/16 09:49 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Zippo Offline


Registered: 10/06/15
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
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?

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#45823 - 04/19/16 10:09 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6236
Loc: Fresno, CA
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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#45920 - 04/25/16 11:49 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6236
Loc: Fresno, CA
This posted on Instagram April 25, by xerorisk

They climbed via the switchbacks, then glissaded on the way down.

"No chutes for us #mtwhitney #99switchbacks #whitneyinthewinter"



Caption: We took the switchbacks up but the fastest way down is always the chute smile #glacading #whitneyinthewinter #mtwhitney #whosinfront



edit: Note the cautionary note posted below by saltydog.


Edited by Steve C (04/27/16 06:09 PM)

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#45944 - 04/26/16 02:18 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
ericploeb Offline


Registered: 04/12/16
Posts: 17
Loc: Los Angeles
I'm climbing May 7th with a friend of mine. How were the conditions? Can you tell me your schedule/departure times?

Thanks! Looks awesome and great pics!

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#45948 - 04/26/16 03:31 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: ericploeb]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6236
Loc: Fresno, CA
ericp, I just copied those pictures from Instagram. I don't know the details of their trip.
...ok, more info: christinec_097 was with "xerorisk", shows some of the same pics, and a little more info. One of her pictures shows the summit hut, and the caption reads: "Early morning at the top of Mt Whitney. This cabin kept us alive at 14508 elevation"

Not sure if it was planned or not, but they spent the night ON the summit! I don't think they carried overnight gear. crazy

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#45962 - 04/27/16 02:21 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6236
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a view of the "chute", the slope west of the 99 switchbacks above Trail Camp, taken by Shri S on April 19.

His report is here. His pictures are here.


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#45965 - 04/27/16 03:10 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1325
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: Steve C
This posted on Instagram April 25, by xerorisk

They climbed via the switchbacks, then glissaded on the way down.

"No chutes for us #mtwhitney #99switchbacks #whitneyinthewinter"



Caption: We took the switchbacks up but the fastest way down is always the chute smile #glacading #whitneyinthewinter #mtwhitney #whosinfront




I should probably be pointed out that the picture here does NOT show good or recommended glissading method. This slope should never be done without ice axe, proper braking and knowledge of self arrest. People have died on this slope, and have lost control even with good technique. These folks just had the good fortune of perfect timing, to descend before any icy patches developed. It only takes one.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#45985 - 04/28/16 04:57 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Philippe Offline


Registered: 04/28/16
Posts: 1
Loc: CA, USA
Pictures from last Sunday - April 24:

View from Trail Camp:


View from Trail Crest:


Thanks to everyone for sharing their pictures, it helped us to know what to expect!


Edited by Philippe (04/28/16 06:22 PM)

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