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

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5106
Loc: Fresno, CA
This thread is designed to hold posts displaying pictures and describing the current conditions of the MMWT (Mount Whitney Main Trail).  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 2013
  Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014 (Old)

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#37397 - 06/12/14 12:57 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline
WHA member

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5106
Loc: Fresno, CA
For several good pictures, check out these posted by Hobbes:

6/11 switchbacks open for business

Here is Hobbes' picture at the cables:


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#37965 - 06/25/14 12:38 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Mauricio Offline


Registered: 06/25/14
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
My daughter and I reached the summit of Mt Whitney on June 24th, at 11:06 AM
The trail is in great condition, portal to hut. A lingering patch of snow against the wall at the cables, and a bit more in two of the switchbacks, very firm on our way up, at about 7:30 am, and soft, as expected, on our way back, at about 1:30 pm. There's also a patch of snow on the back side, after the windows, but in my opinion, if you just watch your step, you should be able to walk on it with no special equipment.

Beautiful weather, really warm. We only needed a sweater, or a light jacket most of the way up from Trail Camp, but other than that, it was short sleeves and shorts all the way. The night temperature at trail camp couldn't have been below 40,and there was very little wind.

The only unfortunate thing was the very high amount of wag bags left over, pretty much everywhere. Most of them on Trail Camp, but we saw a few on the switchbacks, and farther up the trail, beyond the JMT junction.

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#39482 - 08/06/14 10:43 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline
WHA member

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5106
Loc: Fresno, CA
Summer conditions now. Please watch the weather forecasts as that is the biggest issue during August.

Here's a picture at the cables, July 19:


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#39483 - 08/06/14 10:43 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline
WHA member

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5106
Loc: Fresno, CA
August came in with a big Monsoon storm that blew up from Baja California. Thunderstorms and snow! It will be back to normal in a few days.

This picture was posted on Facebook, by John N:

Mt Whitney - Indian Winter. Aug 4, 2014


One more:

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#39638 - 08/13/14 09:48 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
jackdaniels Offline


Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 3
Loc: WA
Any update on the current conditions? Day hiking MT Whitney trail on Friday 8/15. Weather looks stellar. Planning for the worst, hope for the best smile

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#39640 - 08/13/14 10:18 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: jackdaniels]
Steve C Offline
WHA member

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5106
Loc: Fresno, CA
Current trail conditions are as good as the weather. All that ice and snow is gone from the trails, so your main concern should be the weather.

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#39652 - 08/13/14 08:46 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
LuvAdventure2014 Offline


Registered: 06/01/14
Posts: 16
Loc: California, USA
Conditions have improved greatly since Mon & Tues (Aug 11 & 12). When I left Lone Pine this AM, the skies were clear and there was a slight wind but the weather looked really good.

My hiking group encountered rain, hail, thunder, lightning, high winds and a couple rock slides on Aug 11 & 12. Yesterday, we made it half way up the swithbacks before we turned around. A few of the hikers returning from Trail Crest reported 50 - 60 mile winds and ankle high snow/ice. We did not have Yaktrax or crampons so we ended our attempt frown

Good luck and have a great time!

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#39884 - 08/22/14 04:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
JimC Offline
WHA member

Registered: 02/26/10
Posts: 38
Loc: SoCal
Water flow on 97 switchbacks? I'm looking to refill on 8/27 at roughly 6AM. Has anyone noticed how well the water has been flowing (early part of the switchbacks)? I'd rather skip refilling at trail camp this time.

Thanks!

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#39892 - 08/22/14 11:00 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: JimC]
Steve C Offline
WHA member

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5106
Loc: Fresno, CA
"meganlaughs" reported that the spring is still running on the switchbacks. She spent a long time filling at Trail Camp, though, since it was 3 AM and she wasn't sure whether the spring would be frozen at that time.

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#39941 - 08/25/14 11:51 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Shawna Offline


Registered: 08/04/14
Posts: 4
Loc: Zionsville, IN
We are starting our hike this weekend through Horseshoe Meadows with the hope of summiting on Wednesday. What are the ice/ snow conditions like on Whitney trail right now? Concerned about whether we need to rent some crampons or not. Thanks!

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#39946 - 08/25/14 05:10 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
JimC Offline
WHA member

Registered: 02/26/10
Posts: 38
Loc: SoCal
Usually if it is iced over I can find a spot to tap through. Thanks to you both --- "meganlaughs" and Steve!

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#39947 - 08/25/14 05:24 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Shawna]
Steve C Offline
WHA member

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5106
Loc: Fresno, CA
Shawna, don't rent crampons. Any remnant ice will be minor.

Please do report back here: The condition of the "spring" at Switchback 23 -- is it running enough for hikers to get any water? This is the time of year that it can dry up, since it is actually melt-water from a snow field farther up on the slope.

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#39949 - 08/25/14 05:35 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
cantare Offline


Registered: 04/07/14
Posts: 5
Loc: California
As of the evening of the 21st there wasn't any ice on the main trail, period. I passed a rapidly melting fist-sized chunk at the cables that may literally have been the last piece.

As for water, the spring/source at SB 23 was flowing quite vigorously, and I guess it would take more than a chilly night to freeze it solid! Still easy to scoop up; I enjoyed many unfiltered handfuls before moving on. One thing I don't think I've seen mentioned: that same flow recrosses the trail on several lower switchbacks, so you should make sure you're collecting it at the highest point where no one has had a chance to step in it yet (you'll be facing north/toward whitney, if climbing)


Edited by cantare (08/25/14 05:49 PM)

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