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

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5770
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 2015 (Old)

#43245 - 06/22/15 10:15 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Andrewzuber Offline

Registered: 06/01/15
Posts: 10
Loc: Tarzana, CA
Our group summited last Thursday, 6/18 at about 8:30 in the morning.

We took four days to do the whole thing so as to not rush it, take our time acclimating, etc. As others have stated, the trail all the way up to Trail Camp was clear of snow. It was a gorgeous hike, and we spent our first night at Outpost Camp, hanging out with a deer and enjoying the waterfall. The trek up to Trail Camp was quite exhausting but again, absolutely gorgeous.

We left Trail Camp at midnight on Thursday morning, hoping to make the summit by sunrise. The cable section of the switchbacks was icy and therefore a bit terrifying in the dark, but we powered through. The backside had some snow and I was very glad we had microspikes. In all the reading I've done about this hike, I was surprised I haven't seen more about that fact that portions of this are NOT for the feint of heart. A few of us crawled across the snow at several spots, but we made it up to the top - later than expected, but still very much worth the view.

We headed back down about 9:30am and while the snow on the backside was still firm, the water wasn't just running in the switchbacks, it was GUSHING. The cable section was much less terrifying in the daylight, and we had a smooth descent back to Trail Camp, heading back the rest of the way to the portal on Friday morning.

There were plenty of people doing this without spikes, and some without poles, but if you're a little uneasy on your feet they definitely help, and we felt much more confident having them. We're sore and exhausted but this was well worth the experience and given the recent weather, I imagine the snow will continue to melt rather quickly. Thank you to everyone on this forum for the great updates!

Edited by Andrewzuber (06/22/15 10:26 AM)

#43258 - 06/22/15 07:29 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Andrewzuber]
wendy1h Offline

Registered: 09/11/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Sonora,CA
Hi! I really appreciate your report. We are hiking in on 7/4 via Cottonwood Pass & plan on summiting on 7/8. We've been fretting about snow on the summit push; your description helps alleviate our worries! We hiked Sonora Peak (11,460) yesterday. Had to stop 250' shy of the summit due to strong winds. Anyone have a Whitney WIND report?

#43262 - 06/22/15 09:28 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: wendy1h]
JMiche Offline

Registered: 06/22/15
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
We summitted Sunday the 21st coming from Guitar and out WP. Trail was virtually snow free. People were carrying, not using their microspikes. Wind was blasting us all morning. Icy near the summit. Much much colder on the backside where wind was strongest. Some day hikers were caught in shorts and sweatshirts with no extra gear.

#43293 - 06/24/15 10:26 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: JMiche] Offline

Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 531
Loc: Colton, California
We summitted June 22nd, coming up from Guitar Lake. Here are some photos of the MWMT from the summit back to Trail Crest, as well as one pic of the cables. Clicking any of the photos will bring you to a page with larger photos:


#43319 - 06/26/15 05:56 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re:]
Wilderness_Hike Offline

Registered: 10/23/14
Posts: 6
Loc: Central Coast, CA
I summitted yesterday (6/25). Started at 3:45 and made the summit at 10:30. As has been mentioned previously leave your microspikes, crampons, yaktraks, or any other additional traction at home. You won't need them and they will just weigh you down. Also water is very prevalent at many places along the trail. Save the weight and don't carry too much. I started with 2L and if I was to do it over again (and I might in a week or so) I would only carry a liter. The last place to top off is from a decent snow run off stream about a third of the way up the switchbacks at around 12,400 feet. If you drink a TON of water then maybe top off to 2L at this point.

I originally planned on a 4:45 wake up for around a 5:30ish start time. My climbing partners convinced me to do an earlier start and I was glad I did. Not because of time constraint issues, but because it was so freakin hot at the bottom and beating the heat and being up higher before it got too hot was much nicer. Feel free to ask me any other questions about conditions.

#43349 - 06/29/15 08:27 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Wilderness_Hike]
teach777 Offline

Registered: 04/04/15
Posts: 2
Loc: California
Hi! Thank you for your update. How was the weather after Trail Crest?

#43352 - 06/29/15 09:56 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: teach777]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5770
Loc: Fresno, CA
Teeptrekker posted a day hike report here:

MWMT 6/27/15

#43413 - 07/06/15 08:41 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
DenisSeattle Offline

Registered: 04/08/15
Posts: 4
Loc: WA
I summited June 27, 2015, from Guitar Lake, and exited toward the Portal. There was very little snow on the trail tread, probably amounting to no more than 50 linear feet of trail in all, and none that required routing around it. The snow/ice posed no problems at all, just exercise caution.

The lowest elevation snow is at the upper entrance to the cable handrails, as described in the earlier report, but I did not encounter ice on the trail there. Snowmelt drips onto the trail all day and keeps it wet, however the overnight temperatures that week were above freezing. The snow is persisting on the trail yet there is room to walk between the snow and the cables. Passing hikers in the other direction might be uncomfortable in a few places.

There was fresh water available along the trail between Trail Camp and the cable handrails.

#43421 - 07/06/15 11:23 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
dkogan Offline

Registered: 07/06/15
Posts: 1
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Hi Guys,

I plan on Hiking to the summit this Thursday, July 9. Our plan is to wake up around 2-3AM to try to reach the summit a little before noon.

The current weather report doesn't look promising. "A 30 percent chance of snow showers after 11am. Some thunder is also possible. Partly sunny, with a high near 39. Little or no snow accumulation expected."

Anyone hiking this week and have any thoughts on the weather conditions? Should we continue to do the hike and go as far as possible until we deem it unsafe due to thundershowers?

#43428 - 07/07/15 09:13 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: dkogan]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5770
Loc: Fresno, CA
This is the typical summer monsoon weather. Nice weather in the morning, clouds building, and then breaking into patchy stormy rain/hail/snow showers with thunder and lightning by noon.

Getting an early start is the most important thing. Take rain gear and warm clothing. Turn around when things get bad enough.

And just remember: Getting home safely is your number one goal. The mountain will always be there for you to try another day.

#43434 - 07/07/15 03:08 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
bruce Online

Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 15
Loc: Novato, CA
I always leave around 2:00 am. Less traffic going up, on top before the thunderstorms hit, and down soon enough to drive all the way home without having to stop at a motel.

Edited by bruce (07/07/15 03:09 PM)
Edit Reason: typo

#43623 - 07/21/15 10:47 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5770
Loc: Fresno, CA
This picture was posted on facebook by A.P. Esckelson, from July 20.

Beware and be prepared for the often stormy weather this summer.

Watch the weather forecast just before you go.

#43671 - 07/26/15 10:15 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5770
Loc: Fresno, CA
A picture at the cables, July 25, 2015.