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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5442
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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#41293 - 01/04/15 12:27 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
jamesvo Offline


Registered: 01/04/15
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Hello everyone I'm james and I have been a long time lurker here. Thanks everyone for all the updates that they have posted. it has helped a lot this past (2014) every time i went to whitney.

I plan on doing my best to contribute to this thread as I am trying to achieve a summit for every calender month for this mountain.

I plan on going this weekend and will update this thread.

but with that said, has anyone gone lately and know the conditions? I am expecting it to be full blown winter.

best regards.

james

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#41301 - 01/04/15 11:44 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: jamesvo]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5442
Loc: Fresno, CA
Good luck, jamesvo! This message came through from Sonya Wilson, who sent a deLorme signal from the summit on Friday, Jan 2. She has a Facebook page, and is a deaf climber on a fundraiser for deaf toddlers.

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#41302 - 01/05/15 11:05 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5442
Loc: Fresno, CA
Leinad E. posted this picture on facebook, with the caption:
"Jan 2nd 2015! HNY!"



That is the door to the summit hut. The snow gets inside during a storm by wind blowing the sugary ice crystals through the cracks around the door!

LE (aka Dan) reported more on their climb:
"It took us total 9 days, (Dec26-Jan3), with waiting at Trail Camp for over 2 days in the storm for window to summit, which also took another 2 days to travel up the switchbacks to summit and back down chute to Trail Camp. After the storm heading back from Trail Camp to Portal, evidence of avalanches all over the switchbacks as well covered our tracks up. We saw no one for the nine days except for a man on second day at Mirror Lake who turned around from heading higher due to winds and passed another man on our way out at Outpost Camp on the 9th day. We were knee to waist deep in snow most of the time above Lone Pine Lake. Before storm, snow was consistently soft. After storm, freeze/thaw signs in snow was significantly noticeable. As well wind loaded drifts hiding in the snow around the cornices."

More of his trip report here.

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#41303 - 01/05/15 11:13 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
jamesvo Offline


Registered: 01/04/15
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Wow. That is quite amazing! Thank yu for the updates. Do you know what route she took? Maybe whitney trail? If so I might opt for the mountaineers route to check it out and update us on the conditions.

Thanks again for coming through guys.

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#41305 - 01/05/15 06:27 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: jamesvo]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
They (Sonya and Dan) took the Whitney main trail with all sorts of variations (shortcuts up chutes, etc.). They planned this as a multiday excursion and ended up camping near Trail Camp for 3 nights to wait out some bad weather. They had to break trail above Trail Camp.

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#41583 - 01/24/15 11:33 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Akichow]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5442
Loc: Fresno, CA
I heard from Sonya and Dan that they hiked up from the Lone Pine Creek campground at the 1800M (below 6000') elevation, and hiked up the National Recreation Trail to Whitney Portal.

Doug from Whitney Portal Store and Whitney Portal Hostel reported today:
Quote:
The Road closed sign is up, gate is not closed. Road is very icy starting at the Main entrance to the campground, this area above will not clear till the sun starts hitting this area in a moth or so.

As all years going past the road closed sign is at your own risk and if you get stuck your insurance will not cover the tow, and may be subject to tickets at any time parking above the sign.

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#41779 - 02/12/15 09:53 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Bryce G. Offline


Registered: 02/12/15
Posts: 3
Loc: Mill Valley, CA
My teenage daughter and I plan to hike up as much of the Mt. Whitney Trail as we can manage on Monday and Tuesday (2/16 and 17, returning to our hotel for the night between the two days). We are not counting on getting to the top, just want to do as much as we can safely, get great exercise and enjoy being on the mountain. Planning on bringing microspikes. Wonder if anyone has been up the trail recently and can report on how much of it is doable wearing microspikes? Also, how close to the trailhead can we park? (Last I heard was 3.5 miles down the road from the trailhead.)

Thanks very much!

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#41780 - 02/13/15 12:25 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Bryce G.]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5442
Loc: Fresno, CA
Bryce, Kim G posted this pic from her trip last week. I think she parked near the trail head, but you can see the road conditions. With current weather at Whitney Portal showing lows and highs between 30 and 50, the road should be dry some places but icy in others. Understand that you will be driving past the "Road Closed" sign, and proceeding at your own risk, so be sure to check weather forecasts carefully before you go.

Kim G hiked off the Main Trail up the North Fork Lone Pine Creek (no trail). Pics from her trip are here: Whitney via MR


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#41821 - 02/16/15 09:00 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Bryce G. Offline


Registered: 02/12/15
Posts: 3
Loc: Mill Valley, CA
Steve, thanks very much for your reply. We've moved our visit so as to hike this Friday and Saturday, 2/20-21. We will proceed with caution and check the forecasts for sure. Again, very grateful for the info.

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#41822 - 02/16/15 09:46 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5442
Loc: Fresno, CA
TPH posted some pictures on Facebook from a hike up to Lone Pine Lake.

Also wrote this:
Quote:
This is when we hiked a bit of the trail yesterday. Heard from hikers who went up to the top of Whitney said there wasn't any snow at the top, and you don't need a permit other then to sign a free wilderness permit so they know you're up there. So, locals, if you want to hike Whitney, now is the time to do it! It was beautiful up there yesterday, although unfortunately not a whole lot of snow. frown The trail is hard packed, and on the sides and at Lone Pine Lake, it was about calf level frown there there isn't a lot of snow, but we're considering going back up in a couple weeks, weather permitting, and summiting.

We didn't have micro-spikes for our shoes, and we did fine. If planning to summit, micro spikes are highly recommended!!

The Whitney Portal road is open - there is one of those temp signs off to the side of the road, but it's not being enforced. We drove up to hike yesterday and today, and encountered a ranger coming down, who didn't stop/cite us. Lots of cars up there, FYI. ...The snow is almost all gone on Portal Road - patches until you get about a 1/2 mile to Lone Pine Lake









Last but not least: The pond and Whitney Portal Store! (Note that the road is dry there.)


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#41825 - 02/17/15 01:50 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Bryce G. Offline


Registered: 02/12/15
Posts: 3
Loc: Mill Valley, CA
Extremely helpful, thanks, Steve!

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#41848 - 02/24/15 12:12 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5442
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here are a couple of pictures posted by Kurt Wedberg (guide with SMI) from a trip Feb 20-22. They went up the Mountaineers Route

On the trail at the North Fork crossing. Hardly any snow or water:


Approaching the summit hut after the first wave of the snow storm.


How they found their tent at the end of the summit day:


All of Kurt's pictures from the trip are here.

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#41854 - 02/24/15 09:39 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
MNMike Offline


Registered: 02/24/15
Posts: 2
Loc: Los Angeles
Those are some pretty awesome pix!! It looks like it was an adventure.

Btw, does anyone know if the gate has been closed after the most recent snowfall?

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#41855 - 02/24/15 09:55 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: MNMike]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5442
Loc: Fresno, CA
The snow down near the road showing in the webcam melted by noon today. Since they have left the gate open all winter, I doubt that this little snow would cause it to be closed.

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#41856 - 02/24/15 09:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
MNMike Offline


Registered: 02/24/15
Posts: 2
Loc: Los Angeles
Okay. Cool. Thanks, man.

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#41875 - 03/02/15 10:21 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
ThirdPoliceman Offline


Registered: 02/16/15
Posts: 1
Loc: San Jose, CA
I'm thinking of going up the main trail this weekend. Does anybody know what conditions are like as far as Lone Pine Lake campground?

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#41876 - 03/03/15 08:38 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: ThirdPoliceman]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5442
Loc: Fresno, CA
Snow fell up there yesterday, but it appears to be melted away in the sunny spots already. So you will encounter snow in patches, maybe solid in the shady areas.

If you go, bring back pictures!!

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#41889 - 03/04/15 07:41 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Peter1990 Offline


Registered: 03/04/15
Posts: 1
Loc: Ca
Hey everybody,

we are also planning on going up this weekend. Could anybody tell me what equipment we need for a winter assent and what the best route under this conditions is? Updates on the current conditions are greatly appreciated, too.

Thanks,

Peter

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#41890 - 03/04/15 08:51 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Peter1990]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5442
Loc: Fresno, CA
Peter, a little more snow has fallen since the last report (the pics above). The Mountaineers Route is pretty much the preferred winter route, since it is more direct, so less snow to thrash through. The conditions you see in the pictures above (and in the link provided) are likely what you will encounter.

I sure hope you have winter climbing experience, and know the route! Don't go any farther or higher than you feel comfortable.

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