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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5716
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)

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#43161 - 06/16/15 09:55 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Dlove Offline


Registered: 06/16/15
Posts: 1
Loc: Southern California
This forum was invaluable to me as I was planning my Whitney trip, and now it is my turn to contribute.

I summitted on Monday June 15 at noon. I started at 3 am from Whitney Portal. I was planning on hiking to the summit, then descending mountaineers and overnighting at Upper Boyscout lake. By the time we reached Trail Camp, my partner decided it would be too strenuous to summit with all our overnight gear, so we dropped our tent and sleeping bags at trail camp and continued to the top with day packs.

Conditions:
Little snow and ice on switchbacks until the cables. From there, there were a few very, and I repeat very, sketchy switchbacks with ice. This was about 8-9 in the morning. There were spots of ice and snow toward the top of the switchbacks, but not as bad as the cables area.
The trail from Trail Crest to about the needle closest to Whitney requires extreme caution. There is a ton of ice and snow, and microspikes or crampons are required. People were crossing with YakTraks and boots, but this was dangerous. Hiking poles are also a must on this section. The last stretch to the summit had snow, but it was much more navigable than the first part from Trail Crest.

Down from the summit, a lot of the snow and ice was melting, which allowed for better traction in areas. While it was more slippery, it was easier to dig your feet in. A lot of the snow on the switchbacks had melted by 3 pm, which meant there was a lot of water running down the trail.

The weather was perfect yesterday, which allowed people to summit all day long.

I have images, but do not think I can post them from my iPhone. I will try and upload them later.

Good luck everyone. Bring all necessary gear. Get an early start. And be cautious and aware at all times.

Please excuse any grammatical or spelling errors, as this message was sent from my iPhone.


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#43162 - 06/16/15 01:35 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Dlove]
Ernest Offline


Registered: 05/19/15
Posts: 15
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Seems to be a perfect week for summiting.

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#43167 - 06/16/15 07:39 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Dlove]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 221
Loc: Reno, NV
Originally Posted By: Dlove
I was planning on hiking to the summit, then descending mountaineers and overnighting at Upper Boyscout lake.



What permit is required for that route - up MT, down and overnight on MR?

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#43176 - 06/17/15 09:46 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: RenoFrank]
ThirdPoliceman Offline


Registered: 02/16/15
Posts: 3
Loc: San Jose, CA
An overnight permit, as would be required for a more conventional route like Portal-Trail camp-summit-portal is required, since both the MR and MWMT are in the Mount Whitney zone. Might want to wait for Steve to back me up on this.

I'm curious. What is the attraction in descending the MR?

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#43177 - 06/17/15 10:09 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: ThirdPoliceman]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5716
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: ThirdPoliceman
An overnight permit, as would be required for a more conventional route like Portal-Trail camp-summit-portal is required, since both the MR and MWMT are in the Mount Whitney zone. Might want to wait for Steve to back me up on this.

I'm curious. What is the attraction in descending the MR?
Well, I'm not sure what permit they would need, but I think you're right, an overnight Main Trail permit, since that is the trail they started on. That permit would enable going anywhere else in the Sierra, so coming down the MR would be the same as going elsewhere and spending the night.

As for descending the MR: I think I would opt for the other direction on such a circuit. But then, why not just day hike and do that? If I were carrying overnight gear to the top, I would probably spend the night on the summit (as long as I had some acclimatization, otherwise I'd be miserable up there.) Of course, going the other way around with an overnight permit would require a MR overnight permit, which is harder to get due to the quota of 10, PLUS a Trail Crest exit permit. So maybe that is the reason they chose the MT entry, MR exit.

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


Registered: 06/01/15
Posts: 7
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)

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#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?
Thanks!

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#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.

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#43293 - 06/24/15 10:26 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: JMiche]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 505
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:















_________________________
HikingGeek.com

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#43319 - 06/26/15 05:56 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
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.

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#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?

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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5716
Loc: Fresno, CA
Teeptrekker posted a day hike report here:

MWMT 6/27/15

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