Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Shout Box

Who's Online
0 registered (), 9 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
2080 Members
11 Forums
4036 Topics
40245 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Topic Options
#4904 - 06/04/10 10:44 AM Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5480
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 2014
  Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015 (Old)

Top
#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!

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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5480
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


Top
#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.

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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5480
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.)


Top
#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!

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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5480
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.

Top
#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?

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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5480
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.

Top
#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.

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


Registered: 02/16/15
Posts: 2
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?

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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5480
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!!

Top
#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

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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5480
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.

Top
#41955 - 03/12/15 09:54 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
ThirdPoliceman Offline


Registered: 02/16/15
Posts: 2
Loc: San Jose, CA
Last weekend I started up the main trail and followed it for the most part.

I had to turn just after the cables on Sunday morning, as did another party. The snow on the switchbacks was powdery and slippery and that part of the trail was exposed.

Up to that point we had gotten by with decent waterproof footwear and hiking poles.

Just today I read a trip report describing in some detail how people went up the chute to the West of the switchbacks as late as June 2010. With snowshoes and more prior experience [than none] in self arrest we might have gotten a look at Trail Crest.

Up to the Whitney Zone border, the snow was either absent or below ankle deep. Beyond that point, we began to follow the tracks that went before us. These breeze past the sharp turn to the right onto the switchbacks down to Bighorn park and descend a steep slope near Outpost camp.

There was lots of activity at the Portal when we passed through on Saturday.

Pictures to follow


Edited by ThirdPoliceman (03/12/15 09:56 PM)

Top
#41960 - 03/15/15 06:21 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: ThirdPoliceman]
sbay bill Offline


Registered: 03/15/15
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
I'm also thinking of making an ascent, probably solo.

I've never done Whitney in the winter and wouldn't do solo except the snow is so minimal this year.

I have the gear, have done rainier and some other climbs.

Would appreciate people's input on conditions this March/April.

Top
#41961 - 03/15/15 09:40 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: sbay bill]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5480
Loc: Fresno, CA
Well, if these people can do it....

Found this on YouTube:

Mt Whitney Winter Attempt for Beginners Feb 14-16, 2015

YouTube caption:
"In spite of warnings by descending climbers that the route was not passable above Trail Crest our team reached the top of the highest mountain (14,505feet) in the contiguous United States and the first and only team which reached the summit after the last storms till that weekend."

It appears to be a SF Bay Area meetup group. About 15 people started out, maybe a third made the summit. A couple of shots after dark on the summit, though they didn't take gear to camp on the summit. Must have been a very long day. They base-camped at Outpost camp.

Top
#41963 - 03/15/15 11:49 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
sbay bill Offline


Registered: 03/15/15
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Thank you for the link, Steve. Conditions don't seem bad.

Interesting group. I admire thier determination, but wouldn't want to descend in the dark!

Top
#42019 - 03/24/15 11:58 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 5480
Loc: Fresno, CA
Eric J climbed the Mountaineers Route on St Patricks day.

Several pictures:





Top
#42048 - Today at 11:55 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Beantown Offline


Registered: 06/11/13
Posts: 8
Loc: SoCal
I am going to head up to the eastern sierra next week thur-tue to do some car camping and hiking. I am thinking about an overnight to Whitney up the main trail and going up the chute to trail crest. I would bring micro spikes, crampons and ice axe. Anyone know if there is enough snow to climb the chute, and if i should bring snow shoes as well? Is the portal road open and can i drive up?

Top