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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
This thread is designed to hold posts displaying pictures and describing the current conditions of the Main Mount Whitney Trail (MMWT).  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. Your posting trip reports helps untold numbers of hikers following you.

Older posts moved here:   Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2017 (Old)

Note: Sometimes this thread spans a number of pages. You can click through all the pages, or click here to display all in one page.

EDIT: Somebody, anybody, please!!! Send current pictures of:
+Water crossing at Outpost Camp/Bighorn Park
+Snow/dry rock/water conditions at Trail Camp
+The slope up to Trail Crest--looking up, looking sideways, looking down.
+Zoom-in on the cables section.
THANKS!!!
Conditions are changing rapidly, and pictures here are out-of-date



Edited by Steve C (Yesterday at 10:55 AM)

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#50004 - 06/03/17 11:20 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a picture of the Main Whitney Trail crossing the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek, about a mile up from the trail head. Be prepared to wade!


From Instagram, posted by n8tediesel


Posted by curytyba


Edit: If anyone wants to skip this crossing, the unmaintained "Old Trail" starts at Whitney Portal, just a little past the store, and climbs 30 switchbacks, then joins the Main Trail, just steps from this stream crossing. It joins the trail above/after the crossing heading up, so no crossing is required. Old trail description and pictures is here. It is unmaintained, and getting pretty rough with large boot-size rocks in the path.


Edited by Steve C (06/06/17 10:27 PM)

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#50005 - 06/03/17 11:27 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Also posted June 3, on Instagram by cubancrisis

Edit June 27: People report getting wet feet in this area, but the snow is probably gone by now. Sure wish people would share a picture!!!

Just below Outpost Camp -- these hikers are ON the trail.


Edited by Steve C (Yesterday at 11:17 PM)

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#50007 - 06/05/17 10:06 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Mauricio Offline


Registered: 06/25/14
Posts: 5
Loc: CA
Hiked the main trail route this weekend.

Main trail is actually nowhere to be found right before outpost camp. There were plenty of tracks through the snow, indicating very clear routes to hike up/down through the snow. Some of those sections were pretty steep, so to save energy, one would either criss-cross, or take a longer but more moderate way to reach the same goal.

We started our hike at noon, and arrived at Trail Camp at 8:40. We managed to do it with daylight, but within the next 15 minutes or so, it was dark. We setup our tent, like everybody else we could see, in a rock ledge.

After we ate, I took the decision of aborting the summit attempt we were supposed to do the following morning. I aborted it because we would need to spend quite some time melting more snow to have enough water for the summit attempt and the hike back to our tent. And then, we would have to melt more snow for the hike back to the car. This would have required a lot of our time, which would have made us ready to go to bed around midnight, leaving us with little time to really rest for an early morning summit attempt.

There was a second reason for my decision, which I totally understand if anyone (or everyone) in this forum sees it as the first, not the second reason, and it was simply due to the fact that I had decided not to take ice axes with us. My decision was based in stuff I had read here, but I take as a lesson learnt, that unless I read a report from within the last two days, I should ALWAYS plan for the worst.
In this case, it still looked as something that could be done (hiking the chute without ice axes), but I kept thinking that it would have been a risk, regardless of how it looked to me at the moment, and it was (thankfully) clear to me that it was unnecessary to put ourselves in that risky situation.
It was very interesting to me to see a lot of people (no less than a dozen) start their summit attempts as late as 11:30 am the next day!

Weather will improve, that is a fact, but in the foreseeable future (at least the next week), there will be a lot of snow starting very close to 9500 ft. The first little creek crossing is not an easy one. The second crossing, the one with the logs, is also not as easy as it used to be, due to a log in one of the sections being broken, so you have to jump from one to the other, an sketchy proposition.

My recommendations for anyone using this route within the next (roughly) seven days:
1. Start your hike early. No later than 10 AM.
2. Bring Ice Axe.
3. Crampons, no Micro-spikes.
4. An extra pipe of fuel for snow melting.
5. Pay the weight cost to bring protection for VERY cold nights.

Lastly, I think that, ideally, you would get to Trail Camp, sleep, summit the next day, back to TC, stay one more night, and the third day, hike back to your car.
Hope this info helps someone.

Mauricio

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#50008 - 06/05/17 10:06 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Log crossing, posted by Octavio


video here


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#50009 - 06/05/17 12:28 PM Mt. Whitney Trail 6/2-6/4 [Re: Steve C]
sarahp Offline


Registered: 06/05/17
Posts: 1
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Three of us had overnight permits for this past weekend. Here's a breakdown of what we brought and our itinerary:

GEAR:
-Ice axes (one per person, we saw several groups trying to share)
-Crampons (NOT microspikes)
-Sunscreen & sunglasses. The snow is bright and you will get burned!
-Gators (for the water crossings and snow)

IF YOUR CAMPING AT TRAIL CAMP:
-Closed cell foam sleeping pad. This will save you from the cold ground.
-All-weather sleeping bag. Sleeping bag ratings are for *survival* not comfortability. Get/bring something that's as close to 0-degrees as possible.
-Water filter. There were several people trying to melt snow. This is inefficient and a waste of fuel. There's a stream at Trail Camp - if you're facing the chute it's to the right around the corner from the rocks. Also Consultation Lake has some breakup that you can filter water from.

ITINERARY:
6/2:
-Acclimation hike at Kearasarge Pass Trail, which has a few snow banks to practice glissading and using your ice axe.
-Camped at the portal.

6/3:
-Breakdown camp and hit the trail at 5:30am.
-I didn't find the river crossings as difficult as some people here, but it is something to be aware of. The gators really helped.
-We put on our crampons just after the log river crossing (I believe the 3rd crossing). It's pretty snowy from here on up.
-As someone suggested here, we used the Gaia GPS app (free trial for 7-days) and it was a lifesaver. It lost the signal when we were in the meadow, where Outpost Camp is located, but we stayed to the left, then crossed over to the far right and were able to get out and back on the trail (this is normally switchbacks, but is now covered in snow).
-We arrived at Mirror Lake at around 12:30pm and took an hour for lunch and to pump water from the lake into our camelbacks and water bottles to top off.
-Almost immediately after Mirror Lake you get above the tree line and there's no more shade. All snow and rocks. The glare is harsh, so be sure to keep applying sunscreen.
-We made it to Consultation lake at about 4:30pm (which was still almost completely frozen) then went directly above it to the rocks where Trail Camp is. There were several tents already set up so we found a spot.
-We topped off our water again at the stream and were in bed by 8pm, although it doesn't get dark until after 9.

6/4:
-Woke up at 2am and began our hike toward the chute. We left our big packs and tents at Trail Camp and just took daypacks (and ice axes). It's difficult to see in the dark, so be sure to take note the night before where you're headed. It took us about an hour to hike to the chute in the dark.
-The chute itself is about 1,400 feet in elevation gain.
-I was feeling extremely anxious about the hike up the chute and my friend was getting altitude sickness, so we decided to wait by the rocks at the base of the chute to see if it got any better. By about 4am, she was getting worse so we called it and turned back.
-We slept another few hours, then headed back down the trail at about 9am, arriving at the portal at around 1pm.
-On the way back we did some glissading with our axes, which was amazing and saved a lot of time on the trail.

OUR TEAM RULES (we only had 2 and they're both equally important):
-Stick together. No matter what we don't separate or get out of eyesight of each other unless someone's going to the bathroom.
-We don't have to summit. This may seem counterintuitive, but if you're going as a group, it's so important for everyone to feel confident and comfortable. Yes, these hikes are about pushing yourself physically and mentally, but if someone is sick or injured, they need to feel supported by the team. The team is more important than the summit.

Of course we were all disappointed we couldn't summit. We'd spent months training and acquiring gear, but ultimately we had an amazing experience together in one of the most beautiful and humbling environments.

If we had gone up the chute, we planned on 3 hours until we got to the top and another 2 to summit. Then 5-6 hours to return to the portal.

OTHER NOTES:
-Because the snow is melting so quickly, hiking earlier in the day is very important! Crampons are most effective on icy snow, not slush.
-Bring ibuprofen. It'll help with headaches and sore muscles if you're doing multiple days.
-Remember to put sunscreen on your lips!
-Talk to people on the trail, especially those coming down as you're going up. They have the latest news on what conditions are ahead.
-Bring bug spray if you're camping at the portal. We all came back with nasty bug bites.
-Take lots of pictures! You're in one of the most beautiful places!

Hope this helps. Good luck!


Edited by sarahp (06/05/17 12:38 PM)

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#50011 - 06/05/17 03:21 PM Re: Mt. Whitney Trail 6/2-6/4 [Re: sarahp]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Sarahp: THANKS for the report!

You are the first to report that water is available at Trail Camp. That will save people a lot of time and extra fuel weight.

Your warnings about sunscreen, sunglasses and lip protection are SO IMPORTANT!

People underestimate the problems with altitude sickness. Many spend the night at Trail Camp, and wake up sick the next morning. For you and your partner, I would suggest two things: 1. Spending an extra night at altitude before starting the hike. (I like to overnight at Horseshoe Meadows one night -- 10,000' elevation!) 2. get a prescription for Diamox, start taking it the first night you camp at altitude.

You did the right thing turning back and sticking together. The mountain will always be there, so start planning the next trip.

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#50015 - 06/06/17 08:37 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Posted June 5, on Instagram by ryllprous

Looking down from Trail Crest. Consultation Lake on the left edge of the picture. Parts of the Main Trail are visible above the hikers.


click it if you have a big screen:

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#50040 - 06/08/17 04:25 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
stiz Offline


Registered: 06/08/17
Posts: 2
Loc: WV
Looks like temps at portal going up into the 80s soon.
Any thoughts on likely equipment needs at end of June (27/28)?

Likely need for:
-boots (v. trail runners), crampons (v. microspikes), ice axe?
-likelihood of switchbacks being used v. chute?

Thanks!

Also, thanks for current posts/info/photos. Will definitely be following here for updates over next few weeks!

-Shaun

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#50048 - 06/08/17 10:49 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: stiz]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Switchbacks will still be covered into July. With that much snow, I'd still recommend boots and gaiters.

Microspikes might be ok -- would like to hear from anyone who successfully makes it using them.

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#50050 - 06/08/17 11:09 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
gfinch Offline


Registered: 06/08/17
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Hi,

My mom, dad, and me are looking to do Whitney in a Day on June 29. We are wondering if it will be possible to use the switchbacks by then, and if it is necessary to use crampons (as we only have microspikes currently). Any help will be much appreciated !

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#50055 - 06/08/17 11:16 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: gfinch]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA

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#50062 - 06/09/17 10:40 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
easternsierraUL Offline


Registered: 06/09/17
Posts: 1
Loc: Eastern Sierra
I just did Whitney yesterday car to car. I carried micro spikes and an ice axe, but only used them on the descent from Trail Crest. Everywhere else it was easier using trekking poles; the steps are cut in to the slope of the chute. Plunge stepped down the chute following the zig zag tracks using the spikes and ice axe on the high side. Would not recommend glissading as once you get out of control, you're going for a long ride, plus it hurts your butt. Mileage was considerably shorter going straight on the snow.

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#50071 - 06/10/17 08:33 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Mark W Offline


Registered: 05/11/17
Posts: 6
Loc: California
For those looking for Mountaineers route conditions, I posted a trip report here:
Mountaineers Route Attempt: June 8-10

TLDR: Creek crossings very heavy. Snow from lower Boyscout up. Fresh water at Upper Boyscout and a little at iceberg if you're lucky (but don't plan on it). Final 400' extremely icy/sketchy, don't recommend continuing past the notch.

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#50085 - 06/12/17 07:31 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
2ndjetty Offline


Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 3
Loc: Playa Del Rey, CA
Thanks everyone for the writeups and photos.

We're heading up on the 23rd, so I'm still deciding if we go microspikes/poles or crampons/axes. Will keep an eye on the posts until then and contribute once we're back. Either way, sounds like a very early start from Trail Camp is going to be the move.
_________________________
Brent - www.brentdurand.com

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#50087 - 06/12/17 08:14 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
rubes Offline


Registered: 06/12/17
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
Thanks for all the thorough info, everyone. Here's a question. I'm permitted for later this week, but am not an ice axe/crampon/spike kind of hiker. I've made it to the top before, so no biggie if it doesn't happen on this trip.

So how far up the trail do you think I can get before "can't see the trail anymore" happens?

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#50091 - 06/12/17 01:41 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Picture of Trail Camp in the afternoon, posted June 11 by Ean M on facebook.

Trail update Summited June 9th: Intermittent snow above 10k feet and 100% snow above 11k ft.
Did not need snow shoes, but if your ar summiting in the afternoon they may help.
Crampons and ice axe required for the chute. Before sunrise it is a hard sheet of ice, by 8:30am it was slushy.



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#50102 - 06/13/17 08:16 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
PatT Offline


Registered: 06/10/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Ca
Thanks for posting. We are hoping to go up June 28 but I am not sure that ice axes are a safe way for me to go. (65 year old woman)

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#50104 - 06/13/17 09:43 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a picture of the log crossing, posted 6/13/2017 on facebook by ELLoy:

"We hiked to LP Lake last weekend - took this picture of the creek crossing...the log bridge did sustain a break but you are still able to cross."


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#50121 - 06/14/17 09:52 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
If this is correct, the Log Crossing has been repaired:

Posted on Instagram by c.oetomo on June 13, 2017.

Caption:  Log crossing at Lone Pine Creek finally fixed as of 6.11.17. No more wet socks! #mtwhitney

By the wet look of the log, it appears it was just recently raised out of the water.
Edit: Due to high water from warm weather and heavy snow melt, the logs are reportedly floating off their supports ...regularly. Be prepared to wade!



Edit 6/26: Another picture, posted June 26, 2017. It shows a new log installed over the weekend.
Let's hope high water flow doesn't float this one off.


Edited by Steve C (06/26/17 08:53 AM)

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#50122 - 06/14/17 10:23 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a picture of the snow conditions at Trail Camp. That's the Trail Camp pond finally starting to melt out.

Posted on Instagram by oldmanwilson, June 10, 2017.


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#50124 - 06/14/17 03:10 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Jazzy3 Offline


Registered: 06/14/17
Posts: 1
Loc: CA, San Diego
I have a day permit (Mt Whitney) for June 30. I haven't been on the trail before. Can someone tell me if the trail is clearly visible to the top? Do I need any special equipment? Thanks.

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#50125 - 06/14/17 03:33 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Jazzy3]
Smokin Joe Offline


Registered: 06/08/17
Posts: 10
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Jazzy3
I have a day permit (Mt Whitney) for June 30. I haven't been on the trail before. Can someone tell me if the trail is clearly visible to the top? Do I need any special equipment? Thanks.


My wife summited on the 14th. She said the path is not clearly visible in the snow (i.e., wherever there is snow). She did follow foot prints of previous hikers up the chute. She said the chute was pretty mushy by 9:30 a.m. She said she saw two hikers with micro spikes turn around on the chute because they could not get adequate traction in the mushy snow/ice. She also got lost on the way down (below trail crest) and had to ask directions from campers several times (and the directions were not always accurate!). From my conversations with her (and based only on current conditions) you will need crampons, an ice ax and hiking poles with snow baskets.

I have not been on the mountain and am only reporting what my wife told me.

Smokin Joe

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#50129 - 06/14/17 08:14 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Smokin Joe]
PatT Offline


Registered: 06/10/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Ca
thanks so much for your post

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#50130 - 06/14/17 08:44 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Smokin Joe]
WhitneyHiker085 Offline


Registered: 05/14/17
Posts: 12
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: Smokin Joe
Originally Posted By: Jazzy3
I have a day permit (Mt Whitney) for June 30. I haven't been on the trail before. Can someone tell me if the trail is clearly visible to the top? Do I need any special equipment? Thanks.


My wife summited on the 14th. She said the path is not clearly visible in the snow (i.e., wherever there is snow). She did follow foot prints of previous hikers up the chute. She said the chute was pretty mushy by 9:30 a.m. She said she saw two hikers with micro spikes turn around on the chute because they could not get adequate traction in the mushy snow/ice. She also got lost on the way down (below trail crest) and had to ask directions from campers several times (and the directions were not always accurate!). From my conversations with her (and based only on current conditions) you will need crampons, an ice ax and hiking poles with snow baskets.

I have not been on the mountain and am only reporting what my wife told me.

Smokin Joe


Seems like a lot of people are getting lost heading on down from Trail Camp, or at least, that's what I've been reading and that freak accident that happened not too long ago, was somewhere around the same area down from Trail Camp.

Does anyone know if there is some sort of foot path that people are following that's leading them to the wrong path (which happens to take them towards the waterfall above Outpost camp) where they are supposed to stick to the left / towards the rock down to Mirror Lake?

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#50131 - 06/14/17 10:35 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: WhitneyHiker085]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: WhitneyHiker085
Seems like a lot of people are getting lost heading on down from Trail Camp, or at least, that's what I've been reading and that freak accident that happened not too long ago, was somewhere around the same area down from Trail Camp.

Does anyone know if there is some sort of foot path that people are following that's leading them to the wrong path (which happens to take them towards the waterfall above Outpost camp) where they are supposed to stick to the left / towards the rock down to Mirror Lake?


If you don't know where the actual trail is, the natural drainage when you head down from Trail Crest splits off to the right. The trail stays well to the left, heading out onto a "nose" or ridge. From the top of this ridge (as you are heading down and east), Mirror Lake is to your left. The trail makes its way down to Mirror Lake, but it is fairly steep in that area, much steeper than if you continue following the natural drainage slope more to the right/south.

Unfortunately, if you follow the drainage, you can get into some steep areas and that waterfall. So try to follow the regular trail more-or-less. Here's an interactive map from Gmap4 that you can use to scroll around on.


Map in a separate window is here


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#50132 - 06/14/17 10:49 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: WhitneyHiker085]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 183
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: WhitneyHiker085

Seems like a lot of people are getting lost heading on down from Trail Camp, or at least, that's what I've been reading and that freak accident that happened not too long ago, was somewhere around the same area down from Trail Camp.

Does anyone know if there is some sort of foot path that people are following that's leading them to the wrong path (which happens to take them towards the waterfall above Outpost camp) where they are supposed to stick to the left / towards the rock down to Mirror Lake?


Here's an image of where the trail heads down east from the pond. This is from Google-Earth. Compare to your topos for a better idea of the trail location. Please check the notes.



Ugly but true, the best recovery in this area, if you find yourself off route, is to backtrack to the point near the pond where you made your error and get on a better line.

Lower down the problem continues at the N vs E decision point at the rock ridge south and above Mirror Lake. People off trail to the south may follow the drainage from Consultation Lake down toward Outpost. The cliffs here aren't as bad as those north of the trail and west of Mirror Lake. Some people, particularly in winter, may intentionally shortcut to the south of the trail to come down to Outpost off trail. Again, don't follow tracks unless you already know where and why they go where they do.

A surprising note to most who come to the Whitney trail:
This means you must be able to find your way in snow or darkness with whatever cell phone, GPS, map, compass and wits you bring with you. There are -NO- reliable tracks to follow.

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#50133 - 06/15/17 01:09 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: dbd]
sue Offline


Registered: 06/15/17
Posts: 1
Loc: Santa Cruz
Two friends and I hiked/summited Whitney this past weekend (June 10-12). Shout out to Sarah P's post for helping us prepare adequately, and hopefully the information we provide here helps other groups.

GEAR
- Hiking boots and crampons (not microspikes - we did not observe anyone successfully summit without crampons along the way)
- Trekking poles for getting up the snow chute and for hiking the trail in general
- Ice axes for glissading down the chute if it's slushy enough
- Gaiters for snow and stream crossings (which were not as difficult as this thread made them seem to be - water levels were high and flow was fast, but rocks and logs were placed conveniently)
- Helmets (for safety)
- Headlamps
- Sunscreen, lip balm
- Goggles, sunglasses
- Tent that is able to withstand high winds (we experienced gusts up to 50mph)
- Sleeping pad, sleeping bag (ours were rated at 20 degrees - with wearing long underwear, we felt fine)
- Layers, layers, layers as it was extra warm in the sun but terribly cold with the shade/wind/altitude
- Diamox (medication for altitude) - we took three doses total (Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday evening) and felt pretty good (no nausea/headaches)
- Iodine tablets or equivalent to purify water
- Ibuprofen for aches/pains/headaches
- Handwarmers... I brought two just in case and these came in clutch during our coldest moments
- We had a GPS app which helped us when the trails got confusing. Earthmate is a $30/year subscription, AllTrails is perhaps around $20/year, and there might even be a free Whitney app somewhere out there - I do remember seeing something, but not sure what that's like/if it's a solid option

SATURDAY, JUNE 11
- We stayed in Big Pine the night before at a cheap Airbnb as we weren't sure what time we'd be arriving on Friday and were skeptical about first come, first serve campsites being available
- Woke up at 4:30, picked up our permits, drove to Whitney Portal, distributed food/organized packs, and got on the trail by 7:30
- Snow coverage starts at around 10k feet a bit after Lone Pine Lake (which is gorgeous, by the way), and at that point, crampons come in handy
- We talked to several folks, who mentioned it was unbearably windy at Trail Camp (which was the campsite we intended to stay at that evening) and that Outpost Camp may be a better option (in fact, there were several hikers who got to Trail Camp and hiked back to Outpost for better camping conditions)
- Since there's not much of a trail once the snow starts (just kicked-in routes you can follow), we realized we were above Outpost Camp and decided that personally, we did not want to turn back just to hike back up in the morning
- We found a place to camp around 12pm between Outpost and Trail Camp at approximately 10.5k feet, right before it's all snow

- Did not proceed to Trail Camp due to what we knew about the wind as well as the fact that by 12pm, the snow was quite slushy and getting to Trail Camp would have been particularly difficult, especially with all of our gear
- Melted snow in the sun during the day then brought to a boil or added iodine tablets to ensure we had enough water
- Got to bed early

SUNDAY, JUNE 12
- Woke up at 3, hit the trail by 3:45
- We left most of our gear in our tent and brought water, snacks, layers, and ice axes and wore helmet, crampons, headlamps
- Took the trail in the snow that required the least down and uphill; in other words, we wanted to traverse more than climb, and so when you're looking at the chute from afar, the trail all the way to the left was the one we took
- Watched the sunrise along the way, which was unreal

- Refilled on water by Trail Camp as there are sources and the trail passes right by them
- The snow chute took quite some time, but we followed the already kicked-in trails people had made up by using our crampons and trekking poles
- Once you get to Trail Crest, it gets insanely windy and the 1.9 miles to the summit are not easy due to the cold wind chill and the strength of the gusts (and the terrain isn't the easiest as there is a bit of rock scrambling required at altitude along with small patches of snow - nothing particularly dangerous or difficult though)
- We were surprised at how many people turned around and did not summit during that 1.9 miles due to the temperatures/wind/timing
- The summit is beautiful! There's apparently service up there, but we didn't get much (though we did see a PCT hiker chatting on the phone with his friends/family)
- You're only halfway there... Once you make it back to the snow chute, make sure you check that the snow is actually slushy before trying to glissade down. That was a mistake we made - The snow was incredibly slick and icy when we were back, which made glissading very dangerous (self arresting came in handy big time). In that case, stick to crampons and trekking poles and walk down the footprints
- We planned to hike down to Whitney Portal this day, but we decided on camping another night due to our timing

MONDAY, JUNE 13
- Leisurely woke up, broke down camp, and headed back
- The stream crossings were repaired, and ice extended much further down the trail due to cold conditions

We were constantly evaluating how safe/comfortable we felt and only summited because everyone in our group was ready and felt up to it. We suggest deciding upon a turnaround time to ensure you're hiking in the best conditions and aren't putting yourself in any dangerous situations. Otherwise, enjoy and be safe out there!


Edited by sue (06/15/17 01:20 AM)

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#50136 - 06/15/17 08:58 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: sue]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Outstanding report, Sue. Thanks for posting, and congratulations on your summit!!

I am curious what time in the afternoon did you glissade and find those icy conditions? I am sure the cold weather made it icier for you.

- - - - -
By the way, for anyone going in the next few days... The west coast heat wave is going to make it warm on Whitney. The NOAA weather site forecasts summit temperatures with lows in the 40s and highs in the 60s! The snow is going to be slushy!!!

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#50138 - 06/15/17 10:19 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Fan Offline


Registered: 06/06/17
Posts: 13
Loc: DC
To echo what Steve said, great job Sue, and thanks for sharing your experiences.

I also noticed the upcoming heat wave in checking weather forecasts daily. Would anyone care to guess what normal/average temperatures are like at Trail Camp or the summit for late June to early July?

I was surprised to read about Sue's report regarding high winds. All the forecasts I've been looking at predict 5-15 mph winds at most. Is it normal to encounter 30-50 mph winds at Trail Camp, Iceberg Lake (I'm looking at East Face climbing routes), or on the summit? Thanks!

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#50143 - 06/15/17 12:54 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Vineet Offline


Registered: 06/08/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Columbus, GA
Hello Friends,
We are two friends planning to climb Mt. Whitney Overnight from 25-26 June. I have two questions if anyone care to put their inputs:

1. We were not selected in the lottery and when contacted the forest office, they said that we can expect to get the Walk-In permits as a lot of people are cancelling. But we are going to find this out only 1 days before. FINGERS CROSSED!!!! Do we have anyone else in the same condition or someone who has got walk in permits for overnight?

2. Anyone planning to climb during the same period and want to tag along? We would really appreciate it.

3. What is the best current way to climb from Trail camp to Trail crest. I am hearing that switchbacks are full of snow and not safe, the only way to go up is up the Chute? Please guide.

Any guidance is greatly appreciated.


Vineet

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#50148 - 06/15/17 08:17 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Vineet]
bsiwecki0 Offline


Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 7
Loc: South OC, California
Hey Vineet,

Since you guys are going during the week, you are more likely to get a walk in. I have done it before last year in August during the week of August 7th-10th. We came into the visitor center in lone pine around 9am on a Sunday and got an overnight permit. Also got an overnight wilderness permit for little Yosemite valley and got up to half dome at sunrise which was the longest backpacking treks I did in 5 days. I think this is usually the ideal time to visit and summit whitney because it's one of the warmest months of the year.

I would love to tag along but I'm heading up June 29th, and planning to hike to trail camp on Friday the 30th, Saturday reach the summit then back to camp and then camping at consultation lake that night. Sunday mid day on July 2nd, I'll head down the mountain.

The trek from camp to trail crest is looking like the chute is the option. I've heard people have made "trails switchbacking up the chute" I think that its still going to be necessary to use ice crampons and an axe. Not sure if I'm gonna bring an axe but possibly trekking poles but we will see closer to the date. So looking at the posts and also pictures. Crampons are a must at this point so I hope you have experience with crampons and also download a gps app. The one I have is called GAIA ands well worth the $30. You can use it airplane mode and download a pre-programmed map. Also study the topography in person so you get an ideal visualization of where you are going. I hope this helps

-Brian

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#50153 - 06/15/17 10:35 PM Re: Current Conditions Day Hike 6/14 [Re: Steve C]
bethjanelle Offline


Registered: 06/15/17
Posts: 7
Loc: california
Hi friends! Been following this forum while I was prepping for my day hike, which I did yesterday on the Whitney Trail. Heck of a day! All went pretty amazingly! I posted all about it here - trail details, lots of photos, and my gear.

http://www.bettybeyondboston.com/2017/06/mt-whitney-day-hike.html


Hope it helps!

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#50154 - 06/15/17 11:04 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
tbowdre Offline


Registered: 05/26/17
Posts: 4
Loc: California
Hi All-

Thought I would post after this site helped me to prepare and have a safe trip

Hiked from Whitney Portal to Trail Camp day one
Summit and then back to Whitney Portal day 2

- We started at the old whitney trail ~ 7am and this allowed us to skip the north fork
fork of lone pine creek crossing.
- Snow at lone pine lake and no sign of trail from this point on up to trail camp.
- Time for Crampons.
- We kinda followed the main trail via GPS initially ascending from lone pine lake
directly west and towards outpost but then boot tracks took us up and south of the
main trail, south of outpost and south of mirror lake.
- We followed this well worn trail of boot tracks south of outpost camp, south of
mirror lake and south (above) of the main drainage.
- This ended up connecting back with the with the main trail before/east of
Consolation Lake.
- Made it to Trail Camp ~ 3:00pm.
- We had a nice night at Trail Camp, plenty of spots to camp off the snow, no wind
and we were plenty warm in a +5 bag.
- 7am start for the summit... late compared to many other people!
- Climbing/walking up the chute following boot tracks made it an "easy" walk up a
very long flight of stairs. I can imagine this being a huge challenge later in the day
when snow is soft and slushy.
- ~10:30 at Trail Crest. From here to the summit crampons are not needed.
- The trail gets a little lost in the snow right before the final ascent and we just
rock scrambled towards the top and as you ascend you can pick up the trail
again.
- ***~ 12:00 SUMMIT***
- Heading down there is a little (~200ft) glissade to the right of the summit that was
fun.
- Glissade down the big chute next to the 99 switchbacks was awesome and steep
at the very beginning
- Heading towards the parking lot after packing up at trail camp (~5:00) once we
passed Consolation Lake there is a fork in the boot track trail.
- The left fork heads towards Mirror Lake and Outpost Camp and the right followed
our ascent south of the main drainage, south of Mirror and south of Outpost.
- If you stay as south as possible you will end up above Lone Pine Lake and can have
a final fun glissade (~500ft) down to the lake.
- We were at the truck by 7:30. The snow made for a very fast descent!

>>>>Happy Trails<<<<<

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#50159 - 06/16/17 08:08 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: bethjanelle]
bethjanelle Offline


Registered: 06/15/17
Posts: 7
Loc: california
Oh and I got this amazing video of us glissading down the chute! I posted it on my Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVXsHEAFrVF/?taken-by=beth.janelle

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#50182 - 06/17/17 10:48 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
SD_Hiker Offline


Registered: 06/15/17
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Hello,

I am thinking of trying to hike the John Muir Trail up from Guitar Lake to Trail Crest (West approach up Mt Whitney) during the first week of July. Does anyone have any information on trail conditions? Is the trail passable?

Thank you for any information you can provide.


Edited by SD_Hiker (06/17/17 10:48 AM)

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#50183 - 06/17/17 10:55 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: SD_Hiker]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 681
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
You ought to call the USFS office in Bishop:

760-873-2400

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#50185 - 06/17/17 08:50 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
fireresq21 Offline


Registered: 05/25/13
Posts: 10
Loc: san diego
6-16-17
one day ascent

Hey Guys,
no need for a full trip report. Ill just touch on the hot topics that always seem to come up.
We did a successful one day summit yesterday. It was incredible.
Gear: Poles, crampons, ice axe (people with micro spikes were mostly unable to ascend the chute)

SUPER warm. I usually bring quite a few layers, but even with the 3am start, it was tee shirt weather all day. At top of Trail Crest there was zero wind. I never needed anything more than a long sleeve hiker shirt.

The snow melt is going insanely fast. So the water crossings are mellow in the wee hours of the morning, but upon our return in late afternoon, they were raging! All foot stones covered with water flow up to our calves. You WILL get wet. And they are very slippery and dangerous.

The log crossing still has a broken piece in the middle, but can be easily passed

Trail finding starts to become difficult around Mirror Lake. people have been breaking trail in the snow leading all over the place. mostly in interestingly wrong directions. We mainly stuck to the trail areas with minimal short cuts. once at the top of the rocky switchback area above mirror lake, expect full time snow. Crampons not needed. Good trail has been broken in leading to Trail Camp

Trail Camp has plenty of spots to filter water.

Crampons and Ice axe mandatory for a successful Chute ascent. we reached the Chute at 9am. An hour later than we had hoped. And it was well past its prime by that time already. Still very doable, but those with micro spikes were not doing well. Several parties bailed, and another borrowed a descending climbers crampons.

From Trail Crest to the summit, trail is fully clear of snow (except right before summit). about 1/2 mile before summit, cut up early before snow field and boulder hop your way up. Much easier than taking the trail all the way around and trying to navigate last snow field.

hope this helped. This board always helps me before I head up, so trying to return the favor!

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#50187 - 06/18/17 08:20 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: SD_Hiker]
EdHaynes Offline


Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 8
Loc: California
I saw a video of PCT hikers making that climb about a week ago. They used poles, crampons and ice axes. Since they started out in the dark there wasn't a lot of footage of the climb. They did state that part of the trail was a bit sketchy. So I would guess that it is doable -depending upon the hiker's skills in snow country.

I second the motion to phone ahead to park service. Conditions can change rapidly.

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#50194 - 06/19/17 09:24 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 417
Loc: Saugus, CA
Hi WZ community!

Anyone know what elevation the snow begins? What elevation does snow cover dominate?

I'm spending a week on the west side of SEKI, trying to gauge what to expect.
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#50199 - 06/19/17 02:31 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Snacking Bear]
emceegull Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 1
Loc: CA - California
Does anyone know where a good place to practice glissading would be prior to taking on the chute this weekend? Have a couple days to acclimatize ahead of time and would really like to get some practice in.

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#50200 - 06/19/17 02:41 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Vineet]
JMD22558 Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 3
Loc: California
Vineet, I have been very successful with walk in permits, it's really pretty easy and the local policy of picking a number out of a hat has never caused me a delay. Enjoy your hike! I hiked to Lone Pine Lake this weekend as I only live a close distance, the lake was gorgeous as always, the trail still had patches of snow at this level. Not sure after that.

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#50212 - 06/20/17 08:50 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Snacking Bear]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Snacking Bear
Hi WZ community!

Anyone know what elevation the snow begins? What elevation does snow cover dominate?

I'm spending a week on the west side of SEKI, trying to gauge what to expect.


Posted on FB by the son of a hiking friend of mine: From the top of Sawtooth Peak (Mineral King area)

That picture is looking north from Sawtooth, standing on wink Columbine Lake (elev 10,970)


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#50213 - 06/20/17 08:58 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 417
Loc: Saugus, CA
Looks beautiful! Did he need full crampons for Sawtooth? We're camping in Mineral King starting Friday, trying to gauge what gear to bring.

Thanks Steve!
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#50214 - 06/20/17 09:30 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: fireresq21]
Team NEGU Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 5
Loc: CA, USA
Hello. My name is Veronica. I read your recent post about doing Mt Whitney and I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions?
I have been waiting to do Whitney for 4 years now. When I started getting into hiking and enjoying nature 4 years ago I never thought I would want to do more. But I fell in love with it. I have only ever done day hikes. I've done half dome and Gorgonio and Wilson and baldy and etc. point is. I've done so good hikes. However I've never been in snow conditions. The most snow I've been in was my first time to Yosemite and I dealt with the black ice on rocks while hiking the tall falls. I've never used crampons, or an ice ax. The only climbing I've done is indoor rock climbing. But I do hike often and I work out often and I'm in physical shape.
My questions are:
If I get the right equipment should I really even attempt the chute? Or is it only professionals that can complete it safely? I have two little kids to get home to. I'm not planning on glissading because I've read how dangerous it is for people who have never done it. So I'm not planning that.
I'm supposed to leave next week on Wednesday and have the day permit for next Thursday and what I'm scared of is spending all this money even in gas to try to attempt her when I know it's not safe to do the chute.
You did he chute but you sound like maybe you have experience with ice and crampons and ice axes.
Would you say someone who doesn't have any experience with any of this even with the right gear can do the chute up and down safely?
Sorry if I double sent this to you I was trying to reply but I'm new to all of this

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#50217 - 06/20/17 10:48 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Snacking Bear]
2ndjetty Offline


Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 3
Loc: Playa Del Rey, CA
Snacking Bear - we hiked to upper Monarch Lake in Mineral King as Whitney training a week and half ago. Lots of snow. The lakes were just melting (similar to the pic Steve C posted). We made it with microspikes and poles but I'd take crampons if going again. Of course, it's been warm up there the last week...
_________________________
Brent - www.brentdurand.com

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#50220 - 06/20/17 11:14 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Team NEGU]
fireresq21 Offline


Registered: 05/25/13
Posts: 10
Loc: san diego
Hey Veronica,

First off, don't do it alone. no matter what. Thats just mountain safety 101

You can for sure ascend the chute as a first timer. Walking on crampons doesn't take any special skill. Just a little patience. Don't rush your steps. Plan every move out 1 by 1. The axe makes a nice grab handle when planted well. The chute is not technical climbing. Its just a wee bit steeper than you're probably used to. There is currently no other way up the main trail, so if you're sketched out, don't waste your time. Go later in to summer when you can do the switchbacks.
If your not going to glissade down, but rather walk, then know how to self arrest with the axe. Theres tons of videos on here on how to do it.

The only solid advice I can really give is, I had 5 people in my party that had never ever worn or used crampons or ice axes. We glissaded down with no incident and traveled safely back to our cars in one day. It just takes some patience, common sense and understanding to use that equipment. Yes I had done it before so I was able to coach. So maybe try and link up with somebody while your up there and travel in a safe group.

Hope it works out!

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#50226 - 06/20/17 01:36 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here are a couple of pictures and text from Instagram...

Posted by life_is_goodoutdoors, June 19, 2017:
Quote:
"Lunch on the chute" I don't know what I liked better, the mountain or the chatter...
-
As long as everyone is safe, hearing crying and whining is to be expected on some particular hikes. I also love and embrace complaining. For some, Whitney is not an easy hike. Especially up the chute. I witnessed a group of six ascend the chute in 40 minutes in Sunday. I would estimate they officially charged that thing. It took us 3 hours.
-
As for me, I welcome as many rest breaks as possible as long as we're on schedule.
Whitney is to be enjoyed and memories to be make. Every step there is magnificent and when the altitude steals your air, it only increases you already fast beating heart.




Posted by mermaidlife_outdoors, June 20, 2017:
Quote:
I climbed the wall of destiny and stared in the face of fear~
~
Before this climb I had mainly heard horror stories and have supported friends who have had their friends pass away on this trek. I attended a funeral and listened to family members describing their thoughts on why hikers do what they do since they don't truly understand the desire to take themselves to places like Whitney. My hands are sweating and I'm shaking just typing this out. This has been the scariest and also most beautiful hike I've ever accomplished. It's surreal. The pics are out of this world, but there's a lot involved in getting your body up and then back down this mountain safely. Do not take this trek lightly fam. Be safe and be smart. If you don't know then don't go and go with people who know more than you. ~
~
After the chute I thought holy f*** I'm going to have to go back down. Straight down and see how steep I climbed without having the white staircase in front of my face to look at...all view. Gorgeous and terrifying. So steep. But we only have 1.9 miles left after Trail Crest so this will be easy! The hard parts are complete. Guess again! The last 1.9 miles to summit are really f****ing hard on the body.




      Do NOT Forget the sunscreen!!!
Posted by alexandertseitlin, June 20, 2017:

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#50228 - 06/20/17 02:24 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: 2ndjetty]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 417
Loc: Saugus, CA
Great info. Thanks for the huge help!
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#50233 - 06/20/17 06:17 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: fireresq21]
Arnab Offline


Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Planning a day hike on 6/24. With all discussion going on about the chute, i am getting a different kind of doubt. is it very natural to end up/ climb up and hit the trail again once you have climbed the chute? It looks and sure is big - if one climbs at a wrong angle by mistake will that lead towards a dead end kind of spot?

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#50244 - 06/20/17 10:19 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Arnab]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Arnab
Planning a day hike on 6/24. With all discussion going on about the chute, i am getting a different kind of doubt. is it very natural to end up/ climb up and hit the trail again once you have climbed the chute? It looks and sure is big - if one climbs at a wrong angle by mistake will that lead towards a dead end kind of spot?

If I understand the question, if you find your way to Trail Camp, "the chute" (or slope west of the switchbacks) is easy to find your way. Just follow all the tracks at the top leading to the right (westward) to Trail Crest. From there, you will find mostly dry trail to the summit. Finding your way back is pretty easy.

It is the area between Outpost Camp to Mirror Lake that gives people more trouble. At Outpost Camp, stay northward toward the north wall, until you get to Mirror Lake, then climb the steep slope to the south, go up and westward. Check this area out on your way up, because it is where there are many paths heading off trail.

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#50245 - 06/20/17 11:56 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
leafsrule71 Offline


Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 1
Loc: PA, USA
Apologies All:
looking to hike up the mountain July 16 to the 19th. i am driving into the interagency office on 7/15 to try and get a walk-on permit. I am by myself.if anybody looking for a hiking buddy; or a party willing to take a newcomer - would be greatly appreciated. i'v done rainier and mt washington before. would really appreciate company/support for the hike.

- be safe out there!

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#50252 - 06/21/17 09:51 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a picture of "the chute", the slope between Trail Camp and Trail Crest, June 17, 2017. Taken by friend Mark A.



View of the Cables section of the main trail, June 17, 2017.



Doug Thompson, proprietor and Chief Cook, Whitney Portal Store.
                   

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#50257 - 06/21/17 11:57 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here is a view of Bighorn Park / Outpost Camp, taken June 19 by syoung79. His trip report is here.


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#50261 - 06/21/17 12:41 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Team NEGU]
WhitneyHiker085 Offline


Registered: 05/14/17
Posts: 12
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Hey Veronica,

I did it solo and on a day permit as well. You don't need any technical or professional skills to get up the chute. It does look daunting at first, but very doable if you take your time and just take one step at a time. I had on crampons and ice axe, but I didn't use the ice axe until I got closer to the top of the chute as I relied more on my hiking poles. Also, when I went, the path up was literally carved into the snow so I used those path as footing heading on up.

It did take me about 2.5 hours to complete though and fairly steep. In fact, from Trail Crest, looking out, you don't even see the slope, looks as though it's a vertical drop but it isn't.

Trail Crest to Summit, was clear and dry, but I struggled at this section. Almost wanted to turn back too. The limited air just sucked the energy and desire to complete... but I finished smile

I did this on the 17th - not sure how it is today as I know snow is melting quickly.


Edited by WhitneyHiker085 (06/21/17 01:04 PM)

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#50268 - 06/22/17 07:39 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
david_garza Offline


Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 5
Loc: Glendale, California
_________________________
Permit for Aug. 10-11, 2017.

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#50270 - 06/22/17 08:48 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: david_garza]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA


Picture of the fire from Lone Pine, posted June 21, by mtwhitneygear


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#50290 - 06/22/17 05:19 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
adventurer456 Offline


Registered: 11/09/15
Posts: 8
Loc: adventurer456
Hi All, anyone going up on Sunday 6/25? Going up solo then, fast hiker, and just wanted to wave a hello to others on the ice chute or at base camp, safety reasons. I am 23.

Thanks,
Andrew


Edited by adventurer456 (06/22/17 05:20 PM)

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#50291 - 06/22/17 06:55 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 122
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Steve C


Wow... this probably deserves it's own thread.

When I went up Whitney, a couple manned military fighter jets flew by a few times. I remember thinking that they looked to be flying pretty low, but of course it was that I was up so high that they seemed so low. smile

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#50293 - 06/22/17 09:02 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: WanderingJim]
Paul A Offline


Registered: 06/22/17
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
A group of us are doing Whitney Friday the 30th. Last year 2 of us did the hike in 1 day in early June. We used microscopes last year. I am reading that crampons are still recommended, but have read people making it in microscopes.

We did well in microspikes last year, obviously the snowfall was intense this year. Just looking for some clarity before we head up from some people that have done it this year. Thank you in advance.

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#50296 - 06/23/17 09:02 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
From a report of an overnight hike, June 20-21, by Jim F:
He took the old trail up to the first stream crossing, to avoid crossing the North Fork Lone Pine Creek.
Here's the old trail location.

Jim F wrote:"Took the Old Trail (starting in back of the Portal Pond) to avoid having to cross the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek, which is indeed raging as others have reported. By the way, on the Old Trail a few switch backs have been "built" to bypass where the stump of the fallen tree has been obstructing passage for a number of years."

Of the log crossing he wrote:
(June 20): "The 11 logs at the Lone Pine Lake creek crossing were stable and provided dry passage. Stream crossings in Bighorn Park required getting feet wet."
(June 21) " one of the 11 logs at the crossing at Lone Pine Lake had floated off (again), requiring walking in the creek. Also noted was an appearance of mosquitos beginning at about Mirror Lake."

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#50297 - 06/23/17 09:04 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: WhitneyHiker085]
Team NEGU Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 5
Loc: CA, USA
Hi thank you so much for your reply. I was actually going to ask if coming back down the chute with an ice ax is dangerous? I am even nervous about wearing crampons really. Much less holding an ax. That scares me. Can I make it with just crampons and poles going up and coming back down? Thank you so much. I love this feed cause it's helping me prepare

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#50299 - 06/23/17 10:03 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Vineet]
Amol Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 3
Loc: California
Hello Vineet,

My 9 yo son, my wife and I will also be climbing up (Portal to trail camp) on Sunday June 25th. Based on our condition and our feel about the Chute, we may or may not hike up to the summit the following day Monday June 26th. We are first timers to Mt Whitney. We'll not be able to offer any expert advice but could definitely say hello to you smile

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#50301 - 06/23/17 10:10 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: adventurer456]
Amol Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 3
Loc: California
Hello Andrew,

My 9 yo son, my wife and I will also be climbing up (Portal to trail camp) on Sunday June 25th. We are moderate hikers and not in our 20s smile. Based on our condition and our feel about the Chute, we may or may not hike up to the summit the following day Monday June 26th. We are first timers to Mt Whitney. We'll not be able to offer any expert advice but could definitely say hello to you smile May be you could give us some advice about the chute. My wife is definitely inundated by the chute.

-Amol

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#50308 - 06/23/17 12:03 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
JedHiker Offline


Registered: 01/02/15
Posts: 3
Loc: Bishop
All of those rocks are under 6" of roiling water as of 6/19/17 and probably getting worse.
You need to locate the stones with your hiking pole and literally walk on water.
Those going up in the next week or so should start at the Portal in camp shoes and change into your hiking boots after the crossing.
Jed

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#50309 - 06/23/17 12:55 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: JedHiker]
Yueming Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 13
Loc: Utah
Hi, our group plan to hike in next Saturday, I plan to use old trail to avoid crossing the north fork creek, but we still have to cross the log, do you think the log will be able to help us cross the rive with dry feet? Or we still need to plan to get wet at lone pine lake? (I heard the log has been rushed down so many times). And people also says that it'll also get wet too near bighorn park, is it that bad there? Thanks a lot!

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#50310 - 06/23/17 03:23 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Yueming]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
From what I have seen, you should plan on wading in the water at the two places you mentioned. Consider yourselves lucky if you don't need to.

Take extra socks, maybe even lightweight shoes to wear through the water.

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#50317 - 06/24/17 12:51 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
dustin Offline


Registered: 06/24/17
Posts: 1
Loc: ca
hi guys, me and a few friends are going to hike Whitney this July 2-5th. I was hoping some people could give a little insight on " the chute" since I hear that the main trail on the switch backs is covered in snow. is " the chute" easy to follow, and can people who are inexperienced in snow travel safely traverse it? we all have crampons and hiking poles but opted out on the ice axes because odds are if the situation requires ice axes not to die we will pass. anyways, we've been looking forward to this trip for a while and I would hate to not be able to make the summit. don't get me wrong, I love a good challenge and I'm looking forward to seeing this " chute", but it sounds a little intimidating and I'm not sure the comfort level for the rest of my group with something like this. thanks- Dustin

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#50318 - 06/24/17 08:30 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Amol]
adventurer456 Offline


Registered: 11/09/15
Posts: 8
Loc: adventurer456
Hi Amol,

Great. Go ahead and shoot me a text when you see this 3103184551.

I'll be starting my hike 1am on Sunday from the portal, will be at the chut around 7 am, so maybe I see you on the way down. Done the chute once before and would be happy to explain my experience and give out a few pointers. Ice chute - ice axe, helmet, and crampons are a must though.

Hope to say hello there.

Andrew

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#50319 - 06/24/17 07:18 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
boomboomgopro Offline


Registered: 06/24/17
Posts: 1
Loc: ny
hi I'm new here and just testing how i comment here. I'm only wearing trail crampons, and i think ill be ok up the chute. next week.

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#50333 - 06/25/17 10:54 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA

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#50335 - 06/26/17 04:58 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: dustin]
Gwen40 Offline


Registered: 06/26/17
Posts: 2
Loc: New York
Hi Dustin! I'll be up there 2-4. We're taking crampons and ice axes. I don't see the use of one without the other. We're camping at trail camp. It would be great to say hello to fellow travelers.

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#50342 - 06/26/17 09:32 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
rdev Offline


Registered: 06/12/17
Posts: 5
Loc: Newport Beach, CA
Hello All-
(also posted under 'Trip Reports'
This post might be relevant to people, who like me, are rookies on ice / snow. I will try to be as methodical and analytical as possible, so apologies for the length of this missive. Also please note this is my personal experience only!

I will start with my skill set so you can calibrate your expectations:
1. I have done a decent amount of trail running at high altitudes, so I am not a rookie when it comes to mountains.
2. I went up Mt. Whitney on 6/22/14 and it took me 9h15m (as a reference)
3. I had no altitude sickness this time, unlike in 2014 (so that was not a debilitating factor)
4. I have very little experience skiing or snowboarding or glissading (if you do, you may be much more 'at home' on the trip than I was).

Given above my observations on this trip below:
1. This was one of the MOST difficult and honestly terrifying 'treks' I have ever done. I did cactus to clouds in a few hours (you can check it out on google) but this was a totally different ball game. why? the terrain and my lack of familiarity with snow and ice. I have enough experience on trails to know when one is NOT in control and on this trip I felt 'situation was out of control' more than a few times. Why? My lack of familiarity with snowy and icy terrain. I met a few people on the trail, who like me were using and Ice-axe & crampons for the first time. Please note, if you are new to this, do not waste your time and money trying to 'trek' up without these 2 pieces of equipment. The margin for error is SMALL and the risk-reward ratio is totally skewed against you, i.e. 'I made it to the summit' vs a major injury.
2. Second error on my part given the new terrain was my going solo! it was dumb luck that i ran into 4 angels right at the start, who not only paced me but had excellent snow / ice skills. Two of the guys had only micro-spikes but they have had extensive experience snow boarding and skiing, so 'glissading standing up' was walk in the park for them, which was absolutely terrifying for me given the declivity coming down.
3. The very first 'stream' we pass (I dont know the name) which is barely a mile from the start is a raging 'river'! This was at 3am in the morning. Which means it gets non-linearly worse as sun comes out. The guys tried to step on rocks to avoid getting wet but the rocks are at the edge of the stream, which means if you slip you fall deep, which is a risk i did not want to take given the water velocity. There i just 'waded' in with my 'gore-tex' boots and gaiters. Too bad, that 'gore-tex' equipment does not work if you walk into shin deep water. So now I had another 19miles to go with wet shoes and socks. My suggestion? Get sandals. Wear them till mirror lake (where you will have another set of obstacles to deal with but NOT shin deep water)
4. I trudged along with wet shoes and water (= both weight a LOT more by the way since I use heavy hiking socks) since I had only one more pair of thick hiking socks (another mistake. keep atleast 4-5 pairs or best start with, sandals)
5. You will come across a LOT more water including the 'log bridge' which is NO longer intact given one log has rolled off. I had sort of given up on walking in wet socks and shoes by then so just walked the whole stream!
6. Excluding water at all sorts of random places it was uneventful, the way I like it, till you get past outpost camp / mirror lake. Post mirror lake the trail is under snow / ice. We ran into guys who were lost. They had a GPS which unfortunately is not updating real-time (i.e. 200% snow pack for 2017)! I used alltrails pro and downloaded a route some guy had take. This was vital given we had no one else around and would have wasted valuable time 'exploring'.
7. After a climb through a snowy section, out came the crampons AND ice-axe (which is not an option for first timers, in my view). Now, one of the guys in our 'group' (remember I was super lucky to meet these guys) had done classes on ice skills and knew exactly when to take crampons out! We 'cramponed' up to Trail camp and there one could see the so called 'chute'! It scared the living daylights out of me to be honest. Its a serpentine path which shoots straight up, then left, straight and then sharp left, straight to Trail Crest. Mind you, you look down from Crest below it is almost a VERTICAL drop (closer to 70degree decline I would guess)
8. While going on this 'path' with rookie ice-axe and crampon skills (which somehow came intuitively to me, maybe will, for most, I have no idea) even though I was with the group we had some distance between us. 2 were in front of me and 2 behind. About 600 feet below the Crest, where it starts feeling 'vertical' I realized than I had made a sharper left climb up than I should have. People were using 'steps' which others had used before, further to my right! Now I had 2 options go back down (which anyone who has spent time on mountains knows is WAY MORE difficult than going up) or try to traverse laterally to my right! This entailed me making 'steps' using my crampons (kick, kick, kick till you get a foot hold) and move laterally, while NOT looking down. This was simply the most 'out of control' situation I have been in. There only 2 guys above me and 2 below. So not a lot of people. Luckily the snow was firm and my process worked. This also means post 8am it will get exponentially more complex to try to make your way up especially for rookies (since ice will crumble under your weight).
9. The last 50 feet people were using the 'spike' side of the ice-axe! That tells you how steep the final section is. (if you dont know what 'spike' is on an axe you want to re-think this). The whole section when one turns left to go UP the chute is like a vertical stair master climb. It is relentless on your legs and nothing like what I am used to (orthogonal to trail running to put it mildly)
10. post Trail crest 'walk in the park' BUT I was MORE exhausted than I remember in 2014 even though I did NOT have AMS this time unlike last! This was ALL stress due to the climb up the chute. Also I had finished my 3L bladder of water by Trail camp! This is again exceptional and clearly I was drinking way more water than last time (or my usual consumption).
11. The last 200 feet to summit are again snowed out. So had to scramble but now we ran into a number of people, so just followed them (otherwise you NEED a GPX where someone has gone recently)
12. At the top ALL I could think of was how the heck will I get down the Chute! eek
13. Came back to Trail crest quickly. There was a group of 4 who chose to 'crampon' down the chute! God bless them and others who were doing it. Simple physics tells me, going down my center of gravity is the WRONG WAY compared to going up! Everyone in my group (who were snow Gods to me) decided going down on their 'bottom' i.e. glissading which was music to me.
14. This came with its own issues! There is a 'glissade tube' (I am calling it that) that looks like a bobsled track where people go down. I let them go since I knew I am going to take A LOT of time on this. Again what I thought I knew on using an ice-axe (which is ABSOLUTE CRITICAL for your cranium while glissading down a 65degree decline) was utter rubbish. Simple rule: ALWAYS keep the pick facing back! The tube has been used (I am guessing) for the last couple of months. Since then snow has been melting. Hence the 'entrance' to the tube is good 5feet below where once stands on the Crest! eek So I had to somehow, relying on my axe get down into the tube, making sure I dont slip down! Incredible! Coming down was, again part fun and part sheer terror. Ex-post not sure which feeling dominated. Its almost vertical for 1200 feet (13.6k to 12.4k in altitude). Though you dont do the whole distance in one step, you get up, crampon and then I chose to glissade to Trail camp while others just walked down. Another point to note on 'glissading': you will gain extremely HIGH velocity in NO time going down on steep ice! There were sections where despite my attempts at excessive control using the axe I gained excessively high speeds. There was a brief moment where I was literally hanging by my axe! Then I had to make a 'step' and then let go of the axe. eek Also if you think you are wearing crampons while glissading down and will use them for resistance please re-think this 'adventure'!
15. Note: above is my personal experience. For reference: there was one guy going up in trail runners and 2 bottles of water! He made it to the top and assuming back! There were people simply 'walking down', taking giant steps, down the 'chute'! shocked So if you have tons of experience on ice and snow, I don't think your frame of reference will match mine and feel free to discard these data points! I had a guy behind me in the 'glissade tube' whom I was 'slowing down a LOT!' I apologized but I am too risk-averse to go down at 40mph out of control!
16. Coming down was no drama for a change and again I got more wet at all the expected and un-expected places. Note, the streams bulge up big time with rising sun and we had dark clouds gathering while we were leaving Trail Camp. So guessing they had rainfall which would have meant even more water. I did change my socks at the summit but shoes weighed a ton by then, so did not matter.
17. We reached back to our cars at 4:30pm! That means the whole trip took us 13h30m (we started at 3am on a new moon night)! shocked This was almost 4h30m MORE than last time!
Body now feels fine, so clearly the lack of experience on the terrain was the main fatigue factor.
I am not a meteorologist but given the snow I would be surprised if switchbacks open till August if not September.
Overall: If you are a 'fair weather hiker / runner' like me then wait for switchbacks to open up and snow to melt. Our beautiful Mt. Whitney is not going anywhere.
ps: I do NOW know how to use crampons and ice-axe! But how would I react if I slip on ice? I have no idea.

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#50348 - Yesterday at 05:53 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: rdev]
Gwen40 Offline


Registered: 06/26/17
Posts: 2
Loc: New York
Rdev,

Did you use mountaineering boots and crampons or did you have crampons that fit on your hiking boots? Thanks!

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#50349 - Yesterday at 06:58 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Gwen40]
rdev Offline


Registered: 06/12/17
Posts: 5
Loc: Newport Beach, CA
Hi-

My 'equipment':
Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX mid-weight hiking shoes
Black Diamond Ice Axe (60)- rented from REI
Black Diamond Contact strap crampons - rented from REI
OR Crocodile Gaiters
Smartwool mountaineering heavy hiking socks x2

I cannot re-iterate enough, ice-axe is NOT optional. Its always about tail risks on mountains and how one does a 'self-arrest' on ice/snow with hiking poles is beyond my comprehension.

Hope this helps

thanks!

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#50357 - Yesterday at 09:37 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Climber Joe Offline


Registered: 10/13/15
Posts: 5
Loc: California
Last minute decided to drive up alone from LA Thurs night, motel 6 Mohave, 8am 6/23 Fri at the Interagency for walk-ins. None left, so returned 11am and scored an overnight permit. Began at Portal at 1pm, arrived at Trail Camp near 6pm. I'm a fairly experienced non-snow hiker/climber and somewhat minimalist.

--water crossings annoying but not a real issue. To save time I walked in croc type sandals all the way up to past Mirror lake

--past mirror lake people were going off trail on the snow to the left toward the Consultation (?) Lake side. I tried to stay on the original trail going right. Required some scrambling and a short snow traverse over steep terraine, but eventually got to Trail Camp probably similar or faster than the snow detour.

--whats with people leaving wag bags all over trail camp? Defeats the purpose.

--a constant low headache overnight is my kryptonite at high altitudes. So this trip was just a bit better than last year's one day effort, but not by much.

--began the chutes up 6am. I brought winter boots and compact crampons with no front teeth. No ice axe no poles. Steep scary, but I dont believe I was in danger, due to snow condition (see below re glissading). Just use the previous hiker's footsteps, step by step. I pickep up a broken hiking pole on the way up and it helped support my rests, but no fool should rely on it for actual safety. Like the axe: id prolly buy one, but for convenience in temp anchor rests as you plod up. The real safety should be in your sense of balance, and snow condition (ie Not icy).

--the last 30 feet feel vertical, but as in climbing, it means the steps/holds are better

--arrived at Trail Crest in about 110 mins.

--the next two miles to top are for me the toughest I've ever hikes. I think my body just shuts down. There was a snow patch near the end, but easily maneuvered. Top at 10am. Collapsed slept an hour. Saw lots of pct people fir whom the hike was an easy side trip.

--back at TC about 12:30pm. Ready to glissade. Here was a bit of chaos. One group of newbies with shiny gear clogged the ever deepening downchute for ages. One guy was scared and just couldnt continue. I and others had to bypass and traverse to use alternative lines down. I found that the butt down, cramponed boots approach was best for the conditions. When speed picked up, I jammed in my hiking stick with both hands for a little control. But the best control was putting out my arms against the walls of the chute. If the bottom were not clogged with ppl, there woulda been less concern to slow down.

--down in 20 mins. Packed up and descended to car ahead of a storm.

--my conclusions: a good pair of crampons needed. and ice axe would be nice but not necessary: the false confidence on gear without knowledge on usage, plus neglecting other conditions (snow condition, fitness, other ppl waiting to get down) makes it a wash.

--i would think the conditions i experienced would not last long, due to warmer weather and continued usage erosion of the snow chute area.

--lastly: i firgot to return the bear canister. Anyone know the Interagency mailing address? Seems they dont answer the phone.





Edited by Climber Joe (Yesterday at 09:40 AM)

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#50358 - Yesterday at 09:41 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: rdev]
iopk Offline


Registered: 06/24/17
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Hey y'all, my team will be attempting to summit in two weeks (July 8th). My team will consist of myself and 4 other guys. My climbing buddy and I recently summited Shasta so we have some ice experience, but the other three don't.

So I'm thinking about getting them familiar with the ice axe and crampons before we head up the Chute. We're thinking of taking the mountaineer route, but because of the inexperience from the other guys, I'm thinking we'll probably take the regular route.

Thoughts?

Thanks everyone! This is such a great community!

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#50364 - Yesterday at 10:47 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Climber Joe]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Climber Joe
--lastly: i firgot to return the bear canister. Anyone know the Interagency mailing address? Seems they dont answer the phone.

Thanks for the report, CJ. I googled address sierra interagency visitor center, and got this:

US-395 & CA-136, Lone Pine, CA 93545

I am pretty sure USPS and UPS would deliver to that address.

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#50370 - Yesterday at 11:52 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Encinitas_Guy Offline


Registered: 05/16/16
Posts: 7
Loc: Encinitas, CA
Hi Folks. Planning on a quick one night trip up to Meysan Lakes this weekend with the girlfriend and dog. Has anyone been up there recently that can let me know what to expect? From what I have found I am expecting snow around 10,000' but any other info would be great. I have quite a bit of experience elsewhere in the Sierras but I have never been up this particular trail before. Thanks!

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#50386 - Yesterday at 09:29 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Encinitas_Guy]
over1812 Offline


Registered: 07/24/16
Posts: 26
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Encinitas_Guy, your query may be lost in this thread; I suggest starting a new post, probably titled "What to expect at Meysan Lakes".

Edit: A good answer posted here.


Edited by Steve C (Today at 08:31 AM)
Edit Reason: link

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#50393 - Today at 12:23 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
mkontanist Offline


Registered: 06/28/17
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Hey guys I'm planning a day hike on July 10th.

I've read a multitude of reports about groups reaching the summit via the main trail. However I have not heard a peep about the Mountaineer's route conditions.

If there is still a ton of snow on the chute, does it mean the Mountaineer's route is a lost cause?

Edit: See this thread: Iceberg Lake & Mountaineers Route conditions


Edited by Steve C (Today at 08:36 AM)
Edit Reason: link

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#50394 - Today at 02:56 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Stu Rampage Offline


Registered: 06/28/17
Posts: 1
Loc: Phoenix
Hello!

I summited Mt. Whitney for the 15th time last weekend and have often relied on the good people of this board for trail reports. So I would like to post my inaugural report as a way to pay forward this assistance as people look to summit this summer.

First, let me give you some context on who (me) this report is coming from. I am a hiker in good shape - parking lot to top in less than four hours is my personal record (last Friday was 5h8m - sad face). I am NOT a technical climber, or at least a very amateur one at best. So take what I am about to tell you with whatever grain of salt you choose!

Punchline: if you are an average hiker/first-timer, skip 2017. Not your year. Mountain will be there in 2018 and beyond. Conditions, namely the trail inundation by snow AND the very rapid melt that will continue thru the summer, make Whitney a technical climb more than an extended hike. For the normal hiking approach, it is MUCH MORE difficult than usual, if not borderline dangerous for people with limited technical skills.

Issues:
- You are going to get wet (up to your knees) multiple times wading thru streams. From the log crossing onward (one log gone, other inverted so effectively gone). This means wet feet/socks for the majority of the hike - no bueno.
- Trail disappears very soon into the hike, so you will be hiking on snow for the vast majority of your time on the mountain; microspikes and hiking poles will work best
- Going up the chute with microspikes/crampons and hiking poles/ice axe is very strenuous, *much more so* than the switchbacks. Snow melt leaves little to follow in terms of footprint trail so you will be trailblazing.
- Coming down the same chute is tricky - glissading isn't a fun toboggan run; it requires skill to properly self-arrest otherwise you risk becoming a snowball going down a black diamond slope. In my amateurish approach, I didn't use gloves and my hands became a bloody mess, likely permanent scarring.

I hope this feedback is helpful - not trying to fear-monger or dissuade folks from what is a true national treasure. If you have specific questions, please email me at sturampage@gmail.com.

Ole!

STU



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#50402 - Today at 10:00 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Stu Rampage]
koredirector Offline


Registered: 06/28/17
Posts: 2
Loc: ca

If glissading is a bloodysport, is hiking back down the chute a "safe" option?

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#50409 - Today at 11:51 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: koredirector]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6980
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: koredirector

If glissading is a bloodysport, is hiking back down the chute a "safe" option?

If you descend when it is sunny, it is pretty easy and safe. If it is late in the day so the sun has descended behind the crest, and weather is cool enough that the snow has iced up, that is when going is not so safe.

In fact, glissading when the chute has iced up is infinitely more dangerous, too. Walking down the slope is better in this situation, but this is where crampons would be way better than microspikes.

When people have been injured or worse on this slope has always been when it turned to ice.

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#50411 - Today at 12:41 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
amit Offline


Registered: 06/08/16
Posts: 9
Loc: San Jose, California, USA
I agree with Steve. I was on the chute last June at around 3pm and it was all icy. I tried to glissade but couldn't control my speed. A fellow hiker grabbed me while I was gaining speed. From that point, I walked down the chute. It was way more tiring as compared to climbing the chute. I had to make steps to get firm grip. It took me around 3 hours.

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#50420 - Today at 07:56 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Sweden Offline


Registered: 06/28/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Oregon
Hi, we are preparing for hiking to the summit on July 6th. Does anyone know how many miles and elevation gain the chute is? We did a training hike that was 2.8 miles and had 2,700 ft of elevation gain, in the snow, and only used hiking boots and hiking poles. We are trying to get an idea of how that would compare to the chute on Mt Whitney - any insights would be very helpful. Thank you !

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#50421 - Today at 08:39 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: amit]
Yueming Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 13
Loc: Utah
Really, it was already icy at 3:00 pm, I thought 3:00 pm is still hot to make snow slushy!!! If I plan to glissade down this Saturday (July 1st), what time you think will be good to glissade? Thanks a lot!

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#50422 - Today at 08:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Yueming]
amit Offline


Registered: 06/08/16
Posts: 9
Loc: San Jose, California, USA
Yueming,

Try to glissade down by noon. For that, you should start climbing chute latest by 5am. That's my plan for July 3 climb.

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#50423 - Today at 09:12 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: amit]
Yueming Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 13
Loc: Utah
Thank you for your suggestion, we are doing day hike, and we are not very fast, so if we have to climb chute at 5:00 am, that means we probably need to start at 1:00 am, wow, that's really early, I previously thought start at 2:00 am. Then I need to change the plan. Thanks a lot, that's very helpful.

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#50425 - 21 minutes 46 seconds ago Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Mauricio Puerto Online


Registered: 06/22/17
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
How do you add pictures?

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