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Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
#4904 06/04/10 09:44 AM
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Steve C Offline OP
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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Older posts moved here:   Out-of-date Mt Whitney Trail Conditions -- 2023

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.

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
NVG #60110 06/11/23 12:06 PM
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Just summited the Whitney on June 9th. Checkout my video to see hiking conditions. Best of luck for those about to summit! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC1a7uews-g

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Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Mattmac #60116 06/11/23 08:56 PM
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Thank you Matt & Jennifer. Your video really shows people what the current conditions are like this year: Full snow, from Outpost Camp to the summit.

Here is set of pictures in the "Trip Reports" forum by LostInMtn: Mt. Whitney via Whitney Trail 6/8 - 6/9/2023

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Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Mattmac #60166 07/21/23 08:04 AM
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Now it is a month or so later. Anyone summit and can relay what the conditions are now after all this heat? Still needing snow gear to take the Whitney Trail?

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Tamar #60167 07/22/23 09:45 PM
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Here is one from July 18, 2023, from Jesse N.
Ice Axe and crampons are definitely the safest equipment yet.
[Linked Image]

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #60168 07/24/23 04:36 AM
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Thank you for sharing.
Location?


JG
Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
OutdoorsFreak #60169 07/24/23 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by OutdoorsFreak
Location?
I think that photo is looking down “the chute” from just below Trail Crest.

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
bobpickering #60170 07/24/23 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bobpickering
Originally Posted by OutdoorsFreak
Location?
I think that photo is looking down “the chute” from just below Trail Crest.

Correct. Trail camp is on the right, just above the middle of the picture. Click the picture to enlarge, and you can see the trail camp pond there. The 99 switchbacks climb through the rock band extending downward and left, from the right side of the photo. The cables are at the bottom of that rock band.

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
bobpickering #60171 07/25/23 06:32 AM
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Thanks Steve and Bob, that is what I thought.

WOW - that is a lot of snow!


JG
Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #60172 07/30/23 10:29 AM
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Are the switchbacks being used at all?

Anyone been up the west side lately?

Still 3 weeks before I'll approach from that side, but starting to collect ground condition info.

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Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
WanderingJim #60173 07/30/23 02:48 PM
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WanderingJim,

I'm headed up tomorrow. I'm hiking the west approach to Whitney from NAP. I'll give a full trip report as soon as arrive at the portal.

From what I have heard on AllTrails, a hiker has used the 99 switchbacks on the way up from trail camp. He reported using ice axe and crampons. He came down the snow field on his decent. I may use the switchbacks to give an established route if it looks safe. I will bring all my mountaineering equipment and possibly a shovel.

-Mike

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Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
fit2climb #60176 08/01/23 09:18 AM
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Hi Fit2Climb,

How are the switchbacks do they look safe at this point? If not I was planning on going up the snow chute on Aug 4. Thanks!

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #60181 08/02/23 08:23 PM
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Here's an update from Inyo SAR FB page.

https://www.facebook.com/inyosar


Current conditions on Mount Whitney are still snowy. Yes, it is melting and getting a little less every day, but a lot of snow is remaining, especially in the dangerous sections around the 99 Switchbacks of the Main Trail as well as the Chute on the Mountaineers’ Route. Both those sections are at high altitude and do not get much direct sunlight, so the snowmelt here takes a long time.
The 99 Switchbacks are almost free of snow, HOWEVER 4 steep traverses are still snow covered and will require crampons and ice axe, as well as solid mountaineering skills, to navigate in a safe manner. That includes the infamous cables section.
We have seen multiples rescues of people who slid uncontrollably down a snowy slope, and have heard even more reports of slides with minor injuries that allowed people to self-rescue.
These pictures were taken last week and show one of these traverses. If you or one of your group members are not comfortable crossing this, don’t push it. Your summit photo is not worth injuries and a rescue, let alone months or years of recovery. The mountain will always be there for another attempt.
Inyo SAR is an all-volunteer and unpaid, professional non-profit 501(c)3 organization in cooperation with and under the authority of the Inyo County Sheriff's Office. Providing search and rescue services to Inyo County and its visitors is only possible thanks to donations.

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
acta5534 #60211 09/06/23 08:32 AM
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Anyone been up lately? I know there was some snow in the last week, not sure how that's changed things. I'm supposed to bring up a few fellas in about 2 weeks who are good hikers but do not have any winter experience (I do but will not let them do anything overly sketchy). Last I heard there were a couple of icy patches on the upper switchbacks and some avoidable snow fields between there and the summit but the rest of the trail was pretty good? Thanks for any info.

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #60217 10/02/23 01:55 PM
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Any updates on Switchbacks conditions? Trip planned for end of October. Camp @ trailhead 27th. Camp @ Trail Camp 28th. Summit 29th. Camp @ Trail camp 29th. Pack out 30th. Haven't seen any updates since mtnfox2 inquired on 9/6.

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
mrbcanmoo #60218 10/04/23 09:09 PM
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There is snow on the switchbacks, but it has been packed down. Might want to take microspikes.

No water above Trail Camp.

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #60219 10/06/23 10:05 AM
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Thanks, Steve!

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #60222 10/11/23 09:54 AM
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Does anyone have any trail updates (starting from Whitney Portal)?

I have been calling the Easter Sierra Visitor Center for 3 days now (I now know Monday was a holiday) and I haven't gotten a hold of anyone. I finally called the Wilderness Permit Station and they didn't have many updates other than they haven't had many rangers up there recently. The person I talked to said that he understood it to be "very wet" and when I pressed him for more details, he didn't know.

Thanks for any info you can share!

Last edited by Theresa Y.; 10/11/23 09:55 AM.
Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Theresa Y. #60223 10/12/23 07:11 AM
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Summited on 10/10 at about 10am with an alpine start on a single day permit. Be advised Portal Road has a considerable detour due to flooding. It'll add 10-15 minutes to the drive from Lone Pine. All stream crossings are manageable. Water is available up to Trail Camp. Micro spikes recommended from the cables to trail crest. Storm came in at noon on our decent so start early! This is my go to weather source: Mountain Forecast Hope that helps!

Last edited by Dauphinais; 10/12/23 07:13 AM.
Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Dauphinais #60226 10/12/23 05:30 PM
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Thank you, Dauphinais!


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