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#51568 - 08/12/17 10:43 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
MrHoff Offline


Registered: 08/05/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Posted on Instagram by haydayhikes
North Fork Lone Pine Creek (approx. Aug 3)

Using the Old Trail for the first mile bypasses this -- it joins the main trail just a few yards after this crossing.


I crossed this stream by walking along the rocks. Used trekking poles for balance. No problem. Feet stayed totally dry.

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#51571 - 08/13/17 12:41 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Anisha Sinha]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Anisha Sinha
Summited on August 10th, 2017....
Anisha Sinha: Great report. Thanks!

Several comments...
Weather: Mountain Forecast is good for temperatures, but in the past they have over-predicted the potential amounts of snowfall. I like NOAA better. Both are included in the links on the Mt Whitney Weather page, link is always above on the left, in the Feature Topics box.

Anisha wrote:
> The meadow before Outpost Camp has a few crossings too. Rangers installed a new log bridge over one of them as I came by (Thanks!)
It would be fantastic if someone could post a picture of the new log bridge!

> Critters, bugs and animals - Bear sightings (second hand report) in Whitney Portal campground (lock your food in the camp site's bear lockers).
MORE on this: Especially in the early-morning darkness: Do NOT set your pack down and walk away from it. And Do NOT open a bear box and leave it open while you walk back to your car. The bears know this is an excellent opportunity to lurk nearby, then run, grab a bag, and run off with it!!!

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#51614 - 08/14/17 08:48 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Mac Offline


Registered: 08/14/17
Posts: 6
Loc: LosGatos CA
Anisha - If you were part of the two family group doing this adventure, we passed each other both days on the way up and down - a long day on the trail.

I filmed the coyote on the morning of the 10th on the back side (south?) of trail camp across the gully on the lower portion of the mountain slope, it was hunting for marmots in the rocks who where making quite a ruckus/distress call to their friends. It was quite a ways off but as we looked at one another for a bit, it retreated. I was able to grab my video camera and film, as it stopped several times to look back at me. I may have also saw a pup run through the rock croppings farther back near where the coyote was going but in blink of an eye unable to catch it on film?

I came across the new log bridge as the two rangers (guy and gal) were making adjustment chops to log. If I remember correctly is located just after Outpost going down/ before Outpost going up? As I approached, I asked should I be the guinea pig as they let me cross and tried to shake the log - its solid - I believe less than 10 feet/length and less than 1 foot/width.

Except brief period of light hail (extracted from tent) at trail camp evening of the 9th, weather was in line with forecasts.

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#51667 - 08/16/17 10:54 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Brett Dean]
retarded Offline


Registered: 06/01/17
Posts: 19
Loc: SanFranfreako Bay Area
Originally Posted By: Brett Dean

I understand that the Portal has a "boil only" policy right now because of water issues, possible e. coli? in the water.


I did the day hike on 8/14 and camped at the family campground for two nights. Sorry I didn't take a picture but the warning on the campground taps implied that the water should be OK if your immune system is not compromised.

Thanks for those that shared this though as I brought extra water from home, likely full of medicine and chemicals people flush down the toilet (lol).

Overall condition of the trail on 8/14 was the same as noted prior, except the section at Outpost camp was heavily flooded in the early AM. This area was lightly flooded in the evening of the 14th.


Edited by retarded (08/16/17 10:55 AM)

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#51786 - 08/22/17 02:58 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - New Log Bridge [Re: Mac]
Mark K Offline


Registered: 05/22/17
Posts: 15
Loc: Merrimack, NH, USA
posted a picture of the new single log bridge


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#51830 - 08/23/17 07:01 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail - New Log Bridge [Re: Mark K]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 184
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Mark K
posted a picture of the new single log bridge


Just be careful on that log. It's not secured and shifted slightly when I went over it.

A couple of the long line of logs over Lone Pine Creek closer to the Portal also were not secured.

Nothing super dangerous, just don't go running across them expecting the log to stay where it is for the whole run. smile

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#51952 - 08/31/17 01:02 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
nicebloke Offline


Registered: 07/20/15
Posts: 17
Loc: Petaluma, CA
We did the day hike on Tuesday 8/29. Conditions as follows:

- Water crossing at 0.5 mi was normal, easy to cross on rocks
- North Fork crossing at 0.9 mi was high but still passable on rocks
- At 5am, the entrance to Bighorn Meadow was very wet. There was about 20-30 feet of trail under 10-12" of water, and then further along another similar stretch by the new log noted above (in other words, the log was not a help). We threw on water shoes until we climbed out of Outpost Camp. The second creek crossing was too high to navigate on the rocks without getting wet feet too. When we cam back through about 4:15pm, the water had receded dramatically, despite rainfall since lunchtime, and water shoes were not needed. everything was navigable in my non-waterproof trail runners
- Spring at 23rd switchback was running in full force. I don't see it drying up for a while (if at all this year)
- Backside has one patch of snow about 30 feet in length about 0.5 mi from the summit. Pretty easy to navigate with poles, just be careful if it gets slushy because it gets slippery. There's no alternate route obvious (I looked for cairns but found none).

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#51968 - 09/01/17 08:26 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: nicebloke]
CatB Offline


Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 20
Loc: the o.c.
Was on the main trail last week. We were clued in by descending hikers about how to avoid the snow field.
There is a bypass/use trail worked in just before you hit the snow. It's not that obvious but you can see it & there are cairns marking the way up. It's fairly steep with tight little switchbacks but it's short & intersects with the main trail above the snow.
But when coming off the summit make sure you look for it right away to the left or you will end up off trail in the snow like we did.

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#51985 - 09/01/17 11:04 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
This posted on FB on Sept 1 by LT. Looks like there was a pretty heavy storm:






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#52030 - 09/05/17 07:59 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Phiker Offline


Registered: 06/16/16
Posts: 8
Loc: San Diego, CA
Day hiked on Sept. 3rd.
All water crossings were easily managed. North Fork still had a good flow but it was very easy to rock hop even in total darkness (3:15am). There was only one spot in Bighorn Park where it was a little sketchy (as described earlier) but even then, with rocks and tree limbs, I did not see anybody get their feet wet. The heavy storm from August 31st must have dumped a lot of rain to raise the level of the water crossings but have now receded. Overall, my feet stayed dry for the entire trip. No big difference in water levels between early morning and mid afternoon.
The snow patch just before the summit was really easy to navigate. No need to make a detour to avoid it. The snow was getting a little slushy (9:30am-11am) but it's a short section (30 feet maybe).
Dark clouds began forming over the summit at 11am precisely and another storm broke out later that afternoon/evening. I only got a little sprinkle on the way down the switchbacks and around Trailside Meadow.
Another amazing day on Whitney, one lucky girl even got proposed once their group made it on the summit!

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#52062 - 09/06/17 07:01 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 184
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Steve C
This posted on FB on Sept 1 by LT. Looks like there was a pretty heavy storm:


Looks like I was lucky I did my big trek starting on Aug 13th instead of last week.

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#52130 - 09/11/17 11:12 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Halfdomer Homer Offline


Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 20
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Trip report for Saturday September 9.

Arrived in Lone Pine from L.A. at about 1:00 PM and drove straight up to Horseshoe Meadows to acclimate a little bit (2 hours). Then down to the Hostel where the room was very nice. Had some dinner and then went to bed for a few hours sleep. Woke up and drove to the portal at about 11:30PM and sat in my car until 1:30AM. My hiking partner and I hiked up to Lone Pine Lake without headlamps because of the bright moon. We actually didn't use our headlamps all night except for the water crossings. We could see clouds coming over Trail Crest and we were anticipating some weather because the night before it had sleeted and snowed in the upper elevations.

The water crossings at Outpost camp were OK because somebody left branches in the water and we did not get our feet wet. We stopped after Mirror Lake to snack up for the long slog up the rocks to Thor and Trail Camp (my least favorite part). We stopped again at Trail Camp to eat again and I had to put on my heavy jacket and gloves because it got cooold! It was at this point that I hit the wall of sorts, I didn't want to go on I just wanted to go back to my car and sleep! I made myself press on with mighty effort and by the time we reached switchback #20 I got my second wind. Counting the 99 switchbacks really helps keep my mind on the goal and they don't seem to take forever when you know where you are (the cables start on #47 BTW).

As we ascended, the trail became covered in snow. Snow! I wasn't ready for how much snow there was! And it was slippery in the shade! There were also ice patches where puddles had formed from the storm the night before. Switchback #99 was covered in about a half an inch of snow the whole way. After Trail Crest it got really dicey going down the hill to the JMT but slow going worked well.

The trail from JMT to about the 3rd window was covered in slippery snow as well which was very scary on some of those tricky steps right next to the drop offs and it took a long time to negotiate those sections. We considered turning around because we did not want to go back over those spots if it got colder, but we went on anyway. The fog was thick in the valley of Trail Camp and it was rising up between the needles and windows like cauldron smoke, but it was only fog not angry clouds so we pressed on. We reached the small snowfield near the summit and it was narrow and slippery but pretty easy (30 feet maybe).

Finally, the summit! I celebrated my 5th Whitney ascent and ate lunch. The fog was thick on the east side so we could not see Lone Pine or Trail Camp, but the western views were open and beautiful with white puffy clouds. It was not cold or windy at 14,508 feet.

I was anticipating the dangerous trail conditions on the way back but the sun had melted all of the snow and it was fine! The light snow drizzle started as we were coming down the 99's and lasted until Trailside Meadow. We were in the dark by the time we reached the North Fork crossing coming down and my partner was so tired he did not want to cross the swollen creek so we took the "shortcut" down instead. It was very rocky and brambly and rough but we made it (thanks to the instructions I read on the boards)! 5 summits out of 8 attempts, no altitude sickness of any kind once again.. I will be back next year I think!

-Dan

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#52142 - 09/12/17 11:23 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Halfdomer Homer]
sankar Offline


Registered: 08/20/17
Posts: 8
Loc: Redwood City, California
I hiked up to outpost camp on Saturday 9/9 and did summit hike on sunday sep 10.

The water crossings between portal store and outpost is easily manageable with poles. I did carry the water shoes just in case but didn't use them.

We started the summit hike from Outpost on sunday (9/10) 1.30am and reached the summit at 8.30am. The trail was clear from snow/ice and water until trail crest. Between trail crest and summit, there was snow for 10 ft length. It was easy to cross it when going up but by the time we returned, that section was slippery. Poles helped a lot.

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#52256 - 09/23/17 03:40 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Jennifer Rau Offline


Registered: 10/03/15
Posts: 4
Loc: United States
Less snow than I expected for sure

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#52268 - 09/25/17 04:15 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
David C Offline


Registered: 05/17/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Pasadena, California
Does anybody have an extra pass for next week - Monday, October 2nd, Tuesday, October 3rd, or Wednesday, October 4th?

Feel free to reach out on this message board or by email - dcoher at yahoo dot com.

Thanks!

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#52269 - 09/25/17 05:07 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: David C]
HE_i Offline


Registered: 06/30/17
Posts: 19
Loc: CA
oh man...you just missed out. There were 3 available spots on the day that you were looking for but they got grabbed quickly. I've been clicking on it all day trying to get the Oct. 1.
https://www.recreation.gov/entranceDetails.do

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#52270 - 09/25/17 05:10 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: David C]
HE_i Offline


Registered: 06/30/17
Posts: 19
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: David C
Does anybody have an extra pass for next week - Monday, October 2nd, Tuesday, October 3rd, or Wednesday, October 4th?

Feel free to reach out on this message board or by email - dcoher at yahoo dot com.

Thanks!


there's one spot left for the Oct 4

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#52302 - 10/01/17 07:10 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: David C]
Ingrid M. Offline


Registered: 10/01/17
Posts: 1
Loc: California
I have one permit for the 4th. My partner blew out her knee and just let me know today cry I did send an e-mail to the e-mail listed.

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#52305 - 10/02/17 06:13 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Ingrid M.]
pcieluch Offline


Registered: 08/29/16
Posts: 23
Loc: duluth,mn
I read on FB someone took a sign down from the summit the other day. She would return it to the owner but they would have to contact her in Bishop.

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