Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Whitney area is not getting as hard hit as Tahoe, but Donner is forecast to get 40" new snow tonight. And there are more storms coming. San Francisco achieved their normal annual total yesterday. Mammoth has already eclipsed last year by 100", and last year was a "good" year.
"Here's the moon setting over the Mount Whitney Massif this morning. This was about 20 minutes before sunrise. Love the feeling of touring under the stars. Stepping up towards the moon feels super surreal. Lucky to be out there with friends and the pow skiing was all time!"
Here's a picture posted March 9, on Instagram by pkmcampbell
It is taken looking up from Lower Boy Scout Lake on the North Fork Lone Pine Creek (the Mountaineers Route). The skier is descending over a huge boulder field that requires careful navigation in the summer!
Caption: "Last earned turns of the season coming down from Mt Whitney"
Another pic posted by pkmcampbell: "Finally reached the top of Mt Whitney. Fantastic cap to the skimo season with @mountain_doc"
Pickin's are great on Whitney at the moment. Snow coverage from Meysan Lakes. North Fork was 90% filled in which was very nice. Deep consolidated snow all the way up to the coulior. Was able to glissade 80% of the mountain! Last push was in great shape. No pro used but a few nice rap stations in place. Take advantage of the conditions while they last.
This is a picture from the Mountaineer's Route approach, a little ways above (and south of) Upper Boy Scout Lake. It is NOT part of the Main Mt. Whitney Trail, which is on the other side of the ridge to the south (left side of picture).
The Whitney Portal Road is now "soft closed" -- that is the locked gate is open, but the Road Closed sign is up. That leaves it up to the driver to decide whether or not to pass the sign. If you do go, you are taking on all the risk -- it gets expensive if your car gets stuck up there. If any new snow falls, or fresh rockfall appears, it could be many days before it is removed.
However, current reports show that you can drive up to the snow line -- almost to Whitney Portal.
Here's a picture from Egor G on Facebook, posted April 3, showing cars parked along the road near Whitney Portal:
climbed mountaineer's route 4/28 and 4/29. summary follows.
road is easily driveable all the way to the portal by any vehicle. bathrooms open. water spigots not running. Portal store was closed. Trail was snow free until the north fork of Lone Pine Creek junction. There appeared to be relatively continuous snow on the main trail after that point.
on the MR: highest accessible liquid water was at lower boy scout lake. good snow coverage from about 9400 all the way to the summit. the area just below the recent slide looks like it could be suspect as the sun angle gets higher and there are some warm days. we noticed some wet/loose slides in the basin around iceberg lake that slid sometime between 8am and 1pm on 4/29. a few areas to be careful of during the warmest parts of the day
on the final 400 there is one section of exposed rock that is somewhat tricky to manage. a larg-ish party was belaying through this section. we did it unprotected but the rope seems useful for less confident parties. above that rock section it is very steep but the snow conditions were firm and there were an abundance of nicely kicked steps leading to the plateau
THE SUMMIT HUT IS ALMOST ENTIRELY FULL OF SNOW. the door has become detached. do not count on getting much shelter inside of the hut (could fit 2 people max)
no marmots spotted on our trip. main trail appeared passable but I can not say for sure