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#49349 - 03/09/17 05:05 AM Solo Winter Whitney March 13-15
cbaker7565 Offline

Registered: 03/09/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Highland, NY

I love to read recent trip reports before a big climb, but they seem to be very light for Whitney this year? If anyone has a link to a recent report it would be appreciated. I think my favorite part is going to be the road walk... Or maybe the slush that collects on the bottom of whatever traction device you are wearing. Will probably do the mountaineers route, starting at 2am Monday. Try to get some harder snow to walk on.

#49353 - 03/09/17 08:45 AM Re: Solo Winter Whitney March 13-15 [Re: cbaker7565]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7444
Loc: Fresno, CA
Hi cbaker,

I just received this message from the Inyo N.F. staff:
Hi Steve,

Fyi, the owner of one of our guide companies related that his team decided not to go up the North Fork above the portal last weekend due to avalanche concerns low in the canyon. There is a terrain trap when the snow level is this heavy this low on the mountain.

We haven't seen this much snow, this low for years.

Local weather forecast is for another "atmospheric river" this next week.

Last weekend saw another storm come through, so maybe that affected their plans as well.

Also, Doug from the Whitney Portal Store hiked up the NRT (National Recreation Trail) to the Portal a few days ago.
Here's his post.

Eastern Sierra Avalanche Advisories

#49356 - 03/09/17 03:47 PM Re: Solo Winter Whitney March 13-15 [Re: cbaker7565]
josee menard Offline

Registered: 12/20/16
Posts: 3
Loc: canada
Hey cbaker7565,

best of luck with your trip up the MR, hopefully the snowpack consolidates giving you a safe ascent.
If you do make it out there, would you be kind enough to post a TR, I'm looking to go early april!
Thank you, cheers


#49358 - 03/10/17 07:05 AM Re: Solo Winter Whitney March 13-15 [Re: Steve C]
Bob West Offline

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 825
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
The snow pillow near Bishop Pass is still showing about 15 feet of snow; that's at 11,200. The top of the pass at 12,000 has quite a bit more. Gee, how high is Whitney? Yep.

The conditions across the Eastern Sierra are building into an interesting and dangerous combination of deep, wet snow, and high-water stream crossings. Snow conditions in the Whitney MR approach are going to be gnarly, to say the least.

It looks to be a busy year for SAR.

#49362 - 03/11/17 09:46 AM Re: Solo Winter Whitney March 13-15 [Re: Steve C]
Hobbes Offline

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 124
Loc: The OC
Doug Sr writes:

Each year we hear "I'm going up the main trail since I don't have the gear or training for the Mountaineer's Route."

What's the difference? Main trail 11 miles solid snow, no trail, steep slopes and more water crossings . Don't be fooled into thinking the main trail is any easier than the North Fork. Ask about the section after Trail Crest the "narrow window areas" and the 2 miles at 13,500 to the summit.

Until the trail opens an honest goal should be trail camp or Iceberg for most without some years of winter mountaineering. Make that your goal and see how you like the snow travel and then work up for the higher elevation.

This is so spot on. In alpine conditions, the main trail can actually be both more difficult and more dangerous. It's way longer, especially the 2 miles to/from the summit from Trail crest. Both the chute and the 4 mile r/t traverse can be dangerous with steep drop-offs by the windows.

IMO, unless you have sufficient mountaineering experience, the way to tackle Whitney in alpine conditions is to do a guided trip up the MR. It's a great bucket list item, where you only have to really focus on your own conditioning, and let the pros deal with setting belays, etc.

#49365 - 03/11/17 03:52 PM Re: Solo Winter Whitney March 13-15 [Re: cbaker7565]
cbaker7565 Offline

Registered: 03/09/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Highland, NY
Thank you all for the posts! My flight is tomorrow AM. Sounds like I am in for a slushy mess with feet of snow.

Looking forward to a good beer in Lone Pine already!