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#49597 - 04/17/17 04:54 PM Comparing Mt Whitney Mountaineers Route to Mt Shasta
nemeseri Offline

Registered: 05/23/13
Posts: 9
Loc: California
First time poster, long time reader here.

I'm planning to do an attempt climbing up the mountaineers route next weekend with a group of 3. The plan is to do a day hike.

We climbed and hiked in the previous years and we day hiked shasta via the avalanche gulch route with no problem. Also hiked up whitney last year sleeping on the mountain. I realize that the mountaineers route is more technical and exposed than these previous hikes, but also I believe that it's not impossible given the fairly good snow conditions. The goal is to step up and gain experience, without being obsessed with summiting.

Any advice? Is it possible to do it in one day? Are ropes and harnesses advised this time of the year (for the last 400 ft)? What about snow shoes? Which one is better for the last stretch this time of the year? The steeper way or the "easy walk off"? Btw. we would return the same way instead going around on the mount whitney trail.

Any advice is welcomed! Thanks!

#49598 - 04/17/17 09:06 PM Re: Comparing Mt Whitney Mountaineers Route to Mt Shasta [Re: nemeseri]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6831
Loc: Fresno, CA
Welcome nemeseri,

I've only climbed Shasta as an overnighter, so not sure, but it's my impression that Whitney is easier. People day hike Whitney all the time, but not as much on Shasta.

I think you should forget snowshoes. I recently went up to the cables on Half Dome, and this time of year, snow is well-consolidated, so crampons worked well.

There is a Facebook picture of someone falling through the snow into really deep brush on the Mountaineers' Route approach -- below the Ebersbacher ledges. Take the Ledges if they are clear of snow. There should be lots of tracks through the snow in that area.

As for ropes, the guide services rope up their clients, but I think most independent groups don't. As for the Final 400 or Easy Walk-off, I think I would decide once I got there. If there is still lots of snow on the F400, crampons would make it fun, unless it was slick ice.

#49601 - 04/18/17 09:23 AM Re: Comparing Mt Whitney Mountaineers Route to Mt Shasta [Re: Steve C]
nemeseri Offline

Registered: 05/23/13
Posts: 9
Loc: California
Hey Steve,

I really appreciate your input on this. On one hand it makes me less nervous about the attempt, on the other hand your comment on the ledges is interesting. I was hoping for skipping those and based on the limited information we got from a guide we should be able to. We plan to do a hike the day before on the trail and see the conditions ourselves around the ledges.

#49602 - 04/18/17 09:37 AM Re: Comparing Mt Whitney Mountaineers Route to Mt Shasta [Re: nemeseri]
turns Offline

Registered: 05/06/16
Posts: 10
Loc: AK
From my experience on the north fork / MR last year - the E ledges weren't as bad everyone made it seem. I strongly recommend your hike up the ledges on the day prior... realistically I think you would need to hike the ledges before the sun comes up if you plan on doing a car to car attempt. (just my opinion)

I also summitted Shasta last year via Hotlum/Bolam glacier. I think they were fairly comparable - long approach hike with sections of exposure/dangerous run outs.

Here is my trip report from last year which has pictures of the final 400 as well as my party descending the walk-off traverse.

#49603 - 04/18/17 10:09 AM Re: Comparing Mt Whitney Mountaineers Route to Mt Shasta [Re: nemeseri]
bobpickering Offline

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 269
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Hi, nemeseri. Iíve climbed Shasta 34 times by six different routes and Whitney 36 times by five different routes. This includes at least one dayhike on each peak in each month of the year.

Snow conditions and weather can make a huge difference, but everything Steve said is correct. A dayhike on the Mountaineersí Route should take less time than Avalanche Gulch. However, the MR is harder in a couple of ways:

First, itís almost impossible to get lost on AG in decent weather during daylight hours. The MR is a bit trickier. If the Ebersbacher ledges are free of ice and have little or no snow, go that way. Otherwise, youíll follow boot tracks up the left side to LBSL. You should be able to follow boot tracks pretty much all the way up, but some of those tracks will be totally wrong, so study the route descriptions carefully.

I think the MR is technically more difficult than AG. The snow in the chute is steeper. The final 400 may have water ice, and it will probably require a little rock climbing with your crampons. The easy walk-off may have loose, deep, avalanche-prone snow, so you canít know in advance which variation is better.

If the weather is good, and you arenít obsessed with summiting, you should be fine.

#49604 - 04/18/17 01:29 PM Re: Comparing Mt Whitney Mountaineers Route to Mt Shasta [Re: nemeseri]
nemeseri Offline

Registered: 05/23/13
Posts: 9
Loc: California
Thank you all for the comments and advice! I'm so glad there is a forum like this! We will see how it goes, but in general it's hard to imagine a better weekend than hiking on whitney. wink