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#49728 - 05/01/17 07:17 PM Mt Whitney, April 22, 2017
goldscott Offline

Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 112
Loc: San Diego, CA
Mt Whitney via Mountaineer's Route
April 22, 2017

Izzy, Nick, and I took the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek to the Mountaineer's Route. It was a busy day - there were lots of people on the mountain, and quite a few tents.

No skinning was needed, we were able to boot all the way up to the summit. We reached the snowline around the first creek crossing up the North Fork.
I put crampons on for the chute and used my light ice axe for the final 400.
After spending a few minutes on the summit, I was eager to get down before the chute hardened up, but it was too late.
I downclimbed the final 400 and side scraped (on skis) my way back down the chute because it had firmed up in the shade.
Skiing the slopes below that was nice.

There was a wet slab avalanche around 9300 ft that hurt a hiker in the morning, and the day prior a man fell and died on the final 400. Be careful out there!
Do not follow this exact GPX route in summer - use only when enough snow is present.

Suunto Movescount (GPS and heart rate data) here:
Note the altimeter and temperature sensors went wonky.

Izzy in the sunrise

Izzy again

Nick cruising up

Nick and the rescue chopper in the sky

Thor Peak in the center

Pinnacle Ridge, almost to Iceburg Lake

Into the chute



At the notch

Russell and the rescue chopper

Looking up the final 400 from the notch

The easy walk off...

Looking down the final 400

Topping out the final 400

Register (I didn't draw that)

Door is blown off the hut

Looking straight down the east face

Nick and I on the summit

Ski tracks

Avy debris

#49729 - 05/01/17 09:05 PM Re: Mt Whitney, April 22, 2017 [Re: goldscott]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7392
Loc: Fresno, CA
What a great year for ski-descents!!!

You make the ascents sound easy, but we know they're not.

#49736 - 05/02/17 10:21 AM Re: Mt Whitney, April 22, 2017 [Re: Steve C]
goldscott Offline

Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 112
Loc: San Diego, CA
It's been an amazing season, Steve!

I've been having too much fun skiing to write up detailed reports, and I started wearing a GPS watch and heart rate monitor, so I don't bother keeping a timesheet like I used to.

There's also so much snow up in the Eastern Sierra that it's basically just "skin up" or "boot up" - no real routefinding challenges, annoying talus hopping, or difficult scrambling. The snow makes it so easy! And the ski down is so fast that I'm not completely dead like a normal summer hike.

#49755 - 05/04/17 05:45 PM Re: Mt Whitney, April 22, 2017 [Re: goldscott]
amockalypsenow Offline

Registered: 05/04/17
Posts: 3
Loc: San Diego
Thinking of heading up to do the Harding route on Keeler needle tomorrow.

Curious about conditions... Has anybody seen snow on the route?

Does one need axe, crampons and boots for the "final 400" right now? I plan that as my descent and would prefer not to have to schlep gear I don't need up the route.

I've been up the MR in winter conditions, but only around the Springbok and Impala this winter.

Edited by amockalypsenow (05/04/17 06:16 PM)

#49759 - 05/05/17 10:01 AM Re: Mt Whitney, April 22, 2017 [Re: amockalypsenow]
goldscott Offline

Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 112
Loc: San Diego, CA
You should definitely have boots, crampons, and ice axe for the final 400.