Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
0 registered (), 18 Guests and 64 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3407 Members
10 Forums
5338 Topics
49299 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Topic Options
#50126 - 06/14/17 04:24 PM Summit via Whitney Trail - 1 day - 6/13/2017
jhmccann Offline

Registered: 05/14/17
Posts: 7
Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Ok, knocked it out in one day. Here was the schedule, conditions and gear...

First time on Whitney. Was about 21.5 miles round trip car to car.

320a Parked at Portal
330a Started the hike
I walked the trail in the dark for about 2 hours til sunrise at 530a.
350a First creek crossing. Pretty easy, about 3-5 inches deep.
430a Second creek crossing. A lot more water. Swifter water, maybe about a foot deep max. Some of the rocks used to cross were submerged, so maybe throw on waterproof boots or strip down and cross barefoot.
6a Hit snow about 1000 ft above Lone Pine Lake, right before Outpost Camp. Wasnt patchy, just all began at once. Put on crampons and poles w/ snow baskets. The snow was very firm. Noticed some people wearing microspikes, which seemed OK but not great.

730a Was at Trail Camp. Snow was firm but extreme sun cup'd. Find a line made by other hikers and follow their trail.
8a Hit the snow chute. Sun started to soften up the snow. Everyone who turned back had NO ICE AXE and wore MICROSPIKES. The only folks making it had CRAMPONS. 90% had an ICE AXE and the few who didn't had poles. Steps were pretty well carved in from previous climbers but loose.

9a At the top of Trail Crest. Removed crampons and put ice axe away, pulled out my poles. Now at about 13500ft.
10-1115a - Traversed across the very rocky path to MT Whitney, some ice and snow but minimal and not in a high risk spot. When at the base Whitney summit on the Crest Trail, the snow and ice starts up again.
1115a Put on crampons and pulled out my ice axe. Followed other's kick steps in the snow and bouldered my way through the rocky patches eventually finding the Mount Whitney Trail again and followed it up the top.

12p made summit. Talked to some PCT'ers and tooks some pics.
1215p headed down, same route, back to the crest trail. Ice axe and crampons.
1230pm -2p walked back down crest trail. Took off crampons.

215p - Reached the top of the snow chute. Put on my goretex pants and jacket for the glissade down.
216p - Looking for a glissade path, noticed several others with no helmets, CRAMPONS ON, and using their ice axes in self arrest to do some weird hybrid glissade. Well that's an excellent way to get hurt.
220p - I glissaded down, used my ice axe PROPERLY (read about glissading, it it NOT the same as self arrest)... and passed everyone who was self arresting all the way down.
225p - bottom of the snow chute.
230p to 330pm - walked through both sun cupped snowfields or paths previous stomped in by previous hikers all the way to Outpost camp.
330p - finally out of the ice. Retraced my steps back to the Whitney Trail, crossed the wood bridge path and almost fell in but didnt, thank god. Continued down all the way to the parking lot.
530p - at my car, went in the portal store and got my girl a souvenir so I wouldn't get whined at all night about not taking her.

Overall, long day. 14 hour climb/hike. About 22 miles. Very strenuous day. Im an avid hiker, mountaineer, and a professional firefighter, and this is what I consider to be a solid 8-9 out 10 on difficulty.

Now gear...
30L Backpack, Black Diamond 30 Speed
4 Nalgene full of water (There is water at Trail Camp!!!)
1.5 Camel Pak
Lots of carb and sugar snacks
Tiny medical pack (I cut my hand on some granite rocks, thank goodness)
Mountaineering boots (La Sportiva Nepals)
Crampons (BD Contact)
Soft shell pants
Soft shell jacket
Hard shell pants and jacket (only used on glissade)
Ice axe
Glacier Glasses
2 Trekking Poles w/ snow baskets
Climbing helmet (be smart)
Sun screen, chap stick
Pair of running shoes for the trail before the snow.
A lot of trash I gathered on the way out... whatever you bring in, take out! smile

Hope this helps.

The one image of snow, is about 530am below outpost camp:

The other is me at summit - noon

#50134 - 06/15/17 07:11 AM Re: Summit via Whitney Trail - 1 day - 6/13/2017 [Re: jhmccann]
Bob West Offline

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 814
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Excellent report; should be recommended reading for all, especially those who think microspikes are the only way to go (including some of our frequent know who). You did it right.

#50135 - 06/15/17 08:31 AM Re: Summit via Whitney Trail - 1 day - 6/13/2017 [Re: Bob West]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7392
Loc: Fresno, CA
Excellent report, JHM. Thanks so much for taking the time to write the report. Those who read it will definitely gain.

Bob, I have seen your comments on the microspike issue. I have just seen so many people using microspikes in so many pictures and no where do they say they actually carried crampons or turned around. It is now known (thanks again, JHM!!) that the crampons are far better to make it up to Trail Crest. I am just wondering if a path in the slope will become so well used that micro-users will make it up, or if those people will not make it until the switchbacks open up.

#50139 - 06/15/17 11:17 AM Re: Summit via Whitney Trail - 1 day - 6/13/2017 [Re: Steve C]
Bob West Offline

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 814
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Hi Steve,

It seems like not matter how much good advice is offered, many people tend to ignore it and proceed with their own, perhaps, limited knowledge.

For that reason, I intend to limit my participation in this forum in the future, since for me it is becoming a waste of time.

Thanks for all your hard work.


#50140 - 06/15/17 11:37 AM Re: Summit via Whitney Trail - 1 day - 6/13/2017 [Re: Bob West]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7392
Loc: Fresno, CA
Bob, please don't cut back! I really appreciate your participation.

Unfortunately, it is a small percentage of hikers who visit here -- that has always been the case. Even more unfortunately, Facebook has sucked up so much of everyone's viewing/reading time that people don't bother to come to a place like this where they can find way more comprehensive information. People who do read both places will occasionally link to our posts here, and that brings people here where they can find more info.

My hope is that those who do read here will share with their friends and other hikers.

#50146 - 06/15/17 02:45 PM Re: Summit via Whitney Trail - 1 day - 6/13/2017 [Re: Steve C]
Bob West Offline

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 814
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Ok, only if some info might be helpful. I am too easily tempted to argue...ha ha.

See local conditions report just posted.

#50147 - 06/15/17 08:04 PM Re: Summit via Whitney Trail - 1 day - 6/13/2017 [Re: Bob West]
JMH Offline

Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 19
Loc: Aurora, Illinois

I check out this site just about everyday and there are some people like me that read and learn much. Two of the best answers i ever got on this site were from you. One on fear of heights after trail camp and one on white mountain versus whitney. I Remember both answers till this day.

There is zero doubt in my mind that at least some people have read this site and avoided a serious incident or worse by heeding the advice. If you guys help 1 person from getting huet and then maybe a second person to have a more enjoyable hike then its worth it.


#50156 - 06/16/17 02:42 AM Re: Summit via Whitney Trail - 1 day - 6/13/2017 [Re: jhmccann]
Mark K Offline

Registered: 05/22/17
Posts: 15
Loc: Merrimack, NH, USA
Great description and log. Following for beta prior to August 8 Whitney trail hike.