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#50386 - 06/27/17 09:29 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Encinitas_Guy]
over1812 Offline


Registered: 07/24/16
Posts: 40
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Encinitas_Guy, your query may be lost in this thread; I suggest starting a new post, probably titled "What to expect at Meysan Lakes".

Edit: A good answer posted here.


Edited by Steve C (06/28/17 08:31 AM)
Edit Reason: link

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#50393 - 06/28/17 12:23 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
mkontanist Offline


Registered: 06/28/17
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Hey guys I'm planning a day hike on July 10th.

I've read a multitude of reports about groups reaching the summit via the main trail. However I have not heard a peep about the Mountaineer's route conditions.

If there is still a ton of snow on the chute, does it mean the Mountaineer's route is a lost cause?

Edit: See this thread: Iceberg Lake & Mountaineers Route conditions


Edited by Steve C (06/28/17 08:36 AM)
Edit Reason: link

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#50394 - 06/28/17 02:56 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Stu Rampage Offline


Registered: 06/28/17
Posts: 1
Loc: Phoenix
Hello!

I summited Mt. Whitney for the 15th time last weekend and have often relied on the good people of this board for trail reports. So I would like to post my inaugural report as a way to pay forward this assistance as people look to summit this summer.

First, let me give you some context on who (me) this report is coming from. I am a hiker in good shape - parking lot to top in less than four hours is my personal record (last Friday was 5h8m - sad face). I am NOT a technical climber, or at least a very amateur one at best. So take what I am about to tell you with whatever grain of salt you choose!

Punchline: if you are an average hiker/first-timer, skip 2017. Not your year. Mountain will be there in 2018 and beyond. Conditions, namely the trail inundation by snow AND the very rapid melt that will continue thru the summer, make Whitney a technical climb more than an extended hike. For the normal hiking approach, it is MUCH MORE difficult than usual, if not borderline dangerous for people with limited technical skills.

Issues:
- You are going to get wet (up to your knees) multiple times wading thru streams. From the log crossing onward (one log gone, other inverted so effectively gone). This means wet feet/socks for the majority of the hike - no bueno.
- Trail disappears very soon into the hike, so you will be hiking on snow for the vast majority of your time on the mountain; microspikes and hiking poles will work best
- Going up the chute with microspikes/crampons and hiking poles/ice axe is very strenuous, *much more so* than the switchbacks. Snow melt leaves little to follow in terms of footprint trail so you will be trailblazing.
- Coming down the same chute is tricky - glissading isn't a fun toboggan run; it requires skill to properly self-arrest otherwise you risk becoming a snowball going down a black diamond slope. In my amateurish approach, I didn't use gloves and my hands became a bloody mess, likely permanent scarring.

I hope this feedback is helpful - not trying to fear-monger or dissuade folks from what is a true national treasure. If you have specific questions, please email me at sturampage@gmail.com.

Ole!

STU



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#50402 - 06/28/17 10:00 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Stu Rampage]
koredirector Offline


Registered: 06/28/17
Posts: 3
Loc: ca

If glissading is a bloodysport, is hiking back down the chute a "safe" option?

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#50409 - 06/28/17 11:51 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: koredirector]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7527
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: koredirector

If glissading is a bloodysport, is hiking back down the chute a "safe" option?

If you descend when it is sunny, it is pretty easy and safe. If it is late in the day so the sun has descended behind the crest, and weather is cool enough that the snow has iced up, that is when going is not so safe.

In fact, glissading when the chute has iced up is infinitely more dangerous, too. Walking down the slope is better in this situation, but this is where crampons would be way better than microspikes.

When people have been injured or worse on this slope has always been when it turned to ice.

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#50411 - 06/28/17 12:41 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
amit Offline


Registered: 06/08/16
Posts: 10
Loc: San Jose, California, USA
I agree with Steve. I was on the chute last June at around 3pm and it was all icy. I tried to glissade but couldn't control my speed. A fellow hiker grabbed me while I was gaining speed. From that point, I walked down the chute. It was way more tiring as compared to climbing the chute. I had to make steps to get firm grip. It took me around 3 hours.

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#50420 - 06/28/17 07:56 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Sweden Offline


Registered: 06/28/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Oregon
Hi, we are preparing for hiking to the summit on July 6th. Does anyone know how many miles and elevation gain the chute is? We did a training hike that was 2.8 miles and had 2,700 ft of elevation gain, in the snow, and only used hiking boots and hiking poles. We are trying to get an idea of how that would compare to the chute on Mt Whitney - any insights would be very helpful. Thank you !

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#50421 - 06/28/17 08:39 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: amit]
Yueming Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 20
Loc: Utah
Really, it was already icy at 3:00 pm, I thought 3:00 pm is still hot to make snow slushy!!! If I plan to glissade down this Saturday (July 1st), what time you think will be good to glissade? Thanks a lot!

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#50422 - 06/28/17 08:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Yueming]
amit Offline


Registered: 06/08/16
Posts: 10
Loc: San Jose, California, USA
Yueming,

Try to glissade down by noon. For that, you should start climbing chute latest by 5am. That's my plan for July 3 climb.

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#50423 - 06/28/17 09:12 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: amit]
Yueming Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 20
Loc: Utah
Thank you for your suggestion, we are doing day hike, and we are not very fast, so if we have to climb chute at 5:00 am, that means we probably need to start at 1:00 am, wow, that's really early, I previously thought start at 2:00 am. Then I need to change the plan. Thanks a lot, that's very helpful.

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#50425 - 06/28/17 09:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Mauricio Puerto Offline


Registered: 06/22/17
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
How do you add pictures?

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#50429 - 06/29/17 04:06 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Yueming]
bsiwecki0 Offline


Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 11
Loc: South OC, California
I'll be hiking in Friday morning and Saturday I am planning to hike up the chute from trail camp. I'm possibly willing to meet up by 3am. Planning to be at the summit just a little before sunrise to do some photography. Let me know if you might be interested

-brian

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#50431 - 06/29/17 04:45 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: bsiwecki0]
Yueming Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 20
Loc: Utah
Thank you for inviting me, but 3:00 am is really early for our group since we are doing day hike. I think the earliest time we can approach trail camp is about 5:00 am, you probably won't want to wait for that late.

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#50440 - 06/29/17 09:00 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Yueming]
Jack.Yi Offline


Registered: 06/29/17
Posts: 1
Loc: California
@Yueming,I will do day hike this Saturday myselfe,and this is my first time do Mt Whitney.

can I meet your group at trailhead at 2am?
are you going to take the Old Trail (starting in back of the Portal Pond) to avoid having to cross the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek?

I have reserved a camp site at Whitney portal for Friday and Saturday night,if your group need I can share my camp spot.

Thanks

Jack

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#50443 - 06/29/17 09:41 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Stu Rampage]
david_garza Offline


Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Glendale, California
Originally Posted By: Stu Rampage
Punchline: if you are an average hiker/first-timer, skip 2017.

How likely is it that Trail Camp and switchbacks will be snowed/iced in August?

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#50446 - 06/29/17 10:53 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: david_garza]
bruce Offline


Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 80
Loc: Novato, CA
Originally Posted By: david_garza
Originally Posted By: Stu Rampage
Punchline: if you are an average hiker/first-timer, skip 2017.

How likely is it that Trail Camp and switchbacks will be snowed/iced in August?


Very unlikely, I would think. Probably will still be patches of snow on the trail in early August though (especially by the cables and near the summit). But nothing that a first-timer has good cause to cancel a trip over.

August and September should be good for hiking Mt. Whitney. September will be better this year because streams will be lower and any remaining snow patches covering the trail from the previous season's storms will be gone.


Edited by bruce (06/29/17 10:56 AM)

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#50447 - 06/29/17 11:25 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: david_garza]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7527
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: david_garza
How likely is it that Trail Camp and switchbacks will be snowed/iced in August?

They should be clear by August.

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#50450 - 06/29/17 12:36 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
david_garza Offline


Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Glendale, California
Thanks Bruce and Steve. Ice axes and snow camping aren't for me.

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#50463 - 06/29/17 06:11 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Jack.Yi]
Yueming Offline


Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 20
Loc: Utah
Hi, I definitely would like to go with you, but we are not great hiker, and it's also our first time, so we actually also a lit bit nervous about it, and yes, we would like to take old trail to skip the first stream, please feel free to text me at 8019537684.

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#50468 - 06/29/17 09:03 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: mkontanist]
BerkeleyBuff Offline


Registered: 06/29/17
Posts: 2
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: mkontanist
Hey guys I'm planning a day hike on July 10th.

I've read a multitude of reports about groups reaching the summit via the main trail. However I have not heard a peep about the Mountaineer's route conditions.

If there is still a ton of snow on the chute, does it mean the Mountaineer's route is a lost cause?

Edit: See this thread: Iceberg Lake & Mountaineers Route conditions


Would LOVE to hear someone's take on this. Have a permit for July 15 with the intent of doing the Mountaineer's Route.


Edited by BerkeleyBuff (06/29/17 09:03 PM)

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