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#50360 - 06/27/17 10:05 AM Iceberg Lake & Mountaineers Route conditions
Fan Offline


Registered: 06/06/17
Posts: 14
Loc: DC
Has anyone been to Iceberg Lake recently? Is melting snow still the only way to get water? Are there places to collect trickling snow melt without having to go back down the south-facing steep slope that one gains to reach Iceberg Lake? I'm planning to spend a few nights at IBL and trying to decide whether to pack extra fuel for melting snow. Thanks.

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#50363 - 06/27/17 10:38 AM Re: Iceberg Lake & Mountaineers Route conditions [Re: Fan]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7225
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here you go...
Posted on Instagram yesterday by life_is_goodoutdoors

His caption:
Quote:
With plenty of time until nightfall, we couldn't help but notice the task at hand watching over us. This is the Mt Whitney mountaineers route, chute. It was still only 2 o'clock and with plenty of time to think and stare, so that's what we did. -
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The steep chute of the MR is the one visible right up the center of this photo. If you look towards the top, the snow stops. I was wondering if maybe the snow melted from the steepest areas? 🤔In that case we could avoid a steep slippery slushfest, at the top.
-
-
It ended up being just some scree and light scramble at the top in the dirt. So we ended up having to take our crampons on and off right there. Past the crest the snow was firm on the other side, because it was in the shade. The traverse was heart pounding, but passable. We encountered small patches of rocks along the snow covered traverse that we had to cross. I hate walking on rocks with my spikes. But oh well, off to the summit..



Click for full-size.

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#50369 - 06/27/17 11:11 AM Re: Iceberg Lake & Mountaineers Route conditions [Re: Steve C]
Fan Offline


Registered: 06/06/17
Posts: 14
Loc: DC
Thanks, Steve! Very helpful.

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#50397 - 06/28/17 08:57 AM Re: Iceberg Lake & Mountaineers Route conditions [Re: Fan]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7225
Loc: Fresno, CA
Posted June 28 on Instagram by tjsgyms



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#50399 - 06/28/17 09:44 AM Re: Iceberg Lake & Mountaineers Route conditions [Re: Fan]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7225
Loc: Fresno, CA
Also good info this time of year: Avoiding the two stream crossings below the Ebersbacher Ledges:

The Rockwell Shortcut



Edit 7/13: A friend sent a message asking about this North Side route, so I thought I'd share:
Quote:
Going up the NF this weekend. I saw your post about the Rockwell shortcut.

After looking at your pix it looks like one simply sticks close to the north wall of the NF chute until you encounter dead-end willows. From there you backtrack until there is an eastward ledge that switchbacks westward up on a narrow ledge over the willows.

Is that about it? I'd appreciate any tips you can give.

Thanks again

Well not exactly, and I don't recall, exactly everything, either.
What I do remember is there is no going forward and turning back. I suppose if you missed the two places you should choose to climb up, you might end up backtracking.

Two things you should do before you go:

Step through the 40 or so pictures here: https://stevec.smugmug.com/Hiking/Rockwell-shortcut-NFLPC/i-cdKK7wP

Watch the videos here: http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/8189#Post8189
Note they are titled NS1 through NS8, and have the clock times recorded on my camera, to give you an idea of the times taken between each video segment.

In the still pictures, the place I missed is in the videos, the fourth one down in that specific post, this just above the video:
"NS4, 0:12, 8:35 AM -- back up on the wall"
You climb up to the right, a little past that bush at this point.

In NS5, it's only 12 seconds. Freeze it at 0:09. The elephant ear slab that my daughter climbs over in the still pics is in the center of that video shot. So in between, you are heading along the bushes and wall.

NS6 is where you stop going along the bushes, and instead climb the third class crack up about 20 feet. Pics 21-23 are the shots of my daughter at that spot.

Pics 34-35: there are 7 minutes between the times on those two pictures. That is time spent in the brush. I stopped and trimmed some along that section, but it is pretty easy to get through. ...unless the stream is somehow overflowing in that section. It did have "dry stream bed" appearance some places in the underbrush section.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes!


Edited by Steve C (07/13/17 11:33 PM)

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#50417 - 06/28/17 03:34 PM Re: Iceberg Lake & Mountaineers Route conditions [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7225
Loc: Fresno, CA
This posted on the Whitney Portal Store forum by Veraun:


Quote:
I did the Mountaineer's Route car-to-car on Tuesday (6/27). The creek crossings are absolutely passable, but not without having to wade through calf to thigh deep water. The main crossing at the outlet of Lower Boy Scout is wide and deep! There's an alternate crossing up a little higher by the large boulder, but you're still gonna get wet.

Snow starts above Upper Boy Scout Lake. There are two traversing boot packs below the headwall of Iceberg Lake, I'd suggest taking the lower. I ended up on the upper in the dark, and it deposits you just below the seeps/waterfalls and will require some front pointing on the snow slope above. No big deal, but the lower is easier. Deep sun cups are a pain to walk in!

If you make your way up the snow slope from Iceberg to the Notch in the early AM, it's nice and firm and you'll get softer conditions for the descent. The final 400 feet to the summit after the Notch still has a steep snow field towards the top with ice and verglass below, but can be climbed sans crampons and ice axe if you class 3/4 the rock band to the right all the way up (and down).

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#50428 - 06/29/17 03:16 AM Re: Iceberg Lake & Mountaineers Route conditions [Re: Steve C]
Fan Offline


Registered: 06/06/17
Posts: 14
Loc: DC
Thanks, Steve! Super helpful as always!

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#50806 - 07/11/17 11:45 AM mountaineer route up whitney
hiker Offline


Registered: 07/10/17
Posts: 3
Loc: East coast
Answer to some questions, please. I am going up Aug 2. First question; will the snow melt off this route any quicker than the main trail? I plan a car-to-car day hike, so is this route as easy to stay on as is the main trail in the dark;I would like to start hike at 2am. Is this wise to start in the dark or ill advised? I have been to summit 4 times on main trail and would like to summit via MR route and either down climb MR, or come down on main trail. Thank you all for your replies!

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#50809 - 07/11/17 01:16 PM Re: Iceberg Lake & Mountaineers Route conditions [Re: Fan]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7225
Loc: Fresno, CA
bump-so it appears on the first page of the forum.

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#50810 - 07/11/17 01:27 PM Re: mountaineer route up whitney [Re: hiker]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7225
Loc: Fresno, CA
Please understand, and contrary to the Inyo National Forest's North Fork Lone Pine Creek Trail web page, this route is NOT A TRAIL!

It is only a trail in that about a dozen people go up in any day during summer, so it has become a use trail in places. The most commonly-used route crosses NFLPC (the creek) twice, and then climbs the Ebersbacher Ledges. If you don't "know" the route before you go, you will very likely get off route.

Above Lower Boy Scout Lake, there is a boulder field where no track is available, and you need to know what landmark to aim for. There is a point where many miss a turn and end up bushwhacking through high brush.

Ok, that was my warning. Now this: Go here and start learning what the MR is all about: Mountaineers Route info and links

Answers to questions:
The snow is already cleared from the area below the "Notch", but you may still have to climb through some snow in August.

Staying on-route in the dark is only likely if you have done the route before. You should pre-hike the part you cover in the dark the day before in daylight.


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#50812 - 07/11/17 01:39 PM Re: mountaineer route up whitney [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7225
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a picture of the MR heading up to the Notch, posted on Instagram, July 9, 2017, by spangster


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#50869 - 07/12/17 09:38 PM Re: mountaineer route up whitney [Re: hiker]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Originally Posted By: hiker
Answer to some questions, please. I am going up Aug 2. First question; will the snow melt off this route any quicker than the main trail? I plan a car-to-car day hike, so is this route as easy to stay on as is the main trail in the dark;I would like to start hike at 2am. Is this wise to start in the dark or ill advised? I have been to summit 4 times on main trail and would like to summit via MR route and either down climb MR, or come down on main trail. Thank you all for your replies!


Hello hiker,

In Sept., 2012 I did (more or less) exactly what you are getting ready to undertake. I had been to the summit 3 previous times (most recent was June 20, 2012), and on Sept. 20th went up the Mountaineer's route. There are some obvious differences:
2012 was not a high snow fall year, so no snow to deal with, and perhaps more importantly the creeks were not raging

You can view my trip report here: http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/27939/Searchpage/1/Main/2917/Words/Mountaineer%27s/Search/true/First_Time_-_Mountaineer’s_Rou#Post27939

I really echo Steve's suggestion that you preview the trail to LBS the day before. This gives you the opportunity to scout the creek crossings, and get familial with the E-Ledges. I would not personally cross the ledges before day light (30 minutes prior to sunrise), or after dark on the return. The good news is that in early Aug. you will have more day light and should still have time to hike to the summit and back via either route. I was back to the portal before dark starting at 4:30 AM, returning via the main trail. Of course I did not have to deal with raging creeks, or snow covered trail. Not sure what you will encounter on Aug. 2nd.

If you have the flexibility to delay your hike I would recommend the middle of Sept. Fewer afternoon thundershowers/storms, mosquitos may be gone, generally good weather, snow should be gone, and hopefully the creeks will have abated.

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#50879 - 07/13/17 07:39 AM Re: mountaineer route up whitney [Re: hiker]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 414
Loc: Reno, NV
I private messaged you.

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#50906 - 07/13/17 07:13 PM Re: mountaineer route up whitney [Re: Steve C]
hiker Offline


Registered: 07/10/17
Posts: 3
Loc: East coast
Thank you SteveC for your insight and your videos on the Mountaineer's route. Your advice will be taken! I have no desire to die on Whitney, or have to be rescued because of stupidity. Thanks again!!

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#50907 - 07/13/17 07:22 PM Re: mountaineer route up whitney [Re: John Sims]
hiker Offline


Registered: 07/10/17
Posts: 3
Loc: East coast
Thanks John Sims for your trip report and suggestions. I plan on following your and Steve's advice, and scout the trail in daylight before trying it in the dark. This hike could only be possible because of guys like you two, posting info and videos to help people like me. Thanks again!!

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#50917 - 07/14/17 10:20 AM Re: mountaineer route up whitney [Re: Steve C]
Robert C Offline


Registered: 07/13/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Danville, CA
Steve- my permit is July 21-23. I've summitted three times on the MR, so I know the route fairly well. Also, multiple Shasta summits as a snow climb.

Do you think the chute and above the notch will be OK with micro spikes, or do we need ice axe and crampons? Packed snow would probably be OK, but I am concerned about ice, especially above the notch.

Also, from what I've read, I think UBSL and Iceberg should be negotiable with just micro spikes.

Thanks- Robert

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#50920 - 07/14/17 11:27 AM Re: mountaineer route up whitney [Re: Robert C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7225
Loc: Fresno, CA
I'm thinking you should be ok without the ice gear. I've seen a MR report somewhere recently where the climber reported they could find a way up the Final 400 that was dry.

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#50926 - 07/14/17 01:54 PM Re: mountaineer route up whitney [Re: Steve C]
Robert C Offline


Registered: 07/13/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Danville, CA
Steve- thanks. I'll post after this weekend. Hopefully we can summit, but I won't put the group at undue risk if the conditions seem unsafe.

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#51138 - 07/24/17 08:12 AM Re: mountaineer route up whitney [Re: Robert C]
BFR Offline


Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 70
Loc: Santa Monica, CA
Bumping this thread - any update on Mountaineer's route? Thanks
_________________________
Strava, IG

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#51147 - 07/24/17 11:29 AM Re: mountaineer route up whitney [Re: BFR]
climb4life Offline


Registered: 04/30/17
Posts: 4
Loc: California
I caught this update from Kurt Wedberg who's a guide in Bishop. I guess he was just on the MR and put this update on the Whitney Portal Store site.

http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=83075&page=16

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