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#51178 - 07/25/17 12:03 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Traumatized]
tomrm09 Offline


Registered: 07/24/17
Posts: 2
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Traumatized
If you have microspikes or crampons you should be safe. After what I saw yesterday I wouldn't recommend going without.


Sounds good, I'll try to pick up some spikes or crampons this weekend. I'll post about my trip when I get back.

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#51188 - 07/25/17 07:22 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: tomrm09]
Bobby49 Offline


Registered: 07/04/17
Posts: 32
Loc: California
Prior to this year, I would generally be hiking uphill through Trail Camp at dawn. I would get to a spot around Switchback #15-20 where the snow melt water had been flowing across the trail, and then it froze overnight. So, suddenly I would hit the slick patch and start to spin out. But that wasn't enough to warrant using microspikes.

Higher up, the packed snow is likely slicker, so it wouldn't be stupid to have microspikes along.

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#51190 - 07/25/17 08:04 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: tomrm09]
mrchowmein Offline


Registered: 07/25/17
Posts: 3
Loc: CA

I went up this past Saturday, July 22 wrote a quick trailninjas.com blog post about it.

microspikes are NOT needed, but would come in handy. Definitely carry poles. the snow is melting fast. in the same day, the same snow patches were different from the morning compared to the afternoon. we encountered snow between 1/2 mile before Trail Camp all the way up to Trail Crest. crossing the patches can be a lil dicey. there is also a patch of snow near the summit, most people just scramble up the rocks around the patch.

water crossings were up to the knees. my feet were wet from mile 1 all the way up to Trail Crest. so bring extra socks.

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#51199 - 07/26/17 07:31 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: mrchowmein]
jille Offline


Registered: 07/03/17
Posts: 4
Loc: California
Leaving the Whitney Portal at about 1 a.m. on Aug. 2nd. I would appreciate any updates on trail conditions by folks who are hiking this week. Details on where snow fields are still covering the main Mt Whitney trail would be extremely helpful, hence a good portion of our hiking will be limited to headlamps.

Thank you - Jill

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#51220 - 07/27/17 07:11 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: jille]
Mkatz Offline


Registered: 07/27/17
Posts: 1
Loc: Milwaukee, wi
Trip report ... summitted July 26.. we are first timers on whitney

My wife and I are from wiconsin so we attempted to get acclimatized by doing a hikes to kearsage pass out of onion valley and did cotton wood lakes (each separate day hikes).. since we do not live any where near altitude we took diamox 125 mg bid.

- We left at 2 am from the portal
- Take the old trail in the beginning, it cuts off .25 miles and you avoid a major water crossing, the old trail is right at the portal
- bring crocs or sandals - I only changed on way up. On the way down I said screw it and walked right through. These are ankle deep when we went
- snow crossings - if you are leaving very early like we did, the first snow crossing was icy, so we used our yaktrax. Then it was easy to get a good grip. We had poles too. On the return we used no yak trax, snow was slushy, use your polls and kick in a spot in the snow to get a good grip
- watch your water... I wish I refilled at the switchbacks going up. This is the last spot for water on the trail. My wife and I ran out right before trailcresrt on the way back
- great trip for sure, conditions are changing so fast , I have followed these forums but best to go portal store day before hike and chat with return hikers about the snow crossings and what condition they are in so u have a good idea

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#51244 - 07/27/17 07:09 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
LarryK Offline


Registered: 07/25/17
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Hi all, thanks for the trip reports, really helpful gauging changing conditions and thinking about what to bring along and prepare. I'm hiking Whitney on the main trail on 8/1 as a solo hiker. I have an extra permit, but the person who was going to join me can't. If you know someone who'd like it, it's available.

Also, I have a reserved site at the Whitney Portal main campground for 7/30, 7/31, and 8/1. If anyone would like to share the campsite on one or more of those dates, I'm open to it - it's only me and my car. I think each site can have two cars and up to 6 people. I'd ask only that you pay the extra vehicle fee of $7 if you have a car.

PM me if interested in any of the above (very last minute, I know). I wasn't certain if I should create a new thread or just post here with the thanks regarding trip reports. Thanks again!

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#51254 - 07/28/17 08:24 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Mkatz]
jille Offline


Registered: 07/03/17
Posts: 4
Loc: California
A Couple More Questions...

Below Trail Camp, where snow is covering the main trail, is it difficult to relocate the main trail after crossing the snow? (Walking this portion in the dark)

Or perhaps, is it now possible to stay on the main trail all the way up to Trail Camp?

Jill

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#51285 - 07/29/17 06:39 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: jille]
cantare Offline


Registered: 04/07/14
Posts: 13
Loc: California
Climbed main trail July 27 in perfect weather. Took old trail at portal both ways to avoid crossings (why does anyone use the new trail?)

Bighorn Park still flooded in spots, up to calf deep depending on time of day. I used water shoes until the crossing just past Outpost campsites, then stashed them in a tree. A few more wet spots above this (those waterfall stairs upthread) can be avoided with some care.

I took Consultation Lake snowfield route on the way up--that continues to melt out and has some breakthru holes, water underruns and the usual overhangs near rocks to watch for. Don't just blithely follow the old footprints without checking what you're about to walk over.

Took official main trail down. I'd say snow is no longer a real concern. Below trail camp the much-discussed traverse has melted out to the point where there's just one minor hump of snow to walk over.

The 97 switchbacks are almost completely clear--I think there were 2 or 3 where I cut the corner--#92 was the worst of these and needed a brief steep scramble up/down scree.

Snowmelt "spring" at #23 flowing merrily after AM thaw...drank about 4 untreated liters.

Cables are melted out.

Below trail crest on final straight there is one easy snow traverse left. The second, formerly scarier one right at the top is almost completely dirt now.

Summit snowfield reroute after Keeler Needle (i.e. the last and biggest "window") is still in effect. After passing this window and before reaching the main snowfield on the ridgeline ahead, look up and to the right for an obvious line of cairns and follow the diverging rough trail steeply up to the summit. You will rejoin the main trail just short of the summit at a place flanked by two large cairns; remember this junction for the descent. There were a number of people who missed this cutoff in both directions.

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#51297 - 07/31/17 07:21 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: cantare]
jille Offline


Registered: 07/03/17
Posts: 4
Loc: California
Thanks "Cantare" for the info!!!

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#51302 - 07/31/17 02:42 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: cantare]
lpj Offline


Registered: 03/28/13
Posts: 2
Loc: California, Orange County
I summitted for the 6th time on the 27 also. I would concur with everything you said. Taking the old trail up and back saved us an additional water crossing. It was easy to find after looking at pictures posted on this forum. It appears that more people are using it so it is easy to follow. Still amazed at the number of abandoned wag bags along the trail. Trial Camp was not very crowded. I filled a 1 gallon zip lock bag of small pieces of trash left behind at trail camp and along the trail. I think if everyone stopped and picked up the small stuff along the way it would help. Wag bags are a different story. Also, why is it that every year when I go to filter water at Trail Camp I am met by a pile of noodles in the water from someone who decided to wash their cooking gear in the water? People need to also realize that if you are going to summit you need get off the top early! I saw a lot of people at Trail Crest at 2:00 p.m. that were trying to summit. I ran into a day hiker at Outpost Camp at 10:00 a.m. who was going to summit.......REALLY? The best was the hiker who came into Trail Camp at 7:00 p.m. crying because they had a migraine for 4 hours because they ran out of water and still had to hike down to their camp at Outpost. Mountain-Forecast.com provided me the best and most detailed weather information. Finally, a big THANK YOU! to everyone who contributes to this forum. Your information is up to date, detailed and very helpful. I wish everyone a safe and memorable hike. LIFE IS GOOD!

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#51304 - 07/31/17 03:20 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: lpj]
david_garza Offline


Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 23
Loc: Glendale, California
Originally Posted By: lpj
Taking the old trail up and back saved us an additional water crossing. It was easy to find after looking at pictures posted on this forum.

Is there a particular thread you can link to? Thx.

Edit: Link to Old Trail information


Edited by Steve C (08/06/17 02:06 PM)
Edit Reason: add link

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#51306 - 07/31/17 07:33 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: david_garza]
BFR Online


Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 58
Loc: Santa Monica, CA
I hiked down the trail yesterday. The trail was entirely clear with the exception of a section right near the top that can be easily bypassed. There are two snow traverses that can be easily done without any gear. The only water issue is near Outpost camp where approximately 10 meters of the trail is submerged with 4-5" of water.


Edited by BFR (07/31/17 07:34 PM)
_________________________
Strava, IG

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#51315 - 08/01/17 09:41 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Squib09]
mtlover Offline


Registered: 07/12/17
Posts: 1
Loc: Nevada
Thanks Squib09 the very very helpful detail report!

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#51380 - 08/03/17 03:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: G4u2]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 153
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: G4u2
Also, on water shoes, I regret bringing them The only spot you need to take your boots off is right below Outpost camp. The flooded trail is not gravely and one could easily walk barefooted - save some weight.


I actually use my water shoes for camp shoes so I don't have to slip my big boots all the time on for nightime strolls to the nearest bolder. smile So they'd be dual purpose in my case. And I got a fairly light pair that are about 12 oz.

Hope you enjoyed the sunrise from Trail Camp before heading down. That was one of my highlights of my first Whitney hike (well two, since I stayed two nights at Trail Camp smile ).

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#51385 - 08/03/17 06:44 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: G4u2]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 153
Loc: California
So have they repaired the door on the hut so you can sleep inside?

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#51395 - 08/04/17 08:01 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: G4u2]
Raptor Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 2
Loc: California USA
Great post! The link to the photos of current snow and water conditions is very helpful. I'm heading to Whitney for the first time for an overnight hike next weekend and have been a little anxious about the trail conditions, but your photos have set my mind at ease.

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#51397 - 08/04/17 09:43 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: WanderingJim]
Veda Loca Offline


Registered: 08/01/17
Posts: 6
Loc: CA, USA
Did you use crampons?
Thanks!

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#51398 - 08/04/17 09:44 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Raptor]
Veda Loca Offline


Registered: 08/01/17
Posts: 6
Loc: CA, USA
Are you bringing crampons?
Thanks!

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#51399 - 08/04/17 09:50 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Squib09]
Veda Loca Offline


Registered: 08/01/17
Posts: 6
Loc: CA, USA
Do you wish you had brought crampons?
Thanks!

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#51404 - 08/04/17 04:20 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Veda Loca]
Raptor Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 2
Loc: California USA
I'm bringing microspikes in case of compacted slippery snow.

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