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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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#51420 - 08/05/17 04:04 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
MrHoff Offline


Registered: 08/05/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I was part of a group that climbed Mount Whitney this week. On Wednesday, August 2, we hiked from Whitney Portal up to the ridge overlooking Consultation Lake (about a third of a mile short of Trail Camp), where we set up our tents. The following morning, we broke camp at about 6:30 and reached the summit at about 10:30. Hooray!! Due to threatening clouds, we left the summit at 11:00, returned to our camp-site, packed up, and made it back to Whitney Portal by 6:30 PM.

Snow is not a problem on the trail. Between Whitney Portal and Trail Crest, there are two short snowfields that do not require crampons, micro-spikes, or even trekking poles. About a quarter-mile short of the summit, there is a snowfield that is easily avoided by a well-cairned by-pass trail.

There is some water on the trail, but it is only a problem for hikers wearing non-waterproof or low-top footwear. I wear medium-weight Salomon hiking boots. With nimble rock-hopping (and trekking poles for balance), I was able to keep my feet dry on the way down from the summit. People with low-top boots will want to change to water shoes in a couple of spots.

Overall, the trail is in great shape. We enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience -- and you will, too!

A side note: We encountered many abandoned "wag bags" of human waste left along the trail. Eeewww! Please be considerate of your fellow hikers, and be responsible stewards of the environment, by bringing back your "wag bags."

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#51423 - 08/05/17 06:45 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: MrHoff]
Keithdavis79 Offline


Registered: 08/05/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Los Angeles, Ca
We summitted Whitney 8/4/17. Left portal at 2am and returned just before 4pm. We took the old trailhead to bypass any fears of getting soaked by the two water crossings early on. It was very easy to locate the old trailhead using this thread.
http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/15657/Old_Trail_Trailhead
The flooded meadow crossing just before outpost camp was ankle high. We navigated carefully and were able to escape with mostly dry feet. I wore mid high gore-Tex boots and stayed relatively dry throughout the day. I elected to not carry water shoes in order to save time changing shoes. I'm overall happy with my decision but this is a personal preference.
In regards to microspikes or crampons in my opinion there is no need. There are a couple very minor snow crossings. This is the worst (Midway up on the switchbacks)
https://goo.gl/photos/sc6oEjXC4gtsD8GP8


A couple weeks ago there was a treacherous crossing near the top of the switchbacks but it has since melted out completely.
See photo. https://goo.gl/photos/VDeD4VJNG1vWuNUS8


With trekking poles and hiking boots there were no issues on any of the snow crossings.
The weather was cloudy and cool. I wore a t-shirt and shorts most of the day but put on a light rain jacket and gloves at trail crest while waiting for friends to finish the switchbacks. I did bring a long sleeve shirt and pants as well but never put them on.
A couple other things to note: The portal store was not cooking food nor offering showers due to "no water". We later discovered signs posted at the portal spigots noting E. coli had been detected in the water at the portal and they recommend boiling the water before drinking etc. Fortunately we had filled our bladders prior to our arrival and had extra food. But we were looking forward to a meal at the portal store the night before our hike.
Lastly, there was a ranger on the trail checking for permits and wag bags. We saw her handing out citations to people who couldn't produce their wag bags. That's all for now. Safe travels!

Edited by Keithdavis79 (08/05/17 09:19 PM)

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#51424 - 08/05/17 08:05 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Keithdavis79]
Bobby49 Offline


Registered: 07/04/17
Posts: 41
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Keithdavis79
We summitted Whitney 8/14/17.


Are you time travelers?

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#51427 - 08/05/17 08:44 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Bobby49]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 184
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Bobby49
Originally Posted By: Keithdavis79
We summitted Whitney 8/14/17.


Are you time travelers?


Quick, what are the lottery numbers?!?


Edited by WanderingJim (08/05/17 08:44 PM)

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#51428 - 08/05/17 09:23 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Bobby49]
Keithdavis79 Offline


Registered: 08/05/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Los Angeles, Ca
Originally Posted By: Bobby49
Originally Posted By: Keithdavis79
We summitted Whitney 8/14/17.


Are you time travelers?


Lol. Oops smile. Sorry. Was yesterday 8/4/17. I corrected the mistake. Thanks!

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#51436 - 08/06/17 08:32 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
tabbycats Offline


Registered: 08/06/17
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
My sister and I reached the summit on Saturday 8/5/17. Keith has a great description of the current conditions. I just wanted to add that we took the new trail from the Portal and had no problem getting across the first few water crossings while keeping our feet dry. At the ankle-deep crossing before Outpost Camp we took off our shoes for the crossing, which, though cold, actually felt really good on the way back.

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#51454 - 08/07/17 08:05 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Keithdavis79]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1098
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Keithdavis79

Lastly, there was a ranger on the trail checking for permits and wag bags. We saw her handing out citations to people who couldn't produce their wag bags.

Very interesting. What was the citation for? Anyone?

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#51456 - 08/07/17 09:49 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: SierraNevada]
bobbyj54 Offline


Registered: 07/27/17
Posts: 1
Loc: Ca., USA
Has anyone come up the west side. We have a High sierra trail trip planned for end of August. Curios if anyone knows the conditions

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#51457 - 08/07/17 09:58 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: SierraNevada]
Keithdavis79 Offline


Registered: 08/05/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Los Angeles, Ca
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
Originally Posted By: Keithdavis79

Lastly, there was a ranger on the trail checking for permits and wag bags. We saw her handing out citations to people who couldn't produce their wag bags.

Very interesting. What was the citation for? Anyone?


Citations if you could not show her your wag bag, either used or unused. You're required to carry one. If you don't have one to show they assume you either never had one to begin with or left it on the trail. I believe the citations were just warnings but It was nice to see there was some sort of regulation. There are wag bags all over the trail. Very disappointing.

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#51464 - 08/07/17 01:40 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: SierraNevada]
cantare Offline


Registered: 04/07/14
Posts: 13
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada
Originally Posted By: Keithdavis79

Lastly, there was a ranger on the trail checking for permits and wag bags. We saw her handing out citations to people who couldn't produce their wag bags.

Very interesting. What was the citation for? Anyone?

"Failure to have your sh__ together"? laugh

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#51496 - 08/09/17 12:51 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
Posted on Instagram by haydayhikes
North Fork Lone Pine Creek (approx. Aug 3)

Using the Old Trail for the first mile bypasses this -- it joins the main trail just a few yards after this crossing.


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#51544 - 08/11/17 05:39 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
retarded Offline


Registered: 06/01/17
Posts: 19
Loc: SanFranfreako Bay Area
How are the mosquitos now?

Heading up this weekend!

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#51550 - 08/11/17 08:45 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: retarded]
david_garza Offline


Registered: 03/28/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Glendale, California
There are mosquitoes at Trail Camp later in the day.

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#51556 - 08/12/17 11:30 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Anisha Sinha Offline


Registered: 08/12/17
Posts: 1
Loc: USA
Summited on August 10th, 2017.

Trail conditions - No micro-spikes/crampons needed. There is no snow on the trail above trail camp. There was a tiny patch (less than 10 feet on pretty flat gradient) between Trail Side Meadows and Trail Camp. It is stained pink in patches due to Chlamydomonas alga. Do not eat it, however much it reminds you of watermelon snow cones on a hot and tiring hike. The water crossings are very manageable. I followed the regular trail and had to cross the two water crossings within the first mile from the trail head. There's lots of water gushing across but enough outcropping rocks to tip toe across. Waterproof boots with good treads will help. The meadow before Outpost Camp has a few crossings too. Rangers installed a new log bridge over one of them as I came by (Thanks!). The waterfall staircase (as I call it) a mile above Mirror lake is gorgeous. It may look intimidating but the rocks are not slippery. Some steps have shallow water and others can be stepped around. All water crossings are no more than about ankle deep.

Weather - I found the weather to be in line with forecasts from mountain-forecast.com. Expected 39-43F at the summit in AM hours and it felt like that. Perhaps a little colder than that due to wind chill. At those temperatures, you will need something more substantial than a fleece jacket. Dress in layers so you can take a few off while coming down as it gets pretty warm below Trail Crest after noon. People in shorts found it to be uncomfortably cold at the summit in AM hours.

Water - Lots of water is available on the way. Major refill points that I found to be good - one within a mile before Lone Pine Lake and then there is the stream by the Trail Side Meadows (between Mirror Lake and Trail Camp). Look out for the wild flowers by the stream. It is a sight to behold. Lake at Trail Camp is popular too. There are a couple of streams on the switchbacks above Trail Camp. The snow is still melting and I do not think the flow rate will dwindle any time soon. In terms of water planning if it helps - I used about 2 liters from trail head to Trail Camp, another 2 liters from Trail Camp to Summit and back to Trail Camp and a final 2 liters from Trail Camp to trail head.

Critters, bugs and animals - Bear sightings (second hand report) in Whitney Portal campground (lock your food in the camp site's bear lockers). A few deer on the way (before lone pine lake and between Outpost Camp and Mirror Lake), a coyote at trail camp on the far side of the lake, and mosquitoes at a few places (I was fine without any repellants). Watch out for squirrels and marmots at Trail Camp. They can chew through your tent if you leave food in your tent.

Gear - Waterproof boots with good tread, dress in layers, sunblock and mosquito repellant, hiking poles, cap, sunglasses, bear locker if camping at Trail Camp (other places have bear lockers).

On Mountain sickness - I used prescription Diamox. Talk to your doctor about what you should do for more advice. Drink lots of water and keep yourself well fed. I did not feel any mountain sickness starting from almost sea level and up and down back to sea level in 3 days.

Rangers - Whitney rangers walk up and down the trail checking on permits and wag bags. Make sure you keep them handy. Hats off to the rangers for doing a great job and all those trail maintainers. The trail is in great shape. Lots of nice people and smiling faces on the mountain. Have fun and safe travels!

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#51558 - 08/12/17 01:06 PM Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
BGDCPA Offline


Registered: 07/28/17
Posts: 2
Loc: OR
Summit on 8/11/2017

Left Whitney Portal at7:15am and made Trail Camp at 11:00 am. Trail is in great shape.Left Trail camp at 3:50 am and made summit at 6:20 am (2.5 hours).

Though I did use water shoes just before outpost - no longer needed them on the way out. All the way down the mountain I was able to navigate the water sections without removing my low top North Face Ultra 109 hiking shoes.

Weather was amazing and plenty f spots at trail camp. But as always - people come in late - make a ton of noise for hours - and thus no consideration for those of us who want an early start and early to bed...so be ready for that - get away from other camp spots...if you want to rest.

Water at trail camp lake is still in great shape. I pumped but the water looked good...and cold. I saw maybe one mosquito at outpost but it did not bite me - so really did not need repellent.

One patch of snow down low - but so easy to cross and only 20-40 feet across. for me going solo - carried 30lb pack and that is it...that was too much food because I thought I would be there longer. Don;t over do it - light is good and much more enjoyable....and that was even with my luxury 2 person tent for one.

For sure - do not leave your food unattended even in a zip lock bag. Chipmunk stole my summit snickers bar at trail camp...bet he/she was happy....that and my peanut butter crackers.

Use mountain-forecast.com for weather and NOAA - they are the most accurate...no before you go. Finally, You Got This....enjoy it - take lts of picture. I suggest early starts - because later in the day it gets really hot - even as early at 11:00 can be brutal. Lot's of sunscreen. Every hour and a half - sunscreen, hydrate, eat 200-300 calories....every stop it helps.

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#51559 - 08/12/17 02:34 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: BGDCPA]
Brett Dean Offline


Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 26
Loc: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.

I understand that the Portal has a "boil only" policy right now because of water issues, possible e. coli? in the water.

Question: And I think I know the answer, but I just want to be sure. Can I safely pump/filter my water as a summit? Is this just an isolated issue with the Portal area?

Thank you in advance

Brett
_________________________
I don't want a tombstone, I want a mountain.

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#51563 - 08/12/17 04:47 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Brett Dean]
BGDCPA Offline


Registered: 07/28/17
Posts: 2
Loc: OR
Yes you can pump... filter anywhere in the mountain between portal and trail camp... which is last place to water up

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