This is my trip report for our Mt Whitney Summit on Thursday, 10/19/2017.

Obtaining a Permit

Our first step was the overnight permit. Way back in the beginning of the yearI had put my first choice and 15 alternate options. I was awarded alternate option #15 (mid-Oct, mid-week, 2 hikers). This was a father/daughter trip, but my daughter wanted to add a friend. Given that this is in October, I thought our chances for a walk-in permit were good. It ended up being a one person lottery at the Eastern Sierra Agency Visitor Center with 4 openings available. The rep was surprised that there weren't more.

Training Hikes

We hiked Mt El Cajon in San Diego for endurance training (that's not a fun hike, BTW). We hiked Mt San Jacinto to experience some altitude (10k+ feet). We also did Tahquitz Peak on the same mountain on another day and several smaller hikes around San Diego, CA.


We stayed at nearby Horseshoe Meadow to acclimate. I stayed 3 nights. The other two hikers stayed 2 nights. This is a popular camp site to prep for Mt Whitney at around ~10k feet. We did some moderate hiking, started taking Motrin every 6 hours and enjoyed Dutch oven cooking.

Note that during the busy hiking season they request that you stay only one night there.

After entering the trail on 10/18 we hiked to Trail Camp, which is at around ~12k feet. The next day we made a slow ascent.

I had ~40 lbs of gear, which included a Garmin InReach Explorer+. I love that device.

My Failures

Ugh, here it is... Mt Russell from the Whitney summit. Three years and four failed attempts, two this year alone. I hope to have a shot at it again next year.

'Recreational' Oxygen

Not sure if it helped, but I brought along some cans of O+ pure oxygen. They come in various form factors, but the ones I used were spray oxygen cans. They weigh almost nothing. More anecdotal data is needed.

Trail Conditions

As others have said (ice near cables, etc.), however this can change quickly.

We encountered wag bags and some trash on the trail. That is unfortunate. At least they used them. Someone straight up took a dump right on the trail. I brought back 5 wag bags, none of them ours.

The People on the Trail

Other than leaving wag bags, the people on the trail that we encountered were awesome. I think that includes the people here. Thank you for all of the trail info! I wish the world was filled with people from the trail.