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#52380 - 10/16/17 09:48 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Bob West]
rex Offline

Registered: 05/31/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Bay Area California
Absolutely right. Any time of the year, conditions can change quickly.

On the 14th, we summited with perfect conditions. Sunny and warm at the top, cold in the shade. Camped at Outpost the 13th and 14th. Was sub-freezing night of the 13th, and just above freezing the second night.

There's no snow on the trail, but there's ice in places. Mainly where the cables are.

#52382 - 10/16/17 05:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: rex]
Chris C Offline

Registered: 10/16/17
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
10/13/17 summit hike

Start time: 3:06am from Whitney Portal trailhead. In the 30s with minimal wind. Clearly defined trail. Saw a bit of iced-over water before we reached Trail Camp, but not an issue at all.

Sunrise was around 6:20am but didn't have sunlight fall on us until about one-fourth of the way up the 99 switchbacks--we must have been over 4 hours into the hike at that point. Finally got our toes warm again (I had Injinji liners with Darn Smart socks as the outer layer in my Goretex Salomons, so my toes were pretty well insulated).

99 switchbacks had ice only at the Cables, but it was easily managed (we could step along the side of the icy patch, which stretched about 30 feet, I think). That was the only area that had ice of any concern at the time of our hike, but I'm sure that's going to change as it gets colder. We brought our traction cleats but didn't use them.

Stayed chilly throughout the ascent and back down. We essentially didn't change our clothes from beginning to end (beanies, down jackets, hoods, etc). It got a little windy at times, but wind didn't feel like a concern.

Returned to the Whitney Portal parking lot a little past 7:30pm, about one hour after dark. Roundtrip in 16.5 hours. Amazing hike!

Edited by Chris C (10/16/17 06:00 PM)

#52390 - 10/22/17 11:12 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
HikingNewbie Offline

Registered: 10/22/17
Posts: 1
Loc: Bay Area, CA
First off, thanks to all who post on this board. It is an invaluable resource, and I'm not sure what I would have done without the info and insight here.

Second, to all the people who have summited Whitney, I salute you. It is grueling, it is relentless, it is the most physically taxing thing I have ever done. I think I experienced every range of human emotion possible: anger, sadness, ecstasy.

Summited on Friday, 10/20. Started a little after 2 am, summited at 9 am. Back down around 2:30 pm. 38 yo, relatively fit (so I thought), and did an acclimation climb to Lone Pine Lake the day before.

It was COLD and WINDY. My water and Gatorade was frozen by the switchbacks. My snot froze. Was not at all mentally prepared for 40+ MPH gusts at the top. We were the first group up, so did not get the benefit of getting reports from other hikers, but suffice it to say if I had to do it over again I may not push through towards summit considering this was my first attempt and first big hike.

Cable section had ice but very easy to go around. No crampons or micro spikes necessary. I had hiking boots and poles, which I used like a cane coming down because my entire lower body was aching.

Body is hurting today, but spirits are high. I wish you all happy and safe climbing.


#52393 - 10/24/17 02:33 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Jorge18 Offline

Registered: 10/24/17
Posts: 2
Loc: California
Hello everyone, Im planning on solo hiking Mt Whitney on November 4th. I did it back in july 1st but i was with a friend. Just curious if anyone else is planning on doing it that day as a day hike.Just asking to calm my nerves haha.

#52394 - 10/24/17 08:39 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Jorge18]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7235
Loc: Fresno, CA
Wow, Jorge18! November is especially late to hike. Of course the permits are a sure thing. If no storms come in before then, the trail will be clear and dry, but it's guaranteed to be cold! If there is any wind, it will be bitter cold!

Carry your water inside your pack, as anything outside may freeze. Camel-back water setups can freeze in the tube, so a bottle is better.

Right now, temperatures are on the above normal side, so hiking this week would have been much easier.

Good luck, and be sure to turn back if things get too severe.

#52395 - 10/24/17 09:06 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Jorge18 Offline

Registered: 10/24/17
Posts: 2
Loc: California
I spoke to someone today that gave me the same advice. He said when he did it a couple days ago it was really sunny but really cold. He also said there was ice in some areas. I know the weather can be really unpredictable up there but hopefully it remains the same. I'm just hoping there will be people up there haha. I can't be the only one thinking of attempting it.

#52397 - 10/25/17 03:08 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Jorge18]
Rohit Dube Offline

Registered: 10/11/17
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
Thank you all for all the advice and suggestions. Was able to successfully summit Mt Whitney on 23rd Oct without any issues.
Weather was perfectly fine for all the 17 hours of my hike. It was windy at the summit and was getting cold. I will suggest carrying pair of gloves and a mask to cover your face(nose and ears).
There was no need for crampons as the trail is pretty clear of snow and ice. But do check the weather on the day of your hike.
Again, thank you all.

Edited by Rohit Dube (10/25/17 03:09 PM)

#52398 - 10/26/17 10:55 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Rohit Dube]
JMH Offline

Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 19
Loc: Aurora, Illinois
I dont have that much experience hiking but my 3rd favorite hike of all time was whitney 2016 in about the middle of november. There was a small "warm spell" so i jumped on a plane and went out there. Only 4 cars at portal when i got there the night before the hike. I got lucky and the next day there was not a cloud in the sky for like the whole day and very little wind. I saw 1 person coming down and two people at lone pine lake the entire day all the way to mirror lake. Id guess from memory that is was like 20 to 30 degrees. I carried an ultra lite 20 degree bag and shelter. It got icy above mirror lake on those flat spots and on those stairs on the way up to trail side so for safety i turned around. But it was amazing to be up there almost all by myself. Im sure you know this but there are lots of posts on this site about people getting trapped in snow storms up there so you need to obviously be smart about your plans. Im running errands at lunch and have to go back into work so i can only sit back and dream about how great whitney can be in november if you get lucky with the weather.

#52400 - 10/26/17 03:46 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
tomkwheeler Offline

Registered: 10/26/17
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
I was noting a post from 9/25 and here it is a month later, and like that post, the conditions as of last weekend were still like summer, to the summit. Hmm. Just keep watching the wind. The late season chill is serious stuff if the wind kicks up.

Edited by tomkwheeler (10/26/17 03:47 PM)

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