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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.

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#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)

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#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.

Thanks,
John

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#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.

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


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7590
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.

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#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.

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#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)

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


Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 24
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.

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#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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#52427 - 11/13/17 05:15 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7590
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a useful current trip report: DAY HIKE 11-11-17

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#52450 - 11/17/17 01:05 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Hayden Mills Offline


Registered: 11/17/17
Posts: 4
Loc: CA
Hey! I'm headed up to Whitney next weekend (Thanksgiving weekend), and I was wondering what the snow is like up there after the storm this last 48 hours. Wondering if I need to lug up crampons and ice axes if the snow is unconsolidated. Thanks!

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#52452 - 11/17/17 02:13 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Hayden Mills]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7590
Loc: Fresno, CA
Crampons could be useful. Ice axe: not enough consolidated snow anywhere that an axe would help.

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#52463 - 11/21/17 02:01 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Hayden Mills]
sogood Offline


Registered: 11/21/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Arizona
I'm also looking at going up this weekend-- after calling the rangers, they didn't have a lot of information because folks don't usually report after the return to the station. They don't even know if anyone has summited since that first snow.

They heard from one party that went up last Friday (11/17) that they had ankle-deep snow at Lone Pine Lake, but it's been warm so much of that has probably melted... snowshoes might be the name of the game.

I called the local gear shop, Elevation, for any other beta based on what people are renting, but I haven't heard back yet from them.

I'll let you know if I hear any more and hope you'll keep us updated, too!

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#52464 - 11/21/17 04:39 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: sogood]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7590
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's Outpost Camp last Saturday, Nov 18.
posted on FB by Mario T. He reported seeing 2' of snow at Trail Camp.




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#52465 - 11/21/17 10:21 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7590
Loc: Fresno, CA
Posted on Instagram by Ryan H
His caption: "we were the only ones there 11/17/17"



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#52469 - 11/22/17 11:13 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: sogood]
Hayden Mills Offline


Registered: 11/17/17
Posts: 4
Loc: CA
Will do! Me and a buddy are headed up Friday. We're going to try and spend the night at Outpost, and use all day Saturday to summit. A little worried about that storm forecasted for Sunday.

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#52470 - 11/23/17 09:04 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Brian B Offline


Registered: 11/17/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Los Angeles
I hiked 11/22. Started at 9am after camping at the trail head and getting a very late start. Snow and ice starting 1 mile in. Nothing you couldn't handle without poles but it was definitely slippery in areas with no sun and people were wearing microspikes. There was a decent amount of ice early in the day on the logs during the first river crossing that actually caused me slip and fall into the knee-deep water, and it took me an hour to dry off (bring extra socks!!!) but by the evening the ice had mostly melted and it was far easier to cross going back (I debated wearing crampons going back but it seems unnecessary). By the first camp there was a decent amount of snow, maybe knee high. I then snapped lots of pictures in this area and turned back. It took me 9am - 130pm going up, with an hour to dry off plus time to eat and take pictures on the way up, and 2-330pm to get back after 30 minutes of pictures and walking around the first camp area.

Two notes:
-One or two switchbacks were being cut so I tried to create the proper trail
-Once you get near the first camp, stay to the left. There is a false path going across the stream through the meadow. This made me waste some time so although that path may eventually go where you want it to, it's not fun.

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#52471 - 11/23/17 09:38 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Brian B]
Hayden Mills Offline


Registered: 11/17/17
Posts: 4
Loc: CA
Could you post some of those pics?? laugh

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#52472 - 11/23/17 10:03 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Hayden Mills]
Brian B Offline


Registered: 11/17/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Los Angeles
One more thing: I left a cooler bag with a sealed piece of salmon along with 4 Sierra Nevada beers and some sunscreen in a bear storage locker. I won't be able to return anytime soon to grab them, so they are fair game! I plan on alerting the staff tomorrow.






Edited by Brian B (11/23/17 10:07 PM)

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#52473 - 11/25/17 09:03 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Brian B]
Hayden Mills Offline


Registered: 11/17/17
Posts: 4
Loc: CA
Trip Report (11-24-17)

Me and a buddy hiked up to Bighorn Park, and turned around. Out of about 25-30 climbers coming down from Trail Camp, only one had made it. He said there was chest high snow up near Trail Crest, and that the 99 switchbacks were dangerous with the amount of powder snow accumulated on them.

Trail conditions as of Friday. The first 1.5 mile is free of snow, with just a little patch on the trail after the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek crossing. Snow begins a third of the way up to Lone Pine Lake from the creek crossing. The trail is worn down, and therefore has become icy. A lot of hikers were using micro spikes. The log crossing right before Lone Pine Creek is totally doable, and there is little ice left. Above Lone Pine Lake you start to notice a lot more snow but the trail is easy to follow. Above Bighorn Park, snowshoes would be useful, postholing is exhausting.

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