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#53639 - 06/21/18 03:42 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: WSC]
203WEST Offline


Registered: 06/01/18
Posts: 18
Loc: Mammoth Lakes
Originally Posted By: WSC
I'm hiking this weekend (overnight permit for Saturday 6/23). Can anyone tell me what temps to expect at Trail Camp overnight? From this site I'd estimate lows in the 40s, does that sound reasonable for folks that have been up recently?


Trail Camp on Tuesday night was surprisingly mild, and not windy. I estimate it was in the 30's, but didn't freeze. I'd recommend you Google "Whitney Weather" and look for the Trail Camp forecast. It will vary day to day.

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#53641 - 06/21/18 04:17 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Wiff Offline


Registered: 07/23/14
Posts: 36
Loc: LA
This guy has good weather for base, trail camp and summit:

https://www.timberlinetrails.com/WhitneyWeather.html

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#53642 - 06/21/18 04:33 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Evelyn]
OChikers8073 Offline


Registered: 06/12/18
Posts: 22
Loc: CA
Yay I'll be hiking the same day. Happy trails smile

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#53644 - 06/21/18 05:55 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: 203WEST]
Evelyn Offline


Registered: 06/19/18
Posts: 10
Loc: CA
Thank you for posting. I am going for a day hike on July 12th and your posting helps a lot. Couldn't open the links to your pictures.

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#53645 - 06/21/18 06:42 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Kendell Offline


Registered: 06/21/18
Posts: 2
Loc: Illinois
Super excited and nervous for our scheduled hike on July 2nd. Thank you everyone for all of the updates on the conditions and suggestions for equipment.
We are day hiking Whitney and will definitely practice with our headlamps prior to our registered day. Please keep the information and pictures coming......love seeing everyone's success stories!

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#53648 - 06/21/18 10:07 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Caroline H. Offline


Registered: 06/13/18
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Thank you all for the great feedback, it helps to get ready! I am going this weekend, first time ever, trail camp on Sunday and summit on Monday. Definitely bringing crampons and ice axe.
Will provide feedback when I come back! smile

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#53659 - 06/23/18 07:29 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
bighead Offline


Registered: 06/23/18
Posts: 1
Loc: AZ
Any new updates? We are coming from the west side of Mt Whitney July 2nd and trying to decide if we need to carry axes or micro spikes.

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#53660 - 06/23/18 10:33 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
highsierramike Offline


Registered: 07/06/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Fresno, CA
Hiked to trail camp on Wednesday. Group of four. Two of us are in our forties, two aged 17. Me and the (then) 16 year olds successfully summitted in July 2017. Snow conditions were much worse then than they are now.

A word of caution: last year I made sure my son and his buddy hiked at my pace. About a mile an hour. This is recommended to help your body acclimate. We all made it, successfuly summitted, no problems with altitude. This year, my son and his buddy booked it up the mountain (carrying 35 pound packs), got terrible headaches, and were unable to summit.

My friend and I however took a slow pace. 6.1/2 hours to trail camp. (This includes stopping for lunch on the way) Neither of us had any problems with altitude.

We summitted on Thursday 6/21. Four hours from trail camp to summit. We took the switchbacks. We had microspikes but they were not needed. Very few snow crossings. Trekking poles still very useful at snow crossing at cables.

There are no water crossings that require water shoes. Trail is good. Lots of places to resupply water on trail from portal to trail camp. But, take lots of water from trail camp! I took two liters to summit and still ran out.

Took us 2 1/2 hours to get from summit to trail camp. Packed up our gear, left trail camp at 5:00 and got down to portal at 8:00. With the exception of my boy and his buddy getting headaches, it was a good trip. Really windy at trail camp and summit tho. Stake your tent, bring ear plugs, and dress accordingly. It was not cold except for the bite of the wind.

Be safe. Happy trails.

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#53669 - 06/24/18 12:54 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: highsierramike]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks, hsmike! VERY interesting story regarding the tortoise and the hare experiences. I'll post your report for the Altitude Acclimatization fb group.

...so where do you frequent around Fresno?

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#53670 - 06/24/18 09:51 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
highsierramike Offline


Registered: 07/06/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Fresno, CA
Hey Steve! Didnít notice you were from Fresno. I live in sunnyside area (Fowler and kings canyon), teach philosophy at FCC, and get over to metalmark when I can. I also spend an inordinate amount of time at REI lol. Otherwise, I try to get up to Sequoia/Kings Canyon and Yosemite as often as I can. Let me know if you want to meet up some time.

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#53680 - 06/25/18 11:09 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: ScottHikerEsq]
Jay Garcia Offline


Registered: 02/01/18
Posts: 2
Loc: Seattle, WA
if I understood correct they did it in 3 hours, portal to trail camp which is a little above 3000 elevation gain, I agree they ware moving fast.

thanks for the report.

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#53681 - 06/25/18 11:43 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: highsierramike]
meltedcheez Offline


Registered: 06/18/18
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: highsierramike
Hiked to trail camp on Wednesday. Group of four. Two of us are in our forties, two aged 17. Me and the (then) 16 year olds successfully summitted in July 2017. Snow conditions were much worse then than they are now.

A word of caution: last year I made sure my son and his buddy hiked at my pace. About a mile an hour. This is recommended to help your body acclimate. We all made it, successfuly summitted, no problems with altitude. This year, my son and his buddy booked it up the mountain (carrying 35 pound packs), got terrible headaches, and were unable to summit.

My friend and I however took a slow pace. 6.1/2 hours to trail camp. (This includes stopping for lunch on the way) Neither of us had any problems with altitude.

We summitted on Thursday 6/21. Four hours from trail camp to summit. We took the switchbacks. We had microspikes but they were not needed. Very few snow crossings. Trekking poles still very useful at snow crossing at cables.

There are no water crossings that require water shoes. Trail is good. Lots of places to resupply water on trail from portal to trail camp. But, take lots of water from trail camp! I took two liters to summit and still ran out.

Took us 2 1/2 hours to get from summit to trail camp. Packed up our gear, left trail camp at 5:00 and got down to portal at 8:00. With the exception of my boy and his buddy getting headaches, it was a good trip. Really windy at trail camp and summit tho. Stake your tent, bring ear plugs, and dress accordingly. It was not cold except for the bite of the wind.

Be safe. Happy trails.


I'm pretty sure I ran across your boys on Wednesday while doing a prep hike up to Lone Pine Lake on the 20th. They were moving pretty fast and passed me right as I was getting to the lake junction. I remember because I asked where they were from and they mentioned Fresno. I was raised in Fresno but live in southern Cali now. Then I saw them on my way back down from the summit on Thursday and they mentioned not summitting due to altitude symptoms.

I summitted on Thursday(21st) with my cousin. We were the ones smoking a cigar up there. ;-)

We started at 2:15am: 4 1/2 hours to Trail Camp and 4 hours from trail camp to summit. An hour and forty minutes at the summit (due to cigar) and 6 1/2 hours back to the portal from summit.

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#53682 - 06/25/18 12:01 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: bighead]
meltedcheez Offline


Registered: 06/18/18
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: bighead
Any new updates? We are coming from the west side of Mt Whitney July 2nd and trying to decide if we need to carry axes or micro spikes.


Summitted on the 21st wearing trail runners and using trekking poles. Had microspikes but didn't use them. My cousin left his ice axe in the truck at the portal and it worked out not having to carry that extra weight. It was a little icy on a few sections of the switchbacks but careful foot selection and taking it slow is enough. In the afternoon the sun made it slushy which presented a different issue with footing, but again just be cautious and take your time through those sections if they still have snow on the 2nd.

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#53683 - 06/25/18 12:14 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: meltedcheez]
hikerkev Offline


Registered: 06/25/18
Posts: 2
Loc: Tampa, FL
Hey guys -- long time reader but first time post. I've hiked Whitney a couple times as day hikes and doing it again July 9. I usually just fill my 3 liter camelbak and bring a lifestraw, but I saw Bob's list of water sources and about how they are safe to drink from. I was curious about the runoff (or spring?) on the south side of bighorn park. Where exactly is this, and is it easy to find? Is he talking about the waterfall on the west side of the park? Thanks!


Edited by hikerkev (06/25/18 12:15 PM)

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#53685 - 06/25/18 01:18 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: hikerkev]
hikerkev Offline


Registered: 06/25/18
Posts: 2
Loc: Tampa, FL
Also,

I just read about using the old trail to save .3 miles each way that joins up with the main trail near the Muir Wilderness sign. Has anyone used this recently? Is it easy enough to find/follow?

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#53686 - 06/25/18 04:20 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: hikerkev]
highsierramike Offline


Registered: 07/06/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Fresno, CA
Old trail is easy enough to find/ follow, but the new trail is much easier to hike. It's not worth the distance saved. I have done both.

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#53687 - 06/25/18 07:06 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
jokismo Offline


Registered: 06/25/18
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
My gf and I summited 6/24 around 3.30PM coming up from the backside at the end of a cross country trip.
Not sure what time I got to the switchbacks, must have been around 4-5ish. The snow on the couple sections mentioned previously in posts was EXTREMELY SOFT. I was very glad to have my ice axe, as my foot postholed into the snow 1+ feet at times, causing me to almost slip over the edge.
At the cables section, a man ahead of us actually postholed and slipped off the snowpatch, his skid was luckily stopped by one of the cables posts, and the person infront of him dragged him up. Microspikes / crampons are useless at this hour due to the extreme softness of the snow.
I was still able to get a good anchor with my axe on the snow mound.
In conclusion, not sure when these patches will melt out, but if you do not have an ice axe I recommend descending early before the snow becomes too soft.

Edit: We were carrying overnight packs but the guy that slipped was carrying basically nothing, so not a weight issue.


Edited by jokismo (06/25/18 07:16 PM)

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#53690 - 06/25/18 08:31 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: meltedcheez]
highsierramike Offline


Registered: 07/06/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Fresno, CA
Yep. Those were the boys. Sigh.

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#53721 - 06/28/18 10:26 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Twee]
Kimmy Offline


Registered: 04/26/18
Posts: 15
Loc: CA
Thank you, this was extremely helpful and gave me much needed perspective.

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#53723 - 06/28/18 12:00 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a picture of the last snow along the cables section of the switchbacks, June 27, 2018. Looks like this is pretty easy to pass. Additional comments reported that this is the only snow to walk over on any of the switchbacks. The top section near Trail Crest is also clear.

Note that it has taken just 12 days to go from just-passable to nearly dry. See the old pics here.

Posted by Angie M on fb.

(click to enlarge)


Edited by Steve C (06/28/18 10:13 PM)
Edit Reason: added text

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