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#54369 - 10/01/18 09:35 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: dandreahiker]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7595
Loc: Fresno, CA
You need to look at the NOAA forecast. I kind of trust NOAA over all the others. Mountain-forecast has always over-estimated the snowfall. ...Of course they could be right once in a while.

The snowfall will be light. Even if there's almost a foot, you can tramp through it and pack it down. That will slow people way down, though. Microspikes might come in handy. But the trail will still be navigable, if the cold doesn't convince you to turn back.

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#54380 - 10/05/18 08:36 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7595
Loc: Fresno, CA
This picture posted on FB by Jack T

His report:
Quote:
As requested, the trail conditions on Mount Whitney Trail on Oct 4th after the first storm of the 2018-19 wet season.

First snow and thin ice encountered on the trail at 11000ft. The ice dissipated by trail camp and snow accumulation increased to about 3-4 inches by the cables on 97 switchbacks. Snow depth remained consistent until Trail Crest where the depth increased to 5-6 inches in some spots where it was not packed down. Snow depth at the summit was 6-7 inches with small drifts of about 10-12 inches.

During my descent I noted as large difference in the snow as the sun had worked its way around the ridge. Snow was melting and packing fast and there was quite a bit of slush on the ridge line. The snow on the switchbacks became very "grippy" and I was able to move at full speed with microspikes and poles. The trail was free of snow from Trail Camp back to the Portal except a few tiny patches here and there above 11000ft

That's all fine a dandy but just remember one thing. All the snow melt and slush will freeze tonight and on the 5th there will be a lot more ice from the cables on up to the summit.

Hope this helps. 😉



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#54385 - 10/07/18 03:41 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Su Ven Offline


Registered: 09/14/18
Posts: 5
Loc: CA
Summitted on 10/4. Significant snow accumulation after the storm but 4th was clear and sunny. many portions of the trail snow melted away, mainly in the switchbacks. MIcrospikes recommended for safety

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#54393 - 10/08/18 09:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Su Ven]
Freek Offline


Registered: 10/08/18
Posts: 1
Loc: NV
What is the water situation like at this time up at Trail Camp? Hoping everything is not frozen over. Heading up this weekend. Any help is appreciated, thank you!

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#54398 - 10/09/18 08:23 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Freek]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7595
Loc: Fresno, CA
If the pond has ice on top, it will be easy to break the ice to get water. However, if you are carrying a water bladder for your drink, the tube can freeze, so bottles carried inside your pack might be better.

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#54401 - 10/09/18 09:17 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7595
Loc: Fresno, CA
Posted on FB by Heidi V

"October 7, 2018 Welcome to the winter hiking. We had snow and some slippery ice from the switch back to the top."


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#54404 - 10/09/18 02:03 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
hikersteve Offline


Registered: 10/09/18
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
Any idea when this last picture was taken? I know it says posted on Oct 7th. Wondering if the picture was taken on the same day...seems contrary to a previous poster who said that most trail snow had melted away.

Hiking on Thursday 10/11. Was hoping for better trail conditions.

Thanks for the info


Edited by hikersteve (10/09/18 02:47 PM)

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#54405 - 10/09/18 05:07 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: hikersteve]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7595
Loc: Fresno, CA
Overnight on 10/6, a small storm went through, and dumped more snow. Note the Williamson webcam tonight -- it shows the coverage there on the morning of 10/7, showing new/fresh snow.

It is likely that by 10/11 lots of tracks will have packed down the snow, but you should take crampons or at least microspikes to make the travel easier.

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#54406 - 10/09/18 08:44 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
hikersteve Offline


Registered: 10/09/18
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
OK. Thanks for the update. Much appreciated.

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#54418 - 10/11/18 11:59 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: hikersteve]
Aaron S Offline


Registered: 10/09/18
Posts: 4
Loc: Texas
How were conditions on 10/11? Heading up 10/17. Would love an update and perhaps a picture. Thanks!

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#54420 - 10/11/18 06:22 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Aaron S]
hikersteve Offline


Registered: 10/09/18
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
Hike was awesome. Trail conditions were fine. No trail snow until the middle of switchbacks. We didn't need to wear the micro spikes going up. But we did wear then coming down. Back side of trail had more accumulation, but was still accessible. Sumitted at 0930. Weather was perfect. Clouds started rolling in at 1030 but never got above trail crest. I wouldn't even call the amount of snow fall a dusting. Just specks of it. Would attach a couple pics, but I can't seem to figure out how.


Here's one: West side view.

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#54422 - 10/12/18 08:04 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: hikersteve]
Aaron S Offline


Registered: 10/09/18
Posts: 4
Loc: Texas
Congratulations on the day and thanks for the report. Much appreciated.

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#54446 - 10/18/18 02:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Aaron S]
CMilller14 Offline


Registered: 10/18/18
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Howdy y'all, reading all the trip reports over the last couple weeks I have a pretty good idea what the main trail looks like. But anyone know what the mountaineer's route looks like right now?

Best I've been able to gather is the chute is clear and the north side of the summit is snow covered. Sounds like similar conditions to my climb a couple years back but don't want to underestimate the late season conditions.

(I have a day permit with a couple other experienced guys for this Saturday.)

-Chris

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#54449 - 10/19/18 03:27 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: CMilller14]
laohe Offline


Registered: 10/03/13
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
I am searching for any MR current conditions too. Planning to be there first week of November when no permit (with quota) is required. Would appreciate any latest trip reports of MR.
Thanks,
- laohe

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#54450 - 10/19/18 06:46 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Benski Offline


Registered: 10/19/18
Posts: 1
Loc: Utah
What is the condition of the water sources? Are they frozen? What is the last available water?

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#54452 - 10/19/18 08:14 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Benski]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7595
Loc: Fresno, CA
As for the Mountaineers Route, I would expect you will find snow in places about like the picture posted above on 10/09/18. Nothing much has fallen since that storm went through. I am sure there is some snow in the chute. You definitely will need crampons for any ice-covered places.

Benski: The pond at Trail Camp may ice-over, but you should be able to break the ice and get water. High temps at Cottonwood Lakes are in the low 40s, and that's 2k elevation lower.

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#54453 - 10/20/18 12:03 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Aaron S Offline


Registered: 10/09/18
Posts: 4
Loc: Texas
Confirm Steve Cís comment on water. Froze at night and in the mornings. Thawed out when sun gets on it. Easy to break through and get water. Lots of hikers on 10/17 minimized their weight and filtered as they went. Not sure what sources, if any, are available after trail camp. Plenty below trail camp still flowing.

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#54455 - 10/22/18 11:23 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Aaron S]
CMilller14 Offline


Registered: 10/18/18
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Climbed Mountaineer's Route on Saturday 10/20. Departed from Portal at 3:30a, Summit at 11a. Trail was clear of snow up to the chute. Some snow in the chute but ultimately no additional gear was required, just some extra care in the snow/scree mix. We had crampons but never pulled them out.

Microspikes were beneficial on the first 80 of the 99 switchbacks on the way down.

Also, flowing water on all water crossings.

-Chris

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#54460 - 10/23/18 10:48 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: CMilller14]
laohe Offline


Registered: 10/03/13
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
Thanks, Chris!
I might be there on 11/3-4 backpack.
- laohe

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#54461 - 10/23/18 07:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
SUPAJIANNI Offline


Registered: 10/23/18
Posts: 1
Loc: CA, USA
Iím going to be attempting a solo summit this Friday at 4 am (maybe earlier) and was wondering if anyone would let me join their crew? Or even just follow from behind. I realize itís asking a lot and also very last minute. Iíll be attempting either way but would rather go up with others. Suppose to have 5 friends join me but they all bailed because itís gonna be a little chilly and and they didnít train that hard. If you got room for one more then Iíd really appreciate it!

Cheers


Edited by SUPAJIANNI (10/23/18 08:04 PM)

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