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#52528 - 12/24/17 11:51 AM Older Trail Conditions - Mt Whitney Trail, 2018
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
        Out-of-date Mt Whitney Trail Conditions -- 2018

The posts below have been moved from the main Current Conditions thread for trail reports during 2018.
(Posts are moved periodically after they no longer represent current conditions.)

Previous years:
    Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2017
    Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2016
    Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2015
    Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2014
    Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2013
    Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2012
    Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2011


Edited by Steve C (03/15/18 11:30 PM)

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#52552 - 01/25/18 12:17 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
Posted on Instagram, Jan 23, 2018 by codymayer22

His caption: Whitney Portal Road, looking beautiful after a night of snow


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#52562 - 01/26/18 07:15 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Ren Offline


Registered: 08/26/13
Posts: 1
Loc: California
so is whitney portal road open?

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#52564 - 01/28/18 09:12 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Christian Offline


Registered: 01/28/18
Posts: 1
Loc: Santa Barbara
I assume everyone has a permit? When will the roads and trails open up again?

Thank you in advance 😃

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#52566 - 01/28/18 09:31 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Christian]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 811
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Don't count on it being open until Spring. Call the Inyo FS number listed on this link:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/inyo/recreation

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#52570 - 01/30/18 03:38 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Bob West]
Lindy25 Offline


Registered: 01/30/18
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
Any recent reports up Whitney Trail?

I talked to the Rangers at Lone Pine - they mentioned a lot of freeze-thaw cycles creating icy areas at higher elevations. They thought no crampons or ice axe needed until above Lone Pine Lake.

I plan to head up there this wknd and hike the extra 4 miles with the closed gate, and would appreciate any recent insight!

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#52571 - 01/30/18 04:05 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Lindy25]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 811
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
No local reports that I've heard regarding the Whitney trail. Maybe Moosie has heard something.

I talked with a snow-surveyor friend last night, and he said that the surveyors had to carry their skis over Kearsarge Pass last week: no skiable snow. It is looking pretty dry south of Onion Valley, but above 12000 on Whitney it will be very icey. Ice axe and crampons needed for certain; not micro-spikes and poles.

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#52666 - 02/28/18 03:01 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Bob West]
al_novice Offline


Registered: 02/28/18
Posts: 8
Loc: Alabama
Hey guys, entered lottery for permits in mid-june and from what i can tell, trail conditions that month can vary greatly depending on snow. I know we aren't through the snowfall months, but how does the snowfall this year compare to most? (so far)

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#52671 - 02/28/18 10:30 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: al_novice]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: al_novice
Hey guys, entered lottery for permits in mid-june and from what i can tell, trail conditions that month can vary greatly depending on snow. I know we aren't through the snowfall months, but how does the snowfall this year compare to most? (so far)

So far, snow has been extremely low -- major drought conditions! However, the first storm of the winter is due in the next several days, so we will at least have some. Unless we get a lot more stormy weather (unlike the past 3 months) the trail will be clear by mid-June, maybe with a few snowy patches.

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#52672 - 02/28/18 11:00 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
al_novice Offline


Registered: 02/28/18
Posts: 8
Loc: Alabama
Awesome! Thanks, fingers crossed. BTW, this board is an amazing tool. I know there is nothing to replace specific trail experience, but I feel like I'll be as prepared as I can be in June. (If I'm lucky enough to get a permit)

Thanks again!

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#52688 - 03/03/18 01:37 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: al_novice]
Brett Dean Offline


Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 27
Loc: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.
If for some reason you don't get a permit, you can always do a walk in.

When the permit processed changed in, 2000?, and everyone had to get their permit info in by Feb. 1st for the year, I was almost never granted a permit, so I no longer try. I've always, 100% of the time, walked into the visitor center and asked if they had permits available, and was issued one for either that day or the next.

Worst case scenario, just have a back up plan and hike Kearsarge pass, Big Pine Basin, or wherever, you're in the Sierras. Either way, you'll have a blast.

This may be easier said than done coming from Alabama.


Originally Posted By: al_novice
Awesome! Thanks, fingers crossed. BTW, this board is an amazing tool. I know there is nothing to replace specific trail experience, but I feel like I'll be as prepared as I can be in June. (If I'm lucky enough to get a permit)

Thanks again!
_________________________
I don't want a tombstone, I want a mountain.

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#52697 - 03/06/18 03:41 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Brett Dean]
al_novice Offline


Registered: 02/28/18
Posts: 8
Loc: Alabama
We are basically planning the trip around this hike. If we don't get a permit, we are going to set aside two days that work best for us and try your method above. Thanks for the additional options, that was the info I was going to look for next.

Cheers!

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#52707 - 03/07/18 10:25 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
ER10 Offline


Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 2
Loc: USA
Any updates on the current conditions on Mount Whitney trail to Mount Whitney? I understand there was a large amount of snowfall last weekend, however, I can't find any updates.

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#52708 - 03/07/18 10:35 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: ER10]
pmarx Offline


Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
I am also wondering this, we are planning on taking a pass at the mountaineers route this weekend.

Further, anyone have any knowledge on road access? Would like to avoid some of the walkup if possible.

Will report back on conditions if we make it through

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#52710 - 03/07/18 10:54 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: pmarx]
Xi Jinping Offline


Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 1
Loc: SF, CA
This site says Whitney Portal Rd is closed: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5192379

Are there other ways to approach MR?


Edited by Xi Jinping (03/07/18 10:55 PM)

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#52712 - 03/08/18 12:12 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Xi Jinping]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Xi Jinping
This site says Whitney Portal Rd is closed: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5192379

Are there other ways to approach MR?

Xi, thanks for that. This year, the road has a locked gate 1.5 miles from Whitney Portal.

I'm not sure, but there may also be a spot a mile or two below that with a "Road Closed" sign posted. I think most people drive past the sign, but it means you're traveling at your own risk -- of snow or falling rock hazards.

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#52714 - 03/08/18 08:49 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: ER10]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: ER10
Any updates on the current conditions on Mount Whitney trail to Mount Whitney? I understand there was a large amount of snowfall last weekend, however, I can't find any updates.

Sorry, I can't find any updates or posts anywhere. But I would expect you will find a significant amount of fresh snow higher up. I was in the central Sierra, west side, this past weekend, and the powder was deep--3-4 feet. East side is always lots less, but it blows around, so you will find some drifted spots where it will slow you down significantly.

If you guys go, it would really help if you would take a few pictures and send them this way (email them to the contact us link, bottom of the page, or contact me and I can give you my cell number to send them to.) If you don't have pictures, a few sentences describing the conditions would be EXTREMELY helpful to everyone coming here to find out.

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#52715 - 03/08/18 08:56 AM Current Conditions Mt Whitney Trail, 2018, Old
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
"old posts" message -- just a placeholder

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#52716 - 03/08/18 10:03 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
jhmccann Offline


Registered: 05/14/17
Posts: 7
Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Ill be heading up this weekend even though Saturday is calling for snow according to mountain-forecast.com. Im going to try and solo MR but if snow or avalanche conditions are crap Ill abort. If anyone else is heading up early Saturday morning let me know.

Those who havent been up there in the winter... couple tips... park your car away from chutes and be ready to dig yourself out if need be. Take snow chains, even if you have 4x4 with all terrain tires. Lastly snow shoes weigh a lot but beats post-holing.

If you see a black 4runner or orange tent below Iceberg Lake, weather permitting, thats me! Say hello, Ill make you a brew.


Edited by jhmccann (03/08/18 10:07 AM)

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#52718 - 03/08/18 07:40 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: jhmccann]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 204
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: jhmccann

If you see a black 4runner or orange tent below Iceberg Lake, weather permitting, thats me! Say hello, Ill make you a brew.


I seriously doubt your 4runner will make it to Iceberg lake. smile wink

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#52719 - 03/09/18 05:24 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: jhmccann]
Baitao Offline


Registered: 12/01/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Michigan, Detroit
Flotation device is a must, a hard lesson learned. We made fresh trail up to lower boy scout lake, normally an hour hike but took us 7 hrs and postholing the whole way (also have to park 2.5 miles away from the trailhead). The snow was soft and waist deep and we have to crawl in some sections.

This was the condition of the weekend of Mar 3-4. Day 1 after a week of snow storm.

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#52721 - 03/11/18 10:21 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Baitao]
jhmccann Offline


Registered: 05/14/17
Posts: 7
Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Hahaha! Obviously I meant to say if you see my truck parked somewhere of Whitney Portal Road...

Well it was a short lived trip. Set up camp but snow conditions got pretty heavy in the evening. Packed out early and called it a weekend.

Always next weekend.


Edited by jhmccann (03/11/18 10:23 PM)

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#52813 - 03/30/18 12:38 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Quick_Wick Offline


Registered: 03/30/18
Posts: 1
Loc: California San Diego
Hi all,

New to this forum and Im planning on hiking the Meysan Lake Trail on the 14th of April to get a good feel of this trail, as I will be doing this route on June 1st to the summit. Im just hiking to Meysan Lake in two weeks to see the conditions. Anyone been on the Whitney Trail or Meysan Lake trail lately? If not, I will update yall in two weeks when I go. Happy trails! thanks cool

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#52866 - 04/09/18 04:01 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
stentorian11 Offline


Registered: 04/09/18
Posts: 2
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
Hey Fellow Hikers,
I got a Day-Hike permit for June 18.
I wanted your expertise to see how the trail would look this year, i am mostly worried about the trail after trail camp. Do you think the switchbacks will be open to use by June this year ?
How was the winter this year ? Was it better than last year ?

I did the day hike last year during July and had to unfortunately head back after trail camp as i wasn't prepared enough to take on the chute (Switchbacks were covered in snow) and also partially due to altitude sickness.

Any suggestions are most welcome. Thanks!

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#52868 - 04/09/18 06:47 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: stentorian11]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 204
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: stentorian11
Hey Fellow Hikers,
I got a Day-Hike permit for June 18.


This year has been well below normal for snow in the Sierras. Last year was FREAKING HUGE. No comparing the two.

Switchbacks should probably be clear in late June or at least navigable.


Edited by WanderingJim (04/09/18 09:17 PM)

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#52869 - 04/09/18 10:57 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: WanderingJim]
che Offline


Registered: 02/28/18
Posts: 4
Loc: ca
What is the water availability like in September after a low-snow year at Trail Camp and the switchback spring?

thanks!

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#52870 - 04/09/18 11:35 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: che]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
The spring on the switchbacks above Trail Camp dries up in September. The Trail Camp pond never does.

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#52873 - 04/11/18 09:35 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: WanderingJim]
dunavice321 Offline


Registered: 04/11/18
Posts: 3
Loc: Earth
Would crampons and ice axe be recommended this year from mid-June - mid July? How do the conditions compare to last year (ran into some deep-doo do at top of Wotans throne snow crossing.)

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#52874 - 04/11/18 09:39 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: dunavice321]
jorvack Offline


Registered: 11/06/16
Posts: 6
Loc: CA Sonoma County
The snowfall is indeed quite a bit under where it was last year - however spring has been pretty big.
Since it is a later snow year hard to predict June conditions.

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#52914 - 04/17/18 09:04 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
Update: These pics are out-of-date. The road opened to the Portal Apr 25. see below.

Pictures from last weekend: Apr 14, 2018. These show the cars parked at the locked gate on the road, about a mile below Whitney Portal. Provided by Bob H, on his hike part way up the Mountaineer's Route.






Edited by Steve C (04/26/18 04:34 PM)

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#52916 - 04/17/18 09:18 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
This from Instagram, shared by ayushsobti

It shows the Mountaineers Route, Iceberg Lake out of view on the right, the Mt Whitney summit in the center. Three dots part way up the chute are climbers.


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#52941 - 04/20/18 09:15 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Christopher_H Offline


Registered: 04/20/18
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
Anybody know what current trail conditions are on the main trail?

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#52942 - 04/20/18 11:28 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Christopher_H]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Christopher_H
Anybody know what current trail conditions are on the main trail?

The picture above of the Mountaineer's Route is the same elevation as Trail Camp, which is just a mile south of that. So There would be similar snow coverage, and the switchbacks will be completely under snow right now.

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#52951 - 04/22/18 09:58 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
Posted on Instagram by sarahattar

April 15, 2018: This is a view from somewhere high on the slope where the switchbacks are.



Click the pic for a larger view.


Another picture: On the switchbacks



On the crest:

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#52952 - 04/23/18 08:50 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Granny Smith Offline


Registered: 06/13/17
Posts: 4
Loc: California
Good morning Steve & members,

I will be headed up for an overnight trip on 3/4 May, and am planning on climbing via the chute up to Trail Crest. I did this same thing last year in early June, but am curious if anyone knows the current status of the "log bridges" as well as if water is available yet at trail camp. I see the pics from the recent mountaineer's route, but no recent news of folks hiking the main trail towards the chute. Any advice is appreciated as I prepare the final gear list. Thanks everyone.

Cheers,

Nick

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#52965 - 04/25/18 12:05 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
Update, Inyo County Sheriff's Office

Inyo Co. Sheriff's Office update on FB:

Quote:
Inyo County Road Status:

Update: North Lake Road is open to the day-use area
Update 4/27/18: Just in time for the weekend- Horseshoe Meadows Road is now open!

South Lake Road, OPEN
North Lake Road, OPEN - to the day use area
Sabrina Road, OPEN
Horseshoe Meadows Rd, OPEN
Rock Creek Lakes Road, OPEN
White Mountain Road, OPEN
Whitney Portal Road, OPEN
N. Eureka Valley Road, OPEN
Onion Valley Road, OPEN


Inyo County Sheriff's Office posted this on facebook today, April 25, 2018:
Quote:
Inyo County Road Status:
South Lake Road, OPEN
North Lake Road, CLOSED
Sabrina Road, OPEN
Horseshoe Meadows Rd, CLOSED at the gate
Rock Creek Lakes Road, OPEN
White Mountain Road, OPEN
Whitney Portal Road, OPEN
N. Eureka Valley Road, OPEN
Onion Valley Road, OPEN

THANK YOU to the Inyo County Road Department for their hard work! You guys are awesome!


Edited by Steve C (05/04/18 04:46 PM)
Edit Reason: update

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#52973 - 04/27/18 09:04 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Philippe]
Granny Smith Offline


Registered: 06/13/17
Posts: 4
Loc: California
Philippe,

Thanks for the update and pictures. The question on the log bridge was more geared towards its integrity, as last year in early June, it had been partially washed out and required some careful maneuvering to avoid a wet transit. I did not think they would be washed out this year with the lower snowfall totals.

Cheers,

Nick

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#52976 - 04/27/18 03:23 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Granny Smith]
Philippe Offline


Registered: 04/28/16
Posts: 8
Loc: CA, USA
@Nick: Makes sense : ) The "bridges of logs" were sturdy and easy to maneuver.


Edited by Philippe (04/27/18 03:23 PM)

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#52992 - 04/30/18 11:45 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Philippe]
Rayna Offline


Registered: 04/26/18
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
@Philippe: Thank you for this! Were the switchbacks generally easy to follow?

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#52999 - 04/30/18 07:48 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
stentorian11 Offline


Registered: 04/09/18
Posts: 2
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
@Philippe: Thanks a lot for the latest update and photos. While coming down, did you have to glissade down, or just hike down ?
Thanks !

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#53001 - 04/30/18 11:14 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
This picture posted on Instagram on Apr 29, 2018, by ucsbadventure


(click the pic to enlarge)

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#53021 - 05/03/18 01:27 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: stentorian11]
Kimmy Offline


Registered: 04/26/18
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
The switchbacks were snow covered in July?! I'm hiking this year on July 15th...sure hope there isn't any snow then!

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#53022 - 05/03/18 03:12 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Kimmy]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
The switchbacks will be open way earlier this year. Last year got 3 to 4 times the snow compared to this past winter.

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#53025 - 05/04/18 02:11 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 461
Loc: Saugus, CA
Any idea when HM road will open?

Thanks!
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#53028 - 05/04/18 04:47 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Snacking Bear]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Snacking Bear
Any idea when HM road will open?

Thanks!

I re-checked, It's open!!

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#53034 - 05/07/18 07:18 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Hobbes]
dunavice321 Offline


Registered: 04/11/18
Posts: 3
Loc: Earth
Any predictions of the trail conditions and snow cover in the first 10 days of June this year?

I wanna know whether I should get crampons and an ice axe or bring microspikes instead of crampons. I'm leaning towards yes for the crampons.


Edited by dunavice321 (05/07/18 07:19 AM)

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#53036 - 05/07/18 09:54 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Hobbes]
CholleyRay Offline


Registered: 05/07/18
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
This looks amazing! My group will be heading out there in 2 weeks and we're just a bit nervous about any changing weather patterns. I'm happy to hear conditions were perfect for you! Let's hope it stays that way! With current conditions, would you recommend crampons or microspikes?

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#53037 - 05/07/18 12:41 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Hobbes]
Lidia Offline


Registered: 05/07/18
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Wow, that's awesome! What time did you start your hike and what time did you summit? I'm going this weekend so I'm trying to get an idea about timing. Thank you!

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#53038 - 05/07/18 01:12 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Lidia]
CholleyRay Offline


Registered: 05/07/18
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Lidia! Let us know how it goes after your trip! I'd love to hear about the weather conditions, your experience, and any tips you may have! smile

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#53047 - 05/08/18 10:18 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Lidia]
Koti Offline


Registered: 05/08/18
Posts: 1
Loc: GA
Lidia, I am also planning to day hike this weekend on 5/13. I had 3 guest pass permit, but both of them bailed on me, so I am by myself and looking for company and would like to join any group. Please let me know if you or anyone reading this post has other friends that can join.

Thanks
Koti
308-249-3698

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#53088 - 05/11/18 11:02 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 461
Loc: Saugus, CA
Thanks so much!
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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