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#52814 - 03/30/18 12:31 PM Overnight permit for Mt. Whitney oct 14. Weather ?
Erling Offline


Registered: 03/29/18
Posts: 2
Loc: Norway
We got the permit we were asking for. An overnight permit for two persons where we plan to camp at Trail Camp and hopefully summit monday oct.15. My question will be about what to expect for the weather and temperatures. We are used to quite cold temperatures in Norway so just wondering what to bring with us. Tent, matress and a winter sleeping bag of course. I think there is no need to bring our iceaxe and crampons. I am just not sure this will be a winter trip with thick clothing or if we should bring lighter clothes. How is the weather usually mid october ? Much wind ? Fog ? Not sure if there is any point summiting without a view.

We fly into San Francisco two weeks before our trip to Whitney and our plan is to trek and hike in different areas like Yosemite, Bryce and Grand Canyon. We think we will be well acclimatized after also doing different peaks in those areas, perhaps Mount Dana, White Mountain and peaks near Flagstaff.

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#52815 - 03/30/18 01:17 PM Re: Overnight permit for Mt. Whitney oct 14. Weather ? [Re: Erling]
futbol Online


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 20
Loc: San Diego, CA
The weather in the Eastern Sierra Nevada is no where near as predicable as other areas of California. However, I hiked overnight last year mid-October and found the weather conditions as ideal.

I brought microspikes, but did not need them. There was snow on the ground in spots above ~11k, but could mostly be avoided. Ice was only present where water had seeped from rocks and froze along the switchbacks.

You will need camping gear with cold weather clothes (not Norway cold, but able to handle freezing temperatures). I used a one-person bivvy with foam mat and sleeping bag, along with several layers of clothing. Thermal layering was the best, as I could adjust to the conditions. Wool socks and a cap are nice.

You will likely need a windbreaker for the summit. Mine doubled as a rain/snow coat.

The weather conditions change weekly, so you may want to bring extra gear in your vehicle in case you need to adjust your plans. Keep an eye on reports of conditions here and other sites, like the USFS Mt. Whitney web page.

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#52821 - 03/30/18 10:20 PM Re: Overnight permit for Mt. Whitney oct 14. Weather ? [Re: Erling]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7340
Loc: Fresno, CA
Hi Erling, The other thing about mid-October is the hours of darkness. Sunrise comes at 7 am, sets at 6 pm, so you will have 12 hours of darkness. Bring headlamps!

October can be mostly dry, but sometimes we get a good storm that can lay down a foot of snow at the higher elevations. If that occurs this year, it would make travel slower and arduous. If any storms come, but they are light, you will probably have a successful summit.

Ice axe and crampons are for spring time. As for summiting without a view: I agree--not much point. Besides,if the mountain is under a shroud, it will be cold and maybe quite wet. That part is just the luck of the draw.

Good luck!

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#52853 - 04/05/18 12:12 PM Re: Overnight permit for Mt. Whitney oct 14. Weather ? [Re: Steve C]
Erling Offline


Registered: 03/29/18
Posts: 2
Loc: Norway
Thankyou for the information. We will bring headlamps, Gore-Tex jackets and clothes thick enough I think. We are not used to meet bears in our forests and I understand we also need to bring bear-canisters and we should not leave food in our car. Does that also include a coke which could be nice to have in the car on our return ?
12 hours of daylight should be enough I think. Rise at 4-5 a.m. and then leave 6-7. The "97 switchbacks" should be made in daylight I suppose ?
Is it OK to leave tent and camping gear at Trail Camp to get a lighter backback on the ascent ?

I look forward to our "expedition" and hope to return to this forum closer to our journey.

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#52854 - 04/05/18 01:55 PM Re: Overnight permit for Mt. Whitney oct 14. Weather ? [Re: Erling]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7340
Loc: Fresno, CA
The bear problem is only at Whitney Portal, not up on the trail. Just put all your food in the bear-proof lockers at the parking lot at the trail head. The canisters keep mice and marmots out of your food when you camp at Outpost Camp or Trail Camp; bears will not bother you there.

Since you're coming for the first time, doing the switchbacks in daylight is good. The most dangerous part of the trail is people descending in the dark, losing the trail, and then slipping or falling.

Leave all your gear in Trail Camp that you don't need. If it is at all windy or stormy, put some rocks inside your tent so it won't blow away. Any food you don't take along should stay in the bear can.

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