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Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #52999 04/30/18 07:48 PM
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@Philippe: Thanks a lot for the latest update and photos. While coming down, did you have to glissade down, or just hike down ?
Thanks !

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #53001 04/30/18 11:14 PM
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This picture posted on Instagram on Apr 29, 2018, by ucsbadventure


(click the pic to enlarge)

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #53013 05/02/18 09:36 AM
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Picture of snow filling the summit hut. The door was off this winter, so during storms, snow blows in and deposits inside. It will take months to melt out.

The picture is from a group shared on FB by Shawn Aiden. They hiked the main trail, camping at Outpost Camp. They made it with microspikes and ice axes.


Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
stentorian11 #53021 05/03/18 01:27 PM
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The switchbacks were snow covered in July?! I'm hiking this year on July 15th...sure hope there isn't any snow then!

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Kimmy #53022 05/03/18 03:12 PM
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The switchbacks will be open way earlier this year. Last year got 3 to 4 times the snow compared to this past winter.

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #53025 05/04/18 02:11 PM
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Any idea when HM road will open?

Thanks!


@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...
Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Snacking Bear #53028 05/04/18 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: Snacking Bear
Any idea when HM road will open?

Thanks!

I re-checked, It's open!!

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #53032 05/07/18 02:48 AM
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Just got back from a fun weekend - the conditions were really perfect. Except for a few patches, it was dry trail all the way until above Mirror. We elected to hike up the usual winter route up the drainage to Trail camp.

We summitted 5/5 along with at least 25 other people, the majority of whom were day hikers. That's pretty impressive, especially loaded down with mountaineering equipment.

The Chute is in excellent condition - it may hold snow for the next few weeks. Here is a shot from our camp, and one from the summit:



It's really hard to see the iced over switchbacks, but they're right to the left of Mt Muir in the foreground:


Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Hobbes #53034 05/07/18 07:18 AM
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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.

Last edited by dunavice321; 05/07/18 07:19 AM.
Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Hobbes #53036 05/07/18 09:54 AM
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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?

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Hobbes #53037 05/07/18 12:41 PM
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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!

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Lidia #53038 05/07/18 01:12 PM
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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

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #53039 05/07/18 01:30 PM
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My friend (who is experienced in winter travel) used Altras and hiking crampons. They are a mix between traditional crampons and micro-spikes. Everyone else - including myself - had regular boots + crampons). (https://www.hillsound.com/products/trail-crampon vs https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en/climbing%2Fcrampons/contact-crampon-BD400069_cfg.html )

If we don't get another dump, then spikes/hiking crampons will become more useful as the snow melts on the Chute. However, hikers should note that there is plenty of snow on the .1 mile section to the JMT junction, and then the entire 1.9 JMT run to the summit. So, plan on wearing whatever traction you have along that stretch as well.


Looking through one of the keyholes down to Iceberg

As far as timing, the day hikers were leaving the Portal at 3am, getting to Trail camp/Chute by 8am, gaining Trail crest by 10am, and hitting the summit around noon. So, yes, plan on averaging around 1 mph while there is still snow/ice.

Note: the trail was clear (except for minor shade patches) until above Mirror, then full coverage allowing the winter route to Consultation & TC. (That is, you simply hike up the drainage and avoid the entire run from Trail side meadow on.) Here's a shot of me looking back to where the snow route doglegs to pick up the trail down to Mirror. (Last year in May, a disoriented hiker kept going straight and fell to her death down the waterfall that drops to Outpost; you can see it behind me.)



We had a perfectly luxurious start of 8am from TC because we were planning on spending a second night before hiking out & driving back to SoCal Sunday. We took 2 hours to get to Trail crest/junction, then 2 to the summit. We hung out for an hour, and took 2.5 hours to get back to camp. 2 hours back to Trail crest, and a quick glissade and hike back to Trail camp.


Last edited by Hobbes; 05/07/18 01:51 PM.
Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Hobbes #53040 05/07/18 07:16 PM
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My hiking partner Honey B[adger] took this photo of the Chute from Trail crest. I'm the 3rd one down:


Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #53042 05/07/18 08:10 PM
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Hobbes, THANK YOU for posting the pictures!

Here's one from Facebook by Lauren S, of the snow between Trail Crest and the JMT junction. It looks a little steep right here.


Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Lidia #53047 05/08/18 10:18 AM
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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

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C #53048 05/08/18 11:15 AM
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Lauren is cool - she and her bf are rock climbers. Had a good time chatting with them on the summit, and then semi-walking back with them to the Crest. She and her bf are to my right behind me in this photo:



And yeah, that's why you need to wear traction from Trail camp to summit, then back to Crest. Take 'em off for the glissade down, and resume till re-joining dry trail above Mirror.

Last edited by Hobbes; 05/08/18 11:17 AM.
Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Hobbes #53049 05/08/18 12:16 PM
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@All - Thank you for the info, updates & pics. I greatly appreciate it! I'll report back on Monday about the conditions :-)

@Koti - No worries, it happens. I have an extra permit too. It's for an overnight but my group and I are going to do a day hike due to time. You're more than welcome to join us. We plan on starting our hike @ 12am Sunday am/Saturday night. I'll sent you a text.

Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Hobbes #53051 05/08/18 06:56 PM
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Bluebird skies and great snow conditions last weekend with Hobbes.

There was enough soft snow on the chute in the afternoon to make it possible to glissade down, but it was still firm enough in the morning to make the climb up reasonable. The snow is consolidated enough to walk on without post holing (glad I left the snowshoes in the car).














Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
bluewater #53066 05/09/18 06:17 PM
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That's beautiful. I especially love the last photo with the rainbow.

I decided I'm getting my overnight permits for some time in the last 10 days of June. Any thoughts about how the snowpack will be looking then and what conditions to expect?

Also, with the recent tragic fatality along the mountaineer's route I'd need some advice on what to do this summer. I wanted to reach the summit via the Whitney trail and chute, (not the mountaineers route) without having experience using crampons and an ice axe. I reckon I can find a good place to practice putting crampons on, walking, and self-arresting along the stretch of snow near the Wotan's throne, provided that it hasn't melted off (just before final trail camp) where my pack fell into a crevasse last year. (The strap broke while jumping over and the pack went with it.)

And if my understanding is correct, here is how reaching the summit via the trail and chute goes:

Whitney Portal, go along the regular Whitney trail till' trail camp, where it breaks off and you go to the chute?

Please fill me in.

Thanks!!!

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