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#53374 - 06/08/18 08:42 AM MR Route June 4
sbills Offline


Registered: 06/07/18
Posts: 2
Loc: UT
Four of us (two of us climb ice) went up the standard route but rapped down the final 400. We brought 2x30m 8mm twin ice ropes (a 60m would work), harnesses, belay devices and gear for anchors. We saw no others on the route that day although on our way to camp on the 3rd we ran into a group coming back from a successful summit via MR. They went up the standard final 400 but took the traverse on the way down.

We got to Iceberg Lake just after 6am (earlier would've been better) where we cramponed up. There are patches of snow below Iceberg but avoidable. Snow up main shoot was firm and made for an easy walk up to the Notch. The sun was hot and with little wind we were heavily sweating.

The first 100' or so until you get above the rock bands was the most technical section. There were a couple narrow sections of ice and snow we had to climb to get over the rock bands. Easy if you have a good head and ice climbing experience. We top belayed the one person in our party all the way up the final 400. Once above the bands we climbed the good snow to the top. The last 30' gets really steep.

We hung out on top in perfect weather and enjoyed the magnificent views. By the time we were ready to head down the sun was on the final 400 and it was getting soft. We chose to use the rap stations already setup to get down. A 60m or 2x30m just makes it to each station.

We walked and postholed down the main cute as it was too soft to control speed with an ice axe.

When we got down we went to the Store for hamburgers and fries--a must do to get the full Whitney experience. The burgers are huge! If you're lips are chapped or burned you won't be able to open wide enough to fit it in.

While at the Store we talked to Doug(?) about our experience. He told us 4 people have died doing the "easy" traverse from the notch this year. There is blue ice under the snow on the short 20' or so to get from the notch to the traverse. We were glad we didn't attempt that way.

After filling our bellies at the Store we drove to Badwater Basin to complete our trip.

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#53378 - 06/08/18 11:00 PM Re: MR Route June 4 [Re: sbills]
DQ922 Offline


Registered: 11/02/16
Posts: 9
Loc: California,USA
Very impressive

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#53447 - 06/13/18 07:53 AM Re: MR Route June 4 [Re: sbills]
wshaynes Offline


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 18
Loc: California
I'm heading up there with a group of 4 to do the MR on 6/29. Our first time doing this route. Did you rappel down the final 400 by choice? Or because you felt you had to? We are planning to down climb the MR to get back to camp at UBSL. We have limited rock climbing/anchor building/belaying experience and are planning to have some gear with us as a 'just in case', but we are not experienced with rappelling.

Our plan is to forego the traverse (as it sounds too icy and dangerous), opting for the first chute which I understand is the 'standard MR route' above the notch.

Would love some tips. Thanks!

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#53503 - 06/14/18 06:48 PM Re: MR Route June 4 [Re: sbills]
Panorama Paul Offline


Registered: 06/12/17
Posts: 20
Loc: Ridgecrest, CA, USA
"We hung out on top in perfect weather and enjoyed the magnificent views.".....Check out: https://www.summitpost.org/labeled-mount-whitney-panorama/1002719/c-841725

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#53513 - 06/15/18 10:19 AM Re: MR Route June 4 [Re: Panorama Paul]
G4u2 Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 14
Loc: San Diego, CA
Hello Paul,

Great panorama photo. Thanks for sharing.

I quick question, being from San Diego, I know High Point is the peak of the Palomar Mt. Is that the same High Point I see in the panorama at about 160 deg orientation? If that is the case, that is incredible visibility since the two points are 240 miles apart.

Thanks again!

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#53517 - 06/15/18 11:59 AM Re: MR Route June 4 [Re: G4u2]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7598
Loc: Fresno, CA
G4u2: Wayne Pyle got really interested in identifying the farthest peak visible from the top of Mt Whitney. Unfortunately, I can't find the posts. I am pretty sure, due to the earth's curvature, that you can't see anything that far away from the ground.

But here's one where he discusses some of the peaks:

http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/18732/Re:_Mt_Whitney_Peak_IDs#Post18732

And another: http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/19822/Re:_My_epic_photo_of_the_97_sw#Post19822

He gives you the formulas required here:
http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/8748#Post8748

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#53525 - 06/15/18 02:33 PM Whitney view in RE: MR Route June 4 [Re: Steve C]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 210
Loc: San Diego

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#53528 - 06/15/18 03:22 PM Re: Whitney view in RE: MR Route June 4 [Re: dbd]
G4u2 Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 14
Loc: San Diego, CA
Thanks guys,

This is fascinating.

So, are you guys saying the Paul's peak labeled High Point is not accurate?

See: https://www.panoramapaul.com/

Best

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#53538 - 06/15/18 07:23 PM Re: Whitney view in RE: MR Route June 4 [Re: G4u2]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 210
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: G4u2
Thanks guys,

This is fascinating.

So, are you guys saying the Paul's peak labeled High Point is not accurate?

See: https://www.panoramapaul.com/

Best


What peak are you referring to and what do you think is wrong with it?

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#53547 - 06/16/18 06:41 AM Re: Whitney view in RE: MR Route June 4 [Re: dbd]
G4u2 Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 14
Loc: San Diego, CA
Dbd,

I was referring to "High Point" in the panorama (see my original post). I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it. I'm pointing out that, if this is at Palomar Mt, it would be 240 miles from My. Whitney. That is further than the limits you mentioned.

Best,

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#53553 - 06/16/18 09:24 AM Re: Whitney view in RE: MR Route June 4 [Re: G4u2]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 210
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: G4u2
I was referring to "High Point" in the panorama (see my original post). I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it. I'm pointing out that, if this is at Palomar Mt, it would be 240 miles from My. Whitney. That is further than the limits you mentioned.

I don't find a peak named "High Point" in Paul's Whitney panorama.

There is "Malapais Mesa High Point" at about 108deg/32miles and "Sacatar Trail Wilderness High Point" at about 158deg/48miles.

Palomar is not visible over the ridge immediately north of the city of San Bernardino. Strawberry Peak, labelled on the viewfinderpanoramas Whitney south diagram, is higher than Palomar and about 70 miles closer to Whitney on about the right line. The viewfinderpanoramas site plots what is visible. Palomar is not.

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#53560 - 06/16/18 06:07 PM Re: MR Route June 4 [Re: wshaynes]
sbills Offline


Registered: 06/07/18
Posts: 2
Loc: UT
We chose to rap the first 3 pitches, the 4th and last pitch over the icy rock bands we felt we had to rap. One of the guys in our party downclimbed the first 3 pitches. If the snow was firmer (we stayed on top a long time) I might have downclimbed. But since there were rap stations already setup (webbing with a rap ring around rocks) it made since to rap and avoid the added risk.

Conditions will probably be very different when you go. I'm sure there will be no snow on the lower rock bands. The top and steepest part of the final 400 could be free of snow too.

IMHO: Going by what you said and the conditions we experienced, this does not sound like a good route for your group. Maybe conditions will change a lot by the time you go and maybe others with more experience on Whitney have other opinions or advice. The final 400 is not technically hard, but it is mentally hard because of exposure and steepness. I think a group needs to be comfortable with exposure and 50 deg+ slopes to be successful.

If you don't rappel I'm not sure what good gear will do you. I guess you could top belay people down but a redirected belay off an ATC guide or grigri is more difficult than rapping. Get some rap experience, rap double strand and tie knots in the rope ends so you can't rap off the end.

I'm curious what others think. Hope you have a successful and enjoyable trip!

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#53564 - 06/17/18 06:10 AM Re: MR Route June 4 [Re: sbills]
wshaynes Offline


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 18
Loc: California
Thanks for the advice. We'll get some rappelling experience and bring the right gear. Were the rap stations pretty easy to find? This is in the "standard route" chute I take it? Thanks again...

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#53565 - 06/17/18 12:27 PM Re: MR Route June 4 [Re: wshaynes]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7598
Loc: Fresno, CA
"standard route" chute with any rap points would be the "Final 400", the last 400-foot climb to the summit plateau.

The chute before "the Notch" is the climb above Iceberg (East Face) Lake, and there won't be any rap stations there. It gets pretty gravelly and tough to find sure footing in some places, but it is the only route to take.

Here's Bob Rockwell's picture of his routes from the Notch to the Summit. The red line, or the blue just to the right are the most-often climbed routes:

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#53566 - 06/17/18 07:19 PM Re: MR Route June 4 [Re: Steve C]
wshaynes Offline


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 18
Loc: California
Great photo. Thanks!

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