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#53382 - 06/09/18 12:52 PM Whitney main trail day hike 6.7.18
PeteK. Offline


Registered: 03/07/17
Posts: 13
Loc: CA
Day hiked Whitney yesterday with my buddy Pat Smith. We left the Portal at 3:15 am and arrived in Trail Camp about 6:45am. There are only a few small patches of snow left covering the trail just below Trail Camp...lots of running water in places though. We used running shoes for this first section. Your feet will get wet just before Outpost Camp! Climbed the first set of switchbacks, which were icy, put on our boots and crampons and started the traverse of the first snowfield at 7:15 am. Traversed to the chute and then climbed up to Trail Crest on perfect snow, arriving at 8:15 am. That included helping a climber to put back on his left crampon which had completely detached from his boot!
We took off our crampons at the top and stowed our axes. From there it was a pretty straightforward hike to the summit traversing a few small snowfields on the way. We reached the summit about 11:00 am. Beautiful conditions to be on the mountain I must say.
We made a quick descent to Trail Crest and put our waterproof pants on for the glissade. One word of caution here, do not take the obvious chute entry point. It is very steep, full of rocks at the top and can still be icy "inside" the chute. Climb onto the left or right sides of this chute and start your glissade. At the time we did it the snow was soft, perfect in fact for a fun glissade.
Once we got back to Trail Camp we changed back into running shoes and descended back to the Portal. We got back about 4:00 pm but missed the classic burger and fries due to an early closing for graduation night, drats!!!
Oh well, it was a fun trip and I hope this info helps people climbing in the next week

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#53384 - 06/09/18 03:43 PM Re: Whitney main trail day hike 6.7.18 [Re: PeteK.]
203WEST Offline


Registered: 06/01/18
Posts: 18
Loc: Mammoth Lakes
Thanks for the report PeteK! Glad you had a good hike. What was the condition of the remaining switchbacks? Any signs of melting off, or are they out-of-commission for a couple more weeks? (I have a June 19th entry date, and I promised my wife we'd not climb the chute, or glissade) We might still hike to Trail Camp, and save the rest for a mid-week open slot later in the summer.

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#53390 - 06/10/18 12:45 PM Re: Whitney main trail day hike 6.7.18 [Re: 203WEST]
PeteK. Offline


Registered: 03/07/17
Posts: 13
Loc: CA
I'd guestimate that the switchbacks MAY be fully open by then but no promises....I'd look for more current TR's closer to your date. There were some people who didn't have crampons etc. trying to negotiate the switchbacks on the day of our trip...not sure how far they got tho?

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#53404 - 06/11/18 09:52 AM Re: Whitney main trail day hike 6.7.18 [Re: PeteK.]
203WEST Offline


Registered: 06/01/18
Posts: 18
Loc: Mammoth Lakes
Thanks! Yeah, we have microspikes and ice axes, but the wife wants no interaction with the chute. (Happy Wife, Happy Life!)

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#53426 - 06/12/18 10:24 AM Re: Whitney main trail day hike 6.7.18 [Re: PeteK.]
sumo Offline


Registered: 06/12/18
Posts: 15
Loc: CA
I spoke to PR yesterday and she didn't say anything to indicate that the Switchbacks are closed.

However, she did say that it's still icy at certain parts and slip/fall from their would be painful. From my last hike(2013 end of July) I remember there were spots that had steep drop off from the trail in that stretch. Even in that drought year and in late July there was ice on the switchbacks.

She suggested taking the Chute which she claimed is just a slope to the right side of the switchbacks and shorter climb to the ridge.

I'm going to be attempting to summit on June 17. I'm very scared of heights!


Edited by sumo (06/12/18 10:27 AM)

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#53433 - 06/12/18 12:01 PM Re: Whitney main trail day hike 6.7.18 [Re: sumo]
Twee Offline


Registered: 06/11/18
Posts: 10
Loc: San Diego, CA
Hi Suno, my group is heading up on the 17th as well. Hope to catch u guys on the trail

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#53434 - 06/12/18 12:20 PM Re: Whitney main trail day hike 6.7.18 [Re: Twee]
sumo Offline


Registered: 06/12/18
Posts: 15
Loc: CA
We are doing the overnight stay at Trail camp on the 16th. Planning to start early while the ice is supposedly hard enough to make the ascent on it.

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#53437 - 06/12/18 01:12 PM Re: Whitney main trail day hike 6.7.18 [Re: sumo]
Twee Offline


Registered: 06/11/18
Posts: 10
Loc: San Diego, CA
Cool! we are doing the same thing but a day later than you.
Good luck! Catch up next week to see how things went.

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