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#53837 - 07/10/18 04:54 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Kendall22 Offline


Registered: 07/10/18
Posts: 1
Loc: San Diego
I too summited Whitney on July 8th and got stuck in the storm while on the switchbacks. Our group summited at different times, my boyfriend and I being the first two at 10:15am. We knew the weather was going to turn so we left at 12 when we ran into the rest of our group 5 min from the summit. We returned with them. My sister was the last to summit at the same time as the the girl who wrote the aforementioned blog and her two friends. We heard thunder and I apologized to my sister for not letting her enjoy the summit and we all started down, a storm at 14,000 ft is not to be messed with. The two girls who were with the blog girl knew it was dangerous and told her multiple times to please leave with them; she rudely refused. As we all hiked down they waited for her MULTIPLE times for long periods of time. With all due respect she should have never continued after getting AMS and a picture on a summit is not worth risking your own life or that of your friends.

All of us made multiple mistakes: not setting a turn around time for my sister, waiting on the summit past my own turn around time, and not bivouacing during the storm. We wanted to get down, and down fast. Lessons were learned and it is important to take responsibility for our own actions.

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#53841 - 07/11/18 08:31 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Kendall22]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7596
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks Kendall22. It's illuminating to read the other side of that story.

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#53842 - 07/11/18 09:40 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
RichardK Offline


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 92
Loc: East Coast Florida
Quote:
I noticed the switchbacks were littered with at least 20 pairs of expensive brand-named trekking poles.


On our first ascent of Whitney, we were coming down the switchbacks amid heavy cloud cover, graupel, and an occasional thunderclap. I heard a buzzing sound and noticed that the hair on my arm was standing on end. I thought about ditching my Leki Makalu's ($125), but decided that conditions weren't that bad yet.

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#53850 - 07/11/18 12:09 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7596
Loc: Fresno, CA
Information on permits where you couldn't enter due to the Georges Fire: Kurt Wedberg reported this:
Quote:
Whitney Road & Fire Closure Info: ONCE THE ROAD OPENS all of you who have permits that were valid for entry during the dates of the road closure you will be given a 7-day window to use your permits. The clock starts ticking once the road opens.


Also, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5907/43913/ reports:
Quote:
Whitney Portal Road, Whitney Portal and Trailhead to Re-open

The Inyo National Forest is planning to re-open the Whitney Portal Road and access to the Mt. Whitney Trailhead at 6:00 pm today.

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#53869 - 07/16/18 01:40 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
MHS Offline


Registered: 03/24/18
Posts: 4
Loc: FL
What's the best website for checking weather for Mt Whitney trail and summit? Thanks

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#53871 - 07/16/18 01:53 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: MHS]
VigilAuntie Offline


Registered: 07/02/18
Posts: 3
Loc: North Carolina

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#53874 - 07/16/18 04:39 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: MHS]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7596
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: MHS
What's the best website for checking weather for Mt Whitney trail and summit? Thanks


You should check multiple sites. The best ones are easily accessible from the Mt Whitney Weather page, in the Feature Topics box, above on the left. I prefer the NOAA site over Mountain-Forecast.

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#53876 - 07/16/18 09:07 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
OChikers8073 Offline


Registered: 06/12/18
Posts: 22
Loc: CA
My husband and I reached the summit at 8:30am on Saturday July 14th. We left Whitney portal on Thursday at 6:00am and hiked to Trail camp arriving at 11am. It didn't rain on us at all until later that afternoon but by that time we'd already set up camp and finished all our camp chores. The temperature was very mild around 56 degrees. Along the trail on our way to trail camp the creek crossing were all very easy. There is one spot right before Outpost where people were bottle necked all trying to figure out how to cross because the rocks were submerged about 2" under water. We just walked right though it and it was fine. If you have water proof boots it's not an issue. On Friday (summit day) we departed from camp at 4:30 am. By the time we reached the summit at 8:30am clouds were already starting to form and quickly rolling in. Within 30 minutes the summit view was completely obscured looking East. We're glad we got there before it was completely covered in clouds. In hind sight I would have started around 3:30 rather than 4:30. I would say if weather is a concern get up there as early as possible. It was crystal clear when we began and beginning to drizzle on our way down from the 99 switchbacks back into trail camp. One other 'trail condition' that I did notice, not weather related however was the amount of trash in trail camp. It was really shocking to me to see how many items were just strewn about and discarded. From old tent stakes, to plastic eating utensils, to food packaging and many, many, many, wag bags (several near the water). I couldn't believe people could be so careless about such a beautiful place. After we summited I used an empty grocery bag to gather up as much as I could minus the wag bags and carried it down. I'd hope others who see trash would try to do the same. Enjoy the hike and LNT.

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#53877 - 07/16/18 09:42 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: OChikers8073]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7596
Loc: Fresno, CA
OChikers: Thanks SO much for picking up all the trash.

Too many people don't care, because they're never going back to Whitney.

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#53878 - 07/17/18 01:06 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
MHS Offline


Registered: 03/24/18
Posts: 4
Loc: FL
Thanks

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#53879 - 07/17/18 08:11 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
OChikers8073 Offline


Registered: 06/12/18
Posts: 22
Loc: CA
I'm in love! I can see why people hike many times, including 'crazy jack' from the Whitney Portal Store who we met on the trail and again while having our cheeseburgers smile apparently he has hiked over 170 times!. We also met a ranger along the way with a huge black trash bag, I mentioned the wag bags and she said they'd just removed over 30 of them the week before. There is a way hikers can volunteer to pick up trash on the trail with rangers (and get a free permit!) I'll check it out and post the link here if anyone is interested.

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#53881 - 07/17/18 08:29 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: OChikers8073]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7596
Loc: Fresno, CA
OC: Please do post the info!

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#53883 - 07/17/18 09:59 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
dbd Online


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 210
Loc: San Diego
Friends of the Inyo is among the organizations with opportunities to volunteer.
Check their site for a full calendar of events.
https://friendsoftheinyo.org/

Immediate examples:

Trail Work Thursday — Whitney Portal
July 19 from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm

Join us for the summer’s southernmost Trail Work Thursday in the shadow of Mount Whitney on July 19. Meet at 9AM at the Whitney Portal Store to tackle crucial trail work on some of the Eastern Sierra’s most iconic trails.
The Whitney Portal Store is generously donating French fries to reward all volunteers!

All ages welcome. Bring water and sunscreen and wear long pants and closed-toed shoes. We will provide work gloves and tools.

Inyo National Forest Wilderness Project
July 25 - July 29
Inyo National Forest Wilderness Project

Five lucky volunteers will get to spend five glorious days in the Inyo National Forest's wilderness, stewarding trails and swimming in creeks! Stay tuned for details... Space is limited—RSVP now to hold your spot!

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#53892 - 07/21/18 06:13 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: dbd]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 54
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: dbd
Friends of the Inyo is among the organizations with opportunities to volunteer.
Check their site for a full calendar of events.
https://friendsoftheinyo.org/

Immediate examples:

Trail Work Thursday — Whitney Portal
July 19 from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm


Join us for the summer’s southernmost Trail Work Thursday in the shadow of Mount Whitney on July 19. Meet at 9AM at the Whitney Portal Store to tackle crucial trail work on some of the Eastern Sierra’s most iconic trails.
The Whitney Portal Store is generously donating French fries to reward all volunteers!

All ages welcome. Bring water and sunscreen and wear long pants and closed-toed shoes. We will provide work gloves and tools.

Inyo National Forest Wilderness Project
July 25 - July 29
Inyo National Forest Wilderness Project

Five lucky volunteers will get to spend five glorious days in the Inyo National Forest's wilderness, stewarding trails and swimming in creeks! Stay tuned for details... Space is limited—RSVP now to hold your spot!

Dale B. Dalrymple


I met these people while heading up the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek trail. They were making that trail entrance more open and obvious, and did a good job of it (I noticed on the way down). That part of the Mountaineers' Route and a supposedly un-maintained trail.

One of the two rangers with them checked my permit.

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#53895 - 07/22/18 08:03 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: futbol]
MHS Offline


Registered: 03/24/18
Posts: 4
Loc: FL
From Tampa with a group of 4. Stayed in Lone Pine day 1. Hit the trailhead the next day and pitched tents at Trail Camp. All of us pre-medicated with Diamox. Awoke at 2am and hit the switch backs at 3am. I think the switchbacks are easier in the dark(keeps you from looking up and seeing how much farther you need to go). Reached the summit July 19th 3 hrs after leaving trail Camp. I usually never have a problem with altitude or with accents, my biggest challenge is the descent, very tough on my 58 year abused old knees. It took me longer to descend to trail camp the the accent. The hardest part for me was the descent from Trail Camp to Lone Pine Lake. Stayed 1 night at Lone Pine Lake and had an easy decent to the trailhead in 1.5 hours. My younger companions found the decent easy. One of the party struggled on the accent and was hours behind us, but did summit. One of most beautiful places I've visited. I appreciate all the posts that help our crew having a successful summit.

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#53899 - 07/22/18 12:05 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: MHS]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7596
Loc: Fresno, CA
MHS: Congratulations!!! Thanks for the report. I can relate regarding the old knees. I used to run down parts of the trail! ...not anymore. frown
And good for you on the Diamox use. Your ascent directly to Trail Camp without first spending a night at altitude is ambitious. I have to assume the Diamox had a positive benefit.

Regarding "hours behind us"...
    For everyone:  It is NOT a safe practice to leave a slower hiker behind.  In 99% of the cases, they make it just fine, but it is often the "left-behind" hiker that ends up in a Search and Rescue situation, especially when they are trying to descend in darkness.  Please take care of everyone in your party.

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#53980 - 07/31/18 04:14 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Kascadia Offline


Registered: 07/23/18
Posts: 4
Loc: PNW - Cascade Foothills
Hello - Can anyone tell me if there are any visibility/smoke issues in the Whitney area at this time? We will be coming down from Seattle to do a one day hike (hoping to obtain an unused permit) and would hope to not be there under suboptimal conditions for visibility. One member also has asthma (although I think they have abnormally large lungs also, lol), so if it's really bad, would probably be best to wait. Thanks for any information!

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#53985 - 07/31/18 08:25 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Kascadia]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7596
Loc: Fresno, CA
There are over a dozen fires burning in Calif now. Conditions are definitely suboptimal. The fire burning just west of Yosemite is sending smoke all over the Sierra.

Watch the webcam. There are times during the day when the webcam view is almost all smoke. And other times it is nearly clear.

Two images from a day ago. These change daily -- they're from the page I use to find good overnight pics:
-- http://www.whitneyzone.com/webcam/whit/sm/wc2.htm

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#53991 - 08/01/18 11:35 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
HootiePepper Offline


Registered: 08/01/18
Posts: 5
Loc: California
MICROSPIKES?? Are they needed for next week on the MWT?

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#53996 - 08/01/18 12:20 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: HootiePepper]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7596
Loc: Fresno, CA
No microspikes necessary at all.

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