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#53997 - 08/01/18 10:33 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Kascadia Offline


Registered: 07/23/18
Posts: 4
Loc: PNW - Cascade Foothills
Thanks. We'll wait a few weeks and see what happens. Everyone is watching California, stay safe.

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#54081 - 08/13/18 09:05 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Proxy Offline


Registered: 03/26/18
Posts: 5
Loc: TX
Nothing particularly remarkable... but my group spent 4 days on the main trail late last week (8/7 - 8/10) with a successful summit and descent originating at Whitney Portal.

The water crossings were easily navigable, no frozen precip anywhere near the trail. Abandoned wag bags were most noticeable near trail camp, where we saw a FS employee gathering them. The employee also requested to see the paper copy of our permit.

Smoke/haze was present, but low. Mosquitoes only between Whitney Portal and Lone Pine Lake. Lots of sun.
_________________________
Guadalupe Peak, TX - 2008, 2009, 2010
Wheeler Peak, NM - 2013, 2017
Mt Whitney, CA - 2018

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#54084 - 08/14/18 02:15 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
BGDCPA Offline


Registered: 07/28/17
Posts: 4
Loc: OR
Can anyone tell me how the water is at Trail camp? Is there plenty of water to pump?

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#54085 - 08/14/18 02:37 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: BGDCPA]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 234
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: BGDCPA
Can anyone tell me how the water is at Trail camp? Is there plenty of water to pump?


There will always be water from the Tarn to use at Trail Camp.

Or were you talking about the spring on the switchbacks?
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#54086 - 08/14/18 04:14 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: WanderingJim]
BGDCPA Offline


Registered: 07/28/17
Posts: 4
Loc: OR
Yes the tarn I wasn’t sure if it ever dried up... I know this time last year it was full but that was a heavy snow season

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#54087 - 08/14/18 04:26 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: BGDCPA]
Wiff Offline


Registered: 07/23/14
Posts: 37
Loc: LA
Don't think that water ever dries up. Three weeks ago there was plenty for you and all your elephants. Definitely filter.

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#54127 - 08/25/18 10:46 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Desert Sunflower Offline


Registered: 03/04/18
Posts: 1
Loc: Southern NV
Summited Whitney for the first time on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, with a day hike permit. This was an accomplishment for me since I am about half a century years young and have hiked a lot during my life but not much mountaineering. It was a great experience, (despite the fact I had a cold) hiking with a couple of awesome mountaineering friends who were a perfect encouragement to me along the trail. We camped at Whitney Portal for a couple of nights before the hike and one night after (saw a big bear in camp 2 of the 3 nights, but no interaction with it). Camping at the portal and hiking Mt. Charleston a few times during the last few months helped to climatize, so no real high elevation problems were encountered during the hike. Started at 3:45 am, summited about noon and was back at the portal for a celebration burger at about 6:30 pm. We lucked out with perfect weather on the hike, even though there are a few creek crossings on the trail, my feet were dry the entire hike. I was impressed with the great condition of the trail and that the trail was not very steep at any one place, with the many switchbacks helping to keep the trail steepness to a minimum. So happy I accomplished this goal...and the views, so beautiful...I just might try it again next year! Thanks for the comments on this website, it helps to know a bit what to expect on the trail.

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#54226 - 09/11/18 03:12 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Desert Sunflower]
Happy Birthday Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 499
Loc: Saugus, CA
Though I doubt it is, I have to ask; is the spring at switchback 23 still flowing?
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#54227 - 09/11/18 05:08 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Snacking Bear]
bruce Offline


Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 94
Loc: Novato, CA
There was a small flow yesterday around 7:20 am on two of the switchbacks.

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#54230 - 09/11/18 08:19 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: bruce]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 370
Loc: Wildomar
There was a FANTASTIC flow there at about 3:30 pm that I truly enjoyed since I had been out of water since the JMT junction. I would rate that water as among the best I have ever had. smile.................................DUG

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#54231 - 09/12/18 07:39 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: DUG]
bruce Offline


Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 94
Loc: Novato, CA
I believe it was still flowing due to several days in a row of above normal temps, but that's supposed to change very soon.

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#54243 - 09/14/18 06:18 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: bruce]
stone Offline


Registered: 09/14/18
Posts: 1
Loc: GA
I'm headed to the trail in a few days. I'm wondering if you could share the conditions between high camp and trail crest? Was there any snow or ice at that time? I'm obviously trying to determine what the right footwear (boots, microspikes, crampons) is barring any significant change in weather.

Thanks in advance-

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#54244 - 09/14/18 06:35 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: stone]
bruce Offline


Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 94
Loc: Novato, CA
No snow but there may be a few patches of ice now that the weather is cooler. I hiked last Monday and I remember only one tiny patch of ice (can't recall if it was on the switchbacks though). But you may want to check to see if there is any snow or precipitation in the forecast.

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#54248 - 09/14/18 05:13 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: bruce]
Halfdomer Homer Offline


Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 36
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Just got off the phone with Eastern Sierra Interagency and they said Temps from upper 30s to upper 40s and winds of 15-20. No precipitation and they didn't mention ice or snow. I don't expect snow or ice but I am getting ready for cold wind on the west side. I'm going up Sunday 16th and I'm going to leave a bit later so I don't freeze in the early morning on Trail Crest.
Hope this helps!

-Dan

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#54281 - 09/18/18 10:45 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
ScottWhitneyBoun Offline


Registered: 06/11/14
Posts: 2
Loc: CALIFORNIA
No water on the Switchbacks. On Sunday, Sep 16th, in the morning, I could not find any water around the 23rd Switchback. Nor is the spring under the rocks near the trail at Trail Camp running. (Some have reported that these sources are there, but they are frozen until late afternoon.) Earlier in the year those are both reliable sources, but not now. If you're going to refill, the highest place you can count on right now is the lake (tarn) near Trail Camp.

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#54289 - 09/18/18 11:11 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: ScottWhitneyBoun]
Happy Birthday Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 499
Loc: Saugus, CA
Thanks Scott!
_________________________
@jjoshuagregory (Twitter & Instagram) for landscape and mountain photo spamming...

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#54324 - 09/24/18 11:30 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
NaniTree Offline


Registered: 06/30/17
Posts: 7
Loc: California
Haven't been to Whitney in the fall and wondering if it's worth the visit. Does the terrain change much- any fall colors?

Other question: does it ever get "too windy" to summit? Looking at the forecast right now for the weekend and here's what it's saying:

Friday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 54. Breezy, with a south wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 20 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph.
Friday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 32. Windy, with a south southwest wind 20 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph.
Saturday
Sunny, with a high near 50. Windy, with a south southwest wind 15 to 25 mph increasing to 30 to 40 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 75 mph.(!!!)
Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 29. Windy, with a west southwest wind 25 to 35 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph.
Sunday
Sunny, with a high near 47. Breezy, with a west southwest wind 15 to 20 mph becoming south in the afternoon.

Weather source:
https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=36.6&lon=-118.28#.W6nUIi2ZPOQ


Edited by NaniTree (09/24/18 11:31 PM)

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#54349 - 09/28/18 12:34 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7590
Loc: Fresno, CA
Looks like the great September weather is about to end.

NOAA weather predicts a storm hitting Mt Whitney on Monday, Oct 1. The beginning of October is the usual time for the first storm to hit. Often, though, there will be more fair weather, and the snow from the first storm may dissipate so that there are a few more weeks of good hiking.

Watch the weather carefully from now on!!

From the Mt Whitney Weather page:     NOAA: Whitney summit weather

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#54360 - 09/30/18 12:03 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
balsss Offline


Registered: 09/09/18
Posts: 5
Loc: Fremont, CA
just back home after 3 day backpacking... we summitted on 9/28 thanks to ripper/cbc..

1. weather was perfect and as predicted;
2. friday night was really windy at trailcamp, had tough time with tents and sleeping.. somehow the noise and the elevation gave me zero sleep on that day..
3. there is no water on switchbacks so the trailcamp is the last option
4. no snow/ice on the trail except few patches you see at a distance, a tiny lil patch on the whitney cables but not blocking your way

other than that, the rangers and other hikers are extremely friendly.. there was a dayhiker who was lost for 2 days and started seeing whales in the consultation lake just before getting rescued.. o my my..

overall what a trip it was.. will surely do whitney again. thanks a ton to this forum for keeping us informed all this while.


Edited by balsss (09/30/18 12:04 PM)

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#54368 - 10/01/18 05:36 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
dandreahiker Offline


Registered: 10/14/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Hawthorne, CA
We have a two night overnight trip planned for this Thursday (10/4) thru Saturday (10/6). A bit concerned about the weather forecast which is now calling for 11 inches of snow up top on Wednesday afternoon and evening.

https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mount-Whitney/forecasts/4418

With a lesser amount of snow expected down to trail camp, will the switchbacks be navigable? How treacherous will the trip be from trail crest to the summit? Will crampons be advisable?

Thanks in advance for your sage counsel!!!

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