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#4904 - 06/04/10 10:44 AM Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7577
Loc: Fresno, CA
This thread is designed to hold posts displaying pictures and describing the current conditions of the Main Mount Whitney Trail (MMWT).  I hope everyone will contribute.

Please feel free to post pictures of your own or from any source (please post a reference to the original location), so that everyone can come here and easily find/read/see the conditions.

Older posts will be moved as conditions change. (As a result, some posts may appear to answer comments that are no longer in the thread.)

Thanks for everyone's help. Your posting trip reports helps untold numbers of hikers following you.

Older posts moved here:   Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2018 (Old)

Note: Sometimes this thread spans a number of pages. You can click through all the pages, or click here to display all in one page.


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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]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 498
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: 7577
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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#54369 - 10/01/18 09:35 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: dandreahiker]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7577
Loc: Fresno, CA
You need to look at the NOAA forecast. I kind of trust NOAA over all the others. Mountain-forecast has always over-estimated the snowfall. ...Of course they could be right once in a while.

The snowfall will be light. Even if there's almost a foot, you can tramp through it and pack it down. That will slow people way down, though. Microspikes might come in handy. But the trail will still be navigable, if the cold doesn't convince you to turn back.

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#54380 - 10/05/18 08:36 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7577
Loc: Fresno, CA
This picture posted on FB by Jack T

His report:
Quote:
As requested, the trail conditions on Mount Whitney Trail on Oct 4th after the first storm of the 2018-19 wet season.

First snow and thin ice encountered on the trail at 11000ft. The ice dissipated by trail camp and snow accumulation increased to about 3-4 inches by the cables on 97 switchbacks. Snow depth remained consistent until Trail Crest where the depth increased to 5-6 inches in some spots where it was not packed down. Snow depth at the summit was 6-7 inches with small drifts of about 10-12 inches.

During my descent I noted as large difference in the snow as the sun had worked its way around the ridge. Snow was melting and packing fast and there was quite a bit of slush on the ridge line. The snow on the switchbacks became very "grippy" and I was able to move at full speed with microspikes and poles. The trail was free of snow from Trail Camp back to the Portal except a few tiny patches here and there above 11000ft

That's all fine a dandy but just remember one thing. All the snow melt and slush will freeze tonight and on the 5th there will be a lot more ice from the cables on up to the summit.

Hope this helps. 😉



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#54385 - 10/07/18 03:41 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Su Ven Offline


Registered: 09/14/18
Posts: 5
Loc: CA
Summitted on 10/4. Significant snow accumulation after the storm but 4th was clear and sunny. many portions of the trail snow melted away, mainly in the switchbacks. MIcrospikes recommended for safety

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#54393 - 10/08/18 09:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Su Ven]
Freek Offline


Registered: 10/08/18
Posts: 1
Loc: NV
What is the water situation like at this time up at Trail Camp? Hoping everything is not frozen over. Heading up this weekend. Any help is appreciated, thank you!

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#54398 - 10/09/18 08:23 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Freek]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7577
Loc: Fresno, CA
If the pond has ice on top, it will be easy to break the ice to get water. However, if you are carrying a water bladder for your drink, the tube can freeze, so bottles carried inside your pack might be better.

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#54401 - 10/09/18 09:17 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7577
Loc: Fresno, CA
Posted on FB by Heidi V

"October 7, 2018 Welcome to the winter hiking. We had snow and some slippery ice from the switch back to the top."


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#54404 - 10/09/18 02:03 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
hikersteve Offline


Registered: 10/09/18
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
Any idea when this last picture was taken? I know it says posted on Oct 7th. Wondering if the picture was taken on the same day...seems contrary to a previous poster who said that most trail snow had melted away.

Hiking on Thursday 10/11. Was hoping for better trail conditions.

Thanks for the info


Edited by hikersteve (10/09/18 02:47 PM)

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#54405 - 10/09/18 05:07 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: hikersteve]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7577
Loc: Fresno, CA
Overnight on 10/6, a small storm went through, and dumped more snow. Note the Williamson webcam tonight -- it shows the coverage there on the morning of 10/7, showing new/fresh snow.

It is likely that by 10/11 lots of tracks will have packed down the snow, but you should take crampons or at least microspikes to make the travel easier.

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#54406 - 10/09/18 08:44 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
hikersteve Offline


Registered: 10/09/18
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
OK. Thanks for the update. Much appreciated.

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#54418 - 10/11/18 11:59 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: hikersteve]
Aaron S Offline


Registered: 10/09/18
Posts: 2
Loc: Texas
How were conditions on 10/11? Heading up 10/17. Would love an update and perhaps a picture. Thanks!

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#54420 - 10/11/18 06:22 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Aaron S]
hikersteve Offline


Registered: 10/09/18
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
Hike was awesome. Trail conditions were fine. No trail snow until the middle of switchbacks. We didn't need to wear the micro spikes going up. But we did wear then coming down. Back side of trail had more accumulation, but was still accessible. Sumitted at 0930. Weather was perfect. Clouds started rolling in at 1030 but never got above trail crest. I wouldn't even call the amount of snow fall a dusting. Just specks of it. Would attach a couple pics, but I can't seem to figure out how.


Here's one: West side view.

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#54422 - 10/12/18 08:04 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: hikersteve]
Aaron S Offline


Registered: 10/09/18
Posts: 2
Loc: Texas
Congratulations on the day and thanks for the report. Much appreciated.

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#54430 - Yesterday at 03:36 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7577
Loc: Fresno, CA
MoLea posted a good trip report here.

A picture of hers of the switchbacks from Facebook:


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