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Overnight planning
#54868 03/26/19 10:41 AM
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Steve C Offline OP
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I got the following private message, and think the questions are important enough to post publicly:
Quote:
I have done whitney 2 times, and both the times I have done it in a single day. However, this time I will be taking less experience friends and plan on doing it overnight. I was able to get an overnight permit on Friday Aug 9th. I am not exactly sure how many days you are allowed to spend on the mountain with 1 overnight permit.

Also, do you have a recommendation on how people actually do the overnight? Hike up, set up tent and leave gear and continue to the summit, then come back to the camp (below switchbacks) and spend the night and then go back down the 2nd day? I would appreciate any suggestions, or resources so I plan this trip right.

Thank you!

The overnight permit allows the permit-holder to stay as many nights as they want! The only restriction is that after 2 weeks, you MUST move to a different camp site -- the no-squatting rule. smile   The one important point on the overnight permit is that you MUST start your hike and spend the first night on the date specified on your permit.

As for doing the overnight hike: Only the strongest carry their packs up and then summit the same day. Most are pretty well wiped out carrying (often too much) gear to their camp site. And due to the weight of that gear, I would recommend camping overnight at Outpost Camp, rather than Trail Camp. Second reason is that, unless people are well-acclimated by staying overnight at perhaps Horseshoe Meadows the night before starting out, the Outpost elevation is easier on the body. Some people pack all the way to Trail Camp, and then due to the elevation and exhaustion, cannot go next day to the summit.

So by staying at Outpost, you get up bright and early, and hike to the summit. Just try to find a spot to camp overnight well away from the trail, since there are a few inconsiderate day-hikers who come through super early and wake people up with their loud voices.

Anyone/everyone: please post more questions and suggestions that might be helpful.

Re: Overnight planning
Steve C #54869 03/26/19 02:35 PM
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The very stripped-down timeline that has worked for me a number of times is thus:

1. Reserve a campsite at Whitney Portal for the first night. Get there mid day, and relax while you acclimate. Get a burger. Camp the night.

2. Get up not particularly early and hike to Trail Camp, and get there sometime in the afternoon. (Remember to move your car.)

3. Get up at some dark hour (3 or 4 am) to hike to the summit. Leave everything at Trail Camp except a small pack of water and essentials.

4. Come down from the summit and retrieve everything at Trail Camp. Curse at marmots. Depart.

5. Repeat next year.

Re: Overnight planning
Wiff #54870 03/27/19 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted By: Wiff

4. Come down from the summit and retrieve everything at Trail Camp. Curse at marmots. Depart.


Is this based on the honor system where no one will steal your pack? Or is there a place to lock up your gear?

Re: Overnight planning
Cyrille #54871 03/27/19 09:54 AM
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There is no place to lock up gear. It is the honor system. You will also see packs left at the John Muir trail junction past Trail Crest. These are thru hikers on the JMT leaving their heavy packs to bag Whitney. I have never heard of theft. Take food stuffs with you or secure in a bear can. The marmots will chew through tents and packs to get at food.

Last edited by RichardK; 03/27/19 09:55 AM.
Re: Overnight planning
RichardK #54872 03/28/19 02:22 AM
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Having lived in California and Australia, I'd like to make a note. I've had tents and packs drilled by Hantamice (Deer Mice), and have dodged the marmot assault. Don't know of any Australian wildlife getting into tents and such forth, they seem to be focused on just simply killing you.


Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII
Re: Overnight planning
Steve C #54873 03/28/19 06:51 AM
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I've got an overnight permit for October. Our plan is come up the day before and stay the portal campground that night. We want to go up earlier in the day so we can hike up the trail to Lone Pine Lake to help with acclimatizing. Day 1 is up to Outpost Camp. Day 2 is up to Trail Camp. Day 3 - summit, then spend the night at either Outpost Camp or Lone Pine Lake. Day 4 - come off the mountain.

We have the time off work to make this schedule work for us as we start our hike on a Tuesday and finish on Friday. Plus we get to spend more time in the mountains, instead of being so worried about getting up and down in 2 days time.

We plan on bringing a small summit pack with us so we can pack some layers, food and water - everything else is being left at Trail Camp.

Last edited by MtMikeR; 03/28/19 06:51 AM.

Mike

“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”
- Ed Viesturs
Re: Overnight planning
MtMikeR #54874 03/28/19 07:52 AM
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MtMikeR, you are certainly planning enough time for your trip. The main drawback for October is the threat of weather. The first snows of winter usually come in October, so the weather will dictate how it well it goes. It could be dry and cold, or it could be cold and tramping through snow.

The other issue is the length of darkness. Sunrise 10/1 is 6:48am, sunset 6:37 pm. In my opinion, trying to get an earlier trip date would be well worth it.

Re: Overnight planning
RichardK #54875 03/28/19 12:52 PM
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Really unlikely that anyone would steal your gear. Everyone's got the same stuff and no one wants to carry anything else 10 miles!

And definitely make sure there is nothing food/smell related in the tent. I left what must have been like one M&M and when I got back from the summit, my tent had an entrance AND exit hole, my pack was chewed, and my sleeping bag was... defiled. I would leave the tent open a bit as well just in case.

Re: Overnight planning
Steve C #54876 03/29/19 07:20 AM
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Hi Steve - I agree with the weather. This will be our 4th trip in October and only once did we not make it to the summit due to weather in early/mid-October. The one time we didn't make it was our first time in October when we didn't bring crampons or an ice ax and only had micro-spikes. It got a little sketchy above TC, so we turned around. Ever since, if there has been snow or planning to be snow during our trip, we bring the appropriate gear and always put safety above the summit.

We don't mind the darkness nor the cold. It's great training for us as we are looking to climb in Peru next May/June.


Mike

“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”
- Ed Viesturs
Re: Overnight planning
Cyrille #54877 03/30/19 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted By: Cyrille
Originally Posted By: Wiff

4. Come down from the summit and retrieve everything at Trail Camp. Curse at marmots. Depart.


Is this based on the honor system where no one will steal your pack? Or is there a place to lock up your gear?


Yes, right next to the coffee shop :))

Re: Overnight planning
Steve C #54878 03/30/19 07:58 AM
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Totally agree with Steve's advice. It makes more sense to sleep at the Outpost camp: it is lower, has much nicer terrain and protection, and has clean water (use the waterfall). Lastly, the Outpost camp is only ~3 miles from the Trail camp. There is no point of carrying a full pack higher unless you plan to sleep on the summit and/or continue to the west side of the mountain.

Last edited by Anton; 03/30/19 07:59 AM.

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