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#54933 - 04/12/19 04:32 PM Whitney May 12th 2019
Melissa Offline


Registered: 04/12/19
Posts: 3
Loc: California
Hi folks!
My group is hiking Whitney for the first time this year and we ended up with May 12th for our day use permit shocked Our plan is to drive in Friday night to pick up the permit from the night drop then drive to Whitney Portal to be at some elevation and sleep til 11pm, start the hike at midnight Saturday into Sunday. Looking for any tips or things we should know before we go. We will each have crampons and an ice axe for safety. Thank you! smile

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#54934 - 04/12/19 05:30 PM Re: Whitney May 12th 2019 [Re: Melissa]
Anton Offline


Registered: 08/02/17
Posts: 13
Loc: San Diego
May 12 is very early for a day trip. Unless everyone in your group is fit AND has alpine climbing experience, this plan sounds bold, to say the least. You should be prepared for non-trivial travel on snow (including navigation above the Outpost camp) and, possibly, icy sections. You will probably need to take the direct (steep) route from the Trail camp to the Trail crest. If this does not scare you, I recommend establishing a firm turn-around time (no later than 2 pm). You don't want to get stuck up high when the snow starts to freeze again, making the descent more challenging. Also getting to the summit late due to slow progress will increase your chances of exhaustion and hypothermia on descent.
Cheers

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#54936 - 04/12/19 09:53 PM Re: Whitney May 12th 2019 [Re: Anton]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7719
Loc: Fresno, CA
That is such an early hike date! The trail will be buried under snow, probably starting somewhere between Lone Pine Lake and Mirror Lake. When that is the case people may try climbing from Outpost Camp over snow up to Trail Camp, completely abandoning where the trail goes. You might want to start a little later, so that there will be more light when you reach the snow line.

If I were trying this, I would definitely have a gps with the trail set on it, and use that to find and (approximately) follow where the trail goes. Cell phones are capable of doing this, but they suck up battery juice fast.

May is the time for hikers with more experience. Go and try, but don't be crazy. Follow your instincts and turn around when you feel you are in over your skill levels. And by all means, stick together!!! The mountain will always be there, so you can try again later. In fact, come May 1 at 7 AM, you might try to grab the un-claimed permits for a later date -- say July.

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#54942 - 04/13/19 05:20 PM Re: Whitney May 12th 2019 [Re: Melissa]
Jay Garcia Online


Registered: 02/01/18
Posts: 12
Loc: Seattle, WA
Im doing a Solo on May 6th and I agree this is early in the year and navigation and being able to assess terrain is important, Im going for the MT and I have 3 days to do so, ,my advise is to listen to your skills and if you reach a point when is getting challenging please turn around, I haven't find my self in trouble yet I have turn arround before, good luck and enjoy

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#54947 - 04/15/19 12:13 PM Re: Whitney May 12th 2019 [Re: Steve C]
Melissa Offline


Registered: 04/12/19
Posts: 3
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Steve C


If I were trying this, I would definitely have a gps with the trail set on it, and use that to find and (approximately) follow where the trail goes. Cell phones are capable of doing this, but they suck up battery juice fast.

May is the time for hikers with more experience. Go and try, but don't be crazy. Follow your instincts and turn around when you feel you are in over your skill levels. And by all means, stick together!!! The mountain will always be there, so you can try again later. In fact, come May 1 at 7 AM, you might try to grab the un-claimed permits for a later date -- say July.


So are you saying my phones GPS will actually pick up out there? I have digital maps through all trails and map my hike apps but was assuming they wouldn't work? I have several paper copies of the trail vut the digital that tracks where we are on our route would be much better. Battery use is a non issue. I always have back up batteries on hikes just in case.
The three of us are experienced hikers but our first time on Whitney. We are "practicing" by doing the Tahoe Triple (freels peak, jobs sister and jobs peak) this Friday and Pyramid Saturday. Mountains we've summitted in Summer but not in the winter..adding extra difficulty by doing so without snowshoes. smile


Edited by Melissa (04/15/19 12:14 PM)

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#54948 - 04/15/19 01:05 PM Re: Whitney May 12th 2019 [Re: Melissa]
CraigB Offline


Registered: 04/15/19
Posts: 1
Loc: Nevada
Melissa,

Make sure you are listening to all the advice given so far. Early May is extremely bold for a day hike unless you and your group have experience with snow/glacier travel, proper crampon use, ice axe arrest, etc. There won't be any visible trail above Lone Pine Lake other than what others have taken before you and your group. The upper mountain above Outpost Camp will be covered with snow with areas of ice as well. Once you get above Trail Camp you will be traveling up and down the chute as the switchbacks won't be usable this year until somewhere around late June to early July due to the snow pack being at 150% this year.
Read everything you can in this Forum for posts from past years. There is a lot of good information about peoples experiences.

Good luck and be safe. Remember the mountain will always be there.

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#54949 - 04/15/19 03:53 PM Re: Whitney May 12th 2019 [Re: CraigB]
Melissa Offline


Registered: 04/12/19
Posts: 3
Loc: California
Thanks for the tips guys. All being taken in. smile Keep them coming. Each of us is bold to say the least lol but none of us is willing to die. smile May wasn't our first choice but we are comfortable climbing up the ice ball without switchbacks. Our biggest concern is getting lost more so than any of the slip/climb issues..

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#54950 - 04/15/19 04:23 PM Re: Whitney May 12th 2019 [Re: Melissa]
bobpickering Online


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 376
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Hi, Melissa. Iíve been watching this thread, but not adding my 2Ę because the advice from others is right on.

Iíve been up Whitney in all months of the year and in all kinds of weather. It is certainly possible to dayhike it in May. However, I would guess that at least half the first timers that attempt it under perfect conditions with no snow still fail. The altitude kicks a lot of peopleís butts. Being superbly fit helps, but it does not guarantee immunity. Going in May this year reduces your chances. That doesnít mean you should stay home, but you should be willing to head down when you have used up about 60% of your energy and daylight.

Cell phones will intermittently have coverage on the mountain. It depends on your phone, your carrier, where you are on the mountain, and dumb luck. You may be able to make calls, but donít count on it. Tell your family not to report you missing just because they donít get a call from the summit.

I have an Android phone with the Backcountry Navigator Pro (BCN) app. I create a .GPX file using a desktop PC and CalTopo.com. I load the .GPX file into my phone. While Iím at home, I also download the maps for wherever Iím going. I can then use the phone for navigation, even where there is no cell coverage. It works great, but the GPS uses a lot of power. Turn it off when youíre not using it. There are other apps that work very much like BCN. I also carry an altimeter, a paper map, and a compass.

You have a month. Practice with your GPS and with your crampons and ice axe before you go. Good luck, and have fun!


Edited by bobpickering (04/15/19 04:24 PM)
Edit Reason: typo

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#54951 - 04/15/19 08:19 PM Re: Whitney May 12th 2019 [Re: Melissa]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7719
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Melissa
So are you saying my phones GPS will actually pick up out there? I have digital maps through All Trails and map my hike apps but was assuming they wouldn't work? I have several paper copies of the trail vut the digital that tracks where we are on our route would be much better. Battery use is a non issue. I always have back up batteries on hikes just in case.
The three of us are experienced hikers but our first time on Whitney. We are "practicing" by doing the Tahoe Triple (freels peak, jobs sister and jobs peak) this Friday and Pyramid Saturday. Mountains we've summitted in Summer but not in the winter..adding extra difficulty by doing so without snowshoes. smile

Melissa, On those practice hikes, use the mapping apps to get practice using them. Cell phones use satellite gps signals to show your location on the online maps, so no cellular service required. But beware and monitor the battery. My iPhone 7 last summer was getting low, and every time I used it to check my location, the battery power dropped 1%! Bob P was giving me a hard time because his Android was cruising along without that juice problem. mad

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#54953 - 04/16/19 07:06 AM Re: Whitney May 12th 2019 [Re: Melissa]
MikeH Offline


Registered: 04/05/18
Posts: 22
Loc: Escondido, CA
Originally Posted By: Melissa
Originally Posted By: Steve C


If I were trying this, I would definitely have a gps with the trail set on it, and use that to find and (approximately) follow where the trail goes. Cell phones are capable of doing this, but they suck up battery juice fast.

May is the time for hikers with more experience. Go and try, but don't be crazy. Follow your instincts and turn around when you feel you are in over your skill levels. And by all means, stick together!!! The mountain will always be there, so you can try again later. In fact, come May 1 at 7 AM, you might try to grab the un-claimed permits for a later date -- say July.


So are you saying my phones GPS will actually pick up out there? I have digital maps through all trails and map my hike apps but was assuming they wouldn't work? I have several paper copies of the trail vut the digital that tracks where we are on our route would be much better. Battery use is a non issue. I always have back up batteries on hikes just in case.


Yes, you can use your phone's GPS tracking even if there is no cell service. I've used my iPhone 7 with GaiaGPS while hiking multiple times. Be sure to put your phone into Airplane Mode. The battery will last significantly longer.

Put it back into normal mode if you want to try to get a cell signal and send a text etc. Then back into Airplane mode to continue on.

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#54960 - 04/17/19 09:22 PM Re: Whitney May 12th 2019 [Re: MikeH]
Jay Garcia Online


Registered: 02/01/18
Posts: 12
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: MikeH
Originally Posted By: Melissa
Originally Posted By: Steve C


If I were trying this, I would definitely have a gps with the trail set on it, and use that to find and (approximately) follow where the trail goes. Cell phones are capable of doing this, but they suck up battery juice fast.

May is the time for hikers with more experience. Go and try, but don't be crazy. Follow your instincts and turn around when you feel you are in over your skill levels. And by all means, stick together!!! The mountain will always be there, so you can try again later. In fact, come May 1 at 7 AM, you might try to grab the un-claimed permits for a later date -- say July.


So are you saying my phones GPS will actually pick up out there? I have digital maps through all trails and map my hike apps but was assuming they wouldn't work? I have several paper copies of the trail vut the digital that tracks where we are on our route would be much better. Battery use is a non issue. I always have back up batteries on hikes just in case.


Yes, you can use your phone's GPS tracking even if there is no cell service. I've used my iPhone 7 with GaiaGPS while hiking multiple times. Be sure to put your phone into Airplane Mode. The battery will last significantly longer.

Put it back into normal mode if you want to try to get a cell signal and send a text etc. Then back into Airplane mode to continue on.


Yes it will work, I have a iPhone 8 and I preload a GPX file and also download a topo map section this is all with GAIA gps and the battery consumption is low

watch this video so you can have a better view of the app, good luck!

https://youtu.be/59d_URCRC_A

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