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#54954 - 04/16/19 08:41 PM Route Conditions
Scott H Online


Registered: 01/08/17
Posts: 9
Loc: San Diego
Hey i was just wondering if anybody has been on the main trail or mountaineer's route and if anybody has made it to the summit, i realize it's still winter conditions and the gate is closed. I have not seen any recent comments or pictures?, Hope to see some soon. Thanks Scott

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#54961 - 04/18/19 07:55 AM Re: Route Conditions [Re: Scott H]
dhp Offline


Registered: 03/29/17
Posts: 2
Loc: California
I saw that someone on Reddit made it to the peak prior to road blasting 1-2 weeks ago. They said snowpack was great. Crews are working on clearing out the rubble on WPR through the end of the month. Hoping they will finish quickly so we can drive up to the portal next week before permit season begins.

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#54962 - 04/18/19 09:48 AM Re: Route Conditions [Re: dhp]
bobpickering Online


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 376
Loc: Reno, Nevada
I’m thinking about dayhiking the Mountaineers’ Route, but only if there is good weather and they open the road before the quota begins. Fingers crossed.


Edited by bobpickering (04/18/19 09:48 AM)
Edit Reason: typo

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#54963 - 04/18/19 10:33 AM Re: Route Conditions [Re: bobpickering]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 62
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: bobpickering
I’m thinking about dayhiking the Mountaineers’ Route, but only if there is good weather and they open the road before the quota begins. Fingers crossed.


This time of year do you use the snow pack to bypass the E-Ledges?

I honestly can't imagine myself attempting to traverse the Ebersbacher Legdges with a potential ice layer on it.

For those interested, here is an interesting video trip report from a journey last year via the MR.

http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/52972/A_different_type_of_trip_repor#Post52972



Edited by futbol (04/18/19 10:34 AM)

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#54964 - 04/18/19 10:58 AM Re: Route Conditions [Re: Scott H]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7719
Loc: Fresno, CA
This was posted on FB by Russell B

I've posted this report along with pictures in the Current Conditions thread.

Quote:
Alrighty Whitney fans, my buddy and I did the Whitney Trail this past weekend and hit the summit on Sunday afternoon. Here is a quick trip report...

Day 1- Gate was locked, added 4 miles to the journey. Started at 4:30am. Trailhead was clear of snow and so was the first mile... after the first mile all snow. No snowshoes needed, it was well packed. Navigation was a little difficult but GAIA with downloaded maps makes it pretty easy. We were able to make it to camp by 5pm. We camped out just below Trail Camp.

Day 2- Woke up at 2:30am. Walked up to Trail Camp and put on crampons... The snow chute was an unbelievable challenge- took us just under 3 hours. Made it to Trail Crest around 8am. The backside trail was a little more sketchy (see pictures). It was narrow and slushy at times... Definitely need to be experienced in crampons to do this safely. Made it to the summit just after noon. We took our time and it was a difficult traverse. Coming back down was very easy after Trail Crest.

Day 3- Woke at 6am and we were back at the car by 11am. Really easy walking on the way down.

We were the only ones on the Whitney Trail... Plenty of people going up the Mountaineers Route. Definitely need all of the right winter mountaineering equipment... Warm layers, hard shells, down jacket, ice axe, crampons, etc. etc. Experience with navigation in the snow is definitely very important. Feel free to ask questions, I will try to answer along the way. Cheers!

A followup:
Quote:
We definitely did not need the snow shoes we packed.... it was dead weight. (We ditched the snowshoes after the first three miles. They were not necessary.) But if it gets softer and slushier- you will want them. So it just all depends, sorry for the squishy answer. I’d bring them.
Lone Pine lake is not too far. If the gate is open I bet you can make it there in 3-4 hours. The biggest thing is navigating. We got a little lost going up the first day but GAIA is the best. There is no trail, but there are some boot trails... you just can't trust them.
It will be awesome, enjoy!


Also, I called Inyo County road dept, and the word is that they are still working on clearing rocks, and it should be open by "the end of the month... but call again next week." wink

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#54971 - 04/19/19 10:06 AM Re: Route Conditions [Re: Steve C]
Hobbes Offline


Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 131
Loc: The OC
I'm thinking of going up the main trail whenever the road gets cleared and the weather looks nice. Right now, I'm not even planning on trying for the summit. Rather, I might just spend the night @ Trail camp, goof around on the Chute the next morning, and then hike back.

I've been up every which way from every direction (except for E buttress) in alpine & summer conditions. In fact, I was just up last spring - see site for trip report. What I really like about winter/spring conditions is the full snow pack down to LP lake. It's nice hiking on hard packed snow, and you get to take all kinds of "creative" short-cuts. But perhaps what's best is the TC area can be completely pristine. No summer slum, just a beautiful high alpine bowl surrounded by the high peaks.

What's really great is that while the local SoCal mountains - including roads - get absolutely mobbed whenever there is snow, the Sierra (outside of the ski resorts) are relatively unscathed. Also, by an odd quirk of fate - and a lot of geology - the WZ is only 4 hours from my house. So, I can jam up there in 4 hours and be in incredible high Sierra territory, or drive 2 and fight crowds with only marginal "high" alpine conditions. (San J @ 10.8 is great, but camping @ TC alone is 12k.)

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#54972 - 04/19/19 10:39 AM Re: Route Conditions [Re: Hobbes]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7719
Loc: Fresno, CA
Hobbes, I live 80 miles from Mt Whitney, but it's a 300 mile, 5-hour drive to Whitney Portal.

A guy from Las Vegas went up to Lower Boy Scout Lake last weekend, reported the road was cleared well enough for any vehicle to drive. Doug from the Portal Store reports they still want to sweep the road, and forest service needs to clean the area around the pond by the store.

Sure seems like they could open the road regardless of the unfinished work.

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#54973 - 04/19/19 03:44 PM Re: Route Conditions [Re: Steve C]
Scott H Online


Registered: 01/08/17
Posts: 9
Loc: San Diego
thanks for all the good info steve, I agree the road should open or be open by now, would like to get up there before the quota starts less the extra milage from the lower gate,hopefully doug gets word soon, thanks scott

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