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#55260 - 05/29/19 12:42 PM August trip questions
timisimaginary Offline


Registered: 12/13/18
Posts: 11
Loc: MD
i am planning a trip to Whitney in early August. i plan to backpack in by way of Cottonwood Pass and summit from the west side, then hike down the main Whitney trail to the portal.

1) i want to camp at Rock Creek my first night. i plan to take the Cottonwood Pass route. i've seen recommendations for taking the Army Pass route through Cottonwood Lakes, but this route seems to add extra mileage/vertical ascent that would probably make Rock Creek unrealistic for me the first night. other than scenery, is there any other reason that this route would be recommended?

2) i have the permit including the Trail Crest Exit permit to exit at the portal. i would like to camp on the main trail after summitting (preferable at Lone Pine Lake). does the date on the exit permit indicate the date you need to be off the MWT trail by?

3) i plan to leave my vehicle at Whitney Portal, shuttle to Horseshoe Meadows to camp the night before i leave, and then pick up my car on return to the Portal. is this a viable option parking-wise? how easy is it to get a shuttle to Horseshoe Meadow campground from Whitney Portal? How is cell phone service at the Portal? (i use Verizon)

4) should i expect that it will still be buggy at this time of year?

thanks in advance.

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#55261 - 05/29/19 01:26 PM Re: August trip questions [Re: timisimaginary]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 76
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: timisimaginary

:

3) i plan to leave my vehicle at Whitney Portal, shuttle to Horseshoe Meadows to camp the night before i leave, and then pick up my car on return to the Portal. is this a viable option parking-wise? how easy is it to get a shuttle to Horseshoe Meadow campground from Whitney Portal? How is cell phone service at the Portal? (i use Verizon)


You may be able to hitchhike between Whitney Portal and Horseshoe Meadows. I know I've picked up a hiker going the other direction to pick up a car. Also, you can leave on car at each trail head.

I use Verizon and can get a reliable 4G signal walking distance from the portal. You walk to that big turn in the road before the portal where it is line-of-sight to Lone Pine and hang out by the guard rail.

BTW, there is no cell signal at Horseshoe Meadows, but on some of the sections on the road up/down you can get a signal by parking off road.

Alternatively, if you have a Garmin InReach device you can text with it from anywhere.

Originally Posted By: timisimaginary

4) should i expect that it will still be buggy at this time of year?
:


There are mosquitoes at Cottonwood Lakes. I didn't bother with repellent last year.

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#55264 - 05/29/19 10:15 PM Re: August trip questions [Re: timisimaginary]
Jonathan C Offline


Registered: 03/03/19
Posts: 40
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: timisimaginary
i plan to take the Cottonwood Pass route. i've seen recommendations for taking the Army Pass route through Cottonwood Lakes

I've only ever heard this in the context of it being more scenic. New Army is impressively vertical and has amazing views. It's also what you want to take if interested in bagging Langley along the way. Otherwise I am not aware of any strategic advantage to it when your goal is getting to the JMT / Whitney.

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#55265 - 05/29/19 10:33 PM Re: August trip questions [Re: timisimaginary]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7907
Loc: Fresno, CA
The Trail Crest exit permit is designed to keep too many people from circumnavigating and coming down the main trail. As long as you have it, I understand the rangers are not too particular about whether you exit on the exact date. And I'm pretty sure it is the upper section that they would be most concerned with. You would have no problem camping an extra night at Outpost Camp or Lone Pine Lake.

All other permits do not require you to be off the trail by the stated date. So this one should not be a problem.

I tried hitching to Horseshoe Meadow in the afternoon because I'd left my car there. The traffic is sparse, so way more difficult than getting up or down to/from Whitney Portal. Hitching a ride up in the morning would probably be easier due to more traffic. (That was the time a fire broke out up there, and my car was stranded behind the closed road for 4 days. What a pain that was!)

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#55297 - 06/03/19 12:34 PM Re: August trip questions [Re: timisimaginary]
timisimaginary Offline


Registered: 12/13/18
Posts: 11
Loc: MD
Thanks. i will be traveling solo so two cars is not an option.

i'm hoping to use something like https://www.eastsidesierrashuttle.com/ to go from Whitney Portal to Horseshoe Meadows. i realize i can probably hitch a ride, but i'm coming a long way for this trip so i prefer not to leave things up to chance. i will be dropping my car off at the portal on a saturday and camping that night at Horseshow Meadows, and heading out on sunday from there. i figure a saturday in august is going to be busy, so hopefully finding parking won't be too much of a problem.

i do have a Garmin Inreach Mini, that's a good idea as a backup to send a text, i hadn't thought of doing that, but if i have any cell service at the portal hopefully will not be necessary.

i thought about adding Langley but decided to save my energy for Whitney instead. so it sounds like sticking to Cottonwood Pass will be the way to go.

sounds like i don't need to worry too much about the date on the exit permit, so that's good. thanks.

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