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#55315 - 06/05/19 08:35 AM Route Feedback for 6/7/19
sfhiker Offline

Registered: 06/05/19
Posts: 1
Loc: SF
Hey everyone,

I have a day pass for Friday, June 7 and am planning to hike Mt Whitney via the Main Trail / Chute. We are going as a group of 3 with relatively little mountaineering experience, but are quite experienced hikers. We are acclimating to the altitude at Whitney Portal Wednesday and Thursday night, and starting the hike early Friday. I have ice axes and crampons, and have packed everything on this list:

We're aiming to summit, but understand that may be tricky given the snow conditions so are open to turning back early. I have a few open questions I'd love to get advice on:

  • Is a helmet required for the chute? I haven't seen this discussed in the forums but have seen it in photos of hikers in the chute.
  • Is there an optimal time to be starting the hike / arriving to the bottom of the chute? My understanding is that beginning the chute at 9AM is best for snow consistency, which would put us at a 4AM departure from Whitney Portal.
  • Is it easy sticking to the trail despite the snow conditions? I have read of people getting lost and having to backtrack.
  • Any other safety tips or non-obvious things we should bring / consider?

Thanks a lot in advance! A lot of my prep has been via this forum so really appreciate the collective knowledge here over the years smile Also, we had a dropout from our group so if anyone is interested in tagging along last minute, let me know!

Edited by sfhiker (06/05/19 08:51 AM)

#55324 - 06/05/19 07:56 PM Re: Route Feedback for 6/7/19 [Re: sfhiker]
Anton Offline

Registered: 08/02/17
Posts: 38
Loc: San Diego
1) Depending on experience level, the chute can be anywhere between easy ascent of a snow slope and serous challenge. In any case, bringing a helmet is a good idea (though most people don't) because you will have winter conditions. A couple of real scenarios include taking a fall and hitting rocks at the base and getting hit by someone else.

2) 5 hours (or faster) from the portal to the base of the chute is doable for a fit person but there is a good chance it will take you much longer because you will be traveling on snow approximately half of that distance (or more .. I can only guess since I haven't been in the Whitney area this year yet). I recommend starting earlier.

3) Get GAIA GPS app with subscription on your phone and download the trail map before you go - it will make a huge difference! You don't need reception to use the app.

4) Establish a strict turn-around time and don't let others push you to do things you don't feel safe doing.

Good luck !

Edited by Anton (06/05/19 07:58 PM)