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#55619 - 07/02/19 10:38 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
IanS Offline


Registered: 06/14/19
Posts: 12
Loc: Northern CA
Agree with Steve, was just there yesterday, the Chute is being used by most people, but its difficult for folks without experience using crampons and axe. People are getting hurt, and the effort level required could even be more if you don't have the technical skills. Many people took the switchbacks, a couple snowy spots are passable, just require some focus, easier early in the day when snow is firm. Late in the day slushy snow is harder to navigate.

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#55620 - 07/02/19 11:44 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7952
Loc: Fresno, CA
Picture at the cables, July 1, 2019.

posted on FB by Amy W.S. They climbed the chute, descended the switchbacks. She reported a helicopter was picking up a woman with a broken ankle, likely from glissading the chute.

She wrote
Quote:
The switch backs were mostly clear. There were a couple of areas where you had to traverse a couple of snowfields and by this time of day (2ish) the snow had melted fairly significantly and sometimes you were postholing you’re way across. The biggest sketchy area of the switchbacks were the cables. The snow was thick enough in areas that you were outside the chains and a fall there would cause pretty significant injury. Watch your step, use strategic foot placement, utilize your ice axe and you’ll be fine. The rate of the snow melt right now I’d imagine the switchbacks will be snow free very soon.






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#55629 - 07/03/19 03:21 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Dru1962 Offline


Registered: 07/03/19
Posts: 1
Loc: Idaho
I have climbed Mt. Whitney about 17 times mostly by switchbacks also the chute. I have a permit for next Tuesday and based on recent trip reports, I plan on using the switchbacks. Would a climbing harness and clip ( connecting to cable section) be helpful on the dicey areas at cable ?

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#55632 - 07/03/19 04:40 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Dru1962]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7952
Loc: Fresno, CA
A mom took her 9-y-o daughter through the cables section several days ago. She reported they had to climb outside the cables to get by one spot. And someone helped the daughter there, when they came back down.

I don't think a harness is necessary -- lots of people are getting through. (all the injuries are people descending the chute rather than the switchbacks.)

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#55635 - 07/03/19 09:56 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
terraelise Offline


Registered: 06/29/17
Posts: 30
Loc: CA
Trail runners bu end of July? Nay, I saw 3 Sat 28th.

The chute is deteriorating and indeed the source of recent injuries... the rescue photo shows so much less snow than even a week ago, See post on FB:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2408178136086602&id=1752442271660195



Edited by terraelise (07/03/19 09:57 PM)
_________________________
@terraelise anything (fb, ig, etc.)

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#55643 - 07/05/19 06:28 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
abbey Offline


Registered: 07/05/19
Posts: 1
Loc: US
Has anyone been up on the JMT from Guitar Lake to the summit? Seems like everything posted is focused on the chute & switchbacks on the east side.

With snow melting fast, I'm still hoping we'll be able to make the summit on 7/13 via the west side and then back down to continue a northbound JMT hike. Any intel on this side would be much appreciated, thanks!

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#55645 - 07/05/19 08:47 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: abbey]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7952
Loc: Fresno, CA
The west side of Whitney always melts out sooner than the east side, so Whitney should be no trouble. Some of the passes to the north will likely give you more trouble than Whitney.

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#55651 - 07/06/19 08:58 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Joethebadape Offline


Registered: 06/09/19
Posts: 6
Loc: Texas
Any one know if the earthquake had any effect on Whitney?

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#55658 - 07/06/19 01:21 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Avi Offline


Registered: 02/15/18
Posts: 26
Loc: CA, USA
Any idea on the trail condition from Kearsarge to Whitney via Guitar Lake?

We are looking at an end of July/early August trip.

Thanks.

avi

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#55662 - 07/06/19 05:06 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Avi]
IanS Offline


Registered: 06/14/19
Posts: 12
Loc: Northern CA
We went up the main trail on 7/1 and met a guy on the Summit who came from Guitar Lake area solo that day, and he was headed back there from the Summit, so its passable but not sure what the actual conditions are like.

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#55671 - 07/07/19 10:10 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: IanS]
Avi Offline


Registered: 02/15/18
Posts: 26
Loc: CA, USA
Originally Posted By: IanS
We went up the main trail on 7/1 and met a guy on the Summit who came from Guitar Lake area solo that day, and he was headed back there from the Summit, so its passable but not sure what the actual conditions are like.


Thanks for the feedback. Anyone come through Forrester Pass recently?

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#55673 - 07/07/19 01:38 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Avi]
tpherson Offline


Registered: 03/24/19
Posts: 2
Loc: IN
Looks like 7 day forecast shows a rise in temps for Mt Whitney. Hopefully, speeding the snow melt. Any estimate from those with experience when the main trail will be clear of snow? Seems like a good portion is clear but several sketchy areas still remain.

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#55681 - 07/08/19 09:25 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: IanS]
frozengogo Offline


Registered: 07/08/19
Posts: 1
Loc: Irvine, CA
What is the trail like from Trail Crest to the summit? Icey, patchy snow? Hiking in from Guitar Lake the morning of July 16th.

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#55683 - 07/08/19 12:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Ian B Offline


Registered: 05/23/17
Posts: 10
Loc: Bishop, CA


A recent reminder of conditions from the Whitney Rangers.

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#55684 - 07/08/19 03:15 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: frozengogo]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7952
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: frozengogo
What is the trail like from Trail Crest to the summit? Icey, patchy snow? Hiking in from Guitar Lake the morning of July 16th.

The trail is dry, except the patch on the last summit push. There is a well-packed path going through it.

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#55685 - 07/08/19 08:27 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Avi]
mpark Offline


Registered: 07/08/19
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
I posted this in the JMT 2019 FB group earlier today — We did Horseshoe Meadow to Whitney Portal via Crabtree Meadow and Guitar Lake, which covers some of your route. Summitted Whitney yesterday, July 7.

Almost no snow from Horseshoe Meadow through Cottonwood Pass to Crabtree Meadow, just a few feet to step over at the top of the pass. Rock Creek crossing manageable. Crossings around Crabtree Meadow from the bottom of the meadows toward the ranger station were also manageable and preferable to the steep ascents and descents of that stretch of the PCT/JMT where the two meet. The ranger station path meets up with the JMT right before the ranger station itself. No snow until close to Guitar Lake—and we managed to get there without walking on snow at all, opting to walk on rocks instead. Some sun cups (walked on rocks when we could) on the way to the switchbacks up Whitney from Guitar Lake, and then a couple snow traverses on the switchbacks themselves. Had ice axe and microspikes. There’s one long sketchy traverse here—It looked like some people shortened it by scrambling up to a spot with a shorter traverse, which is one option. I opted to scramble up on the rocks and sand to the left of the snow far enough to avoid that snowy spot altogether. Stashed packs once up the switchbacks and summitted—again avoiding snow near top by scrambling up rocks (not as sketchy as first scramble). Glissaded down from Trail Crest with axe—a good option if snow is soft enough and if switchbacks down to Whitney Portal seem sketchy.

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#55686 - 07/08/19 08:32 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Climber Joe Offline


Registered: 10/13/15
Posts: 7
Loc: California
Guitar lake to summit down to Portal yesterday today. Switchbacks from Guitar lake, there was a scary icy traverse. I recommend scramble on rocks to avoid it. On the final summit stretch, the snow path is slippery and draining. Much faster safer to scramble up rocks to the right of the snow. Descending on East side: still plenty of snow for glissading. I think safer than long switchbacks with some ice. Just watch snow softness, and be mindful of those fore and aft.


Edited by Climber Joe (07/08/19 08:33 PM)

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#55687 - 07/08/19 08:37 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: abbey]
mpark Offline


Registered: 07/08/19
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
You might find my reply to Avi helpful. We actually started out wanting to do the same as you (JMT NOBO) but decided to bail out through Whitney Portal. The west side of Whitney was doable—I think easier than what you might encounter on passes farther north on the JMT. Whatever your trip ends up being, wishing you happy trails!

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#55688 - 07/08/19 08:37 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: frozengogo]
Climber Joe Offline


Registered: 10/13/15
Posts: 7
Loc: California
See my post below. I think by then it may be very different. For the better.

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#55689 - 07/08/19 09:19 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: mpark]
Avi Offline


Registered: 02/15/18
Posts: 26
Loc: CA, USA
Originally Posted By: mpark
You might find my reply to Avi helpful. We actually started out wanting to do the same as you (JMT NOBO) but decided to bail out through Whitney Portal. The west side of Whitney was doable—I think easier than what you might encounter on passes farther north on the JMT. Whatever your trip ends up being, wishing you happy trails!


Super useful. I am tentatively looking at an August 8th start from Kearsarge Pass.....really praying that we are done with snow and ice in a month's time!

I will keep checking. Thanks for sharing your feedback.

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