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#55876 - 08/03/19 03:38 PM July 30 Trip Report
StorminMatt Offline


Registered: 06/20/19
Posts: 46
Loc: Norcal
Given that there are already a few trip reports, I wasnít so sure that there was much I could add. But since my trip and my experience were somewhat different from the norm, I thought it might be worthwhile. Anyway, this was my third summit of Mount Whitney, and my first solo ascent. Climbing the mountain alone made for a MUCH different experience that going with other people, and is something that everyone here should experience at least once.

8:38AM Starting time. Yes, this is almost completely unheard of for a starting time on a dayhike. But I never really liked the whole alpine start thing. And with no chance of thunderstorms in the forecast, why not climb the mountain at a more enjoyable time (at least to me)? Anyway, North Fork Lone Pine Creek crossing looked a little sketchy to me. So I decided to take the old trail. This added something a little different to the hike. But it was an otherwise uneventful climb to Big Pine Lake.

9:50AM Big Pine Lake. I made a short stop here for some water and a bit to eat. It was here that I saw the first snow by the trail (but not on it). However, the weather was warm.

10:15AM Outpost Camp. There was a stream crossing just before the camp where I accidentally got my shoe a little wet. But this was my mistake. Not a big deal, though.

10:30AM Mirror Lake. I made a stop here just to take a few pictures and have a bit to eat. The big climb to Trail Camp is just ahead.

11:10AM Trailside Meadows. There was a good deal lf water in places on the steps between Mirror Lake and Trail Camp. But no snow on the trail yet. Anyway, I stopped here to drink some water and filter more from the stream. The weather was becoming cooler and breezier at this point.

11:32AM Stream Crossing above Trailside Meadows. The first snow crossing on the trail. Actually, you didnít have to cross the snow. But crossing the snow allowed you to avoid a stream crossing. I chose the snow.

11:48AM Trail Camp. I was quite surprised at how few people were camping here. Maybe three or four groups. This was in stark contrast to last year at this time (still on a weekday), when this place was a circus. I made my longest stop here to drink water, grab a snack, and top off my water bottles for the climb to the summit. I ended up carrying 2L of water to the summit.

1:17PM Trail Crest. I didnít stop here too long. Just long enough for some pictures, water, and a snack. It was rather cool and breezy up here. Overall, the switchbacks were in good condition with just a little snow on the trail near the top. But it was no problem to trek through or circumvent.

1:22PM JMT Trail Junction. I didnít do much here. But there were a few backpackers here here leaving their packs for the excursion to the summit. Overall, I was amazed at how few people were on the trail. It was NOTHING like even my September climb last year. Perhaps fears of snow were keeping people away?

2:25PM Snowbank on trail hear summit. This is the one that everyone has been talking about, and that the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center warned me to carry microspikes for. I didnít feel they were necessary and I wished I didnít pack the extra weight.

2:36PM SUMMIT. You can sure climb Whitney faster without hiking partners. Well, at least I can. On the last bit of the climb, there were a couple of people coming down. When I got to the summit, it was deserted. I actually had the summit to myself for a while before the people I passed at the trail junction summited. I also had the summit to myself for a while before they left. I ended up staying up here enjoying the view until around 5:00. The weather was actually not too bad. It was cool and breezy, but the sun kept you from getting too chilly.

While I was up there, a couple of JMT backpackers made their way to the summit and seemed to want to follow me back to Whitney Portal. I was glad to oblige. But because they walked slower than me, we did not make it back to the Portal until around 12:15AM.

Overall, it was a GREAT trip. Probably the best climb I have made so far. The weather was GREAT and I had a GREAT time making the solo climb to the summit. Until next time.


Edited by StorminMatt (08/03/19 03:58 PM)

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#55883 - 08/05/19 03:07 PM Re: July 30 Trip Report [Re: StorminMatt]
sumptimwong Offline


Registered: 03/15/19
Posts: 35
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Thanks for sharing your report, fantastic pace on the ascent. Brings to mind a popular saying: To go fast, go alone. To go far, go together. Nice of you to escort the thru hikers back to the portal. I look forward to meeting friendly folks like you on the trail on our first summit attempt next month. Hiking seems to bring out the best in people, or maybe it just brings out the best people wink

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