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#55146 - 05/12/19 01:37 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Mountaineer's Route [Re: Hoot]
Scott H Offline


Registered: 01/08/17
Posts: 10
Loc: San Diego
As of last weekend, crampons not long after the north fork mountaineers route, e ledges clear of snow, running water in a couple spots slippery, lower Boy Scout lake is available for water, upper boyscout still frozen, get water at lower for sure, final 400 above notch, snow, ice, rocks, take the 400 up( left) traverse down,( a little less sketchy), either sleep on snow at uppers or find a flat rock but you’ll see where people have slept, that was a large storm for this late in the season, it will warm up fairly quickly which means lots of false bridges and runoff for sure, as we all know conditions change daily/ hourly on Whitney, find that window and enjoy the route

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#55150 - 05/12/19 04:09 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Donal]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 441
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Hi, Donal. It’s been 18 days since I was there, so everything I say will be out of date. When ascending to LBSL, the “trail” crosses right to left. People usually step on rocks and branches to hop across. No wading. The next crossing goes near a small waterfall. You will probably get splashed, and you may step in a couple of inches of water, but it shouldn’t be a big deal. The ledges start shortly after the second crossing.

The “Final 400” was mixed snow (both soft and consolidated) and rock, but no ice. No telling what it’s like now. Yes, you take a left at the top of the notch. You should see plenty of tracks going up. You can follow those tracks or go up the rock to the right of the tracks.

Your description of the “Easy Walkoff” is right. It avoids the rock climbing, but it can be deceptively sketchy at times. However, it looked really easy 18 days ago.

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#55153 - 05/13/19 03:08 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Melissa Offline


Registered: 04/12/19
Posts: 6
Loc: California
May 9th and 10th Whitney got 24" of new snow. May 11th and 12th the main trail was very snowy and slushy.
In talking to every one going up and down, camping, towns folk etc.. 3 known people (individuals no groups) managed to summit. 1 saturday and 1 Sunday (female from group of 3 her 2 male partbers did not) plus 1 female on the mountaineers route (she was amazing started at 10pm finished at 730 am solo!) Everyone was stopping at trail crest because they were sinking to the waist in snow.
The snow storm was predicted to last thru the weekend and into Monday so there were a lot of cancelled reservations..might be open spots. Locals predict the boot tracks to be solid again by Wednesday.
For my particular group I somehow managed vomitting and breathing trouble at the midnight start lasted several hours slept til 6am and decided to take a slow scenic trip only to mirror lake and be back before dark. Ended up going a bit farther to 1100 feet. 1 couple had been camped below mirror lake for 2 days; husband had AMS, gave him diamox. They planned to go farther Monday. 1 group of 2 males stopped by a ranger below mirror lake without a permit. Tons of photos and videos here:

https://m.facebook.com/mmlasater/albums/10213961199769766/?ref=bookmarks

https://www.facebook.com/mmlasater/media_set?set=a.10213961199769766&type=3




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#55158 - 05/13/19 01:09 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7910
Loc: Fresno, CA
Picture from May 12, 2019, at the JMT / Main Trail junction, just west of and below Trail Crest.
More fresh snow coming later this week!
Posted on FB by Richard N.


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#55181 - 05/15/19 06:39 PM 15 May 19 Conditions: Mt Whitney Mountaineer's Route [Re: Hoot]
Hoot Offline


Registered: 02/01/19
Posts: 17
Loc: Ohio
With the caveat the conditions are changing fast, the snow conditions on the Mountaineer's Route were great today. Headed up the snow was firm and covering the rocks so we followed a path of boot tracks on the left side of the creek skipping the E-ledges with no problems. The snow in the couloir was excellent for climbing - and thanks to the climbers who put in those boot tracks. We did not climb above the notch. Coming down the plunge stepping was good much of the way on softer snow. However, lower in the canyon the soft slick snow was a real pain leading to some unplanned glissades. We probably should have taken the E-ledges on our way down

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#55301 - 06/04/19 01:08 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Sauce Castillo Offline


Registered: 08/08/16
Posts: 10
Loc: Sacramento, CA
Summited via MR and returned via Main Trail on 6/2.

-No issues with the North Fork creek crossings.
-E Ledges were clear of snow and dry.
-Made LBSL at dawn. One of the last spots to take water without melting snow.
-Cramponed up and went straight to UBSL. Good boot pack here.
-Iceberg Lake is completely frozen over and covered in snow.
-Lots of snow in the chute. Final 400 was good. Some powder on top from the afternoon storms that are happening on an almost daily basis right now.
-I was told not to take the walk off and it looked sketchy.
-The main trail snow was in good shape going from the summit towards the JMT junction. No post holing if you stay right on the trail.
-Trail was narrow in many of the gullies. Be careful not to snag your crampons and take a fall down one of them.
-Took off the crampons and made the glissade from Trail Crest down with no issues. Lots of soft snow here.
-Trail Camp completely frozen over.
-It was a fast descent towards the portal on the snow. Took water at Outpost Camp. Several dry spots to camp there.
-Did not absolutely need snowshoes at any point of this trip. Not worth the extra weight in my opinion.

I hope someone finds this info helpful. I wish you the best of luck and a safe journey.

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#55307 - 06/04/19 05:25 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Wiff Offline


Registered: 07/23/14
Posts: 67
Loc: LA
Hey there, does anyone have any idea where to find current snow/trail conditions for Mt Baldy? I am missing something obvious I think. Thanks!

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#55311 - 06/05/19 12:10 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Wiff]
MikeH Offline


Registered: 04/05/18
Posts: 61
Loc: Escondido, CA
Check out Reddit's so cal hiking forum.

https://www.reddit.com/r/socalhiking/

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#55312 - 06/05/19 06:00 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Wiff]
RichardK Offline


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 106
Loc: East Coast Florida
Originally Posted By: Wiff
Hey there, does anyone have any idea where to find current snow/trail conditions for Mt Baldy? I am missing something obvious I think. Thanks!


There is a forum dedicated to the San Gabriel Mtns.

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/sangabrielmnts/index.php?sid=6367f1ec9853ae65cbd5675b31b30c09

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#55314 - 06/05/19 08:32 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: RichardK]
Wiff Offline


Registered: 07/23/14
Posts: 67
Loc: LA
Thanks, Mike and Richard.

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#55317 - 06/05/19 09:27 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Wiff]
Jonathan C Offline


Registered: 03/03/19
Posts: 40
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Reviews on Alltrails are also very useful. Popular hikes like Baldy tend to have lots of recent updates. e.g.: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/mount-san-antonio-mount-baldy-notch-trail

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#55318 - 06/05/19 09:31 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Jonathan C]
Wiff Offline


Registered: 07/23/14
Posts: 67
Loc: LA
Thanks!

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#55394 - 06/12/19 09:43 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7910
Loc: Fresno, CA
These pictures from June 6 & 7:

View of the lower switchbacks from Trail Camp. Many of the lower ones are buried under snow. I walked a zig-zag line up to the first ones left of the main tracks thru the snow. (click on each picture to see the full-size view.)



Switchback trail thru the cables section.


The bend at the top of the cables. It is a steady incline, even though the picture doesn't look that way.


See all the pictures here: Switchbacks 2019

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#55454 - 06/19/19 04:33 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Geoff Offline


Registered: 06/19/19
Posts: 4
Loc: MA
Wow! These pictures are great! Well done!

My buds and I are hiking Whitney next week! Very excited! Coming in from Western Massachusetts. We're still deciding which trail, but leaning towards the approach that includes the 99 switchbacks. Would you say they are now in fact usable? Or will we have to navigate the chute? Thank you all for your feedback!

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#55455 - 06/19/19 05:35 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Geoff]
Bensta Offline


Registered: 06/17/19
Posts: 5
Loc: Georgia, USA
@ Geoff

You will need to assess the situation when you are on the mountain as conditions are changing rapidly with snow melt.

When I was there last Thursday the switchbacks were the far more daunting route compared to the Chute. If you have been on steep snowfields before like Mt. Adams or Mt. Shasta or even Mt. St. Helens, you will not think much or be overly concerned about the Chute on Whitney. If you have not been on these before you may be challenged. If you can, get to the Chute or the switchbacks before dawn so as to have firmer snow. Soft snow on either route will present a greater challenge. Even at 8:00am, the snow was softening rapidly and one of our group slipped on the soft snow and had to self arrest.

The traverses on the switchbacks last week looked daunting from my vantage point. My group made it from Trail Camp to Trail Crest in two hours via the Chute. Trail Crest to Summit was another issue altogether... We passed people who spent many hours trying the switchback route and 'crawled' to trail crest due to concern over the switchbacks. Again, however, this was a week ago and conditions are changing almost hourly.

Use good judgment and gather intel from descending climbers on your way up as well as at the Whitney Portal store.

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#55469 - 06/19/19 01:20 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Bensta]
Geoff Offline


Registered: 06/19/19
Posts: 4
Loc: MA
Thank you! Looking forward to making a bid at the summit next Wednesday morning.

One last quick question. Is it snowfield camping at this point? Should I invest in those snow stakes?

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#55475 - 06/19/19 04:03 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Geoff]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7910
Loc: Fresno, CA
There are dry spots at Trail Camp. Snow is shallow, so tying regular stakes around/under big rocks is what most do.

If you try the switchbacks, PLEASE take pictures of the key places and let us know how they look!

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#55477 - 06/19/19 05:26 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Bensta]
IanS Offline


Registered: 06/14/19
Posts: 12
Loc: Northern CA
Great info, appreciate the post. We are attempting to Summit June 30 after staying at Trail Camp. Clearly conditions are changing regularly, but our original plan was to take the Switchbacks. When taking the Chute is it obvious where you end up rejoining the trail, is at the top at Trail Crest?

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#55485 - 06/19/19 09:44 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: IanS]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7910
Loc: Fresno, CA
yes.

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#55487 - 06/19/19 11:16 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Melissa Offline


Registered: 04/12/19
Posts: 6
Loc: California
Reports from 6-15 (whitney fb page hikers report)
- the creeks (Lone Pine Creek for example) are rivers at this point
-"mini avalanches" are occuring frequently on the switchbacks. (Reported by most hikers posting).
(I downloaded a couple pictures but, cant figure a way to post them here...I don't have a photo upload site)


Edited by Melissa (06/19/19 11:16 PM)

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