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Mountaineer Route up, Main trail down(8/6/2019)
#55922 08/10/19 12:51 PM
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Me and two strong ladies! Started @ 5:10 AM. Finished at 11 PM cry

5:10 AM - Whitney portal
6:40 AM - E Ledges
10:50 AM - Iceberg lake
11:30 AM - Start from Iceberg lake (I was feeling elevation so had to take longer break).
12:35 pm - Above snow field. Removed crampons.
2:30 pm - Notch. break.
~3:55 pm - Summit.

We started late because we thought we will finish climb up in 5-6 hours. We ended up doing 9.5 miles up (Yes Mountaineer route) and summited at ~3:50 PM. Took main trail down (7 hrs). Total 17 hrs, 21 miles, 7500 ft gain. Back to car at ~11 pm.

There was snow from Iceberg lake (probably 600-700 ft). We used crampons and Ice Axe. After that, lots of loose rocks and class 2/3 climbing. This was the most scariest part of the climb and took us very long. No prior experience dealing with loose rocks or climbing. For next two hours, I definitely felt we should have taken main trail crazy
We were exhausted by the time we reached the Notch. Instead of taking class 3 up we continued straight through snow (longer route but at least we could avoid rocks) which meets with main trail (then easy walk up). Used micro spikes this time and Ice Axe saved me once.

I recommend crampons, ice axe, helmet. We met few people who used micro spikes.
Crossing streams was not big deal (I had water proof shoes but I fell into water at the beginning of hike laugh. So that was fun).

I stayed hydrated through out. I drank 3L by the time we reached Iceberg. My partners helped me fill up 3L from Iceberg while I rested. Last 4 miles I was out of water.

I am curious what is the distance people see (Strava, Garmin or any other tracking device) while taking MR. We mostly stayed on route but still our devices shows 9.5 miles.

If you know what you are doing then take MR else main trail is beautiful too.



https://imgur.com/a/kH0z1Dh

From Notch - we took this route through snow













Last edited by Sam123; 08/10/19 01:15 PM.
Re: Mountaineer Route up, Main trail down(8/6/2019)
Sam123 #55930 08/10/19 10:11 PM
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Looks like you stayed on the north side on Lower Boy Scout Lake. Most cross the creek and take the southeast side.

Re: Mountaineer Route up, Main trail down(8/6/2019)
RenoFrank #55931 08/11/19 08:16 AM
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Your distance seems way off. I did the same route on 8/7 at around 15 miles on Strava. I took all the possible shortcuts so yours may be slightly longer.

https://www.strava.com/activities/2600142301

Re: Mountaineer Route up, Main trail down(8/6/2019)
BFR #55934 08/11/19 01:06 PM
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@BFR

I see your Strava report and was wondering what are the “shortcuts you mention and how do I find them?

Also, how much water did you carry from Iceberg lake back down to Trail Camp?

Re: Mountaineer Route up, Main trail down(8/6/2019)
joeybones #55935 08/11/19 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted By: joeybones
@BFR

I see your Strava report and was wondering what are the “shortcuts you mention and how do I find them?

Also, how much water did you carry from Iceberg lake back down to Trail Camp?


Shortcuts:
1. Whitney Old Trail at start.
2. All sorts of minor short cuts from LBSL to Iceberg. See my Strava.
3. Scramble up dry rocks at beginning of chute, avoiding virtually all of the snow
4. Final 400 instead of the walk off
5. Skipped the huge switchback coming off the top
6. Cut virtually all the lower switchbacks of the 97 switchbacks.
7. Whitney Old Trail to car.


I did the entire hike on 3L of water. Didn't filter or take any of the water along the way.

Last edited by BFR; 08/11/19 01:24 PM.
Re: Mountaineer Route up, Main trail down(8/6/2019)
BFR #55936 08/11/19 02:00 PM
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Thank you very much.

Great time!

Did you use any kind of map / app or are you just familiar with the route?

Re: Mountaineer Route up, Main trail down(8/6/2019)
joeybones #55937 08/11/19 02:50 PM
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I'm familiar with the route. Been up there a bunch of times.

I use Gaia GPS for viewing routes on the go and I plan my routes using Caltopo.

Re: Mountaineer Route up, Main trail down(8/6/2019)
BFR #55938 08/11/19 10:13 PM
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BFR, Bob Rockwell showed me the Elephant Ear (northside) route up to the Ebersbacher Ledges.
That would cut a little off your ascent.   Pictures 3 through 11 here.   Videos here.
With my daughter: Rockwell Shortcut I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a challenge. It was fun!

Descending, below Outpost Camp, above Lone Pine Lake, there is a direct route that nearly follows the stream, missing the switchback-y section above LP Lk.

For those with really strong knees and quads, you can drop off the main trail a little below Lone Pine Lake, and descend straight down the slope. Did that once several years ago. It rejoins the trail where a really large rock sits by one of the switchbacks in the brushy (few trees) area. Rockwell called it the "Bush-Rock" location.

Bob Rockwell also would take off the Main Trail below that ...not sure of the route, but it descended directly down, (veering toward Lone Pine Cr), missing the Old Trail, and half a dozen switchbacks above that. He never published a track of that route.

Re: Mountaineer Route up, Main trail down(8/6/2019)
Steve C #55955 08/12/19 06:34 PM
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Just wondering what the trail would be like if we all started cutting switch backs and making short cuts.

Re: Mountaineer Route up, Main trail down(8/6/2019)
Dale E #55958 08/12/19 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted By: Dale E
Just wondering what the trail would be like if we all started cutting switch backs and making short cuts.


Dale, none of the shortcuts I've mentioned are like those notorious short connectors between switchbacks. They are truly alternate routes. On that bottom one that Rockwell used, he always made sure people literally hopped way over the side so as not to create an erosion process. It was the only place that leaving the trail might have that effect.

Re: Mountaineer Route up, Main trail down(8/6/2019)
Steve C #55961 08/13/19 07:19 AM
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For the record, there was imminent thunderstorms around me and I made the decision to cut switchbacks (trying to make as little environmental impact as possible) to make it down as quickly as possible.

Re: Mountaineer Route up, Main trail down(8/6/2019)
BFR #55975 08/13/19 04:47 PM
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Both important clarifications.

Re: Mountaineer Route up, Main trail down(8/6/2019)
Dale E #55981 08/14/19 09:56 AM
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My Strava from the Mountaineer's route last year also shows 8.87 miles as a distance from the trailhead to the summit; I followed a similar path as BFR (i.e. South East Side of LBS lake). I did get slightly turned around on the one stream crossing but that does not explain the additional ~3.5 miles.

I was using an Strava on an iPhone as my tracking device and my path looks way more jagged than BFR's.

Will try again on Friday and see what happens (using Strava Premium so we will see).

Are there any specific distance / recording settings in Strava that I should be aware of?

PS - thanks for all the suggestions on alternate routes

Last edited by joeybones; 08/14/19 10:02 AM.

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