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#5546 - 06/28/10 01:24 PM Onion Valley to Whitney via JMT questions
bartzzz Offline


Registered: 06/28/10
Posts: 2
Loc: SD
Hey guys,

me and 4 buddies and scheduled to backpack south from onion valley to mt. whitney via the john muir trail on July 5, 2010. i am wondering the trail conditions for the area in between the two points... and how are the 97 switchbacks looking? we don't have snow/climbing gear but we have trekked in snow before.

i just want to know if this is going be feasible at this time of year given the intense snow season.

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#5549 - 06/28/10 01:41 PM Re: Onion Valley to Whitney via JMT questions [Re: bartzzz]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7672
Loc: Fresno, CA
Snow is melting fast now. (It's 100 F in Fresno as I write this, and Fresno is 50 miles west of Whitney.)

Reports are that many people are using the trail on the switchbacks. You will probably find some snow going over Kearsarge Pass, and likely over Forrester Pass, too. But if you don't do the passes extremely early or late in the day, the snow should be soft enough to kick steps wherever necessary.

I know I wouldn't carry axe or crampons. But extra balance offered with hiking poles might be helpful.

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#5551 - 06/28/10 02:09 PM Re: Onion Valley to Whitney via JMT questions [Re: bartzzz]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 370
Loc: Wildomar
Please report conditions when you get back. I'm planning a Onion Valley to Whitney Portal (no summit) day hike in the next few weeks.....................DUG

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#5570 - 06/28/10 06:51 PM Re: Onion Valley to Whitney via JMT questions [Re: bartzzz]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
I would be thinking about Forester Pass, too.

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#5578 - 06/28/10 09:28 PM Re: Onion Valley to Whitney via JMT questions [Re: bartzzz]
bartzzz Offline


Registered: 06/28/10
Posts: 2
Loc: SD
Yeah i'm worried about the passes too. I was just in yosemite about 10 days ago and the snow was overwhelming above 8000ft.

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#5585 - 06/29/10 04:51 AM Re: Onion Valley to Whitney via JMT questions [Re: bartzzz]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 370
Loc: Wildomar
There have been a bunch of PCTers over Foresteer. It won't be a cake walk, but it's doable. And getting better every day..........................DUG

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#5592 - 06/29/10 07:11 AM Re: Onion Valley to Whitney via JMT questions [Re: DUG]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
PCTers climb the south side of the pass, not the north, which Bartzzz is going to attempt.

My guess is the it is the 400 to 600' which will be the real pain.

Personally, I would not want to go down the south side with any appreciable snow on it with just poles.

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#5609 - 06/29/10 07:05 PM Re: Onion Valley to Whitney via JMT questions [Re: wbtravis]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7672
Loc: Fresno, CA
I'll bet the south side, since it is facing the sun, is pretty much completely melted out by know.

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