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#4324 - 05/15/10 06:54 AM Question For July 2nd Week Mount Whitney Weather Condition
Ashik Uzzaman Offline


Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Fremont, CA, USA
Hi,

I and 3 of my friends have got permit for mt Whitney day hike at 5th June. While 3 of us are practicing Sunday hiking in sf bay area, we heard that early June there will be lot of snow and without knowing how to walk through or climb through ice we might be only able to go upto 10000 feet or so only not till summit. So now we are rescheduling it to July 7 to 11 and will attempt for a walk-in permit unless there is another way.

Althoguh we only started hiking last year, 2 of us already finished half dome and found the last 500 feet to peak quite challenging and exciting. Before we start learning mountaineering techniques, we are still novice but with lots of passion for hiking. Is there any big team who might have 3 seats available to take us in July 8,9,or10 any one of these 3 days? Or how can we look for groups to insert ourselves into them?

Any tips or sharing your experience will be highly appreciated.

--Ashik
Newbie hiker, wannabe mountaineer

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#4326 - 05/15/10 07:58 AM Re: Question For July 2nd Week Mount Whitney Weather Condition [Re: Ashik Uzzaman]
hikehigh Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 28
Loc: 20.12345 -101.12345
If you have 3 possible days to do the hike, its almost certain you will be able to get a walk in permit for 4.

Just go into the Permit Office on the 7th and talk to the staff. I would try and get a permit for the 10th, that way you have a few days to hang out and acclimate. Or, since you are coming from the Bay Area, why not spend the night of the 7th at one of the campgrounds near Tioga Pass,(near 10k') then drive down to Lone Pine early on the 8th and try and get permits.



_________________________
Day Hiking Mt. Whitney

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#4328 - 05/15/10 08:32 AM Re: Question For July 2nd Week Mount Whitney Weather Condition [Re: hikehigh]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Since the 7th and 8th are Wednesday and Thursday, you have the best chance of getting a permit to enter on those two days.

You might pack enough food to stay out extra nights, and stay low -- even as low as Lone Pine Lake the first night. (Once you get the permit to enter, you can stay on the trail up to 14 nights - it makes no difference)

If there is still unavoidable ice on the trail when you go, you should either rent crampons -- they are pretty easy to use on the main trail, or make sure you get up and down the switchbacks where the ice would be the worst mid-day, before it freezes solid when shade hits the slope.

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#5348 - 06/20/10 08:28 AM Re: Question For July 2nd Week Mount Whitney Weather Conditi [Re: Steve C]
Ashik Uzzaman Offline


Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Fremont, CA, USA
Thank you. We got permission for 9th July. I am trying to figure out if I will need to rent crampons and ice axe from Whitney portal. Sounds like the snow is getting melted rapidly now but not sure if enough to hike without those.

Anyone went recently and tell us the current state of the route?

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#5366 - 06/21/10 08:58 AM Re: Question For July 2nd Week Mount Whitney Weather Conditi [Re: Ashik Uzzaman]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
The snow is melting rapidly. Conditions now are similar to those in 2006, the mother of winters and warmest of all springs...the following is an opinion being this the Sierra Fathers Day weekend the 3 of the last five years, including this year's.

My guess is by the 7/9, the trail will be beaten in through the cables making this a trail hike from trailhead to summit. The question how comfortable are you hiking on snow. That is a question only you can answer.

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#5405 - 06/22/10 10:41 PM Re: Question For July 2nd Week Mount Whitney Weather Conditi [Re: wbtravis]
mark Offline


Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 3
Loc: long beach
Originally Posted By: wbtravis

My guess is by the 7/9, the trail will be beaten in through the cables making this a trail hike from trailhead to summit. The question how comfortable are you hiking on snow. That is a question only you can answer.


I'm heading up July 5 and dont have any problem hiking on snow, but what's your thoughts about the condition of the cables for July 5. Do you think it will be a trail hike by then.

Mark

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#5407 - 06/23/10 12:01 AM Re: Question For July 2nd Week Mount Whitney Weather Conditi [Re: mark]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Mark, Bob R posted an answer in the Current Conditions thread.

Quote:
I took a careful look at the 97 switchbacks as we passed by. The route is almost all free of snow, except for the cables and the three next switchbacks. That section is solidly socked in. And there are a few simple snowfields to traverse, higher up. Anyone with good winter mountaineering skills should have no trouble on this route now; others best wait until there are some well-formed steps. I'm guessing that the switchbacks will be the preferred route up for everyone in about a week. Take ice ax and crampons for the time being.


Farther down, he wrote that he thought by July, lots of people would be using the trail by the cables.

Best of luck on your hike. ...I hope you will add to the "Current Conditions" thread (or write a new trip report) when you come back.

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#5409 - 06/23/10 07:04 AM Re: Question For July 2nd Week Mount Whitney Weather Conditi [Re: Steve C]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
I was up to 12,900' Saturday. There isn't a lot snow around...less than I thought there would be.

Everyone here is offering there best estimates based on history and/or recent experiences in the Sierra. With that said, none us can know anyone else's comfort level in certain circumstances.

Personally, I never did what a lot early seasons newbies do every year; that is, climb the chute with zero experience with rented crampons and ice axe. I have less cajones than brains.

Do I think it will be a trail? No, there will be beaten path into the snow and ice. It's ain't going to be summer on those switchbacks for a while longer. The cables always has ice/snow, its just a matter of how much.


Edited by wbtravis (06/23/10 07:08 AM)

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#5416 - 06/23/10 08:45 AM Re: Question For July 2nd Week Mount Whitney Weather Conditi [Re: wbtravis]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 368
Loc: Wildomar
Originally Posted By: wbtravis
I was up to 12,900' Saturday. There isn't a lot snow around...less than I thought there would be.

Everyone here is offering there best estimates based on history and/or recent experiences in the Sierra. With that said, none us can know anyone else's comfort level in certain circumstances.

Personally, I never did what a lot early seasons newbies do every year; that is, climb the chute with zero experience with rented crampons and ice axe. I have less cajones than brains.

Do I think it will be a trail? No, there will be beaten path into the snow and ice. It's ain't going to be summer on those switchbacks for a while longer. The cables always has ice/snow, its just a matter of how much.


I want NO part of the chute. My team will accept snow and ice as long as there isn't a huge chance that a misstep equals death.

And if there was ever a "best guess" I wanted to pin my hopes and dreams on, it would be BobR's. smile So I'm just waiting for the herd to make the shift to the switchbacks and start posting about it.......................................DUG

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#5420 - 06/23/10 09:54 AM Re: Question For July 2nd Week Mount Whitney Weather Conditi [Re: DUG]
mark Offline


Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 3
Loc: long beach
Thanks everyone for your input, I have been following the TR very closely here including Bob R's, but thats two weeks from our start date.

I'm with Dug that I dont want to take my party up the chute and some in my group have zero winter experience so if it still requires crampons and ice axe I guess we will not make it past the cables.

Mark

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#5426 - 06/23/10 07:48 PM Re: Question For July 2nd Week Mount Whitney Weather Conditi [Re: mark]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Now guys, why would not you want to take your charges, family, friends and love ones up the chute with zero experience and rented gear...everyone with zero experience and rented gear thinks it is a great idea. wink

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#5433 - 06/23/10 11:16 PM Re: Question For July 2nd Week Mount Whitney Weather Conditi [Re: wbtravis]
mark Offline


Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 3
Loc: long beach
I agree, it's the switchback or nothing

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#5641 - 06/30/10 01:06 PM Re: Question For July 2nd Week Mount Whitney Weather Condition [Re: Ashik Uzzaman]
Flatland Hiker Offline


Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 6
Loc: KS
My husband and I summited Mt Whitney Friday June 25 as a dayhike. We did it by the chute, which worked out great. There were several other groups after passing trail camp that didn't seem to have done much research on trail conditions. They all went up the switchbacks. Some seemed unprepared (wearing shorts and no extra clothing for higher up.) We took the chute, which has a nice steady climb to trail crest. The snow was pretty soft at 7am, crampons helped a lot in keeping a grip each step. We made it up the chute in 1 hour. After that, it was a slow walk to the summit. I never felt like I had altitude sickness, just felt very slow! There were several small snowfields to cross both below trail camp and one below the summit. Neither required special gear, but I highly recommend 2 trekking poles for this hike!

After summiting and spending about 30 minutes on top, we met started meeting the groups of hikers that took the switchbacks. I would say we were easily 2 hours ahead of them.

If the chute is there and you have the gear and experience, I would highly recommend that route. If not, I'm guessing there is a nice path through the snow up the switchbacks by now. On the 25th, almost everyone took that route except a few of us.

We are from Kansas (about 1,000 feet), but had spent a week in the mountains. Boundary Peak in Nevada was probably harder on us than Whitney (our first day), although much shorter and not as high. My feet were killing me by the time we made it back to the portal - I think this is a given any time you do this as a day hike.

Our training primarily consisted of intense workouts on the elliptical at they gym. My husband was doing 6 miles at fairly high settings in just over an hour. I was doing 30-40 minute interval training on the elliptical along with some weight training. I would alternate with some 3 mile runs.

We started our hike at 2am. Lost a little time during a brief snow storm. We sat for about 30 minutes as it was still dark and we didn't want to press on not knowing what the sky looked like. Turned out it cleared off pretty quickly staying partly cloudy for the day.

We summited around 10am, and down to the portal by 4:30. 14.5 hours total, some of that filtering water, changing clothes, crampons, etc.

We came down the chute, plunge stepping the top half, and glissading the bottom half. Do not glissade here without an ice axe and knowledge of how to use it. The snow was soft and hard to maintain control. It took a lot of resistance.

We each drank one liter of water from the portal to trail camp. Then each took 2 to the summit. We had about 1 1/2 liters between us when we made it back to trail camp. This lasted us until we were back at the portal. We could have filtered more any time below trail camp had we needed it. It was a cool day, which probably led us to drink less water than average, or than we should have.

Hope this help you. It's beautiful from trail crest up and a great summit. It's a long day, but I don't think snow will be a problem for you. Keep training! It will pay off.

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