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#4904 - 06/04/10 10:44 AM Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7962
Loc: Fresno, CA
This thread is designed to hold posts displaying pictures and describing the current conditions of the Main Mount Whitney Trail (MMWT).  I hope everyone will contribute.

Please feel free to post pictures of your own or from any source (please post a reference to the original location), so that everyone can come here and easily find/read/see the conditions.

Older posts will be moved as conditions change. (As a result, some posts may appear to answer comments that are no longer in the thread.)

Thanks for everyone's help. Your posting trip reports helps untold numbers of hikers following you.

Older posts moved here:   Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2020 (Old)

Note: Sometimes this thread spans a number of pages. You can click through all the pages, or click here to display all in one page.

#56294 - 09/16/19 08:39 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7962
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's a picture of ice at the cables, about 9/14/19
Posted on FB by Kim O

#56296 - 09/16/19 10:17 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Halfdomer Homer Offline

Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 51
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Summited on Friday the 13th. Set up camp at Cottonwood Lakes TH on Thursday. Tore down camp at dusk and left because the other campers were so loud I couldn't sleep. Drove to Portal and slept in car around 8:30PM. Started hike at 3:00AM. Trail was in excellent condition, the ice was there at the cables but there was room using the rock steps next to the cables. Small uphill snow patch still there near the summit, but no prob. Mountain Forecast said low 30's wind chill so I lugged my warm winter jacket and gloves and beanie up there for nothing.. summit temps were so warm I didn't need gloves or fleece. Beautiful, clear cloudless day; watched a surprise B-day party with hats and a cake, we all sang.. then right after that a woman put on an inflatable T-Rex costume that was about 7 feet tall and we all took pictures with it. A very surreal day on the summit for Friday the 13th! On the way down the cables were oozing with ice flow, it had even reached the rock steps next to the cables, had to pick steps very carefully to get past it. Otherwise a perfect day, I set a personal record going up (7hrs 50min) and going down (4hrs 30 min) with almost 2 hrs on the summit. Zero AMS once again. All of those San Gorgonio trips really made a difference!


#56420 - 10/05/19 12:08 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Trail Lotus Offline

Registered: 09/22/19
Posts: 7
Loc: CA
10/4/19 Clear skies. Temps at Whitney Portal in the morning between 35-40. Temps at summit midday, about 35. However, winds make it feel much colder. Winds about 15 mph at Trail Crest, gusts to 25 mph at summit.

#56459 - 10/17/19 01:22 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7962
Loc: Fresno, CA
Dylan J cycled from Death Valley, then climbed Whitney via the Mountaineers Route all in one day. Here are the cables from Oct. 12, 2019.

#56510 - 10/30/19 09:35 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7962
Loc: Fresno, CA
Posted on FB by Kayla B

Hiked on 10/28/19. Left at 4 am. There was fresh snow on the route from the night before. A light powder about 3 miles in that melted later in the day. There was more snow and ice on the 97 switchbacks. I used microspikes on the way down just to be safe. Some snow and ice along the trail behind the peaks by guitar lake; I used microspikes going to the summit at this part. You could do the trail without spikes if you wanted. The last lake had a thick layer of ice that required me to use a rock to smash a hole through the ice to filter water. Temps were 0-20 degrees F with 5-20 mph winds. I had two bottom layers and four on top, two pairs of gloves with hand warmers, and a hat and an ear band. My first Whitney summit and my second 14er. The road to the trailhead was clear of ice. The trail was very clean; the only trash I saw was one wag bag closer to the summit. Thank you to everyone in the group for the information. It was very helpful!

The snow is light for the end of October. Here at the cables:

The top switchback:

Snow on the west side, JMT:

Trail Camp pond is freezing over

#56573 - 11/18/19 04:34 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Ian B Offline

Registered: 05/23/17
Posts: 10
Loc: Bishop, CA
FYI, A Winter Storm Warning has been issued, likely impacting the Whitney Zone. Be safe and be prepared! Text from the NWS copied below:

National Weather Service Las Vegas NV
144 PM PST Mon Nov 18 2019

.Expect a rapid change from unseasonably warm weather Tuesday to
significant snowfall Wednesday into Thursday.

Eastern Sierra Slopes-White Mountains of Inyo County-Sheep Range-
Spring Mountains-Red Rock Canyon-
144 PM PST Mon Nov 18 2019


* WHAT...Heavy snow expected above 6000 feet. Total snow
accumulations of 10 to 20 inches, with the heaviest amounts
above 7500 feet. Winds gusting as high as 35 mph.

* WHERE...In Nevada, Sheep Range and Spring Mountains-Red Rock
Canyon. In California, Eastern Sierra Slopes and White
Mountains of Inyo County.

* WHEN...From 4 AM Wednesday to 4 PM PST Thursday.

* IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Anyone
hiking or engaging in other outdoor mountain recreation will be
at risk of being trapped by the sudden change in weather.

#56575 - 11/19/19 09:33 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Ian B]
KCMasterpiece Offline

Registered: 02/14/19
Posts: 18
Loc: California
Farewell, hiking season!