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#56742 - 03/04/20 10:59 AM 2008 last Whitney summit
Brent Offline


Registered: 03/04/20
Posts: 3
Loc: Idaho
So it's been since 2008 since my last Whitney summit. Completed one day summit via Mountaineers, then did Thor the next day with larger group. Since I haven't been back in 12 years, I've been reading through the post. Doesn't seem like too much has changed, still need permits, don't need bear canister via Mountaineers. My uncle whom I hiked with passed so I don't have all his knowledge anymore. I've got permits for May, group of 6. The current plan is to do Thor via smiley face rout- Iceburg lake first day. Russel and Whitney second day and maybe hike out or hike out 3rd day. I plan on trying to keep my pack below 30lbs. I currently live in Idaho so I'm not worried about elevation or temperature( I'm used to a high of 30F and lows down to single digits) and I have tons of snow experience although I did notice the snow pack this year for Whitney is lower than normal. I'm trying to look at old pictures and get my gear in line. The main thing that I will be using now that I didn't when I was younger is some trekking poles. Any advice or suggestions that might help would be great.

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#56743 - 03/04/20 11:44 AM Re: 2008 last Whitney summit [Re: Brent]
bobpickering Online


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 475
Loc: Reno, Nevada
You need a canister or at least an Ursack.


Edited by bobpickering (03/04/20 11:46 AM)

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#56744 - 03/04/20 11:54 AM Re: 2008 last Whitney summit [Re: bobpickering]
Brent Offline


Registered: 03/04/20
Posts: 3
Loc: Idaho
Bob I called the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center and asked them about the bear canister. They told me via Mountaineers route it's not necessary only via main trail is it required. Also if you look at the forest service website https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5419381.jpg
the mountaineers route falls out of the designated area
So your saying that it is still necessary via Mountaineers route.


Edited by Brent (03/04/20 12:09 PM)

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#56747 - 03/04/20 02:58 PM Re: 2008 last Whitney summit [Re: Brent]
bobpickering Online


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 475
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Figuring out what's actually required can be complicated. Sometimes, they basically say "don't feed the bears", and they don't say how to accomplish that. Sometimes they require a bear-resistant container, which included the Ursack. (Some rangers don't even know what an Ursack is, which doesn't help.) And sometimes, they require a hard-sided canister that they have explicitly approved.

There was a Whitney link on the page I gave you. That link went to your map, but I missed that link. The North Fork is a “please don’t feed the bears” area, but I wouldn’t go without my Ursack.

BTW, I was considering two spots for my campsite on one of my trips this summer. One spot is in Hoover Wilderness (approved canisters only). The other spot is in the Emigrant Wilderness (please don't feed the bears). I think I'll walk the extra quarter mile.

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#56748 - 03/04/20 03:17 PM Re: 2008 last Whitney summit [Re: Brent]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 80
Loc: San Diego, CA
Day hikes up the MR (or anywhere else) do not require a bear cannister. Overnight hikes do. Did you tell them your trip was overnight? (They might assume otherwise.)

I think that map has been superceded.

Each time I've picked up an overnight permit in the Whitney Zone, either main trail or North Fork/MR, I had to initial a box indicating that I knew and agreed to bring and use a bear cannister. You can rent them at the visitor center for dollars a day. Also, most people leave it at their campsite with the rest of their overnight gear when they summit.

People also camp and use the smaller bear cannister, which is not much lighter, or no bear cannister at all. Rules are broken all the time.

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#56750 - 03/04/20 11:11 PM Re: 2008 last Whitney summit [Re: Brent]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7996
Loc: Fresno, CA
Brent, what month did you summit last time? Even with a low snow pack, ice axe and crampons would be recommended for May. I wouldn't go in May without them unless I saw a report from others saying they didn't need any.

I would take the bear canister or Ursack. You won't have any bears, but the mice and marmots can make a mess of your food.

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