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Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
#58652 05/13/21 08:55 PM
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We started at the parking lot ~2am, arrived at Trail camp ~6:30am and got to the peak at noon. Stayed at the peak for 1.5 hours and were back at the parking lot ~8pm.

We brought microspikes and ice axe but ended up not needing them. The only section (second picture) that needs a bit of caution is the last 50 meters just before Trail Crest.

Use sunscreen! We did not reapply and got burnt smile

[img]https://preview.redd.it/1aro4n9jwzy...9056b986df0d049b0d105994b63fb83c6d71d60c[/img]


[img]https://preview.redd.it/7f6upy9jwzy...30ff606a1f0e6cadf7f83411824a6a41728af20c[/img]


[img]https://preview.redd.it/pe958w9jwzy...c6430e50a12e9e089dff71ce70b1d5820e506da5[/img]


[img]https://preview.redd.it/w9l1kq9jwzy...d0e92ae51672e321499b29a63c31eef1e092782a[/img]


[img]https://preview.redd.it/tr1z5s9jwzy...e0f656318aa12bc677698153d4d839692d36fb11[/img]


[img]https://preview.redd.it/corxzs9jwzy...240adcb5b786b9a3cfd901250180178e3e553654[/img]

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Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
runemilrun #58654 05/13/21 10:36 PM
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runmilerun -- Thanks for the pictures! Were the rocks icy along the cables -- beyond where your picture was taken? Or has the ice melted away?

Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
Steve C #58655 05/13/21 10:44 PM
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Awesome pics. I'd love to see any pictures you have on the back side pointed towards Guitar Lake / Crabtree Meadows and beyond. I'm thinking of coming up from Kennedy Meadows in a couple of weeks and am trying to assess how much back country snow I'm going to dealing with. Thx

Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
Steve C #58657 05/13/21 11:04 PM
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pretty much all melted away. I remember stepping on an icy slab of rock but the ice was so thin it broke under my weight!

Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
JimC #58658 05/13/21 11:15 PM
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wow Kennedy Meadows to Mt Whitney sounds like quite a trek!

Here are some photos I took near Trail Crest and where the John Muir Trail meets the main trail. I am not exactly sure if the frozen lake you can see in the photo is Guitar lake or Artic lake?

From Google Maps I'm guessing its probably Artic lake.

[img]https://preview.redd.it/a66ge2ly11z...bbddb19265603002102e25caf7fb4568aba99ad9[/img]


[img]https://preview.redd.it/8ti112ly11z...aae16ac0a0768e3542db901edc108f799f59e846[/img]

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Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
runemilrun #58659 05/14/21 01:52 AM
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Thanks so much for the pics. I see Hitchcock lakes and in the distance I believe Timberline lake. This gives me a pretty good idea what conditions will be based on past experience. This is indeed a very low snow year. So after Whitney I'm likely to exit over Kearsarge Pass to Onion Valley. Or backtrack to Cottonwood Pass and exit via Horseshoe Meadows. Once again, Thank you very much.

Last edited by JimC; 05/14/21 02:04 AM.
Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
runemilrun #58661 05/14/21 09:05 AM
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runemilrun: Can you tell me--was there any ice on the rocks by the cables, or was it dry walking through there?

Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
JimC #58665 05/14/21 12:10 PM
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No problem at all! Now that you have mentioned it, it does look like Hitchcock lake!

Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
Steve C #58667 05/14/21 01:22 PM
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The compacted snow on one side of trail was melting, no ice on the rocks by the cable section and the section was easy to walk through smile

Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
runemilrun #58669 05/14/21 04:12 PM
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Wow, great pictures! Thank you for updating us on the conditions. I am headed up for a day hike on the 24th and plan to post a trip report similar to yours.

Did you even use your microspikes on that section right before trail crest? Or were you comfortable without them?

Thanks again! Looks great for this time of year.

Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
Benc #58676 05/15/21 09:35 AM
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I did not use microspikes on that section just before Trail Crest -- the trail/path was about 3-4 feet deep because the snow was so compacted (but not icy) that there was a snow bank on the downhill side. I just ducked a bit so in case I slip and fall I will just fall into the path. Also my trekking poles also help.

Enjoy your trip!

Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
runemilrun #58682 05/16/21 09:31 AM
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Wow 10 hours to the summit from the parking lot? I'm trying to summit in one day memorial weekend. I was planning on starting around 4 - 5 am. I'm kind of concern I won't be able to do it now.

Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
whatever #58684 05/16/21 12:08 PM
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Some people can get to the summit in two hours, others take 12 or more. Comparing yourself to one person's report isn't meaningful.

Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
whatever #58689 05/16/21 08:35 PM
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Yes, we took it slowly -- we even got the Jetboil out at Trail camp and made hot coffee watching everyone else start the switchback section. We probably could do it faster with a trail runner, less stuff in the backpack and less chatting! If you are not sure, you can start early grin

Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
whatever #58693 05/17/21 10:33 AM
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to whatever: The first time I did Whitney, we did a dayhike and started at 11:00pm (hit the permit zone right at midnight when our permits became valid). If I remember correctly, it took us about 11 hours to get to the summit and we were not in the best shape at the time. Back at the trailhead at about 7:00 pm. We were very slow... but we did it! I think if you just give yourself ample time and don't worry so much about your pace, you can make it happen. It's very much mind over matter, in my opinion.

I'm looking forward to my trip this year, also Memorial Day Weekend, maybe we'll cross paths! My group has been training much better than last time, but we're also doing a one-night stay at Trail Camp.

Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
zoe #58699 05/17/21 05:02 PM
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Thank you @runemilrun for posting pictures and for the note on trail conditions.
@whatever and @zoe, our group is hiking on Memorial Day weekend also. We might cross paths.
The 50 meter section before Trailcrest looks interesting. I’d hate to not summit due to that section (if the current conditions persist). Does anyone know if the outdoor store in Lone Pine rents crampons?

-T-

Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
whatever #58702 05/18/21 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by whatever
Wow 10 hours to the summit from the parking lot? I'm trying to summit in one day memorial weekend. I was planning on starting around 4 - 5 am. I'm kind of concern I won't be able to do it now.

The average time to round trip Whitney is around 14 hours plus time on the summit. The actual time varies greatly between persons. Super fit and acclimated trail runners have done it in 4 hours (maybe less, I don't remember exactly). The last time I did it in honor of turning 60 took 24 hours. OK, I'm slow and not aging all that well.

Your permit allows you to leave at midnight if you so desire. You may not sleep all that well due to the anticipation anyway.

Re: Mt Whitney Trail Report 5/12/2021 (day-hike)
RichardK #58705 05/18/21 04:41 PM
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Congratulations RichardK - may we all be so lucky and healthy to be able to achieve such an accomplishment at 60!

To the new hikers on this forum, as a WFR and occasional-SAR member, I can say it is always better to start earlier. If you get into trouble, it is so much better to have lots of daylight left for yourself and those who may assist you, plus the warmth of the sun. It will be below freezing with the wind chill above Trail Crest until mid-June and it is much harder for your body to heat itself with a lot less O's that high up.

Anyone looking for current and future summit weather conditions, check out https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mount-Whitney/forecasts/4418

Anyone looking to humble themselves, check out the FKT (fastest known times) for Whitney at https://fastestknowntime.com/route/mt-whitney-ca
A guy made it up in 2 hours and 6 minutes. Most take 8-10 hours.

See you outside!


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