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Consultation lake or Trail camp
#58971 07/03/21 10:51 AM
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A few newbie questions.

a) Consultation lake or Trail camp as overnight stop for first timers? IIUC, Consultation lake is further way but has less wind and fewer marmots.
b) Any advice on how best to leave the tent and pack when leaving for the summit?
c) I sweat a lot (cooler weather up there might help) and need to hydrate to keep up with that. Is 4L (3L pack and a Nalgene) too much to carry?

Re: Consultation lake or Trail camp
aristotle #58973 07/03/21 08:55 PM
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a) Trail camp is where 90% of hikers stay. Consultation Lake is more out of the way, off the main trail. Mostly your choice.

b) Leave the tent up, with access to the critters -- or they might chew through. Or better, if you are heading home same day, at least collapse the tent,maybe roll it up so it's ready to take home.

c) Three liters from Trail Camp is the general guideline. One for the distance up to Trail Crest, one for the summit and back, #3 back at Trail camp for the descent. 4L is probably not too much, but make sure you drink all of one through the switchbacks.

I have left the last one at Trail Crest, hidden, and retrieved it for the descent. Saves carrying two lbs up to the summit and back.

Last edited by RenoFrank; 07/03/21 10:25 PM. Reason: misinformation
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Re: Consultation lake or Trail camp
aristotle #58983 07/06/21 07:27 AM
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Yes to what Steve said, and: it seems to me by the time you get up in the neighborhood of Trail Camp and Consultation Lake, you won't want to bother with the effort of getting down to the lake. I have had a marmot eat through my tent, so definitely leave it open.

Re: Consultation lake or Trail camp
aristotle #58984 07/06/21 07:43 AM
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I second everything said here.

I will throw out two other considerations: solitude and navigation.

Some folks enjoy the social aspect of Whitney and don't mind the clutter of Trail Camp (TC), while others dislike the ramshackle feel of TC in peak season. Consultation is a way out of the way, but if you're familiar enough with the trail it is fairly easy to deviate from the Main Trail (MT) prior to reaching TC to reach Consultation. The combination of a little space and towering profiles of Mounts McAdie and Irvine might make Consultation the right choice for you.

If you do not have the best sense of direction I would strongly advise against camping at Consultation. Starting a hike in the wee hours or returning in the dark can make finding one's way back to the MT or back to your camp at Consultation challenging. The terrain there isn't dangerous per se, but getting off-route anywhere on Whitney can devolve into a dangerous situation.


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Re: Consultation lake or Trail camp
Snacking Bear #58993 07/07/21 10:33 PM
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Thank you all, that settles it. Trail camp it is!


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