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Day Hiking Whitney Mountaineer's Route ?
#59114 07/29/21 01:21 PM
Joined: Jul 2021
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Jen Ch Offline OP
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Hi everyone, my friend and I are thinking of hiking the Whitney's moutaineering route as a day hike in August. I have not read of many people who have done it as a day hike. We day hiked the Whitney trail to the summit twice and would like to explore this hike in a day as well. We would like to go up the mountaineer's route and come down the regular trail.

Can anyone give some advice? Is this even attainable if we start at 2am? Has anyone does this as a day hike in August?

Thank you for all your advice and help.

Jen

Re: Day Hiking Whitney Mountaineer's Route ?
Jen Ch #59115 07/29/21 01:47 PM
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It's extremely attainable, it just depends on your fitness. For those in reasonably good shape, it would take ~6 hours to go up via MR and ~3-4 hours to come down. I've day hiked it twice and both times started at around 5-6am and finished by 3-4pm.

Some tips:
1. Study the route and download a .gpx file to your phone to ensure you don't go off route.
2. Be comfortable with 3rd class terrain.
3. Be comfortable hiking at altitude for hours and hours.

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Re: Day Hiking Whitney Mountaineer's Route ?
Jen Ch #59117 07/29/21 03:38 PM
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I've day hiked the MR 2 years ago and came down the main route and we didn't even start as early as 2am.

Definitely study the route as it is less traveled and not maintained. The most confusing parts will be navigating the E-Ledges for the first time and the area from before Lower Boy Scout 'Lake' (LBSL) to Upper Boy Scout Lake (UBSL).

The Mountaineers Route from UBSL can also be confusing. I used AllTrails to help me with this.

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Re: Day Hiking Whitney Mountaineer's Route ?
Jen Ch #59118 07/29/21 07:58 PM
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I second the advice from BFR and futbol. For current conditions (dry trail with virtually no snow), a 10 hour round trip is perfectly doable for a fit person. Just to add a few tips:

1) Navigating E-ledges in the dark for the first time can be confusing and even dangerous. As mentioned above, it is a good idea to study that section a day before (as a brief acclimating hike) and/or start around 4-5 AM to get some day light. There are plenty of YouTube videos that give you an idea what to expect.

2) IMO, the key to not getting lost on the way to UBSL from LBSL is to stay left after leaving the LBSL (some rock hopping will be required) and then stay high. Look for cairns. It gets less confusing when you reach the slabs.

3) There will likely be many variations of the trail right before you start gaining the Iceberg lake plateau. Again, look for cairns.

4) On the final ascent from the Iceberg lake, stay on the left (steeper) side instead of ascending the gully from the very bottom since the gully has lots of annoying scree. The use trail ascending the initial hill should be visible from the lake but it is relatively easy to get off route to much harder terrain when you reach the real rock.

5) When you exit the notch, the two alternative routes to the summit involve class 3 scrambling to the left and up (the final 400) or so called "easy walk off" that follows the less steep line around the final 400 (to the West) and then up. The latter gets little dicey in winter/icy conditions, but I personally prefer it for summer ascents with a heavy multi-day pack.



Good luck !

Last edited by Anton; 07/29/21 08:44 PM.
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Re: Day Hiking Whitney Mountaineer's Route ?
Anton #59122 07/30/21 10:36 AM
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My 2 cents.

Do the ledges in daylight. I always start the MR around 6am, but if you start earlier, it takes about an hour to get to the base. From LBSL to the slabs below UBSL, I almost hug the brush on climbers right. A trail comes and goes, but I find it the easiest way, some cairns in that area help. Below iceberg lake, in the weeping rock area, I traverse west to a point where the last wet dirt/vegetation is visible and follow the cairns/trail up to iceberg lake.
The first time or two, the MR is confusing, but it's one of the great day hikes of all time..Give us a report....

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Re: Day Hiking Whitney Mountaineer's Route ?
Jen Ch #59157 08/10/21 03:29 PM
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Hi, thank you for all your helpful information to my post. It's relieving to know that others have done the MR as a day hike.

We will probably try to do this in the month of August or September. Do I need mountaineering shoes or can I just wear my trailrunners which I used for my day hikes on the regular Whitney trail.

Thank you again! I will make notes on all the info you provide.

J

Last edited by Jan Ch; 08/10/21 03:29 PM.
Re: Day Hiking Whitney Mountaineer's Route ?
Jan Ch #59158 08/10/21 04:47 PM
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Trail runners will work. Just understand you will be scrambling over boulders and such. It’s not a trail for much of the route.

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Re: Day Hiking Whitney Mountaineer's Route ?
Jen Ch #59212 08/20/21 12:55 PM
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I did it last August (in lightweight low-top hiking shoes). My trip report is here: http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/57955/

The ascent took me forever because I take lots of photos, and because the thin air really slowed me down once I got above about 12000'. But you don't need to start at 2am.

Study Steve C.'s videos if you want to get through the Ebersbacher Ledges with no wrong turns: http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/8177 (He also covers the Rockwell Shortcut if you'd like to try that.)

I had no trouble between LBSL and UBSL because I bypassed the trail entirely and went up the granite slabs on the right (north) side of the valley. The only hitch is that you have to find the spot where it's easy to get up onto the slabs.

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