Been a while, and happy to be returning to Mt. Whitney in about 3 weekends. Going up Mountaineers Route with IAG out of Mammoth; summited on summer trail in 2017. Since then I've been up Shasta 3x, summiting 2/3 times from Avy Gulch and the Hotlum Bolum.
I know weather can be variable, but I'm expecting cold. I'm asking your thoughts on a Winter Ascent as i prepare these last few weeks.
A few questions:
1. What are current conditions? Any storms on the horizon? From what I here its mixed snow and ice.
2. I'm a bit concerned about the final 400, in part due to reading of all the accidents on this stretch here in previous season, and understanding the level of exposure. Tips/thoughts?
3. What foot work is needed? I am efficient with french stepping; will front pointing be needed?
4. What your would you suggest for a clothing system? On Shasta, I go with medium base, fleece, and then waterproof shell for climbing, down puff for breaks. What else should i be considering?
5. I hear the approach day (day 1) can be the toughest, going over the E Ledges...tips to mentally prepare for day one?
Lastly, I'm in line for a new pack for these 3-4 days trips (60L ish); any suggestions?
Anything else you can share about this route?
Thanks everyone, Mt Whitney main trail remains one of my top 3 hikes ever - really exciting to explore the mountaineers route.
Cheers - SD.