Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 11 guests, and 6 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Mt Whitney in Feb
#59370 01/30/22 09:42 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 13
S
OP Offline
S
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 13
Hi Everyone,

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.

Re: Mt Whitney in Feb
SierraDave #59371 01/31/22 09:39 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 630
Likes: 48
Online
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 630
Likes: 48
Weather and conditions are impossible to predict weeks in advance. Best case, the MR could be doable as a day hike (I did it 1-13-2014). Worst case, deep snow and avalanche danger could make it impossible. The truth will probably be somewhere in the middle.
In the winter, most parties (guided and private) bypass the E Ledges on the left side of the canyon. You will probably do some front-pointing in the couloir and on the Final 400. I think that most guide services rope up for the steeper parts of the couloir and set up belays for the final 400.
I’ve never climbed with IAG, but I climbed with one of their guides, Brian Biega, when he was with climbing legend Doug Nidever. I had a super day ice climbing with Brian. You should be in good hands.
IAG should give you an equipment list. Just bring whatever they recommend, possibly fine-tuning it a little to suit your personal preferences.
Good luck. Stay safe. Have fun.

Re: Mt Whitney in Feb
SierraDave #59372 01/31/22 09:47 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,423
Likes: 90
S
Offline
S
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,423
Likes: 90
IAG -- International Alpine Guides: Going with a professional guide service on your first time up the Mountaineers Route is a great idea. They will use the best route for the conditions, so you shouldn't have any trouble.

1. Current weather is cold and dry. The snow that came in December is about all there is, so should be well-consolidated. Everyone is hoping for more snow, but so far there is nothing in the forecast.

2. The Final 400: I'd expect a guide service will rope up all their clients. At least that is what I have always heard. It is the usually the inexperienced without any training that have issues on that section. Pay attention to what the IAG people are telling you.

3. Front-pointing: You will likely need every method available, but I've always found using crampons comes pretty naturally. You've been up Shasta, so you have likely spent quite a bit of time already with crampons and ice axe.

4. Same clothing as Shasta.

5. Ebersbacher Ledges: If there is enough snow, winter ascent goes right up the ravine over the snowpack, skipping the ledges. If there isn't enough snow the ledges are pretty easy.

Re: Mt Whitney in Feb
SierraDave #59389 02/03/22 02:08 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 24
S
Offline
S
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 24
The weather outlook is dry, dry, dry but we could start to see some changes at the end of the month.

This is an excellent blog that discusses Sierra weather (specifically snowfall for Mammoth): https://www.mammothsnowman.com/mammoth-mountain-powder-forecast/

The December snow is generally well-consolidated but there is a wide range of surface condition across the range. The avy center has the most detail on snow conditions, although it is centered around the Mammoth area and doesn't get a ton of reports from the southern Sierra. https://www.esavalanche.org/


Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4
(Release build 20200307)
Responsive Width:

PHP: 7.4.15 Page Time: 0.020s Queries: 22 (0.013s) Memory: 0.5889 MB (Peak: 0.6439 MB) Data Comp: Off Server Time: 2022-08-19 23:46:50 UTC
Valid HTML 5 and Valid CSS