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Any recommendation for the hike above mirror lake?
#59704 07/19/22 09:31 AM
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stevezh Offline OP
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Thank you for your help in advance!

Our group of friends won the lottery and got to climb mount Whitney on 7/28! I have done tons of research on the gear and preparations and recently came to this thread. (Link here:
http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/48596/Re:_Fallen_Hiker_on_Monday_10-) So to summarize, the trail just above the mirror lake is hard to identify, and some may lead to cliffs that took innocent lives. I wonder if this issue has been addressed? If not, it would be great if anybody could share the two particular turns with me?

Thanks again!!!!!!

Re: Any recommendation for the hike above mirror lake?
stevezh #59705 07/19/22 10:14 PM
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Welcome, stevezh. Here's a link to Google Maps of the spot, and the same spot using CalTopo. GPS coordinates: 36.56727,-118.26766

If you're not descending after dusk, you will be fine. Also, the last time I was there, rangers have stacked some large rocks there where you need to make the turn, so you have to climb up and over them to actually miss the turn and mistakenly head east.

Re: Any recommendation for the hike above mirror lake?
Steve C #59706 07/20/22 07:34 AM
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Steve,

This makes me so happy that rangers have fixed that area. I believe I had documented that particular area on one of my videos. So many people have taken the wrong turn there and have fallen off a cliff. Hoping the rangers can do even more to the trail that are dicey at night time (in the same area above Mirror Lake).

stevevh,

Check out my video on day hiking Whitney. I do document those areas you are speaking of on the video.

Have a safe hike!

https://youtu.be/nqE-Od-cvyk

Re: Any recommendation for the hike above mirror lake?
Steve C #59707 07/20/22 11:04 AM
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stevezh Offline OP
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This is really helpful! Thanks!

Re: Any recommendation for the hike above mirror lake?
fit2climb #59708 07/20/22 11:15 AM
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stevezh Offline OP
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fit2climb

This youtube video is really helpful!!!! Thank you for uploading it and sharing the information!

Re: Any recommendation for the hike above mirror lake?
stevezh #59709 07/20/22 03:25 PM
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I have never even noticed there were any sketchy or hard to follow sections on the main trail, but I have never been in that area at night. I guess that is the key.

Re: Any recommendation for the hike above mirror lake?
stevezh #59722 07/30/22 02:37 PM
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I’m somewhat of an outlier among Whitney climbers in the sense that I am not into alpine starting. In fact, I’ve never started a hike up Whitney before 8:00AM! My last hike (July 12, 2022), I started at 9:15. Usually, it’s starting to get dark on me right about Trail Camp on the way down. So it’s pretty much a given that I’m coming down the crux of the hike (ie the ‘Endless Staircase’ section between Mirror Lake and Trail Camp) in the dark. It’s actually not that bad. You are probably most likely to get off trail in the portion directly below Trail Camp. But there are also a few sections above Mirror Lake where the trail is a little ambiguous. Like others have said, it DOES seem like rocks and branches have been put up to keep you en route on some of the lower sections. But even in the upper sections just below Trail Camp, you aren’t just going to walk off a cliff unless you just aren’t paying attention. You should know pretty quickly if you have gotten off trail. And the best thing to do here is just backtrack.

Another option is to use an app like Gaia whereby you can record your track. This way, you can easily find your way if you get caught on a side trail in the dark. Another thing I should say is that coming downhill is a little trickier in this respect than going uphill. If you end up going UP this section in the dark (as normal people do), you will less likely lose the trail than coming downhill in the dark.


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