Mt Whitney Zone
Posted By: bobpickering Mountaineers’ Route 4-29-22 - 05/01/22 05:10 AM
NVG and I dayhiked the Mountaineers’ Route yesterday. It took 15 hours, but at 73, I’m just not as fast as I once was. Getting old sucks, but it beats the alternative.

Conditions were about as good as you could hope for in late April. The weather was nice all day. There was almost no snow before Lower Boy Scout Lake. There was considerable snow between Lower and Upper Boy Scout Lakes, but it was still mostly bare ground. There was somewhat more snow going up to Iceberg Lake. It was all snow from Iceberg Lake to just below the top of the chute. The Final 400 still had snow, but there was more rock than snow.

We only used crampons and axes in the chute. Stiff boots and ski poles were all we needed below Iceberg Lake. The snow was reasonably firm all day. No major postholeing anywhere, and no real ice. The chute wasn’t packed completely, but it wasn’t bad either. By the time you read this, it should be pretty well packed.

We rarely touched the snow going up and down the Final 400. That wasn’t easy, since there is still considerable snow, wet rock, and wet sand on the rock. I didn’t see any real ice. Other climbers were going up and down the snow as much as possible. I saw one other guy on the rock. When I commented on him being the only one using the rock, he felt the need to explain. You see, he did the entire ascent using MICROspikes! I asked him if I was allowed to call him a dumbshit. He laughed, and said, “Yes!”

I hope this helps anyone going up soon. As you’ve heard countless times, conditions can change fast, so be prepared for whatever the mountain throws at you.
Posted By: NVG Re: Mountaineers’ Route 4-29-22 - 05/01/22 05:31 PM
What Bob didnt mention is that once we hit the chute, he passed every single person in there and they were all 40 years younger than him.

I hope the dudes we saw in there made it down ok. They didnt look too happy on our way down when they were in the final 400.

Great day either way and definitely, as Bob said, be prepared going out there. I still find myself surprised how many people think that mountain is just some easy day hike. I have not found that to be the case on either route up the mountain.
Posted By: BFR Re: Mountaineers’ Route 4-29-22 - 05/01/22 08:52 PM
Bob - were you by any chance sleeping at Whitney Portal after your hike? When I arrived early Saturday morning I saw someone who looked like you, but I figured I was just imaging things.
Posted By: bobpickering Re: Mountaineers’ Route 4-29-22 - 05/01/22 09:52 PM
Ben, I think the altitude was causing you to hallucinate. I left a few minutes after we got back to the cars on Friday.
Posted By: jackeichler Re: Mountaineers’ Route 4-29-22 - 05/02/22 03:25 PM
You are my hero. My goal is to just be hiking at age 70, let alone day hiking Whitney Mountaineer's route. I am going to pin up this trip report on my fridge just for motivation... smile
Posted By: SoCal Jim Re: Mountaineers’ Route 4-29-22 - 05/03/22 04:19 AM
Yeahhh, I'm turning 70 in a couple of months. I committed to doing a guided climb on Mt Baker with my son a few days after my BD. I'm motivated by not wanting to disappoint him. It's a lot harder ramping up your fitness level and maintaining it after 60, as Bob said. Living at 6500" elevation (now) in the Lake Tahoe basin helps, with all the outdoor activities right outside my front door. As long as I can keep doing it... Bob's my hero, too.
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