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#4904 - 06/04/10 10:44 AM Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
This thread is designed to hold posts displaying pictures and describing the current conditions of the Main Mount Whitney Trail (MMWT).  I hope everyone will contribute.

Please feel free to post pictures of your own or from any source (please post a reference to the original location), so that everyone can come here and easily find/read/see the conditions.

Older posts will be moved as conditions change. (As a result, some posts may appear to answer comments that are no longer in the thread.)

Thanks for everyone's help. Your posting trip reports helps untold numbers of hikers following you.

Older posts moved here:   Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2017 (Old)

Note: Sometimes this thread spans a number of pages. You can click through all the pages, or click here to display all in one page.


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#52124 - 09/09/17 09:02 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
A rare rainbow picture taken from near the cables during an afternoon rain.
Posted on fb by Joel O, Sept 8.


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#52278 - 09/26/17 03:49 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
sknlim Offline


Registered: 09/26/17
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Day hike 9/25/2017

I felt like the trail is still in pristine summer conditions if you're planning to hike it after the small storm that past by last week. No issue whatsoever. No micro spikes or trekking pole needed. Simply side step the small ice patch at the cables half way up the switchbacks.

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#52279 - 09/26/17 08:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Union Offline


Registered: 09/26/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Day Hike 9/25/17

Did the entire Mt Whitney Trail yesterday. Current conditions are excellent! If you're going to go, go now. The forecast has it continuing to get warmer throughout the week which is nice. We had almost no clouds and no wind all the way up to the summit. We started at 4:45am and it was 35 degrees. Within about about 2 miles I was shedding layers. The stream crossings were no issue except for outpost camp; there was a fair amount of ice on the rocks which proved challenging. The only other ice on the trail was one switchback at the cables. You could easily side step around it on the rocks like the person above me said. The only snow on the trail was within a mile of the summit and it was maybe 20 feet long and had been well worn. After trail camp, I wore a t-shirt all the way to the summit and back down to trail crest. Then it got pretty chilly when the sun went down. All things considered, we couldn't have asked for a better day to hike then yesterday, good luck!

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#52285 - 09/27/17 06:48 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Union]
cpSoCal Offline


Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 9
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Agree with Union! My crew had a beautiful day yesterday to do the day hike on 9/26. We started around 1:30am. One of my teammates did slip on the icy rocks and ended up with a wet foot, but thankfully she brought extra socks and was able to continue on.

Below is a photo of the cable section, I had no problem with just regular hiking shoes. Going down I just went on my butt if there was a dodgy part.



The forecast had called for 30mph wind at the summit, so we were prepared for harsh weather. Thankfully we had beautifully sunny skies and only mild wind.

So incredibly grateful for the advice on this forum. It definitely changed the gear I brought with me and I was warm and comfortable the entire time.



A few more pics here


Edited by cpSoCal (09/27/17 07:17 PM)

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#52287 - 09/27/17 07:31 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: cpSoCal]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 184
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: cpSoCal


A few more pics here


Did you bring that wooden Whitney sign up to the summit? I don't recall seeing that up there before. smile


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#52307 - 10/02/17 10:18 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Moxey Offline


Registered: 10/08/15
Posts: 1
Loc: Carlsbad, CA
My wife and I will be spending the night at trail camp on Sunday 10/8 and planning to summit on Monday 10/9. Does anyone have any feedback regarding recent night time temps at trail camp?? The weather reports have shown recent warmer temps.

Thanks in advance for any info... steve

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#52308 - 10/02/17 10:45 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Moxey]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 775
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Here are forecast temps for the Trail Camp area from the NOAA website:

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php...12#.WdJ6g0bn_3g

Those temperature forecasts do not include wind-chill conditions. You can zoom in (click +)the little map, and point and click, to any area you want and get weather forecasts for that specific area.


Edited by Bob West (10/02/17 10:48 AM)

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#52325 - 10/04/17 06:40 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
MtWhitney2017 Offline


Registered: 09/24/17
Posts: 7
Loc: Long Beach, CA
Conditions as of October 1, 2017:

Horseshoe Meadow -> New Army Pass -> Rock Creek -> Guitar Lake -> Mt. Whitney -> Whitney Portal

Thur, Sept 28
Horseshoe Meadow: Clear skies, frigid temps (all night and morning), no wind, no snow in sight, plenty of water, low creek crossings, trail in good condition

Fri, Sept 29
New Army Pass: Clear skies, warm temps (@ 12:30 p.m.), no wind, no snow on trail, plenty of water, trail in good condition

Sat, Sept 30
Guitar Lake: Clear skies, warm temps all evening, no wind, no snow on trail, plenty of water, low creek crossings

Sun, Oct 1
Mt. Whitney (via JMT from Guitar Lake): Clear skies, warm at Guitar Lake (@ 1:30 a.m.), no snow on trail, no ice on trail, good condition

Trail Crest to Mt. Whitney; Clear skies, frigid temps (@ 4:30 a.m.); high winds, no snow on trail except for a small 10 yd patch that has melted away

Mt. Whitney Peak: Clear skies, no snow on trail, frigid temps, high winds

Mt. Whitney Trail to Whitney Portal: Clear skies, warm, ice at cables (completely manageable), no snow on trail



Edited by MtWhitney2017 (10/04/17 06:46 AM)

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#52326 - 10/04/17 08:27 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Moxey]
Hikerdad Offline


Registered: 10/04/17
Posts: 2
Loc: San Diego, CA
Hi Moxy,

A buddy and I are going up 10/11 for a day hike - any trail conditions you can share on the forum would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance!

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#52348 - 10/09/17 09:10 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Hikerdad]
jmester82 Offline


Registered: 08/11/14
Posts: 22
Loc: CA, USA
I was up there saturday 10/7. You'll have smooth hiking conditions for the next few days for sure. Its epic right now!


Edited by jmester82 (10/09/17 09:10 PM)

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#52352 - 10/11/17 10:02 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: jmester82]
Hikerdad Offline


Registered: 10/04/17
Posts: 2
Loc: San Diego, CA
We did a 1-day hike and summitted yesterday (10/10). We left at 4am and was back to the parking lot by 530pm. The entire day was gorgeous and we had a 30 minute lunch at the summit. Light winds and clear skies! Trail is in great condition. About 15 foot stretch of ice at the cables on the 99 switchbacks - but you can easily get around it. No need for crampons. Wind picked up in the afternoon. Overall amazing day.

We took Altitude RX pills 24 hours before hiking (and through the duration) and did one acclimation hike to Lone Pine Lake the day we arrived (10/9). Other than that no other hikes at altitude. Everything went into slow motion above 13.5k ft. But no headaches or nausea.

A big thanks to everyone for updating trail conditions leading into our hike!

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#52353 - 10/11/17 03:31 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Hikerdad]
Rohit Dube Offline


Registered: 10/11/17
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
I have 2 questions:
1. Is it a feasible option to plan Mt. Whitney Summit hike on the weekend of 21-22 Oct 2017?
2. If yes, I know this may sound silly, will I be able to find a group that has permit somehow?

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#52355 - 10/11/17 04:38 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Rohit Dube]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Rohit Dube
I have 2 questions:
1. Is it a feasible option to plan Mt. Whitney Summit hike on the weekend of 21-22 Oct 2017?
2. If yes, I know this may sound silly, will I be able to find a group that has permit somehow?

1. Yes, if the weather stays dry.
2. No. Groups don't normally invite strangers to join. But there is currently a single day hike permit available online for Oct 22.
Keep checking, and you may find one for Oct 21, if that's what you want.

Overnight permits are usually available free to anyone walking in at the Visitor Center in Lone Pine in October.

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#52376 - 10/15/17 09:01 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
Rohit Dube Offline


Registered: 10/11/17
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Anyone who has done Mt. Whitney summit on weekend, did you see any snow anywhere on the trail?

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#52378 - 10/16/17 07:03 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Rohit Dube]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 775
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Conditions will change this time of year as temperatures drop and the storm season approaches. Be prepared for whatever might come, including walking on snow. The NOAA forecast for late this week shows a chance of snow showers on Mt. Whitney. Are you ready for that?

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php...66#.WeS6tUbn_3g

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#52380 - 10/16/17 09:48 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Bob West]
rex Offline


Registered: 05/31/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Bay Area California
Absolutely right. Any time of the year, conditions can change quickly.

On the 14th, we summited with perfect conditions. Sunny and warm at the top, cold in the shade. Camped at Outpost the 13th and 14th. Was sub-freezing night of the 13th, and just above freezing the second night.

There's no snow on the trail, but there's ice in places. Mainly where the cables are.

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#52382 - 10/16/17 05:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: rex]
Chris C Offline


Registered: 10/16/17
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
10/13/17 summit hike

Start time: 3:06am from Whitney Portal trailhead. In the 30s with minimal wind. Clearly defined trail. Saw a bit of iced-over water before we reached Trail Camp, but not an issue at all.

Sunrise was around 6:20am but didn't have sunlight fall on us until about one-fourth of the way up the 99 switchbacks--we must have been over 4 hours into the hike at that point. Finally got our toes warm again (I had Injinji liners with Darn Smart socks as the outer layer in my Goretex Salomons, so my toes were pretty well insulated).

99 switchbacks had ice only at the Cables, but it was easily managed (we could step along the side of the icy patch, which stretched about 30 feet, I think). That was the only area that had ice of any concern at the time of our hike, but I'm sure that's going to change as it gets colder. We brought our traction cleats but didn't use them.

Stayed chilly throughout the ascent and back down. We essentially didn't change our clothes from beginning to end (beanies, down jackets, hoods, etc). It got a little windy at times, but wind didn't feel like a concern.

Returned to the Whitney Portal parking lot a little past 7:30pm, about one hour after dark. Roundtrip in 16.5 hours. Amazing hike!


Edited by Chris C (10/16/17 06:00 PM)

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#52390 - Yesterday at 11:12 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
HikingNewbie Offline


Registered: 10/22/17
Posts: 1
Loc: Bay Area, CA
First off, thanks to all who post on this board. It is an invaluable resource, and I'm not sure what I would have done without the info and insight here.

Second, to all the people who have summited Whitney, I salute you. It is grueling, it is relentless, it is the most physically taxing thing I have ever done. I think I experienced every range of human emotion possible: anger, sadness, ecstasy.

Summited on Friday, 10/20. Started a little after 2 am, summited at 9 am. Back down around 2:30 pm. 38 yo, relatively fit (so I thought), and did an acclimation climb to Lone Pine Lake the day before.

It was COLD and WINDY. My water and Gatorade was frozen by the switchbacks. My snot froze. Was not at all mentally prepared for 40+ MPH gusts at the top. We were the first group up, so did not get the benefit of getting reports from other hikers, but suffice it to say if I had to do it over again I may not push through towards summit considering this was my first attempt and first big hike.

Cable section had ice but very easy to go around. No crampons or micro spikes necessary. I had hiking boots and poles, which I used like a cane coming down because my entire lower body was aching.

Body is hurting today, but spirits are high. I wish you all happy and safe climbing.

Thanks,
John

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