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#50714 - 07/09/17 04:19 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
jstew2691 Offline


Registered: 07/07/17
Posts: 5
Loc: Carlsbad
I have a question in regards to parking at the portal. Leaving Carlsbad late Thursday afternoon to start a 1am Friday (1 day) ascent. Will arrive at the portal around 11pm. Will finding a parking spot be a challenge or are there open spots? If I don't find a spot, what are my options?

Thanks y'all for any wise advice!

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#50716 - 07/09/17 08:39 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: jstew2691]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7075
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: jstew2691
I have a question in regards to parking at the portal. Leaving Carlsbad late Thursday afternoon to start a 1am Friday (1 day) ascent. Will arrive at the portal around 11pm. Will finding a parking spot be a challenge or are there open spots? If I don't find a spot, what are my options?

I hope you have arranged to pick up your permit in the night-pickup box in Lone Pine.

There should be spaces -- maybe right at the trail head, since some people will be coming off the trail late and opening spots. If that's not true, there is the overflow lot just below the trail head. If all are full, (I believe) you can park along the road wherever there is space.

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#50745 - 07/10/17 12:05 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
HE_i Offline


Registered: 06/30/17
Posts: 5
Loc: CA
Hello all. I've been quietly watching this thread like a hawk and reading it like my life depends on it. Sorry if I haven't post anything.

this will be our groups second attempt (first one last Oct and the strong wind stopped us reaching the Mirror Lake). Our schedule is like this:
7/14/17: Arrive at Whitney Portal Parking Lot to sleep after checking Alabama Hills.

7/15/17: From Whitney Portal to Trail Camp (will spend most of our time at that elevation to get acclimated and check out the rest of the area)

7/16/17: Actual Summit day (leaving the camp around 4 am) and will head back down to our car after.

We are prepared with crampons, ice ax and helmet and other backpacking gear (thanks to all your tip, it help us minimize the weight and be prepared mentally)

now my major concern is, I'm afraid the history will repeat itself again...the weather this Sat and actual summit day turns sour, rain showers and risk thunder storm :-(

Our group is now consist of two people. What should I do?

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#50748 - 07/10/17 12:44 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: HE_i]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7075
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: HE_i
...
now my major concern is, I'm afraid the history will repeat itself again...the weather this Sat and actual summit day turns sour, rain showers and risk thunder storm :-(

Our group is now consist of two people. What should I do?

Weather for Sunday 7/16 is currently: "A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms."

In the summer "monsoon" style weather, the T-storms usually come in the afternoon. If you get to the summit early, as it appears you are planning, you can be back to your camp almost by noon. If the chance stays at 20%, just carry rain gear, and get off the crest before they hit.

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#50749 - 07/10/17 01:03 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
HE_i Offline


Registered: 06/30/17
Posts: 5
Loc: CA
THANK YOU VERY MUCH! That is really helpful...I really, really appreciated your response.

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#50764 - 07/10/17 04:48 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: leondelmonte]
HE_i Offline


Registered: 06/30/17
Posts: 5
Loc: CA
HA! and you thought there's a drive thru for permit :-D hahahaha. Thanks again for the tip.

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#50776 - 07/10/17 06:27 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Steve C]
mbb Offline


Registered: 07/08/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Utah
How far up the trail is the water where you refill?

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#50777 - 07/10/17 06:46 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: HE_i]
IdEaMaNi Offline


Registered: 04/19/16
Posts: 21
Loc: Texas
Hi everyone!!

Here is my report from July 8th summit.

We started our climb on 7th morning from the portal at around 4.45 AM and reached the trail camp at around 1 PM. We took our time and took a few breaks at Lone pine and outpost camp. There were only two major water crossings one at the beginning of the hike within like a 1 mile from the portal and the second is at the meadows. While on our way up, we were able to cross them without getting wet as there were enough rocks popping up to step on. This was however not the case on our way down as the water levels had risen quite a bit and required wading through water but again it wasn't bad at all. Once we set up our camp and retired for the day, it started hailing and there was thunder and lightning. It was really scary but luckily it cleared by in an hour's time.

We planned to start out ascent up at 1 AM the next day but ended up starting only at around 5 (alarm malfunction! :/) and we initially decided to go up the chute as we didn't see many people go up the switch backs although a few from the previous day summit said they did. The initial climb on the chute was fairly easy in terms of the steepness. At one point we noticed the cables on the left but the path to it was pretty steep. I would say it was more like 60-70 degree incline. With crampons and ice axe we managed to climb up the slope which was probably not more than 25-35 ft. Once we reached the cables, we basically jumped over the cables to get to the switch backs. the rest of the switch backs were completely clear. We had to scramble up a few rocks at two spots in the switchbacks to get on the trail and there was one spot before the trail crest where you have walk across 20ft or so on snow that was again a steep incline. It had a lot of foot marks and so was not too hard or scary. Just use caution and put your crampons on. The snow started to get slushy right around 8-8.30 AM.

Once at the trail crest the trail was super clear and it is purely the altitude and climb. It slowed us a down a little but we finally managed to summit at around 11 AM. It took us solid 6 hours from the camp to the summit. After spending a few minutes up there, we made our way down to the trail crest. Going down the switch backs was out of question due to the initial slope we had climbed. So we decided to glissade down the chute. We had never done it before and the slope was pretty damn steep. There were a couple before us who said they have done it a few times and so we decided to follow them. We walked down the chute to the middle and clear of the rock section. (As many had mentioned, there is a big rock scramble right in the middle of the chute). Walking down the chute was a nightmare with the slushy snow. I had to dig deep with my heal and cement myself strong with every step. It was scary. Finally we got the tubeline and decided to glissade down that. That was probably the WORST idea ever. DONT USE THE TUBELINE TO GLISSADE. It is completely shaven and rocks are popping up at many locations. In fact a week from now if the weather holds like it did , most of the switch backs will probably be open. I lost control in the tube line trying to glissade and lost my axe one ( thank god to the harness I had). Finally down by around 2.30 PM , we took a long break and started back down to the portal at around 5 PM and were down by 8.30. The walk down was not hard at all.

Summary
1) Use your decision on taking the chute or switch backs based on the conditions on the day of your hike.
2) If chute is still usable, never use the TUBELINE to glissade. Find some fresh space to do so, since the snow is slushy it provides a much better control and helps arrest especially if you are novice like me.
3) There is plenty of water on the trail and so you can filter and use water all the way upto the trail camp.
4) Carry crampons and ice axe if you are hiking within the next couple weeks. We saw a lot of people who didnt summit because they weren't prepared with the gear. Worst case you carry it up and bring it back down without using it. It is good to have them.

Good luck everyone trying to summit! It is definitely worth the exhaustion and effort!! Thanks to all the earlier reports, it helped us a lot to prepare for the hike.

P.S I didn't have a camera on me but my friend did. I will post the pictures when I get them.

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#50791 - 07/10/17 11:21 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: M&M]
Neil B Offline


Registered: 07/03/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Anyone going to be up during the week this week?
I will be up 7/11-7/13. Planning on camping at trail camp and trying to summit Thursday AM if weather allows.

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#50822 - 07/11/17 06:02 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Climber03]
Climber03 Offline


Registered: 07/07/17
Posts: 3
Loc: California
Water below Outpost camp on 7/4/17:


Edited by Climber03 (07/11/17 07:01 PM)

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#50828 - 07/11/17 07:59 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: jstew2691]
VagrantProfile Offline


Registered: 07/10/17
Posts: 8
Loc: CA
Latest trail conditions?!?!

I'm attempting the hike on 7/21/2017 and would definitely appreciate word on the trail conditions as I'd rather NOT have to worry about crampons and an ice axe if I can avoid it.

Appreciation in advance!

- Greg

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#50846 - 07/12/17 11:53 AM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: csquared]
Ruslvmusl Offline


Registered: 07/10/17
Posts: 6
Loc: Lincoln, CA
Originally Posted By: csquared

We decided to climb up the chute the next morning instead of taking the switchbacks because most of the lower part of the switchbacks were still covered in snow. So you had to climb up part of the chute anyway. Plus, it took some people about 6-7 hours to get up on the chute.. no thanks!



did you mean to say switchbacks?

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#50847 - 07/12/17 12:05 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Gma]
Ruslvmusl Offline


Registered: 07/10/17
Posts: 6
Loc: Lincoln, CA
Originally Posted By: Gma
I hit the trail by 3:15 a.m. Water was high at outpost camp so I decided to change to sandals which I'm grateful I did. I hiked in them through many water crossing that would have had my feet drenched.

I put boots back on right before snow to trail camp.

could one just wear sandals UNTIL all water crossings are completed?

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#50849 - 07/12/17 12:27 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Ruslvmusl]
Gma Offline


Registered: 07/11/17
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
I Think yes it's possible to hike in sandals until the water crossings are done if they are comfortable. As I said that's pretty much what I did until my feet got really cold right before trail camp. Obviously you might get a little sand or rock in the sandle every once in a while but I really didn't have any problems. I just had a pair of Tevas on.


Edited by Gma (07/12/17 05:12 PM)

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#50897 - 07/13/17 02:51 PM Re: Whitney Main Trail Conditions 2017 (Out-of-Date) [Re: Steve C]
Robert C Offline


Registered: 07/13/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Danville, CA
Looking for an update on the Mountaineer's Route. Permit is July 21-23.

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#50901 - 07/13/17 05:16 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: Ruslvmusl]
csquared Offline


Registered: 07/11/17
Posts: 2
Loc: San Diego, CA
Yes! Sorry, it should've said 6-7 hours to go up the switchbacks. It only took us about 2-3 hours to go up the chute. Really wasn't that bad! They key is to start super early! 2 or 3am!

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#50903 - 07/13/17 06:15 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: csquared]
HE_i Offline


Registered: 06/30/17
Posts: 5
Loc: CA
Do I need to bring my snow gloves?

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#50923 - 07/14/17 01:16 PM Re: Current Conditions: Mt Whitney Trail [Re: HE_i]
highsierramike Offline


Registered: 07/06/17
Posts: 6
Loc: Fresno, CA
If you are camping at Trail Camp, you might want snow gloves. It got pretty chilly at night. Otherwise, no one in my party needed them. It is actually pretty warm during the day.

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