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Mt Whitney's MR - Jan. Climbers

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Mt Whitney's MR - Jan. Climbers

Postby ZeroFC » Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:29 am

Hi -

I was looking forward to making an attempt on the MR of Mt Whitney sometime between Jan. 4th and the end of the month, given a window of agreeable weather.

Anyone else interested in climbing/partnering? My schedule is flexible, mostly waiting for a period of decent weather.

I recently made an end of October ascent via MR. Also open to other climbs in the area of Sierras, Palisades etc.

Let me know if interested!
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Re: Mt Whitney's MR - Jan. Climbers

Postby Clark_Griswold » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:20 pm

Sorry, I am not able to go, but if you go, can you post a report of snow conditions? I am curious to what things are like on the MR, especially in early January. I have made 3 winter attempts with 2 being successful. Snow varied from virtually none in late December of 2008 (failed and turned back at LBSL), which I view as a foolish time to attempt via the MR, to mediocre in March of 2009, to walking on a huge layer of snow in February of 2011. I'm curious to know how things progress during the winter, with regard to the North Fork, and Final 400.
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Re: Mt Whitney's MR - Jan. Climbers

Postby ZeroFC » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:45 pm

Hi Clark_Griswold - Thanks for the feedback on your previous winter attempts.

I'll be sure to do the same after having returned.

When I was there during end of October, there was already an inch or two of snow intermittently at LBSL with a lot of ice forming on the rocks at and above this position. At Iceberg Lake, there was several inches of snow. By the time I reached the couloir I was already knee deep and breaking trail the entire way up. I thought the snow would harden as I went higher but this wasn't the case and crampons were completely pointless. Snow shoes might have been the better option.
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Re: Mt Whitney's MR - Jan. Climbers

Postby Clark_Griswold » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:54 pm

Did you ever hike it?
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Re: Mt Whitney's MR - Jan. Climbers

Postby ZeroFC » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:31 am

Hi Clark_Griswold,

I didn't find a partner and instead spent several days in Lee Vining doing ice climbing at the beginning of Jan.

I was just thinking about the missed opportunity on Whitney and that reminded me of this post to see if anyone was interested.
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Re: Mt Whitney's MR - Jan. Climbers

Postby clmbr » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:50 pm

I did not notice your post before. However, I’m planning to go there in a couple of days but not the route itself interest me as staying overnight above 13,600 feet, regardless of the weather.

Vitaliy M. wrote:To be honest, when I first saw your posts on the Bay Area Mountaineering group looking for partners to climb Shasta/Whitney in a storms I was a bit shocked. I thought it was a troll post at first. Who in their right mind would want to drive from Bay Area and climb into a winter storm. Aside from unsafe, it just does not sound fun.

Yes regardless, but alone, and expecting to have some fun (besides of suffering :lol: ), so no worries.
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Re: Mt Whitney's MR - Jan. Climbers

Postby Clark_Griswold » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:03 pm

I understand it is another thin snow year, and the roue is not really that great right now. Not at all as fun as a few years ago.

SPer OSO1212 spent the night on Mount Whitney back on March 19, 2009. I believe he told me it was the worst night of sleep he ever had. He was from sea level at that time.
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Re: Mt Whitney's MR - Jan. Climbers

Postby artirm » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:06 am

Clark_Griswold wrote:... it was the worst night of sleep he ever had. He was from sea level at that time.

My buddy and I did the same stupid thing back in 2010 Jan. Horrible experience for me, although my buddy did just fine.
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Re: Mt Whitney's MR - Jan. Climbers

Postby clmbr » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:38 pm

I did not spend a night on the ridge as excepted because my sleeping bag got wet around my face and the rest of it (along with the tent) was covered with frost. I just did not want to compress down bag in such conditions (perhaps it was only my excuse). I spent three nights below 11,000 instead.

Does anyone know how to avoid frost in the tent in cold conditions? Does it happen only in single wall tents or both? It happens to me only on Mt Whitney during cold winter but never on Mt Shasta, for instance. (Maybe it’s never been that cold.)

Just a few minutes of winds playing around on Mt Whitney;
otherwise, the weather was just gorgeous although cold.



BTW, I’ve camped above 13,000 feet many times on various mountains with no special symptoms. For sure can’t say I had a terrible experience (except cold air/noisy winds) but do you really sleep well up there?
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Re: Mt Whitney's MR - Jan. Climbers

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:43 pm

clmbr wrote:Does anyone know how to avoid frost in the tent in cold conditions? Does it happen only in single wall tents or both? It happens to me only on Mt Whitney during cold winter but never on Mt Shasta, for instance. (Maybe it’s never been that cold.)

Need ventilation in the tent. And don't cook or eat hot food in there. Personally I just deal with the frost though.
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Re: Mt Whitney's MR - Jan. Climbers

Postby clmbr » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:24 pm

mrchad9 wrote:
clmbr wrote:Does anyone know how to avoid frost in the tent in cold conditions? Does it happen only in single wall tents or both? It happens to me only on Mt Whitney during cold winter but never on Mt Shasta, for instance. (Maybe it’s never been that cold.)

Need ventilation in the tent. And don't cook or eat hot food in there. Personally I just deal with the frost though.

That’s what I try to do or avoid it and still the same results. I’m mostly concerned about my new sleeping bag. I just don’t want to damage its rating by squeezing it while still wet and/or frosted, but waiting for it to dry takes too long (unless in sunshine). Thanks anyway.

I was thinking if it happens because my tent is small and/or a single wall? Does it happen in double wall tents as well? I’ve done winter climbing only with my single wall tents (due to lower weight).
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Re: Mt Whitney's MR - Jan. Climbers

Postby Burchey » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:45 am

Like Chad said - cooking in the vestibule with the door open, etc usually leads to buildup of moisture inside the tent. Winter camping is a bummer that way - almost always you will have condensation issues, with minimal buildup on a windy night in a double-wall tent. Most air their sleeping bags out a bit before stuffing them. Most likely, unless it's your alpine-start day (and possibly your last day after summit/bail), you will have some time to let it lay on the top of your tent, hopefully in a bit of sun. If condensation/frost scares you too much, winter camping will not be for you. Most likely, your aversion will subside after repeated experience with it.
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