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Mt Whitney Current Conditions

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Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby clmbr » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:07 am

We summited via Main Trail on 15 of Feb. The weather and snow conditions were just perfect. We were the only team which reached the summit that day and (perhaps) first after the storms. I met other party who summited via MR.

Snow basically starts just before Outpost Camp. Snow in the gully below Trail Crest is "easy" to climb (many footsteps) and to glissade, and the snow path on the ridge has solid footsteps now as well. However, I would strongly recommend crampons, an ice axe and a helmet (micro-spikes would work too). No snowshoes needed; unless, someone would prefer cross-country.

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Re: Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby Kurt Wedberg » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:16 pm

Great job reaching the summit and nice pic! It looks like an shot taken near sundown. I'm curious given the snow conditions you had where did you start from on summit day, what time did you start, and how long did the day take you?
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Re: Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby clmbr » Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:12 pm

I think we started from Outpost Camp around 8am taking easy. At Trail Camp it was so nice and warm I even considered not going any higher and spent there at least a couple of hours just taking and talking till I had no one anymore to talk to and headed up; :D everyone from my team was long gone (they were summit hungry). On the ridge, once the lighting started changing, I had a hard time to refuse taking pictures and videos, so I spent like 30-40 minutes just staring the surrounding mountains and the sky. Basically, opportunity like this (being so late near the summit) does not come too often.

I took this picture at 17:38 and the summit reached before 7pm. My team was already back around the Trail Crest area.

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In the Hat it was so warm and cozy it tempted me to stay there overnight but did not want anyone to freak out. On the way down the switchbacks above Mirror Lake and down up to Outpost Camp were killing me. I did not remember so many of them. I made to the camp at midnight. I love climbing alone. Yes I was tired; it was a long but beautiful day.

The register book was missing, not sure why.
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Re: Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby clmbr » Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:31 pm

By the way, there is (was) running water at Outpost Camp. Lakes are frozen.
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Re: Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby Kurt Wedberg » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:14 pm

Well it's a rare day in February when you can be so leisurely on summit day of Whitney! I guess there are some bright spots in this dry winter we're in the midst of. Those pictures are excellent and the views you had must have been outstanding.

Thanks for the heads up on the register being missing. I'll try to get a hold of some pages and place them up there. I plan to be on Whitney several times this spring :).

What kind of a camera were you using to take those pix?
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Re: Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby clmbr » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:45 pm

Yeah, mountaineering is suffering :o , so I try to use any opportunity to have some fun too.

I may still go there again this winter if more snow is dumped. :) (I just don't like driving for so long.)

I use P&S Sony DSC-HX10V; not taking anymore D/SLRs.
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Re: Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby Kurt Wedberg » Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:03 am

clmbr wrote:I may still go there again this winter if more snow is dumped. :) (I just don't like driving for so long.)

I plan to be up there several times over the coming couple of months. Feel free to ping me if you want a conditions update and you haven't found anything recent posted.
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Re: Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby clmbr » Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:50 am

Kurt Wedberg wrote:
clmbr wrote:I may still go there again this winter if more snow is dumped. :) (I just don't like driving for so long.)

I plan to be up there several times over the coming couple of months. Feel free to ping me if you want a conditions update and you haven't found anything recent posted.

OK, thanks. That would be always useful because usually no one can answer that question properly. Not even people I meet on their descend; unless, they made the summit (via MR).
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Re: Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby ROL » Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:00 pm

All this Whitney mania!

For those who have forgotten, or simply never experienced it, this is what the southern Sierra used to look like when it was covered in snow (i.e., frozen water not usually quite as dense as the ice cubes cooling your globally warmed scotch) in midwinter*:

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Switchback View from Trail Crest
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Trail Crest Bivouac
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Those kick turn ski tracks in the shadows of the middle pic were from me, with no others in sight. I'm pretty sure, in the absence of any other evidence, that my partner and I were the only ones to have tracked snow up there that month of January 1974, or perhaps even for the entire winter. Unfortunately, a broken (wood) XC ski forced an early end to any ambition of making it to Lodgepole on that occasion.

While no pixels were harmed in the making of these photographic slides (until posting, that is), I am very much with you in regards to the appropriateness and capability of the digital P&S. I skipped right over DSLRs from large format film fine art work. As long as the glass is good enough to post on the web or make the occasional normal sized machine print, why bother changing lenses. Of course, as some few here may be aware, I even eschew the P&S in favor of the GoPro for erecting digital headstones these days.



* This entirely unwarranted trip down memory lane brought to you, as always, by who gives a s#^&. ( :wink: )
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Re: Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby clmbr » Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:35 pm

Well, I miss these nice, called and stormy winters with several feet of fresh and powdered snow when even with snowshoes it was difficult to walk due to postholing. I think a couple of years it was quite much snow too. I’ll try to find some pics and post.

But you are right, you can be completely alone on Mt Whitney if the conditions are proper, and this is what I prefer and really, really miss. Having the whole mountain to yourself, what else can you dream about (in regarding to mountaineering, of course)?
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Re: Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby Kurt Wedberg » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:30 am

ROL wrote:For those who have forgotten, or simply never experienced it, this is what the southern Sierra used to look like when it was covered in snow (i.e., frozen water not usually quite as dense as the ice cubes cooling your globally warmed scotch) in midwinter*:

Great pix ROL! You got me getting nostalgic. Here are a few from the North Fork side on a heavier snow year:

Looking towards Thor from Lower Boyscout Lake
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The ice below Thor
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A kitchen at camp. I'm standing on top of several feet of snow.
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Digging an avalanche pit at 12,000'+
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Re: Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby ROL » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:00 am

clmbr wrote:But you are right, you can be completely alone on Mt Whitney if the conditions are proper, and this is what I prefer and really, really miss. Having the whole mountain to yourself, what else can you dream about (in regarding to mountaineering, of course)?


Regrettably, it seems to me that "proper" conditions for solitude in the mountains may increasingly require use of a time machine. :wink:
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Re: Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby clmbr » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:05 am

ROL wrote:
clmbr wrote:But you are right, you can be completely alone on Mt Whitney if the conditions are proper, and this is what I prefer and really, really miss. Having the whole mountain to yourself, what else can you dream about (in regarding to mountaineering, of course)?


Regrettably, it seems to me that "proper" conditions for solitude in the mountains may increasingly require use of a time machine. :wink:

You are right about that but I have a few tips to increase a chance to be in solitude without a time machine: go off weekends in unreliable or even unfavorable weather conditions. Now days not only we have easy access to but weather forecasts are more reliable and most people will stay away from the mountains if snow storms are predicted. :)
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Re: Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby clmbr » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:58 am

Here are some pictures from my winter attempt in January 24 – 28, 2004 in complete solitude

Day Four
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Day Five
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Image

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More images from my Winter Attempt January 24 – 28, 2004: http://www.summitpost.org/mt-whitney-winter-attempts-by-clmbr/930495
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Re: Mt Whitney Current Conditions

Postby Kurt Wedberg » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:41 am

I went up Whitney February 20-22. Conditions changed from unseasonably warm to stormy. We reached the summit via the Mountaineer's Route in a storm. It turned into a fun epic day. Here are a few pictures. The rest of the gallery can be found here.

Ice on the slabs below Upper Boy Scout Lake
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Avalanche that came across Iceberg Lake
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The Final 400' from The Notch
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Starting up the Final 400'
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In the middle of the Final 400'
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The final pitch on the Final 400'
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Topping out
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Walking to the summit hut
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Summit photo
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