Planning on heading up whitney this weekend with a friend, and had a couple questions.
I feel like I'll get flamed for asking, but, it looks like there may be some snow coming in tomorrow. If it storms for a couple days, then warms up, are we looking at considerable avy hazard over the weekend? We'd of course check the east side avy forecast before going, but wanted to hear some experienced opinions. My googling/reading leads me to think avy danger on the route is (relatively) low.
Given that this has been an above average snow year, are we still likely to be able to avoid the ledges? (not worried about them, but would prefer the path of least resistance)
Also, for actually summiting. Is it best to wake up pretty early from ubsl or iceberg (like 5ish), or wait until later for the snow in the chute to soften up?
Lastly, both of us haven't done the route before. If any other SPers were planning on heading up, or feel like heading up, we definitely wouldn't mind going with someone else (especially if you've done it before.)
I was just up there Saturday. A very large group, mostly overnighters, was also there. There are links to hundreds and hundreds of pictures at whitneyportalstore.com.
I did the MR starting at 5:00 AM and returning just before 3:00 PM. I bypassed the ledges on the snow, but most people were using the ledges. A few more warm days may make the snow route a poor option. The ledges appeared to have little, if any snow. The snow was firm in the morning and rather soft in the afternoon. Nearly everyone was going without skis or snowshoes.
If we get a few inches of snow, I would go for it. If we get more, I would stay away for a while. It could be both dangerous and not much fun.
Conditions change fast this time of year. Do your homework before you go, be safe, and have fun.
I'm also planning on meeting a group Friday morning and heading up the MR for a summit attempt on Saturday. Forecasts call for mostly sunny, clear and warming, but with the new snow coming in till Thurs. night Sean has a good question regarding the avy danger. Does anyone know how much accumulation fell through last night, and what's expected today/tonight?
I haven't been up the route either, so unfamiliar with avy risk....but my bc logic tells me that with a significant amount of new snow on top of a hard crusty layer, and warming after could mean some soft sluff slides, and I don't want to be high up in the couloir and a wind slab releases Usually in the Sierra, a couple days later and the new snow bonds well, but immediately after....might be a bit of a gamble!
Sean - if you're still going up with your partner, I'm suppose to be meeting my group friday morning @ 6am near the Portal. I doubt it would be a problem for you two to follow us if need be. Otherwise maybe we'll see ya higher up at camp that night.