Feel free to link it to the "Overview section" of the Whitney main page.
http://www.halfaya.org/leo/hiking/Whitney/index.htm (Mount Whitney is apparently 14,505 feet according to the latest measurement (see this Wikipedia article), and the trail is 22 miles out-and-back with a net elevation gain of 6130 feet (but also some descent in the middle, so there is more overall climbing).
The North Fork of Lone Pine Creek now requires a lottery permit. From the INF:
Originally Posted By: Inyo National Forest2008 Update: Mt Whitney Zone Day Use Quota applies for all day hikes into the Mt. Whitney Zone.
This affects all visitors that will day hike into the Mt. Whitney Zone and includes all trails, cross country travel, including the Mountaineers Route, East Face/ East Buttress and other summits within the Mt Whitney Zone. Day use of North Fork of Lone Pine Creek trail is included in the Mt. Whitney Day Use quota of 100 people each day. Visitors with an overnight permit into the Mt Whitney Zone do not require an additional day permit, the overnight permit is valid.
It is true that there are only 100 day-use permits. Most are reserved in advance. HOWEVER, the reality is that about a third are pushed back into the pool every day. There are a lot of cancellations. After 3pm the day before the permit date, about 30-50 day-use permits are available. Do yourself a favor, don't bother reserving a permit. It will be almost certainly be available the day before you need it. Also, there is no fee for getting a permit the day before it is used as a walk-in permit request. I drove down from Bend, OR, and was not concerned about getting a permit.
2012 permit software was moved online to Recreation.gov so a few details have changed for the Mt Whitney Lottery.
•No more applications by mail or fax.
•Lottery applications are filled out online, from Feb 1 to March 15.
•Computerized random selection starts on March 16
•Open slots after the lottery can be reserved online starting April 1.
•Recreation.gov applies a $6 per application fee
•Inyo’s $15 per person fee only applies if you get a reservation.
Here’s the link directly to the lottery page:
North Fork of Lone Pine Creek is included in the waste management area, so please update your reference to burying poop to reflect use of wag bags.
The red tape (r)evolution continues! Thanks for posting.
I did the day hike on 7/31/2013. It took me 4:25 to top and 4:25 back to Portal. I had a permit but nobody seemed to care. I hiked alone and decided early on into my hike not to waste time taking pictures going up. I kept a high tempo and did not really stop until at about 14,000 ft where I got a nose bleed. I stuffed some toilet paper in my nose and continued like a maniac since I did not want to lose time. Coming down it was a different story: I took pictures, looked around but most importantly, all hikers I passed on my way up were coming up puffing and struggling. The rule of the mountain is that who’s coming up gets the right of way, so I had to pull to the side and let everyone pass.
A few tips: 1) do not make the mistake, as many do, to attempt to sleep in the car at the Portal for acclimatization and early start. There is so much noise at the Portal during night, one cannot rest. Lot of people told me how tired they were due to noise, bright Moon-light and other factors. Cars are coming and going 24 hours. People drag coolers, laugh, scream and open and close the metal food storage containers all the time. Also, if you are not used to sleeping in the car, you’ll never rest properly for the big hike. 2) There is lot’s of water along the trail. If you don’t like drinking right from the creeks, get a filtration pack. It’s much lighter that carrying all the needed water up and down. I needed 3 bottles of water and 2 of Gatorade for the whole hike. I got hydrated very well the day before and drank a good coffee and Gatorade 01 Prepare before the hike. 3) If you are not used to altitude get a prescription of the altitude pills. They helped me a lot. I live almost sea level: altitude over 11,000ft kills me. With the pills though I did not feel the effects of it.
I spelt in a motel in Lone Pine. The drive to the portal was 25 minutes. I woke up at 4:AM, eat and left by 4:30. At 5 to 5:AM I was at the Portal. It was so dark I could not see a thing. I used the time to store everything with scent I did not need for my hike into the metal storage contains. I started the hike at 5:15AM when there was a bit of light, enough to see the trail. I did not want to carry the flashlight with me all day for 15 minutes of darkness. By 5:25AM there was daylight. I did train very good for this hike. Do not take my time as a guide. There are people that hike to the summit much faster but I also run into a guy that was coming down and he said he was hiking for 26 hour nonstop! The guy left at 4:00 AM the previous day, made it to the summit and now he was coming back. It was 6:00 AM and he still had 2.5 miles to go.
If you remotely think about hiking Mt. Whitney, please do. It will give you personally a great sense of accomplishment. There is not much you can tell others since they will not understand or care, but to you it will men a lot. You will see what I mean after you’ve done it. Good luck.
The red tape section looks dated. I suspect Inyo tweaks the lottery/permit rules annually.
Beware that you can only get one permit by LOTTERY per year. I submitted 4 separate lottery applications for 4 separate trips. Got one date, but the other 3 applications got kicked out despite those dates still having availability. Person I spoke to insists the lottery application states that policy, but I did not see it and there is no way to verify until the 2015 lottery starts.
You can get multiple permits per year, first come, first served for remaining space after the lottery.
Recent trip from March 15-19th up to Mt. Whitney on the Mountaineers Route.
Had to park at the base of the mountain (around 6,600 ft). The road was gated and locked at this point. Must walk the road (no snow) up to Whitney Portal. No snow until you cross over Lone Pine Creek.
Snow starting around 8,500 ft?
Snowshoes were mostly worn to Upper Boy Scout Lake. Fully frozen except one patch in the NE side of lake. From Upper Boy Scout Lake to the gully was soft snow and snowshoes were traded for crampons and trekking poles until Ice Berg Lake. Good snow and conditions from this point to the notch with ice axe and crampons. Good amount of snow up to the summit in the cracks. Rock was ice free. No snow on top of summit. It was very warm, sunny, and clear. With one day of wind gusts. Had the mountain top to ourselves !!
Photos by Chris Brinlee (webpage: http://www.chrisbrinleejr.com/ )
Whitney Portal Store's message board seems to be the best for the most up to date conditions.
Thats one divine place. But too risky for my capabilities.
PLANNING TO CLIMB MOUNT WHITNEY? You’ll want to know the names of the other peaks: https://www.summitpost.org/labeled-mount-whitney-panorama/1002719/c-841725 . Download before your trek, go on-line while on top AND/OR buy a 2x3-foot fine print from https://www.panoramapaul.com/ .