Start on the trail around 2am to reach at the peak for sunrise. Truly a magical experience. The 6,000 feet descent feels like forever. Thank god for burgers at the bottom.
Storms the two days before added some spice to the tail, we were happy to have packed micro spikes. Added some confidence on the icy windblown traverse from saddle to summit.
Windy day assault of Whitney and Muir. Great conditions besides the 40 mph winds. Marginal amount of snow on the 99 switchbacks. Clear day with beautiful views of the Sierras and eastern California. Can't wait to get back!
Had the best weather- true bluebird day without wind. There was some consolidated snow along the upper switchbacks, backside and summit slope. Brought spikes but was ok without using them. Surprisingly fast climb after slogging through lots of snow on White Mountain two days earlier.
Planned this for a winter ascent, but might as well have been summer. Some snow in Mountaineer's Route, but otherwise was very warm/dry.
Third time climbing, this time from Crabtree Meadows and with hiking friend Sarah. Beautiful day temps in high 40s. 11 hours round trip from Crabtree. It can be hiked in your 70s.
Awesome summertime winter summit of Mount Whitney.
After doing the Mountaineer's Route a few years back, it was cool to climb from above Guitar Lake (11,900) and back down the standard trail. Massive glissade from Trail Crest down to Lone Pine Creek and Trail Camp.
Super fun, but also miserable. Done in two days. We camped above boy scout. Beware of the cold and the wind in the winter. My friend almost lost his toes.
Okay, I didn't fall off the mountain but my friend did. He slid down the ice chute which iced over the switchbacks. He's alive but thought he would die and broke his hand. So, we didn't summit.
211 miles all done now,
Started at 5AM from Portal but should have left at midnight... AMS slowed my ascent and by the time I was a mile from the summit, dangerous clouds swooped in. What a bummer!
Started at the portal at 4am. Meant to camp at Iceberg Lake, but got there at noon, so summited on day one. I LOVED the Final 400; totally in my element. Lot of loose rock in the gully and what little snow there was made my ice axe and crampons useless. Too warm and thin.
Took the trail back. Camped at trail camp and did the final 8 miles at dawn.
Overall, the hardest solo yet, but the future will bring more! Everything went exactly as planned after a year of obsessive planning. All of it was needed and worth it.
Fun trip, took the chute up.
Incredible hike with great friends. Perfect weather in early October of 2008.
Over eight days hiked approximately 80 miles to Mt Whitney.
This was a looong day hike. Almost 12 hours to go up, 10 hours to get back to the portal, and around 15 minutes at the top. Would have spent a bit longer at the summit but headed back down due to impending thunderstorms that arrived a little after noon.
My 19 year old son, me and four trail mates ascended to Trail Camp staying one night at Outpost Camp to acclimate. Moring 3, awoke at 0230, ate, hydrated, strapped on day packs and hit the "99" (switchbacks). SUPER cool, serene and beautiful watching others ahead and behind us traversing the 99 with headlights.
Hit 13,600 foot Trail Crest just before sunrise and watched the sun lift over the Saline Valley area of DVNP, incredibly beautiful. Then started around behind Mt. Muir, watching dawn break on the Sierra rooftop and the Great Western Divide...still incredibly beautiful. We met a bunch of SUPER awesome people on the trail (the entire trip), as a long-time (35 years!) very avid Nor Cal surfer it was a similar vibe to a cool surf tribe. We summited around 0830 or so to air temps in the upper 40's which quickly climbed into 50's (F) with very light breezes and visibilities >50 statute miles. Seriously could not have asked for better summit weather, let alone the lower 48 HP summit.
We took some pictures (with our phones and our minds), tried to take it all in, paused for about an hour+ and headed back down. We rested at Trail Camp for an hour, packed up and hike down to the portal.
I'll return either via the Mountaineer's Route or from Crabtree/Guitar Lake...maybe both. The High Sierra Trail is on my list, so we'll see what comes of that.
PSA - If you read this and do not alpine much (or at all) definitely acclimate! Stay together with your team. Things can change very quickly at those altitudes, especially >13k, but even as low as 11k. Several of us helped a young lady with AMS after her hiking partner (douchebag Drew I call him) left her to fend for herself after getting AMS half way up the 99. Not Cool!
Happy, SAFE trails.
Awesome peak! 100 at the bottom, a snowstorm on top.
46 Mile backpack, great finish