Mount Whitney Climber's Log

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davis2001r6 - Aug 10, 2004 6:10 pm

Route Climbed: Main Whitney Trail Date Climbed: August 8th, 2004  Sucess!

Well the day finally came and we all made a successful trip out of it. We arrived in Lone Pine on Friday morning and ate breakfast in town, then went to the ranger station and picked up our permits and asked a few questions. We then headed up to the lone pine campground at around 5500 feet. This was supposed to be our camp for the next 2 nights. It was pretty much dessert terrain that looked almost like a lunar landscape. We decided to drive up and check out the Whitney Portal campground and we were lucky enough to get the last spot available. The camp host was also nice enough to switch our reservation for a different site that we had reserved for Sunday night. This was all great news because the sites we beautiful. Huge pine trees, a stream 30 feet away, bathrooms about 150 feet away, plenty of trees for shade and the altitude is around 7500 there. The temperature was perfect also, mid 50's at night and maybe 80's during the day. We were also thrilled that we wouldn't have to pack up camp at 3AM on summit day.

After we got all settled in we went for a hike to see where the trailhead was and to get familiar with the area. We followed a stream up for a while which had many waterfalls and very clear pools. Took lots of pictures on different parts of the falls. Unfortunately Brad's camera decided to take a swim while we all posed for a self-timer shot. We tossed a Frisbee around for a while too. Afterward we went back to camp and Brad made us some great steak and potatoes dinner. We relaxed and played card for a while, and a small Bear decided to go fishing about 30 feet from us. So I got my camera and tried to get what pictures I could but unfortunately it was too dark and they didn't come out that great.

The next day we got up and had breakfast at the Whitney Portal Store. They have a pancake that is $2.74 and is about the size of two large plates. It could easily feed three people. After breakfast we walked up to the falls for a few more photos, then went back to camp and relaxed for an hour or two. We knew we needed to get acclimated a little better so we went out to Cottonwood Lakes which is only about an hour away. It was a nice hike that started at about 9500 ft and at the 1st lake which is where we stopped the elevation was 11,000 ft. It was a nice easy 5 mile hike each way with a destination I would move to California for. We ate lunch there played toss with the Frisbee a bit and headed back. It took us 2:05 to hike in and 1:50 to hike out. I think we would have liked to hike this on Friday instead of Saturday because we all didn't exactly want a 10 mile hike the day before a 22 mile one. We all felt really good for being up at that altitude.

When we got back to camp Brad made some great chili and cornbread for dinner. While Brad was cooking someone spotted a bear so I grabbed the camera and chased after the bear again. It was a little more interested in fishing that it was me though but I did follow it about a 1/4 mile down the stream. It was just about dusk again so the pictures didn't really turn out but there still in my head. It was the same small bear from the night before so I wasn't too worried about it. I was more worried about Momma bear around the corner somewhere not liking me as bear paparazzi. I did get within about 15 feet of it numerous time though. Back at camp we all got all out packs ready for an early morning departure.

We awoke at 2:45 and were on the trail by 3:45 and the weather was a perfect 56 degrees. There was a scale at the trailhead so we all weighed our pack. Rob came in the lightest at 15 lbs and mine the heaviest at 20lbs. I was pretty mad about that. Why in the he** is a daypack 20lbs?(Lots of extra food) We got just high enough to get some sunrise pictures over lone pine lake. I really really regret not getting a tripod for this trip because some of those sunrise pictures could be a lot better. It was an amazing site. If I only had Glen (Boynhisdog) with us we all could see how truly beautiful it was. We got to consultation lake pretty easily and filtered water and eat some lunch there. This was the half way point to the peak at 6 miles. After a long break we go back on the trail and started the dreaded 96 switchbacks. We started off at a great pace but that was a bit much for us so we just slowed it down to a good conversational pace and we made much better progress. At the top of the switchbacks is trailcrest at 13,600 feet. But just around the corner you drop about 400 feet which has to be gained again. I found this to be the hardest part of the trail. We finally made our way to the summit 7 hours and 45 minutes after we left. We took a nice break up there and took lots of pictures. Talked with some other people that we met along the trail. I had brought my phone and it did happen to work up there so we made some celebration phone calls. (Verizon) We then started heading back down. Brad and I had also intended on bagging Mt. Muir while we were up there but we were unsure of which one it was. We got some information from some people that said it was right were we were, so we climbed up 100 feet or so and I knew it wasn't it so we headed down. I found it about 10 minutes later but had no energy and Brad had already started running down to catch up with Marissa because she didn't have a water filter. Rob and I made out way down a little slower and finished about 40 minutes after they did. Brad and Marissa finished at about 13 hours and Rob and I around 13hours 45 minutes. The trail is pretty rocky half of the way so it's pretty hard on your feet, but we all did pretty good. Only a few small blisters between all of us.

We all enjoyed our $5 shower at the Whitney Portal store and ate some burgers and picked up our I hiked Whitney souvenirs. We went back to camp and called it a pretty early night. For whatever reason I was having a very hard time catching my breath and didn't sleep much at all. A bear decided to visit us also and tried to get into our trailer but it ran away after Brad yelled at it from inside his tent about 5 feet from it. It hung out around our tent for a while that night but unfortunately I left my headlamp inside my pack in the trailer so I never got to see a good view of it that night. It was really a great trip but I could have been in far better shape for it. This hot summer thing is killing me. Got on the scale when I got home finding myself the heaviest I have been in my life. So I need to do some major conditioning before I set off on any other adventures.

Thanks to Brad, Marissa and Rob for making the trip memorable. It was a blast!!!



Saintgrizzly - Aug 8, 2004 12:39 am

Route Climbed: Mt. Whitney Trail Date Climbed: October, 1988  Sucess!

After living all my life in MT, WY, and CO was going to school in San Francisco, and did this as an over-nighter with Jennifer and Jay Ratcliff. We were blessed with extremely warm October temperatures--the only thing needed on the summit was a light jacket! At the time we did Whitney, I was still into "higher is better," and remember thinking, "if the high point of the Lower 48 isn't in the Rockies, well, at least it's a nice mountain..." Which it indeed is. A pleasantly memorable outing, with a couple of terrific people!

Scott M.

Scott M. - Aug 3, 2004 2:54 pm

Route Climbed: Via the High Sierra Trail Date Climbed: July 31, 2004  Sucess!

Came up under a full moon arriving at 4 AM finishing the High Sierra Trail from Crescent Meadows in just under 47 hours. Great night! Sunrise was awesome, too.

tyler_durden - Aug 1, 2004 7:25 pm

Route Climbed: Whitney Trail Date Climbed: July 31 2004  Sucess!

Second time summitting...this week. This time did the dayhike and summitted Mt Muir on the way.

Don Nelsen

Don Nelsen - Aug 1, 2004 6:57 pm

Route Climbed: Mt. Whitney Trail Date Climbed: August 20th, 2000  Sucess!

A friend and I took off about 7:00 in the morning with plans to do the round trip by dark - good thing we brought along a couple of flashlights - also good thing there was a good moon later on as well!

We bivvied at Whitney Portal so had a little acclimation after the drive up from San Diego that morning. Still not quite enough acclimation as it turned out but it wasn't so bad, just a few minor symptoms of altitude sickness.

We didn't make the summit until after 5 so we were pushing it to be sure. My partner's knee started bothering her so we were slowed badly on the return. Came out at 1:30 am thankful to have that moon in the sky since batteries in both lights were long since dead.

This coudn't have been a more perfect day for a climb - light wind, about 50 degrees on top and fantastic visibility. We signed in as the 113th and 114th climbers that day but seldom saw other climbers - just a few here and there - this is a big mountain and a long trail!

Can't wait to do it again!

tyler_durden - Jul 26, 2004 10:55 pm

Route Climbed: Whitney Trail Date Climbed: July 25 2004  Sucess!

Second time summitting Whitney. Awesome weather!


poorboy44 - Jul 23, 2004 2:25 pm

Route Climbed: East Face Date Climbed: June 2003  Sucess!

I soloed this in 4 hours RT from Iceberg -- got a little sketched on the Fresh Air Traverse, but other than that it was fine. The crux was probably at the top of the Giant Staircase, a 5.6/5.7 wide crack, I had to dangle my jacket and shoes.


poorboy44 - Jul 23, 2004 2:24 pm

Route Climbed: East Buttress Date Climbed: June 2001  Sucess!

Great route, many options all the way up.


josephgdawson - Jul 22, 2004 9:06 pm

Route Climbed: Via the Whitney Trail Date Climbed: July 21, 2004  Sucess!

Bag it, tag it, sell it to the butcher in the store.

My main objective was Mt. Muir because I had already climbed Whitney via another route, but once Muir was in the bag I could not help myself from going on and tagging Whitney again, even though I did not want to. Love blowing past the tourists and asking the gasping porkers how they are doing.


t511a - Jul 21, 2004 8:14 pm

Route Climbed: Whitney Trail Date Climbed: Summer 1996  Sucess!

I was eleven or something and this was my first real mountain. As I recall we had beautiful weather. Did it 1-day style and I was hooked.


artg - Jul 15, 2004 3:22 am

Route Climbed: Mountaineers Route Date Climbed: April 30, 2004  Sucess!

Our climbing party of 3 spent the first night above Lower Boy Scout Lake; encountered a plethora of snow above 10,000 feet! Woke up early the next day carrying a light pack and made it to the summit by 1 PM. One member of our party aborted the climb at the top of the Mountaineers Couloir due to exhaustion and altitude sickness. The view from the summit was amazing!


happecamper - Jul 13, 2004 2:40 pm

Route Climbed: Whitney Trail Date Climbed: May 2001  Sucess!

2 night trip, stayed at Outpost and Trail Camp. The snow on the Chute was soft going up, glissading was good coming back down. One person in our party got altitude sickness and had to turn around at Trail Crest.

Dave Daly

Dave Daly - Jul 12, 2004 3:34 pm

Route Climbed: East Buttress Date Climbed: 3 July 2004  Sucess!

Simply another wonderful trip out in the hills with Deb! Although we had our share of altitude sickness, we managed to summit without any real problems. We did see some brief snow flurries on the last pitch though! Deb made the first pitch (5.8) look so elegant.....lots of fun hand jams. My hats off to her for cranking up a 5.9 vertical section on the far right side (yep, we were slightly off route) Nice leading, Babe!

fugla - Jul 12, 2004 3:20 pm

Route Climbed: John Muir Trail Date Climbed: July 10, 2004  Sucess!

Finishing a week on the JMT with camping on the summit. Beautiful weather, awesome sunset - and sunrise.


Swifty - Jul 11, 2004 2:24 pm

Route Climbed: East Face Date Climbed: September 11, 2003  Sucess!

First time climbing on lead...on sighted it with massive amounts of beta from the following website message board:

Von Dutch sponsored the climb

Fred Bagni

Fred Bagni - Jul 11, 2004 1:10 pm

Route Climbed: Whitney Trail Date Climbed: October 2000  Sucess!

Cold and cloudy. Easy hike.

Fred Bagni

Fred Bagni - Jul 11, 2004 1:08 pm

Route Climbed: Whitney Trail Date Climbed: May 5, 2001  Sucess!

Lots of snow. A few challenging spots beyond Trail Crest; snow bridges with exposed drops. Fun.

Fred Bagni

Fred Bagni - Jul 10, 2004 7:06 pm

Route Climbed: Mountaineer's Route Date Climbed: January 2002  Sucess!

Winter summit. Cold. Pain. Cold. Pain. FUN!


sierradiscgolfer - Jul 9, 2004 6:01 pm

Route Climbed: Whitney Trail Date Climbed: July 1973  Sucess!

At fourteen years old this was one of my first peaks!


brandon - Jul 6, 2004 6:52 pm

Route Climbed: East Buttress Date Climbed: June 2004  Sucess!

4 hours round trip from Iceberg Lake, a really fun day after freezing on Russell.

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