I did this over the course of 3 days with my best friend and mom. On day 1 we backpacked to trail camp. Day 2 we summitted and slept at trail camp. Day 3 we hiked back down. We felt so cool when we walked into the Whitney Portal campground until we saw the finish line/many runners completing the badwater ultramarathon. Next goal?
Great time of year to climb this route. Weather was perfect and the crowds were thinning out. Mellow three day round-trip with friends Scott and Kim. The Sierra Nevada and french fries at the Portal Store were an awesome reward for our efforts.
My second time, again from the west. The fitting finale after 7 days on the High Sierra Trail. Started out from Guitar Lake and powered to the top with the full backpack on. Felt unstoppable! Views were just as fabulous as the first time, the weather much better. No need to run from late afternoon T-storms this time!
The hike to the top of Mt Whitney was an amazing experience. Coming from Indiana preparing for the altitude was difficult. I opted to make this a 3d/3n attempt so that I could acclimate appropriately. The first night we camped at the trailhead, the second night at Trail Camp, and the third night at Outpost Camp. Another nice acclimation hike is in the bristlecone pine national forest. The entire loop is at 10,000 ft.
Where do I start with my story? The second summer I lived in CA I had some time off in the fall and was browsing the maps and books at REI (as all serious research was done at the time). I decided to give Whitney a try. Not having any backpack equipment, and a day hike not requiring a permit at the time, off I went to Whitney Portal. Slept a bit, then hit the trail at 5:00 AM, TOTALLY UNKNOWING what I was doing.
I zipped past a backpackers camp, and kept going. Fortunately, 1991 was a very dry year so there was no snow or ice. I did not have enough water, and the headache started at about 12.5K. I painfully summited and headed down right away. Literally STUMBLED into camp after dark, and immediately went into my sleeping bag. THROB, THROB until the next morning. I wanted badly to drive down the hill that night, but couldn't get out of my tent. THROB, THROB. I survived, and am glad I did it. No pictures, no witnesses, but a "life lesson" for sure!
With LeeAnne, Donna, and Rose.
only two other parties on the mountain. excellent trip.
Hiked up with the NHP2 Meetup group. Climbed via the switchbacks despite it being full of snow and closed in some sections. Had really bad AMS (nauseaus, bad headache, dizzy, etc) and had to stop every so often so I don't throw up. But, was able to summit successfully and descend safely. HP #5
From Guitar Lake on the last day of hiking the High Sierra Trail. Got caught in a mean storm with hail and lightning on the way down.
Camped at Iceberg Lake. From there, with the great weather we had, it was a very fast up and down scramble.
Started from Lower Boy Scout Lake.
From that point, a bit of snow and ice on the route leading up to Iceberg Lake forced a slightly slower pace. Ice was too thin for crampons but covered large enough areas of the path to make it slightly challenging. Took about 3.5 hours to Iceberg Lake.
Taking the chute to the summit was a nightmare with crampons. No existing path meant postholing past the knees through soft fresh powder and hitting the loose scree underneath. I think microspikes would have been much more fitting under the circumstances. I thought that the snow would be firmer towards the top but that was absolutely not the case. Was a long slow climb up in deep snow up to the notch but weather conditions were fine.
Glissading down the entire chute was a lot of fun and saved a ton of time. Met three others who had setup at Iceberg Lake for a October 31st summit attempt.
A lot of fun and would consider coming back in the future.
whitney main trail 12 hours RT gorgeous day
After a week of peak climbing, Whitney seemed much easier this year. Joined by Todd, Bob, and Devin. Nice clear day.
X15 - 6 day hikes, 4 overnights, and 5 rock climbs (East Face 3X Suzi, Marty, Scott & Mark, East Buttress 1X Scott & Jim, Keeler Needle with Tim then over & down.
Finished John Muir Trail on top in 1976 (Andy & Kevin).
Started with a friend at 3:45 am and didn't hit snow on the trail until after Trail Camp. Needed microspikes from Trail Crest on since first snow had come 4 days before. Great day, perfectly clear, felt good! Was back at the portal at 7pm. Is it just me, or does the trail from Lone Pine lake back to the portal seem to be a few miles longer on the way down? =)
Amazing hike. Completed in 1 day
Did it from Whitney Portal in one day. Started at 5am and finished at 4:15pm. Was just gorgeous. I'm so glad to have done this.
First try. Took my time though. Drove up on Thursday on the 19th from Redding, CA and slept in my truck in the portal parking lot. Went up to Upper Boy Scout Lake with about 60lb pack on Friday the 20th. My friends baled on me last minute so I was soloing. Ran into a few friendly climber and joined up with them for the summit attempt on Saturday with only 25lb in my pack(took my MSR Reactor for melting snow). Everything was great in the chute. Good snow and not as steep is I had imagined. The last 400ft were a bit worrying since it was ice/snow covered rock. I was more worried about coming down the scramble then going up. Surprisingly it was easy coming down. The guys that I had met at Upper Boy Scout Lake decided to go back when they saw the ice covered scramble. Getting down from the top of the chute was easy just a run/slide. I spent another night at Upper Boy Scout Lake and got out on Sunday morning the 22nd. After eating a large pizza at the Pizza Factory I drove back home to Redding. Saw a couple of guys climbing the East Buttress. That's one I will be returning to do some day.
Portal....began the 97 switchbacks under alpen-glow on Whitney....blood red sunrise. Gorgeous. Met a climber going up the switchbacks who was on his way to Mt. Muir so joined him and we examined the summit block and ascended as per Secor's route. Thrilling! Whitney was a slog from this point-on. Glad it's off my list.
This was a challenge for me but it was a glorious day and I made the summit in just under 11 hours on the Whitney Portal trail. No speed record for sure but I got there!