Went up the Whitney Trail on Friday, camped at crowded Trail camp. The other day got up the switchbacks, made a little side trip to Mt. Muir, short fun climb! Continued following the trail up Whitney summit, spent few hours chatting with people (there were many), than climbed down the Mountaineers Route to Iceberg Lake and spent another windy night there. Didn't get much sleep as the wind blew instantly to my face through my bivy... Another morning I stared late ,9:30, and headed up the Iceberg Col and then traversed to Russel's South Face, which was a long scramble up the face, than a little class 3 up to the ridge. I took the easier Right Side variation. After hanging around summit with 2 guys who climbed Fishhook Arete, climbed down, packed all my stuff and followed the North Folk Creek Trail down to the portal. I must say it is much easier to do so if there is snow... My knees were killing me... That night I drove my car to Cottonwood Lakes trail head, camped there and in the morning started early for the Mt. Langley never ending day hike... Took me 9.5 hours round trip but it was worth it. Beautiful area at Cottonwood Lakes...
Met so many great people on this trip that I have talked to and spent some time with and that was certainly the most rewarding feeling of the whole trip...
One day trip on the main trail from Whitney Portal, 11 miles up, 11 miles down. Long, tiring day, but made the summit and had a great time. Started at around 2:30am and back down to the Portal at around 7:00pm.
My 2x. Crowded on the summit.
Might as well make my first 14-er, the highest in the lower 48! Glorious day in the Sierras before the smoke filled the valley the next day. The 99 switchbacks weren't bad at all, but I imagine if you're bothered by the altitude they could suck.
Beat the altitude as follows:
Day One: Camped at Ellery Lake CG near Tioga Pass (9500')
Day Two: Mount Dana-Mount Gibbs climb, camped at the Portal
Day Three: Chilled at Horseshoe Meadows
Day Four: Summited in 5.5 hours (bro-in-law Dimitri did in 4.5 hrs!)
11th State HP as well since starting in 2005.
Went on to tag Keeler Needle and Mount Muir as well.
Camped out at 13,000' the night before, and got up at 4 am for a dawn summit. We had great weather at the summit.
The main trail felt a little too congested . . . so many people! Next time will be a more challenging (read - less populated) route.
7 hours and 25 minutes. Good weather and started before 5 am. Returned before 6pm. The hot shower at the store was worth the $3. It was strange how my brain switched on with a piece of hard candy after trail crest. I didn't realize how much my brain had slowed until that Jolly Rancher hit my tongue.
Day hiked the MR with 2 friends. Their first time up Whitney. My 4x made all the better with friends. Very busy in the chute lots of people knocking rocks loose. Took the main trail back and tagged Mt Muir on the way.
Epic Climb - winter conditions in summer...
Dayhike as part of the '07 Sierra Challenge. First climbed Russell then Whitney's north face before descending via the Whitney Trail. The north face was a very decent route, some fun class 3, and far better than the switchback hell of the main trail.
Have climbed Whitney ever way possible - back side, standard route winter/dry, East Buttress, East Face, Mtneers Route in winter... I would have to say it is time to move on:) Somehow I always end up back there - crazy!
Hello...i'm planning on climbing with 3 buddies in June...we are thinking about going up the CottonWood Pass to the summit and then come down Mt. Whitney Trail...we are thinking of a 3 day trip...any thoughts? we are not avid climbers but are in shape.
Climbed from the west twice on trail, once at the end of the JMT. Beautiful hike and scenery, but I gotta say - way too many people.
Did car to car in a long day with my brother. Nice route - I spent most of the time at belays checking out Fishhook Arete and Mithral Dihedral on Russell.
About 55 miles round trip, we summitted from Guitar Lake, leaving at 4am. It took our group 4hrs30mins to summit. I drank plently of water and ate continuously and had no altitude induced headache. The great trail made me yearn for more challenging routefinding. Fun trip with great guys. Pooping in a bag and carrying it for about 30 miles was an interesting experience.
Drove to California and back from Colorado (not recommended) to climb. Once on the mountain it was a great time. Camped at 12,000, and summited the next morning, all the way back to the lot for an awesome burger.
We hiked the standard route starting at midnight under a full moon and went round trip in 18 hours portal to portal. Not bad for a bunch of old guys in their 50s.
Great one day climb via the Whitney Portal. Very long day and first 14er. Also first climb with any real elevation. Did not acclimitize, but probably should have.
Route: Main Mt. Whitney Trail
Day hike to summit and back
Just for background I want to say a little about the group that I climbed with this time so if you're looking to draw comparisons you can.
4 people, all male, aged 26-30
Overall fitness condition - above average
Time spent acclimatizing - 2 spent the previous night at 10,000 feet after arriving from San Francisco; the other two arrived the night before from SF and spent the night at the Dow Villa at 4,000 feet. So not much time.
Trail conditions - Excellent. There was no snow on the trail and scattered patches just off the trail. The weather was partly cloudy and it did rain a little on the way down, but it was quite refreshing and we were never threatened with lightning.
Time left in the morning - 3:45, arrived at the summit at noon and back off the mountain by 6pm.
Since it was just for the day we packed light; our daypack size backpacks weighed in at about 25 lbs each. Most of us wore running shoes, light pants or shorts, thermal tops with another techfabric-esque shirt over that and brought a light windbreaker shell along as well.
We each had trekking poles, headlamps and 2 water filters in case one stopped working.
We also carried about 3-4 liters of water a person, usually in the form of a camelback / platypus or nalgene.
First time I used a GPS on the trail and it was awesome! Not for the positioning, but for the altitude. One of the questions everyone always has is what or when the next checkmark or ‘rest area’ is going to be. With the altimeter it’s easy to tell exactly where you are and estimate how much longer it’s going to be until you’re there. Especially heading off the mountain it’s easy to believe you’re much closer than you actually are; it helped there the most. I highly recommend it.
The usual bars, gels and beef jerky; as well as apples, peaches, bananas, sandwiches and a full bag of pink&white animal cookies (everyone we came across was jealous until we stated handing them out).
I’ve climbed the Main Trail three previous times in various conditions, and this was probably the best condition this trail has been in. Free from snow and well maintained, it was very straightforward. Plenty of water in the lakes and streams. One important note is the solar toilets are no longer there, so plan ahead.
Of the group, I was the only that had climbed it before; two others were avid cyclists and another was a triathlete and marathoner. It was a excellent group of very motivated individuals. We started the morning at a good pace with breaks almost once every fifteen minutes and held up well to Trailcamp at 12,000 feet.
Once at Trailcamp we started to notice one person starting to have difficulties with the altitude. He complained of headaches, nausea, mild hallucinations and somewhat blurred vision. All of it was stated in a half-joking manner and although we asked if he wanted to rest or head down, he felt confident he could continue. We watched him carefully from that point on. His pace was very slow, his balance was off, but he was drinking water and eating food well, so we let him continue. Although our pace was slower, we all did reach the summit. There, another member of the group reported headaches and nausea and could not even eat because he felt so sick; however he too was very happy to be at the summit.
After a 15 minute rest up top, we turned around and headed back down to Trailcamp. Everyone was starting to feel much better. We rested there for another 30 minutes to refresh our water and then booked off the mountain at a brisk pace.
1. I’m never going to wear running shoes again on this trail. Although they are fast and light, and I didn’t need the ankle support; after stepping on x number of pointed rocks or stone my arches were killing me. I still prefer fast and light to a boot, so I’m going to look for some trail runner with a vibram sole or something similar.
2. 3:45am is a great time to start.
3. Carbon trekking poles rock.
4. Having an altimeter or GPS rocks.
Overall it was an excellent climb.
Made it up the trail about a mile from the summit when weather turned us back. We missed the weather window by about 1/2 hour.
Next time we will leave earlier and move faster! Now we have a good excuse to go back :-)
Base camped at Trail Camp, which make acclimatization much easier, then summited early on day two, before descending all the way out to the Portal. If it weren't so damn hard to secure a permit for this trip, I'd be back each and every year.