With a few weeks notice, I was able to join a group of family/friends on their day-use permit for hiking in the Whitney zone. Starting from the Whitney Portal trailhead at 4 am, all of our party except one were able to summit via the Whitney Trail. Rob was down with a nasty head cold and decided to stop and recover partway up the mountain.
The trail up was long, but never steep or tricky. The snow on the 99 switchbacks had melted just enough by our summit attempt on the last day of June to easily pass on the inside of the chains. We did also encounter snow at the main summit block, but were able to easily traverse the short section with hiking shoes and trekking poles.
I reached the summit at 12:40pm, but immediately took a couple of pictures, signed the register, and left as thunder rumbled for the first time in the distance near Lone Pine Peak. We quickly worked our way off the summit block and back toward Trail Crest, but were hit with marble-sized hail along the way. We were lucky that the storm was only producing cloud-cloud lightning as we made our way back down along the high ridge.
Rain fell intermittently from Trail Crest down to Trail Camp, making certain rocky sections of trail somewhat slippery, but not terribly so.
We were somewhat surprised by the weather. Though we did know well enough to expect a chance of lightning on any summer afternoon up there, the forecast for the summit even the night before had called for clear conditions all day. Clearly, the unstable air mass had not yet moved out.
If in the future I am attempting Whitney as a day hike, I plan to start even earlier (or move faster) to make sure to be back below Trail Crest by noon.
Successful attempt after a faild attempt in 2015 when I had to turn back from the top of the chute due to lighting and heavy rain. This time, good weather, although very sunny and hot. This route is much shorter that Whitney Trail, but much slower going. After 6 days of intense hiking, it took 6 hours to the top and 5 back to Whitney Portal.
With R. Zeithammer. Much lower temps than the day before. Great climb.
With R. Zeithammer on a cold and windy day.
With S. Feldmann.
One of the most stunning views ever was on the way up to the summit from base camp as the sun was just coming up and the walls started to turn orange...
First attempt at the peak and had to go via Mountaineers route. Made summit at 10AM and descended via the main trail to Portal Road.
Dave, the guide said that many underestimate the EB. I guess so did I, but we summited in good times anyway to beat the thunderstorm. Very enjoyable climb.
Climbed it via the trail many years ago with three other guys. We camped one night at the portal, and next morning we hiked up to trail camp and spent the night. My tent mate threw up just outside of our tent, and I ended up stepping in it with my sock. Next morning we hiked to summit, then back down to trail camp and broke camp and headed down to Outpost Camp where we spent the night. Then next morning headed out and had lunch at Whiskey Creek in Bishop. Good times!
After having an awesome time on the Mountaineer's Route in 2013, my girlfriend asked if I would take her up the mountain as well. Since Pinnacle Ridge divides Lone Pine Creek drainage from North Fork Lone Pine Creek drainage, I decided that the Whitney Trail would be an interesting exploration this time. Luckily, lottery results were in our favor again and we were able to get a 4-person permit for the weekend. Some new snowfall the weekend before gave us a bit of pause, but other than some early morning ice along the chains, we only had to contend with a biting cold wind all the way to the summit. Great views from the summit as always!
My third attempt and my third successful summit. Extremely windy at Trail Crest and from there to the summit. Snow and ice on the trail around the cables made micro spikes a good idea. Also snow for a 100 yards below Trail Crest was another good place to have micro spikes, then a bit of scrambling over the rocks to bypass the snow in the pass. Seven out of nine hikers from the Malibu Hiking meetup group summited.
Departed portal lot ~1:30pm Saturday with skis on back, about an hour hike to consistent snow ~1/2mi. past wilderness boundary...soft snow for easy skinning, had to take skis off just a few times till Mirror Lake...contrary to standard route, traversed climber's left of lake, then ascended a steep snowfield ("variation 2" on the Whitney Trail page), too steep & icy, had to remove skis and posthole to boulders on climber's left, a grueling but somewhat short ascent to link back with standard route...continued upward and set camp just north of Consultation Lake ~6:30.
Lazy sunny Sunday awaiting snow to soften, decamped ~1pm and the spring corn was prime...eventually went skier's right of the rocky outcrop ("variation 1") that most hike over, some really nice turns out there but take care not to cliff out if you stay close to the big outcrops, furthest right is safest...from there it's however you can get down as the snow thins out, still some fun trees to get down through...skies off at 2:30, another hour down on the trail.
Cold night. Snow seemed good & soft around noon and thereafter. Good times.
I've hiked the trail (up and down), climbed the East Face (solo)and East Buttress and descended the Mountaineer's Route. Still more I'd like to do.
Great conditions beautiful mountain... what more can you ask for.
Beautiful cold day. Amazing!
I do this every so odd often years. First it was in Summer, then in Fall, and I'd like to run it in a day now. Every time is different. Every time unique.
Definitely a trip to remember. About half way coming down I did get tired. Breathtaking and amazing!