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.
I had never done this route before and I originally planned to stay at Iceberg Lake the first night. I started at the portal around 4am with a 40lb pack and as soon as I took the fork off the main trail I was surprised how fast it got seriously steep. And it never let up.
I got to Iceberg at around noon, and decided to summit same day. The snow in the gully was warm and thin and I didn't trust it. My ice axe was unusable and my crampons were worthless here. I ended up hugging the sides and making it to the notch. There was no snow anywhere else. Despite it being steeper, more technical and objectively harder, I found the Final 400 easier because there was less scree and the rock was stable.
The summit was stunning, and afterwords I made a safety call and took the main trail down due primarily due to conditions in the gully. I camped at Trail Camp and made it back to the portal the following morning.
Start time: 01h45
Time to summit: 7.5hrs
Break on summit: ~1hr
Total Time: 14.5hrs
Up: Mountaineers route
Down: Regular route
Lots of snow, but bluebird all day and not super cold :)
Road was open nearly to Whitney portal
Snow conditions were excellent, as was the weather and avalanche forecast was low.
Left car at 4pm, was at Upper Boyscout Lake by 10pm with just trail boots and micro spikes and a heavy pack.
Left upper boys out lake to summit the next day at 1030, was on the summit by 2pm, down by 430
Ascended couloir and bouldered to the top to avoid the loose snow on the traverses section
Descended same way, left upper boyscout at 4am and was at car by 0630
Snow in couloir was excellent
Trail was pretty obvious.
In general, pretty easy due to conditions being so favorable.
Never wore snowshoes, crampons and scarpa phantoms worn on summit push, wish my ice axe was a bit longer
Long day. Did a total of 26 miles in 19hours. Started around 2 AM. Reached the summit about 12 hours later. Took the mountaineer's route thinking it would be quicker, but was wrong. Hell of an experience, however. Lit the mountaineering fire for me!
Had a great time on the mountaineer's route -- perfect weather and enough snow make the climb enjoyable!
Exhausted and dehydrated I spend a peaceful night at iceberg lake. Self rescued while vomiting all the way down the next day. Mountaineering: the best part is when it stops. Can’t wait to almost kill myself again. Beautiful route.
Made an attempt towards the end of March.
There was a road closed sign at the bottom of the hairpin near the dirt parking area, however it is possible to drive past it.
Somewhere around the bend in the hairpin there was enough snow that driving wouldn't have been possible.
About a quarter mile past the hairpin there is an actual closed gate.
From there everything was under several feet of snow. We camped just off the road at Whitney portal. Snowshoes became necessary shortly after the north fork.
We only made it to lower boyscout because we started too late in the day and the soft snow was too tiring for some of us.
Look out for the sketchy avi conditions directly below lower boyscout.
Great place to be!
The approach is long and the camping pleasant.
FA of this route John Muir in October 1873.
There's many other nearby peaks worth climbing. Some look like fun trad routes.
Climbed the Mountaineers Route in late July 2017 (big snow year). It took 7 hours up, and 4 down. Would have been 1hr faster without snow. Route ended up being fairly straightforward. Water crossings were a non-event. The chute was covered in snow - ended up scrambling up the exposed rocks on the left side until around 13,500' and then hiked up softish snowpatch with crampons and poles to where the rocks reemerged around 13,900'. On the final 400, there was a big patch of snow in the middle, ended up going right to find fun class 3 climbing.
Made the climb from base camp at Upper Boy Scout Lake. Absolutely phenomenal weather! The class 3 scrambling/climbing from the notch at 14k to the summit was my favorite part.
I hiked this route three times for various reasons but my latest hike took my all the way to Whitney's summit. Not difficult particularly but 6 hours to the top seems slow.
From camp at Iceberg, familiar by now and still an excellent training climb
2nd time up the route. Shutdown at the notch in March/April 2011. Less snow=less postholing in gully. Conditions were perfect. Summited day before massive windstorm brought 130 mph winds to Sierra crest.
Went up with a group. Spent 4 nights out on the trail. Lots of cool ice and snow. Liked the climb and the route is beautiful.
I was one in a group of newbie climbers. We took it nice an slow - enjoying our time on the mountain. Personally, I would recommend taking a couple days to complete the climb and enjoy the scene.
Beautiful day on the Mountaineer's Route. 6 hrs from Whitney Portal to summit.
Solo from the Portal. Just a bit of new snow on climber's left, rest of the chute is dry now.
Two day winter outing.