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Mt. Whitney
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Caleb Pulley
(newbie2009) - F
Mt. Whitney on 04/11/2009 00:34:39 MDT Print View


Edited by newbie2009 on 07/02/2011 10:25:57 MDT.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
since this is no longer april 1 ... on 04/11/2009 01:00:19 MDT Print View

i haven't done it, but from the descriptions and pictures i've seen, the mountaineers route is not exactly the ideal place for a first backpack trip - there are certainly a few folks around here who have done it & can give more precise suggestions & ask more precise questions of your preparedness, but for starters:

how much experience do you have with ice axe, crampons, steep snow, steep granite, exposed routes, elevation?

are you in pretty good shape?

i think you should consider doing Mt. Langley first and see how that goes unless you are pretty solid in most if not all of the above skills or have really exceptional good luck. And/or if you have time for a multiday trip, you can probably still get a permit to come in from army pass to the south & maybe exit via whitney trail after climbing to the top.

Edited by cbert on 04/11/2009 01:03:14 MDT.

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 04/11/2009 07:22:04 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 05/17/2015 21:28:16 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Mt. Whitney on 04/11/2009 08:02:20 MDT Print View

Dave and Carey are giving you good advice. I suspect you are young, perhaps in your teens? You've got your whole life ahead of you. Don't throw it away before you even get started. The Mountaineers Route is not a "first backpacking" experience, especially that early in the year. Going in over either New Army or Cottonwood Passes and hiking up Whitney from the west side will be a much better way for you to get started in backpacking. I would add, however, that in June you may encounter hard snow and/or ice on the upper reaches of even the main trail. An even better bet would be to wait until July or August. There should still be no problem getting a permit for New Army or Cottonwood then and any snow/ice should be gone by then. Good luck and think safe.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Mt. Whitney on 04/11/2009 08:41:32 MDT Print View

"my friends and myself are making a road trip from Texas to California to climb the Mountaineer's Route of Mt. Whitney."

Whoa! Sounds like you need to take some climbing classes, and then do some climbing with experienced climbers. You do not just strap on crampons and take an ice axe without instruction and practice. Climbing and backpacking are two different skills.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Mt. Whitney on 04/11/2009 11:09:51 MDT Print View

Not a place for beginners, especially in June

Caleb Pulley
(newbie2009) - F
deleted on 04/12/2009 23:39:20 MDT Print View


Edited by newbie2009 on 07/02/2011 10:26:58 MDT.

Thomas Trebisky

Locale: Southern Arizona
No, nothing to take lightly on 04/16/2009 13:57:25 MDT Print View

I have gone down the Whitney mountaineers route once after doing another route, but it was in the fall and the route itself (the chute) was free of ice and snow. The north face of Whitney (getting to the mountaineers route on the descent) was a big sheet of snow and ice (I think in September), and I was worried that it would be freezing up and turning to ice late in the day, but it turned out to be a non-issue or bypassable. If there had been a sheet of ice blocking my way to the chute, plan B would have been to hike down the trail, and somehow sort out the issue that all of my gear was up in the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek.
Without an ice axe, I do my best to avoid snowfields with rocks or cliffs below them.

Now in June, things would be utterly different, and I can only imagine what the route would be like filled with ice and snow.

Even a person with an ice axe and knowing how to use it might be getting into trouble.

Edited by trebisky on 04/16/2009 14:04:36 MDT.

Kent C.
(kent) - M

Locale: High Sierra
Whitney - Mountaineer's Route on 04/17/2009 02:41:59 MDT Print View


Sounds like you're rethinking the planned trip. I think that's wise. Lots of snow & ice that time of year at that elevation.

*Hike* another route, or *climb* when conditions are better.

Keep in mind it's not called the Whitney Trail, it's the Mountaineer's Route.

Either way, have a Great trip! :-)

Edited by kent on 04/17/2009 02:42:47 MDT.

scott mitchell
(scottmitch) - F

Locale: arizona
whitney on 05/06/2009 22:29:58 MDT Print View

I went up it march 19th, its pretty straightforward and i felt it was a little overhyped for difficulty, probably just because its so popular you get all types going up it. In june the snow will be mostly gone but you might need crampons/ axe for the couloir above iceberg and maybe the "final 400" pitch after you pass the notch.

I can post some pics if youre interested.

(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Mt. Whitney on 05/07/2009 21:26:42 MDT Print View

“Wang was cursing as he slipped on his rear down the chute. He was going too fast. Just then, he flipped and tumbled, passing Kozaczek and the other climber. When Wang slammed into some rocks, his cursing stopped. His fall didn't. Wang cart-wheeled down the slope. A piece of his glasses struck the other climber. Kozaczek worried his friend would hit another field of rocks. Then he was gone. It was about 3:30 p.m. The entire fall, Kozaczek said, took maybe five seconds.”