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Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Just Submitted for Mt. Whitney Lottery on 02/01/2012 11:21:33 MST Print View

]Mt. Whitney Trail Lottery started today.  Just submitted my desired dates (July / August).  Anybody else planning on hiking up Whitney this year?   :)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Just Submitted for Mt. Whitney Lottery on 02/01/2012 15:00:54 MST Print View

"Anybody else planning on hiking up Whitney this year?"

Need you ask?

This will be Year 37 for me on Whitney.

--B.G.--

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
streaking on 02/01/2012 15:35:16 MST Print View

That is a nice streak you have going on there.

37 years.... I just would like to do it once or twice.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: streaking on 02/01/2012 15:44:43 MST Print View

Actually, one year I was on the Whitney summit when two nudists appeared there to pose for some camera. If it had been some warm Southern California beach, then that would have been one thing. But it was cold and windy up on the summit that day.

--B.G.--

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Highest Rut in America? on 02/01/2012 16:06:15 MST Print View

Wow, 37 years? Very, very impressive, Bob!!

This will be my fourth time -- first two were a success, the last attempt no - because my hiking buddy felt unwell mid way up. But he'll be giving it another go this year!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Highest Rut in America? on 02/01/2012 16:22:25 MST Print View

"Wow, 37 years? Very, very impressive, Bob!!"

So far, I have 36 consecutive years without fail. This year, if successful, will become 37. So, I must have begun when I was a tiny infant.

Part of the trick is in selecting your hiking buddies. Don't go with the newbies who might become sick, or else be prepared to abandon the ones who do.

I think I have been snowed upon during three of those years. You really need to plan for that. Rain, maybe another three or four years.

Ahh, the good one was the year that it was very cold. I reached the summit with a narrow margin from hypothermia. I signed in on the register and almost immediately started down since there was no view through the clouds. Another hiker was reaching the summit just then. This was a U.S. Marine on his way back to Pendleton (judging by the haircut) and he was carrying a huge fully-loaded duffle bag over one shoulder. He was wearing boots, trousers, and an o.d. t-shirt. I mean, this is a very odd place to see somebody carrying a heavy duffle bag.

I said to him, "You must be in the military."

His response, "Yes, Sir! U.S. Marine, Hoo-Rah."

You know, I'm very glad that our country has military guys as tough as that. I just wish that they had more sense.

--B.G.--

Marc Eldridge
(meld) - MLife

Locale: The here and now.
Re: Mt. Whitney on 02/01/2012 18:01:54 MST Print View

My brother and I got a permit for Aug. 1st. We go in through Horse Shoe Meadow then over Cottonwood Pass to Big Whitney Meadow. North over Siberia Pass to Crabtree Meadow, then to Whitney. Back out the same way.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Next year maybe on 02/01/2012 21:42:44 MST Print View

I can't see the appeal of Mt. Whitney, but then not everyone likes the same things. I may go next year to celebrate my 60th, aiming for a Portal to Portal the same day, like my 50th which was my first time up. Maybe I can do it in 12 hours this time if I don't have so many potty stops like last time.

Duane

Kathy Hoffman
(basecampbound)

Locale: Foothills of San Gabriel Mtns.
Submitted for lottery also on 02/02/2012 13:12:05 MST Print View

Just submitted dates for lottery also. Jeez....the site is pretty cumbersome tho......choosing one drop-down menu caused others already chosen to blank out. At least there are a full 15 date options this year.

Despite the fact that several dates are blacked-out in September for trail maintenance....still hoping for a September date.

Edited by basecampbound on 02/02/2012 13:13:02 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Just Submitted for Mt. Whitney Lottery on 02/02/2012 13:29:11 MST Print View

Wow,

I didn't realize it had gotten to the point where permits were doled out via a lottery. But I suppose one can still get a permit by standing in line on a week day.

The last time I did Whitney, you just hiked it. No permits, not many people. I bet it is extremely crowded on summer weekends and a lot of problems with trash and bears?

As to the allure of Whitney, well I have to say that the mountain and the entire Sierra crest is a very special place(s).

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Just Submitted for Mt. Whitney Lottery on 02/02/2012 14:53:43 MST Print View

I go in summer, but only on the week days (Tue-Thu). Not bad really.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Just Submitted for Mt. Whitney Lottery on 02/02/2012 16:06:23 MST Print View

"The last time I did Whitney, you just hiked it. No permits, not many people."

When was that, Nick? Maybe back during the Truman Administration?

--B.G.--

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Next year maybe on 02/02/2012 19:31:54 MST Print View

"I can't see the appeal of Mt. Whitney, but then not everyone likes the same things."

Duane, I agree with you in part. In my mind, there is nothing more boring than doing whitney from the portal, to the summit, and back to the portal. Nothing much to offer in terms of views, and a mind numbing approach up the switchbacks. It's truly the weekend warrior route taken in order profess that you've hiked Mt Whitney. If you're limited on time, then this is probably your best option.

However, if you have a weekend to spare, or a bit more, the approach from big horn plateau --> guitar lake --> whitney summit is simply phenomenal. Once you hike that, you'll vow never to do the portal route.

Here's a shot I took while passing through big horn plateau, with Mt. Whitney on the left.
big horn

Edited by Konrad1013 on 02/02/2012 19:39:25 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Next year maybe on 02/02/2012 19:40:55 MST Print View

"Nothing much to offer in terms of views"

From the Whitney Summit, looking east, the view is phenomenal, because you are looking down about 11,000 feet vertically, down to Lone Pine. Looking southeast, the view is over the Inyos to Telescope Peak in Death Valley. Looking north and south along the Sierra Crest, the view is remarkable especially when you can see to the Palisades and over to Mount Goddard and the White Mountains. The view looking west isn't bad, because you have the Kaweahs and the Great Western Divide. You can't see the Kern River, but you can see where its valley lies.

Plus, you need to watch for wildlife along the trail.

--B.G.--

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Next year maybe on 02/02/2012 19:45:36 MST Print View

"Nothing much to offer in terms of views"

Bob, I was referring to the approach hike on the Mount Whitney Trail, from the portal.

I agree, from the actual summit, the views are great.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Just Submitted for Mt. Whitney Lottery on 02/02/2012 22:27:20 MST Print View

"When was that, Nick? Maybe back during the Truman Administration?"

Am I that much older than you, or just act like it? :)

All this permitting is just way too complicated, although I know it is needed.

Although my memory is somewhat fuzzy, I remember only needing campfire permits in the 60's. I am 99.9% sure permits were not required at all for Whitney in the 60's.

In 1971 I did Whitney and did not have a permit and wasn't stopped. At least that is what I remember. I also remember not that many people on the mountain. But '71 was a big snow year. I had to wander around the southern Sierras from mid April until the end of June or may be early July waiting for the snow to melt. '72 was a low snow year from my memory. I started in Kernville and it seems that a Ranger might have given me a permit on the trail when I got to Whitney, or maybe I didn't need one that time either. Not sure. Maybe that's how they did it, give permits on the trail or maybe because I had started my hike way south I didn't need one. But it was much more crowded that year, which was the last time I even thought about hiking it.

My first recollection for needing a wilderness permit was sometime in the mid-seventies, when I did a hike from Horseshoe Meadows south through the Golden Trout Wilderness and then down to Kernville or maybe it was Kennedy Meadows. I think I found out about the permit system when I stopped at the Lone Pine Ranger station and there was a "Permits Here" sign.

It also seems that in the early permitting days you could register at a backcountry board if hitting the Golden Trout Wilderness from the south... or maybe that was Joshua Tree. Can't remember that either.

I still think you do not need a wilderness permit for the Southern Sierra Wilderness if you enter from the west side of the Sierras, but one is needed if you enter from the east side.

So confusing.

So now you know why I mostly hike in the deserts these days :(

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Just Submitted for Mt. Whitney Lottery on 02/02/2012 22:52:19 MST Print View

>"Maybe back during the Truman Administration?"

Definitely during the Carter Adminstration if you needed anything for an overnight, you could get it at the trailhead or in Lone Pine. We just showed up and did it on a lark.

During Reagan's adminstrations, you could still do a dayhike without paperwork. I was doing it once a year most years in the early 80's.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Just Submitted for Mt. Whitney Lottery on 02/02/2012 23:01:05 MST Print View

"So now you know why I mostly hike in the deserts these days"

Just you and the ghost of Gabby Hayes.

--B.G.--

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just Submitted for Mt. Whitney Lottery on 02/02/2012 23:06:27 MST Print View

"you could get it at the trailhead or in Lone Pine"

Yes, in 1976 they had DIY permits at the ranger station, at the kiosk on the way west out of Lone Pine, and up at the trailhead. That permit had nothing to do with quotas. The forest service was just trying to track how many users there were.

Yes, back in those days, it was almost unheard of for somebody to do the Whitney Trail up and down in a day. But, we scratched the surface, and the rest is history.

--B.G.--

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
from the west would b best on 02/03/2012 22:14:50 MST Print View

Konrad, I was over the Big Horn Plateau last August on my 80 mile, 8 day loop. Hiked a bit with a number of people who were doing Whitney from the west. It is definitely a better view than doing a Portal to Portal. From the Portal, you do have nice views of the valley, just not the mountain views I like that the west side afford.

Bob, wildlife? I saw no nikid women on my Whitney summit!

Duane