Mar 15, 2008 at 10:35 am #1227824
It's getting warmer, but some of us just haven't had enough winter camping yet.
If you are interested in getting away from the summer crowds of Mt Whitney, how about a nice spring trip up to the top?
The first weekend of April 4-6th,
you are invited to a weekend of breath-taking views and getting to meet fellow BPL'ers at the highest point of the lower 48.
The date and location are not negotiable, but if you can not make it on Friday you can head right up to Trail Camp, (mile 6.3) on Saturday and meet us there.
Friday afternoon Outpost Camp, (mile 3.8).
Saturday go from Outpost to Trail Camp.
(mile 6.3). the brave souls will pitch camp and do a shake-down to the summit.
Sunday around 2:00 AM everyone will head up to the top to catch the sunrise then head back down, break camp and head down.
There are already 3 or 4 non- BPL'ers going at this time and 2 more of us BPL'ers that are.
I'm not 100% sure what the temperatures will be, but be prepared for 0*.
It will probably be 10-15* at night, but the wind-chill could make it feel like 0*. Day time temps should be in the high 30's, (at least) at the camps and the possibility for it to be very cold and windy on the top.
I'll keep you up to date on what time we are meeting at the Portal, (Parking Lot).
Reply if you want to join us.Mar 15, 2008 at 11:12 am #1424440
cool idea (or cold?)
i haven't done this sort of trip before – is this an ice axe & crampons deal? snowshoes? xc skis?
i might be able to at least come along for the lower stretches – not sure if my fitness is there for all the way to top right now
hmmm – interesting…Mar 15, 2008 at 4:46 pm #1424469
Wind blows everything off the trails so fast the only snow we will encounter is the stuff in the shadow that have been there the whole winter or the new stuff that hasn't blown away yet.
Nobody is bringing snow shoes. We'll have plenty of time to get through anything we hit any way.
Cary, this trip is made for you as we are going to the top very slowly to give you plenty of time.
Your current fitness situation shouldn't be a problem…Mar 16, 2008 at 8:27 pm #1424589
@joshuaLocale: Santa Cruz,Ca
I'm in. I wanted to do Whitney this year. Sounds like a good time.
JoshMar 17, 2008 at 6:33 am #1424612
Great!Mar 17, 2008 at 9:20 am #1424633
@clbowdenLocale: Berkeley Hills
Are permits needed this time of year?
CaseyMar 17, 2008 at 12:01 pm #1424653
casey – permits required year round, but no lottery/quota worries in april.
aaron – i am going to try to make it. i'll see how my health/fitness is & go as far as it seems reasonable for me.Mar 17, 2008 at 12:12 pm #1424654
this is on the whitney site currently:
The road to this trailhead is closed for the winter. The snow level is around 7,000 feet. The trail is covered with variable amounts of snow & ice. Expect deeper and more consistent snow and ice coverage the further/higher you hike on the Whitney Trail. Above Trail Camp, variable depths of snow and ice will be encountered and is technically difficult and hazardous. Winter mountaineering skills and equipment are now required for a safe excursion on the Whitney Trail. Campfires are prohibited. Hikers must pack-out their solid human waste.
are they just trying to scare people away? do you have more accurate info?Mar 17, 2008 at 3:36 pm #1424677
Guy's, I don't want to hear about a group of BPL'ers who met their match and possibly their maker in a few weeks. I think some words of caution are required here.
Early April in the Sierras is still considered "Winter" during a Winter season that saw moderate to heavy snowfall. Expecting no measurable snow, packing no snowshoes, crampons, or an ice axe, and without self-arrest experience, seems dangerous.
I hope I'm not coming off like a nay-sayer; I just wish the best for my BPL brothers. Truthfully, I haven't yet done Whitni myself, I'm waiting on the lottery this year. But hopefully someone with direct experience, someone with Winter mountaineering experience, will chime in to back me up, or discount my caution entirely.
EDIT: This was from May, 2007. A "dry" year.
http://webpages.charter.net/mtwhitneyhiking/dayhike.htmMar 17, 2008 at 5:55 pm #1424690
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Spoke to Joshua on this same subject today guys. I would not attempt this mountain without crampons, and an ice ax. Learn self arrest and practice, practice, practice! Trust me, you will aprreciate it when you slip. There are many places along trail above Outpost Camp that are exposed. Above Trailcamp you have the famous 99 switchbacks. There are many exposed areas that if you slip (even in the summer) means certain major injuries or death. People have died up there folks and that is no joke. Once above trailcrest, you have the windows to contned with. Exposed, but with a 3-4 ft. trail between the 1000 ft. drop offs. That said, dress appropriately, bring an ice ax, crampons, and know what you are doing. And most importantly, have fun. It is a stark and beautiful place up there. Check the Mt. Whitney message board. It usually has up to the day accounts on trail conditions, weather, road conditions, etc. The road to Whitney Portal can sometimes be open all the way to the trail, sometimes not. If it is blocked, then expect a few more miles and some more elevation gain added to your hike.
Hope this helps. Now go out there and have some fun!!!!!
Oh and my avatar pic? That is Trail Crest at WhitneyMar 17, 2008 at 10:33 pm #1424721
Here's an account of what one guy encountered during his ascent of Whitney in early April.Mar 17, 2008 at 11:24 pm #1424726Mar 18, 2008 at 7:53 pm #1424819
@joshuaLocale: Santa Cruz,Ca
I am pulling out. I want to hike Whitney in easier conditions I think. Have a good time.
JoshMar 19, 2008 at 7:24 am #1424851
Whitney trip is canceled.
Not because of the articles or anything else though.
We already had 7 people going before extending the invite to the BPL community and not all of them have crampons and ice axes, (or have experience using them).
Don't forget about or next trip we are planning to the Lost Coast in 4-6 weeks…Mar 19, 2008 at 1:44 pm #1424918
if the weather is nice, snow or no snow sounds good to me
any suggestions?Mar 19, 2008 at 3:52 pm #1424932
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Lost Coast could be fun.
Sorry to be such a danger danger type person on the Whitney subject.Mar 19, 2008 at 4:08 pm #1424936
I have trips lined up for almost every weekend I have off until the end of fall.
The problem is 99.98% of the rest of the world call me crazy for what I do and would not even think twice about going.
If a nice fun hard weekend for you sounds like 60 miles of mountain biking with 10K elevation gain, 40 miles of trail running, some repelling and maybe a little Coasteering sounds good to you, I'll be more than happy to keep you posted about my trips. Over the winter was a 250 mile 4 day mountain bike trip with god knows how much elevation gain.
Other trips that are already planned are Rea Lakes Loop in a day and from Reds Meadow to Yosemite in a day. The 43 miles of the TRT I haven't done in a day. The Climb to Kaiser Bike ride, (155 miles with 13500' of climbing).
I was going to do Primal Quest in Montana, but our team had to bail out. The TRT attempt in Unsupported without resupply fashion, (trying for a sub 55 hour time), and there’s the San Francisco 1 day run.
If this sounds good to the .02% of you how are out there, please let me know…Mar 19, 2008 at 6:58 pm #1424956
those sound like great trips – and when i was in shape to run marathons / ultramarathons i'd have been up for them.
right now until i get my health taken care of & can hopefully take on enough to get back in shape someday, whitney in 3 days is probably my high bar (maybe 2 days if i acclimate ahead of time).
i'll be up for something mellow to moderate in april i think – if aaron or anyone else has a trip planned.
otherwise i wind up doing work around the house these days.
-caryMar 22, 2008 at 12:00 am #1425178
@mpopovLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I agree with all the previous posts and I have studied the Whitney Portal Store Message Board very carefully on the subject of Whitney mishaps. Call me a crazy Russian who just can't get enough of snow and danger, but I still think the Whitney is VERY much doable at this time, given the will, common sense and the right equipment (we all have that, riiight?). The only thing I'd change in the itinerary of the trip is switching from the the beaten (main) path to the MR. And roping up, up AND down. It seems easier at this time of year than the main approach. I'm still interested in the trip and some other hardy souls too.
Any constructive suggestions are welcome, but please save your time from posting scaring messages, Whitney has been done in the winter, and if we go we are fully aware of the dangers and will try to minimize the odds.
Not trying to come off as a crazy nut, but…
"Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming — 'WOW, what a ride!!!'
AnonymousMar 22, 2008 at 10:47 am #1425222
Hey Mike, good to hear from you.
I think the scary messages were effective and appropriate. Not at all to suggest that it can't be done, but, rather, pointing out the real conditions to expect and how these individuals prepared themselves. Absolutely a doable route at this time of year. But, like you said, with the proper expectation, gear and skills.
I know one day I'll own an ice axe, crampons, and have some good self-arrest and mountaineering skills, and hopefully I'll see you guys at the top in April.
cheers Mike, hope to see you soon.
-Michael "sawchuck"Mar 22, 2008 at 4:53 pm #1425254
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