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Ascent of Mount Whitney on 2017-09-04

Climber: Jim Wick

Others in Party:Cristian
Date:Monday, September 4, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Whitney
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:14498 ft / 4418 m

Ascent Trip Report

Was camped at Lone Pine Campground the previous couple of nights. Whitney Portal CG didn't have any water due to contamination. We had a good thunderstorm at 7pm so didn't know what to expect when we got up at 11:30pm. It was partly clear with good moonlight when we hit the trail at midnight. We were the first ones on the trail. Didn't need headlamps until the water crossings or in the trees a couple miles in. It was an entertaining distraction to see all the headlamps dancing below us later. Due to the rains, the water crossings had lots of moving water. Starting temps were nice...in the upper 50s. However when we approached high (trail) camp there was ice/frost on the ground. Stopped awhile at high camp to catch the alpenglow of the rising sun on the summit rocks. Then proceeded to climb the switchbacks very slowly...about a mile an hour. The goal was about finishing the objective not the timing. We saw all kinds of people not dressed appropriately for this hike. Had to don the rain gear 2/3rds the way up the switchbacks due to rain and high winds. Dropping down the other side of trail crest provided wind relief (weather was coming from the southeast versus the usual west). There were really dark clouds to the south near mt langley. About halfway across the traverse ridge we had snow falling. Once we were approaching the final section of the summit, the clouds were clearing and more sunshine. However the winds were still howling...35mph with gusts occasionally much more than that. Lots of people were huddled in the summit hut. Wished we had stayed longer but took our quick summit photos and descended within 15 min to some wind relief. Near trail crest, we saw a marmot taking out a french vanilla shake from someones pack. nibbled on a corner and drank it using both front paws. could even hear the gulp gulp gulp. The marmot was very fat so must be very experienced ;) The ravens were waiting their turn. The switchbacks take forever on the way down. We were averaging 2 miles an hour down. Just a long route. Got to the trailhead at dark (7pm). Had celebratory grilled steak and beer at the Lone Pine CG...and a shower the next morning in Lone Pine ;)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:6965 ft / 2122 m
    Extra Gain:315 ft / 96 m
    Round-Trip Distance:22 mi / 35.4 km
    Route:Whitney Portal
    Trailhead:Whitney Portal   8163 ft / 2488 m
    Grade/Class:class 1
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Time:11 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:8 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Jim Wick
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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