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#102832 - 10/06/18 11:00 AM Main Trail Oct 5
Jim F Offline

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 361
Loc: California
Hiked up the Main Trail yesterday October 5.

Had followed the weather and forecasts for several days and Oct 5 looked like the best opportunity.

Fortunate to get a walk in permit in the lottery at the Visitor Center 2 PM on Oct 4, as some did not.

The weather yesterday was superb: cool (but not cold), very little wind, clear skies with splendid visibility.

The Key Observation: From about the 35th switchback to the summit there was near complete coverage of the trail by snow. The snow was not deep and was nicely packed by the previous foot traffic. I hiked up easily without traction devices, but used micro spikes on the descent until below the Cables (which are a non-issue). Hike poles were very helpful.

The dusting of snow (mostly to the west and south) made for a very dramatic presentation of the physical features of the terrain. The remnants of the Old Trail up to Whitney Pass were visible from Trail Camp.

The spring at the 23rd switchback is done for the season, but the spring in Bighorn Park is flowing briskly.

Water levels are low at all creek crossings.

There are some very nice Fall Colors below Lone Pine Lake.

Unfortunately, I returned to Whitney Portal too late to order my double cheeseburger, as the Portal Stores hours shorten as the Season winds down. Wishing the Portal Store Crew a pleasant Winter and look forward to seeing them next Spring.


#102833 - 10/07/18 03:22 PM Re: Main Trail Oct 5 [Re: Jim F]
Doug Sr Offline


Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
Fast moving system dropped in Saturday afternoon ,very cold system,temp was 56 fell to 37 in less than an hour snow hit the Portal about 5 PM with wind gusts.snow level for this system was about 9000' and light coverage.
High to in the Portal 44 degrees and clear sky,upper elevation could have wind tonight .I never consider wind chill because the correct layering,if you don't have the protection a quick calculation at the summit you may see -20 or colder.Jacket and snacks kind of hike!

#102837 - 10/19/18 12:35 PM Re: Main Trail Oct 5 [Re: Doug Sr]
Richard P. Offline

Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 4878
Loc: Ridgecrest, CA
Update for the 18th:

I went up yesterday evening (with about 40-50% moon) and only needed traction devices for the section of trail from a couple of switchbacks below The Cables to Trail Crest (and parts of that was on mixed snow/dirt). The snow was packed powder and not icy at all at this time.

The backside had vicious, switching, winds from the west and it was bitter cold.
Need a Carpenter to head up and re-hang the door on the Smithsonian Hut so hikers/climbers can get out of the weather...

There were some short, nasty, sections of icy trail on the West Side that if you don't want to spend the time navigating around, you might just want to leave the spikes on.


Moderator:  Bob R, Doug Sr