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#102368 - 01/15/18 03:05 PM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: Kurt Wedberg]
pca Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/18
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
Hi. I'm wondering whether anyone has some recent info on the N Fork Canyon and Mountaineer's Route conditions --- e.g., snow cover at various elevations, in the Mountaineer's chute and ice/snow conditions near the top of the route? I've looked at the Whitney Portal Store webcam and the snow looks pretty thin to me on the hike up, but I'm not sure I'm judging it correctly. My plan is to hike up with snowshoes, crampons, ice axe to Iceberg lake Saturday (1/20), camp, and play around on Sunday. It would be great to know if the snowshoes aren't needed. Thanks.

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#102372 - 01/16/18 09:15 AM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: pca]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
The snow is thin, not a plus since this can cause you to post hole next to rocks ,tree wells and uneven slopes.Snowshoes would help if we have the snow forecasted for this weekend and it covers the area , this would be above Lower Boyscout Lake ,the first canyon is steep and enough brush that you should be able to just rock hop on the use trail.

Try to go early and stay on the crust, the section just before iceberg is steep,avoid the waterfall and travel several hundred feet west before you head up.

Poles would help , snowshoes always a hard sell , the few times they are needed most don't have them since they were up the mountain when a system moved in ,or the snow is so soft you sink anyway and turn back.

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#102376 - 01/16/18 10:57 AM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: Doug Sr]
pca Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/18
Posts: 2
Loc: CA
I'll definitely be taking poles and it sounds like snowshoes are the better part of wisdom... Thanks!

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#102391 - 02/05/18 02:17 PM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: Kurt Wedberg]
bran_daid Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/13
Posts: 8
Loc: santa monica, ca
went up the north fork yesterday here's the latest conditions:


  • fixed road closure is in place below the portal location of road closure
  • creek crossings are very easy with low water leves
  • e ledges are dry and in very passable conditions
  • trail is well bootpacked up til upper boy scout lake, we had no trouble with trail runners and microspikes
  • didn't continue up the mr past ubsl (we climbed russell which was very dry and in good climbing conditions), but other climbers reported unconsolidated but climbable snow on the upper mr
  • other climbers reported the final 500' of the mr were able to be climbed 100% on rock


get after it!!

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#102402 - 02/17/18 09:00 AM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: bran_daid]
bran_daid Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/13
Posts: 8
Loc: santa monica, ca
what difference a storm can make! here's a conditions update for the north fork:

  • creek crossings are still open but very passable
  • e-ledges are snowy but the rock is exposed and climbable
  • significant amounts of new unconsolodated snow between the portal and ubsl, up to waist deep in wind-transported areas, particularly between lbsl and ubsl.
  • the north fork above ubsl is pretty wind scoured, with thin coverage and soft snow. snow was variable depending on aspect, with sun and wind crusts in many areas.




Edited by bran_daid (02/17/18 09:03 AM)

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#102445 - 03/28/18 10:33 AM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: Kurt Wedberg]
Michael Janczyn Offline
Member

Registered: 09/27/17
Posts: 2
Loc: SD, CA
Any more recent updates for the Mountaineers route?

I am planning an attempt the weekend before quota season begins again (last week of April: 27-29th).
I know its still a month out, but the last update I see here was from a month ago.

Thanks!

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#102446 - 03/28/18 11:13 AM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: Michael Janczyn]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
Guide trips going up and down now so a track may happen but like you know 1 month out . Best option is watch the web cam and expand as large as you can.You will see the area around Lower Boyscout start to clear the the saddle just south of Upper start to dry out but the main problems are not the snow but the lack of and the boulder fields (rockwells) that are the land mines in the spring.

We get late spring storms that may drop feet on the upper elevation so be ready for long days plowing !

Brings back the years I would go up and do the loop for reports, throw away camera with a jacket and snacks , many wet cold trips postholing falling in water flowing under the snow up to the knees getting up and repeating 100 ' up/down.

Back side was always the treat, mostly dry and then the speed run back before dark! Next day drive to Bishop drop off the camera, send a short report to San Diego ,Elisabeth word type it up.Mike Harris 395.com would get the pictures and put the one pager together , print some copies drop off at the climbing shops and ready for next week.

.So after a few trips conditions change slow and I could just go up to Iceberg or Trailcamp and make the report. Then came these electric things and the rest is history .

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#102447 - 03/28/18 12:04 PM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: Doug Sr]
Jeff M Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Rattlesnake Hill, CA
...and in jeans.

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#102449 - 03/28/18 04:19 PM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: Kurt Wedberg]
borboleta Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/18
Posts: 16
Loc: California
you are all so brave... i did make to the top of Whitney on a day permit but it was sunny and warm:)
the snow intimidates me as the big waves on the ocean smile
_________________________
"Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn."


www.borboletadecors.com

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#102459 - 04/02/18 04:21 PM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: bran_daid]
bran_daid Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/13
Posts: 8
Loc: santa monica, ca
latest conditions as of 4/1/18 instagram video
  • fixed road closure still in place below the portal
  • route is dry until first creek crossing
  • e-ledges are fully dry
  • snow conditions are pretty fat and supportable.
  • main couloir is mostly consolidated with a nice bootpack
  • final 500 is consolidated snow, quite filled in

this weekend's storm should change things. but the current conditions are prime.

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#102462 - 04/03/18 03:59 AM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: bran_daid]
ExPro Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/04
Posts: 110
Did you happen to run into any guided groups? I have a friend who is doing the MR with IMG..they would have been moving up to Iceberg on the 1st. Female, blonde, pigtails,loud....


Edited by ExPro (04/03/18 04:02 AM)

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#102482 - 04/09/18 10:33 AM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: ExPro]
JamesL Offline
Member

Registered: 07/16/07
Posts: 613
Loc: California
Anyone up the MR this past weekend? Curious about conditions.

Thanks

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#102520 - 04/25/18 09:43 PM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: JamesL]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
Quite a few on the route this past week ,many turning around at the notch, slow going hitting soft snow. Two climbers did the buttress yesterday and walked out today said ice/snow in the cracks making it a little harder and snow on the walk off pitches near the top.

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#102535 - 05/02/18 01:46 PM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: Doug Sr]
Michael Janczyn Offline
Member

Registered: 09/27/17
Posts: 2
Loc: SD, CA
Originally Posted By: Doug Sr
Quite a few on the route this past week ,many turning around at the notch, slow going hitting soft snow. Two climbers did the buttress yesterday and walked out today said ice/snow in the cracks making it a little harder and snow on the walk off pitches near the top.


I was up Saturday (28th).
Doug's update was still valid then.

Many on the route, lots turning back due to slush.
I was on the mountain before sun up and everything was nice and hard/crispy, so if you're going to make the attempt start early before things heat up.

No real snow until right above Lower Boyscout the morning I went up.

Forecast is showing above freezing temperatures later this week, so even with yesterday's snow its likely to melt down.


Edited by Michael Janczyn (05/02/18 01:47 PM)

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#102569 - 05/24/18 11:05 AM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: Michael Janczyn]
jchapell Offline
Member

Registered: 02/09/14
Posts: 1
Loc: Missouri
Hopefully useful info for Mountaineer's Route climbers from our experience on Sunday:

We went up on on May 20, leaving the portal early in the AM spend the maximum time on firm snow (single day push).

- No snow until above Lower Boy Scout Lake, and very spotty until above Upper Boy Scout Lake. Water available at UBSL, and all creeks are FLOWING! We wore trail runners until UBSL then changed into mountaineering boots.
- Main MR couloir filled with excellent firm snow when we went up (started around 6am), though loose rocks around rock bands are beginning to show through, and had a close call when a climber above us kicked a cinder-block sized rock down on us...bounced off my backpack eek .
- Final 400: We went up about 1/4 of the way (to the 2nd main rock band), and found the combination of ice on the rocks with a newer layer of 1-2 inches of snow were a dicey proposition (difficult to see where an axe/crampons could find purchase or hit icy rock). We had a close call slip that spooked us so we backed off, but did see 3 people continue on to summit. I would NOT want to descend the 400 unroped in those conditions.
-Snow was getting pretty soft already on our descent - get up there early!!!

Summary: Get up the couloir EARLY, and be ready to assess your abilities on the Final 400 rationally.

This was a few days ago, so things may have changed a little, but hopefully this is useful for people looking currently.

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#102570 - 05/24/18 10:14 PM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: jchapell]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
Great report, glad you added the cinder block part , most climbers never let something go down slope when another group is below, we see this often now where people fail to secure a foot hold and knock rocks down.
I helped a party of 4 one climb get back on track near the summit ,they then started a rock slide that rained down on our group, I saw a large rock heading for my friends wife and hit her pack another rock hit her boot. The 4 keep on going never offered or ask if we were OK.

With the recent storms your report on the ice below fresh snow is what gets many people in trouble. Thanks for the report

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#102616 - 06/08/18 11:51 AM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: Doug Sr]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
A few making it ,melting out fast now

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#102640 - 06/16/18 06:22 AM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: Kurt Wedberg]
Tom Brogan Offline
Member

Registered: 09/08/17
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Any recent reports concering snow/ice on the route?

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#102642 - 06/17/18 11:54 AM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: Tom Brogan]
Breeze Offline
Member

Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
First time up the MT on the 14th. Made it up to Iceberg lake and back same day, solo. Missed the start of the trail, big time, but it put me at the ledges at day break, so that was a big help. Lots of brush, got off the trail many, many times both up and down. I had a maps.me map on my phone, so when I was stuck on the ledges going home, it pointed me in the right direction. I went to far east. They were less scary going down though. No snow as far as I went.....

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#102712 - 07/31/18 07:42 PM Re: Mountaineer's Route Conditions [Re: Kurt Wedberg]
Breeze Offline
Member

Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
Just did the mountaineers route for the first time Monday.
Although I was swearing under my breath a lot of the way, it's a good feeling today.
The ledges were more scary in the dark, the trail the same to iceberg lake as my first attempt. There was a patch of super dirty snow going up to the notch, I went on the right side, some folk to the left of a little rock ridge left of the snow. It didn't seem to matter. The last 500 vertical had a good snow patch, but plenty of exposed rock on the right for a not bad scramble to the top. The smoke in the air wasn't too bad visibility at least 40 miles, no smell of smoke.
We need more stories....

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