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#96204 - 08/16/13 12:41 PM Solo Climb in December
V Marie Offline

Registered: 08/16/13
Posts: 1
Loc: NY, NY
Hi, i've never climbed Mt. Whitney but have recently decided to while going home for the Christmas holiday to visit my family. I'm keen to take the mountaineer's route. I've climbed many other peaks (up to 6k meters) in the Andes, PNW and East Coast. I would love to hear from someone who has climbed Whitney solo during winter before. Am I correct that in December there won't be too much snow (minimizing avalanche conditions in the gully) but ice? Is this done very often? Risks?

Many thanks

#96239 - 08/22/13 08:55 PM Re: Solo Climb in December [Re: V Marie]
Silent hiker Offline

Registered: 07/24/11
Posts: 67
Loc: California
V Marie

Please post on the Message Board site and you will get a response, not to many people go to the Winter Forum.


#96282 - 08/29/13 05:14 PM Re: Solo Climb in December [Re: V Marie]
amax Offline

Registered: 04/05/10
Posts: 55
Loc: Cali
The snow conditions may vary from very minimum to tons of snow on the approach and in the MR gully. I have experienced both extremes during Dec climbs in the area, so watch the forecast and plan accordingly. The avi danger is usually low on the MR, I would definitely be more concerned about icy patches, especially as a soloist. The spots that tend to get slippery include Ebersbacher ledges on the approach (these are usually by-passed when there is enough slow covering the creek), a small wall right before the iceberg lake plateau and last ~400 ft, after you exit the MR gully. Depending on snow coverage and conditions, you may be able to sprint from the portal to iceberg lake in 4-5 hours, or will have to crawl for two days. Also, the portal road will be officially closed. Most people drive past the sign, but the chances are high you will have to stop at some point because of snow/ice, which adds a few extra miles to your approach and retreat.
Cheers smile


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