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#97033 - 11/22/13 08:46 AM Re: Winter [Re: sierragator]
hightinerary Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 751
Loc: Maryland
Now is the non-winter of our discontent...

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#97034 - 11/22/13 09:26 AM Re: Winter [Re: hightinerary]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
Hi Started to rain/snow about 2PM in the Alabama Hills strong wind all day and night with snow starting to stick about dark , not much (1/2 inch) in town but still blowing snow and rain mix. Now we all know that means it is about 39 degrees and not cold enough to ice the roads yet! People are testing this just north of Bishop where it might be just a little colder going towards Mammoth ,Chain control went into effect yesterday afternoon just past 203 turn off.
Another tidbit of seldom every to be used information Caltrans will test a salt solution prior to storm this year , The logic is the snow will not turn to ice before they plow, Now follow this information when just plain water was tried for a commerical shoot some years ago , turned the road into a sheet of ice , every thing was OK the only wrecks were the cars traveling on the ice in the curves speeding ?

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#97037 - 11/22/13 09:49 AM Re: Winter [Re: Doug Sr]
hightinerary Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 751
Loc: Maryland
Sounds like Betsy is in town for the weekend.

Anyway, stop whining, Doug!

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#97039 - 11/22/13 10:01 AM Re: Winter [Re: Doug Sr]
dtaylor8 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/09/13
Posts: 14
Loc: San Gaberial Ca.
do you know if the road is still opened to the portal? im heading up the 24th to camp/test gear and summit the 26th?

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#97040 - 11/22/13 10:10 AM Re: Winter [Re: dtaylor8]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
Hi I will head up after the storms moves out one or two days of sun will clear the lower road section but if we have much traffic before the melt it will pack and turn into ice.

Hardest thing about these winter trips can be route finding above Outpost camp, many tracks to nowhere and back . Thanks Doug

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#97041 - 11/22/13 10:11 AM Re: Winter [Re: Doug Sr]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
Maybe time for another quick hike up to Lone Pine Lake crosscountry style

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#97042 - 11/22/13 10:15 AM Re: Winter [Re: Doug Sr]
dtaylor8 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/09/13
Posts: 14
Loc: San Gaberial Ca.
im counting on my GPS thats pretty accurate within 15-50 feet. but of coarse i have a compass and map as well, if you can even see 1/4 mile in front of you. the NOAA states clear, very cold, 10-15 mph winds and warming up for the 24-26th. i will post pics and update when i get back down. Thanks doug. any where you recommend to have a hardy lunch before sitting up sunday?

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#97045 - 11/22/13 02:33 PM Re: Winter [Re: Doug Sr]
JamesL Offline
Member

Registered: 07/16/07
Posts: 613
Loc: California

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#97046 - 11/22/13 05:22 PM Re: Winter [Re: JamesL]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
Hi Roads have now turned to ice 4 :30 PM , out of control several times just coming down from Horseshoe Meadow rd. Getting near the Portal the next few days may not happen, chains, 4x4 , don't help since the slope and ice mix . We loaded 200 gallons of water and had chains on all the tires one year still only made it 100' past the road closed sign, another trip made it to the entrance to the lower campground. I started sliding so reached down to shift into 4wd and was heading down out of control backwards. Luck kicked in I slide into the ditch on the north side of the road which then caused the front of the truck to turn down hill and I was off again downhill , once out of the trees I hit dry pavement . Luck may not be the best back up plan?

I would expect to start somewhere just above Lone Pine Campground if you can get that far. If the weather report says wind stay away from Trailcamp! Todays Doug Jrs backyard is getting 2-3 foot drifts .I would expect 2-4 foot drifts above Outpost.

Sunday Lunch: Mt Whitney ,Alabama Hills ,Totem and several others in town I eat at all of them .

Have a safe trip.Thanks Doug

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#97048 - 11/22/13 08:21 PM Re: Winter [Re: Doug Sr]
Akichow Offline
Member

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 705
Loc: Confluence of the Sac and Am R...
Sounds like winter is here! Rumour has it that Cloud Seeder went north up 395 today. Yep, that girl has the power.

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#97049 - 11/22/13 08:32 PM Re: Winter [Re: Akichow]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
Aki be nice!

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#97051 - 11/23/13 06:08 AM Re: Winter [Re: Doug Sr]
dtaylor8 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/09/13
Posts: 14
Loc: San Gaberial Ca.
Originally Posted By: Doug Sr
Hi Roads have now turned to ice 4 :30 PM , out of control several times just coming down from Horseshoe Meadow rd. Getting near the Portal the next few days may not happen, chains, 4x4 , don't help since the slope and ice mix . We loaded 200 gallons of water and had chains on all the tires one year still only made it 100' past the road closed sign, another trip made it to the entrance to the lower campground. I started sliding so reached down to shift into 4wd and was heading down out of control backwards. Luck kicked in I slide into the ditch on the north side of the road which then caused the front of the truck to turn down hill and I was off again downhill , once out of the trees I hit dry pavement . Luck may not be the best back up plan?

I would expect to start somewhere just above Lone Pine Campground if you can get that far. If the weather report says wind stay away from Trailcamp! Todays Doug Jrs backyard is getting 2-3 foot drifts .I would expect 2-4 foot drifts above Outpost.

Sunday Lunch: Mt Whitney ,Alabama Hills ,Totem and several others in town I eat at all of them .

Have a safe trip.Thanks Doug


Thanks Doug. Totem it is. I will try and get up as far as my Jeep in 4x4 and chains can get me. I have not used my chains to much, do you prefer or have you had a chance to use those cable/chains they have worked on my truck but on flat ground.

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#97052 - 11/23/13 06:57 AM Re: Winter [Re: dtaylor8]
Richard P. Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 4878
Loc: Ridgecrest, CA
I'm pretty sure you keep a shovel in your vehicle...

If not, that's some advice...
Lots of us have done lots of "dumb" things up there... like trying to drive up the road when no sane person would. As long as you keep the right attitude, getting stuck up there can be a bit of fun (suffering).
I've managed to dig myself out of every situation I've ever gotten myself in to. One took almost a full day of road clearing... Great upper body (and back) exercise!


Edited by Richard P. (11/23/13 06:59 AM)
Edit Reason: Figure it's going to cost you Million$ if you have to call Miller's... and Doug may not be available to bail you out.

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#97053 - 11/23/13 07:08 AM Re: Winter [Re: Doug Sr]
Akichow Offline
Member

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 705
Loc: Confluence of the Sac and Am R...
Hey Cloud Seeker is my bestie! California owes her on this one.

So, on the other topic, I've got a fabulously accurate Garmin GPS 60csx that I love, and I have been up Whitney a bunch of times, and yet I cannot imagine using my Garmin to navigate at the higher elevations in late fall or winter on Whitney. A Garmin may be a helpful supplement, in good weather with good visibility, to a map and compass. But if the weather is inclement, even being 10' off course can be treacherous on Whitney. It is very easy, even with a GPS, to get completely disoriented in a white out.

I hesitated to comment since folks will do what they are gonna do. Plus there is a range in skill sets so what works for one person is not necessarily what works for another. But as we know from last year, a white out high up can be potentially deadly even someone who has summited Whitney over 100 times and knows the trail lack the back of their hand. Skillset, weather, good decisions, and sometimes luck trump the GPS IMHO.

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#97054 - 11/23/13 07:37 AM Re: Winter [Re: Akichow]
Richard P. Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 4878
Loc: Ridgecrest, CA
Unfortunately, I have to admit that that was me...

I'l throw out that that if you do not know the Whitney Zone, you should not go up in "winter conditions" until you know that someone who does know the area has been up to cut tracks in.

As Doug mentioned elsewhere (and I've laughed really, really loudly many times...) people head up in hundreds of different directions. If a known good track is put in, a "winter climb" of Whitney can leave you wondering what everyone's talking about in terms of difficulty.

THE SUMMER SHORTCUTS NEED TO BE KNOWN! IT WILL SAVE YOU AT LEAST 2 1/2 MILES. THINK OF THE EFFORT SAVED SAVING YOURSELF 2.5 MILES OF WALKING IN WINTER!

Also keep in mind that the upper mountain takes a LONG time to consolidate... I'm not talking avalanche danger... (In close to several hundred trips up in the Whitney Zone, I've seen 1 sluff in the Bowl below Trail Crest. There ARE dangerous zones if you go way off route, though!)

A couple of examples:
- One December To Remember Climb, Rick Kent and I planned on sleeping on the summit. It was a DARK start and a DARK finish because we basically had to swim up from Trail Camp to Trail Crest...
- Last year, when I was nearly invincible (insert chuckle), one climb took me nearly 12 hours to get up to Trail Crest... nearly 10 of that from TC to TC (trail camp to trail crest).


Edited by Richard P. (11/23/13 07:41 AM)
Edit Reason: Oh, there's also the Ground Hog's Day Day-Climb that took 26 hours.

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#97056 - 11/23/13 08:19 AM Re: Winter [Re: Richard P.]
Doug Sr Offline


Member

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 2421
Loc: Whitney
Hi Portal to Lone Pine Lake 5 hours modest record.

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#97057 - 11/23/13 11:37 AM Re: Winter [Re: Doug Sr]
dtaylor8 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/09/13
Posts: 14
Loc: San Gaberial Ca.
well thank you gentlemen for all the insite! i wish i knew the summer short cuts. With the skies clear, my GPS tracking my trail and putting in my mind markers on map and elevation locations i hope for a nice clear very cold trek. If a white out happens thats when the compass and mind makers and map elevation notes come in play and down i come, summit another day to play.

on another note is the phone system down in lone pine? i can not get a call through to the visitor center

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#97064 - 11/24/13 07:27 AM Re: Winter [Re: dtaylor8]
Akichow Offline
Member

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 705
Loc: Confluence of the Sac and Am R...
Good luck, dtaylor. Webcam shows a lot of snow, presumably still unconsolidated. Be safe.

Sure looks pretty up there. Jealous (for the view, not the climb). Haven't been hiking in 5 weeks, dealing with some horribly painful rotator cuff stuff. Need to get back into it. And the little dog, too.

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#97065 - 11/24/13 07:45 AM Re: Winter [Re: Akichow]
Passinthru Offline
Member

Registered: 03/06/04
Posts: 224
Loc: San Marcos, CA (Northern S.D. ...
Feel for you Akichow, dealing with 'angry' long head of the biceps mimicking the pain of being stabbed with an ice pick when arm is in certain positions.
_________________________
When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.
Erasmus

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#97066 - 11/24/13 09:53 AM Re: Winter [Re: Passinthru]
dtaylor8 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/09/13
Posts: 14
Loc: San Gaberial Ca.
Thanks Aki! Well I have my permit and it looks beautiful frozen! Time to eat and ck the road

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