Sequoia National Park High Point Trip Report

Mount Whitney

Date: November 10, 2001
Author: Dale Milsap

I had received reports of deep powdery snow in the chute above Iceberg Lake, so we chose to use the main route this time. We left Salt Lake at 11:00 PM MST Friday and arrived at the trailhead at Whitney Portal at 8:00 AM PST Saturday.

The ice and snow didn't become much of an issue until about 11,000 feet. There was an obvious path in the snow up the switchbacks, but there was still a lot of post-holing, which wears a body out quickly. We saw a lot of other people on the trail for this time of year. After crossing over Trailcrest, the snow was less frequent. We reached the summit between 4 and 5 PM and didn't stay very long at all (I've posted one photo on Yahoo Groups). It was dark by the time we reached Trail Camp at 12,000 feet, so we turned on the head lamps. Fatigue, darkness, and ice and snow don't make a great combination, but we carefully descended the trail, arriving at the trailhead at 9:00 PM PST (13 hour round-trip.) We stayed at the Dow Villa, and returned to Salt Lake on Sunday.

Let me make a disclaimer - I DO NOT recommend this as a day hike, especially under these conditions. Take two days and enjoy this incredible mountain. You won't regret it.