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On 11/17/2018 (7am) l hiked to the summit. For being mid-november, it was an awesome weather day! There was very little to no wind at the Summit plus it was t-shirt weather. My guess it was a weather fluke (the mountain weather report had predicted strong winds and 8 degree wind chill factor at The Summit)
My advice is to bring crampons, they will be needed! If not, wear ice hockey protection and tie a pillow to your butt haha! but seriously, the ice in the last couple miles is treacherous. Yaktraxs are okay but I recommend Kahtoola Microspikes. They gave me excellent traction on the ice and also on the occasional bare spots. They cost $52+tax at REI and were worth it! Especially going downhill, where most butthurt occurs haha.

Beautiful, only able to get to Williams lake due to heavy snow in the past month. Trail is easy to follow and packed down good to the lake (very popular hike) I tried going up to wheeler but it’s still soft and deep snow. Not many people summiting anymore. A hiker coming down informed me the trail disappears after timberline so it looks like next year will be my summiting chance.

I did this with two friends on October 26, 2018. We are all in our mid thirties. It was a bluebird day with not a cloud in the sky, and I think it was probably averaged around 40-45 degrees for the entire day. The summit was above freezing for sure when we summited at noon.

Timing:
We stayed at the Comfort Inn in Lone Pine the night before and the night after the hike. We got on the trail at 3 a.m. and summited right around noon. We started our decent at 1 p.m. and got back to the trailhead at 8 p.m. So that’s 9 hours up and 7 hours down.

Dealing with Altitude:
I live in Salt Lake City, so I have access to some elevation and did a bunch of training hikes to 11,000 feet on the weekends to get used to the altitude. The two other guys live at sea level but did their best to hike as much as they could before our attempt. We all ended up getting prescriptions for acetazolamide and starting cycling on that and 400-600 milligrams of ibuprofen every six hours starting about 12 hours before we started out. For two of us, we really had no symptoms of altitude sickness beyond very mild headaches at the top. The other guy got a pretty decent headache that subsided during our decent.

Food:
I think we all ate much less food than I thought we would. I ate two sleeves of Clif Bar Shot Bloks and took a caffeine pill on the way up (which might have contributed to an upset stomach). And I also ate 4-5 Clif Bars, some beef jerky, a pretty good-sized bag of gummy bears, and some nuts. I brought I peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I never even ate, but the other two guys ate their PB & J at the summit.

Water:
I brought four liters of liquid with me. Three liters of water and one liter of Gatorade. My doctor told me to drink a sports drink with the acetazolamide. I ended up drinking 2 liters of the water and the Gatorade and gave the rest of the water to my hiking buddies on the way down. We actually got back to the parking lot with nothing to drink between us all, which is probably not the smartest play. I did bring a filter with me though just in case things got real out there.

Gear:
We all used adjustable hiking poles. We have backup batteries for our headlamps since a good amount of the hike was in the dark. Sun lotion. I had a wide-brimmed hat for the sun. I had four layers on the top and three on my legs and was overdressed for most of the day. I was prepared for the day to be 10 degrees colder than it was. We all had microspikes, but I think I was the only one who used them.

Overall:
The 99 switchbacks might get you down, but once you top out after those, you are pretty golden. That where the trail gets super interesting and the views are ridiculous. The only thing I might do different if I did this again was to try to move a bit faster to get down before dark since spirits were running low for the last couple miles of the decent. Reach out to me if you have any questions about the hike. I’d be happy to talk about it.

If you can break this up into two days do it. We day hiked it, left at 2am and back by 6pm. Super long day. Camped at Alabama Hills on the way out.

hiking
3 days ago

It’s an amazing hike. I could have hiked this in five hours flat easy !!!! Unfortunately ran into a bunch of ice pass the tree-line which slowed me up considerably. Bring crampons if you decide to hike this in the winter. I busted my ass a dozen times lol. Bring ample amount of water at least 2.5 liters.
~Things you need ~

1. A backpack

hiking
6 days ago

Awesome hike with killer views! I hiked it this past weekend as part of my training plan for Mt. Aconcagua in January. I climbed it with ease with 40lbs pack weight and my altitude training mask setting at 12,000ft. My moving time was just over 4hrs. Will easily shave off 30min with knowledge of the route and better planning.

The trail is not difficult at all. The reviews make it sound much more difficult than it really is, which is probably due to the distance and wind people experienced.

Has a good mix of climbing- that is, forest trails, rock trail, and tundra.

This is not a technical trail. It’s a trek needing only minimal equipment.

Do bring:

1. Micro spikes (at minimum) crampons do nicely. -Throw the yak tracks in the trash.
2. Trekking poles
3. Be ready for heavy wind
4. Helmet is a nice touch if you’re climbing solo
5. Warmer gloves than you expect

I highly suggest climbers unfamiliar with layering to seek advice before attempting. The temperature swing from the saddle to the summit is substantial. During my hike there were 45kt (52mph) winds. I saw a few groups of people who were inappropriately dressed and definitely put themselves at risk for frostbite.

All in all, a great mountain to hike and train on. Will do again soon!

hiking
7 days ago

It was cool realizing I was at the highest elevation in my home state Arkansas. To bad there was not an amazing view to go along with the amazing feeling.

enjoyed this climb a lot! An plan on doing it again soon for better time now that I know the trail. pretty well beaten path, and when I went there was a good bit of water on the trail, early August, but totally with it 12hr up an down ... I can get that into the single digits though ;)

This hike is amazing. Completed back in August, make sure to leave early, because thunderstorms, snow, etc are big issues. Hiked in a group of 6, and we had such a blast. 7.5 hours up, 5.5 hours down. Beautiful trail, and so many good photo moments. Sunrise, etc.

Amazing... Simply AMAZING

This trail has it all. Views, elevation, good coverage, rocks, snow & ice. Bring poles and micro spikes. It’s gets very icy and technical after the trail splits at the saddle (11,4000) prior to final ascent to Humphrey’s peak. Not safe without proper gear. Beautiful 360 degree views from the top. Gorgeous sunsets from AZ Snowbowl parking lot of you time it right.

hiking
15 days ago

Hiked on 11/3 still lots of snow and ice but it’s pretty well packed, micro spikes are a must. I’m in pretty good shape and hike constantly, the elevation will kick your butt here, be prepared to go slower than you ever thought you’d need to, especially in the last mile. Last mile is very steep, the wind is serious and brings the chill well below freezing any time of day. Hike is worth every step, views from the top are to die for, Grand Canyon and Sedona can both be seen and it’s a 360 degree view of the world around you.

hiking
16 days ago

Amazing views but as of 11/2/18 there was too much snow to get to the peak without crampons or microspikes. We were were able to get to the 2nd false peak with just trekking poles and our regular hiking boots but as the temp dropped the snow began to turn too icy for us to continue. If you are going to try to make it to the top without proper equipment (which i do NOT recommend) then make sure you go within the next few days on a WARM day and get to the saddle by noon so that way the snow on the exposed portions of the trail on your way to the peak will be slushy enough for you to really dig in and make it to the top and back before the temp drops at 3/4pm and freezes over making it too dangerous to traverse.

Dayhike: 10/27/2018

This was such a huge accomplishment. We had beautiful weather and I was able to hike in a long sleeve and long pants the entire time. I would recommend a brimmed hat and something to cover your mouth and nose for the occasional winds. Once we got to the summit, I put on my down jacket. Going down I was really glad I packed microspikes. It gave me piece of mind sailing down the icy patches, otherwise, it would have been slow moving on those parts due to safety concerns.

We started at 4:30am and summited at 2pm. Made it back to the car by 7pm. The last 1.9 miles to the summit was torturous with many thoughts on what I’m doing with my life, why am I doing this to myself and just turning back around. But once you get closer to the skyline and you see the top of the shelter/building, it’s all worth it! You made it to the top!

Final notes:
- I only drank 1.5 liters of the 3 liters packed.
- Walking poles really helped my knees and I’m not as sore as I was expecting after 2 days.
- Trail is very well defined and maintained.
- Better to have an early start so you’re not rushed on time. We had a few people not able to summit due to the late start time and it would have been dangerous for them to go down the icy areas without microspikes in the dark.
- Lastly have fun and be safe! It’s such an great experience!

10/26/18 I completed this hike left trail head about 7:30 am and hit the summit around 12:00 pm what a hike their was a lot of snow thankfully I was properly equipped the most rewarding hike I’ve done to date if you can only get to the saddle you would still love the view

I had to dig deep in the mind to finish this one I’m not sure if I want to ever go back this close to November but I will try it in summer

10/24/2018 -- Day Hike Summited 9:15 , departed 3am from Whitney Portal, Summit 9:15am, returned to portal 3:45pm.

WEATHER AND CONDITIONS
Base weather low 40s, no wind, bright full moon; Summit weather low 40s, sunny, no wind. Trail camp was coldest at dawn in low 30s, slight wind. Packed snow on the 97 switchbacks. A few patches of ice around trail crest. Yaktrax were used only on the descent starting at the snowy section of the 97 switchbacks.

GEAR
Pack was about 12lbs with 48 oz of water, about 2.5 lbs of food. Hiking poles & boots were used. I wore pants, long sleeve, base layer, wind breaker plus a buff and a sun hat. I brought a down jacket and full gloves for emergency--neither were used. Navigation was mostly using BackCountry Navigator app, also had paper map and compass (which helped when I missed a turn on the ascent)

WATER
Started with 48oz in 2 bike bottles. Refilled water upon descent at Trail Pond using a squeeze filter. In hindsight I should have also refilled during the ascent.

HIGHLIGHTS
The full moon made the hike up clear and majestic. Sunrise at Trail Camp was breathtaking. The ascent of the 97 switchbacks was pleasant due to the snow leveling the grade--it felt like walking up a treadmill. The ascent felt quick and painless, but the descent mentally dragged on -- mostly due to foot pain and sun exposure. Nothing unbearable, just less pleasant than the ascent. The sign at the bottom warning that "the summit is only half way" is right on.

OTHER TIPS
* Bring spare socks and rotate every 3 hours. Hang the sweaty ones on your pack to dry and disinfect while hiking. No blisters! Dry socks also improve morale.
* 3/4 of this hike is exposed. Sun protection is a must -- wide-brimmed or desert hat will help both with sunburn and improve morale.
* Buff helps you manage quick temp fluctuations -- cold ears, lips, nose etc
* Hiking with a red lamp will preserve your night vision and let you see farther at night
* 80g / hr is a good rough estimate for food quantity.

Also want to give a shout out to hikingguy.com -- his guide made the trek up really predictable -- every thing you need including trail features and turns are there.

https://hikingguy.com/hiking-trails/best-la-hikes/mt-whitney-hike/

Summited 10/22/2018
Most difficult and rewarding hike I’ve ever done! This was my 2nd try. Trail camp was very cold the first night and there was snow up half the 99 switchbacks. Camelback valves froze in the morning. Still not bad for late October. Altitude and grade are the hardest parts of this hike. Best to acclimate yourself as much as you can before hand and try it in 2 or 3 days like I did. Go slow and breath.

I have holes this 1.5 times and loved it. It is a little steep and there is some elevation gain but it's worth it. My first attempt wasn't successful because a thunderstorm rolled in just after sunrise coming from the East. We were just about to trail crest when it hit. The thunder and lighting were almost instantaneous and then it started to hail. It was scary and a great reminder of the power of nature.

Hiked: 10/20/18

It was great, at the top of the switch backs is when the altitude starts to set in. Just take it easy, it was freezing the majority of the trail, we started at 2:30 and I summited at 2.

It is a very enjoyable hike up, take your time! I descended in only 5 hours so it came out to about a 16 hour trip. My camel back valve froze so bring some warm water and thermals.

It was really icy, if you do not have micro-spikes then take the infamous switchbacks slow!! Have fun and goodluck!

The hike itself isn’t too crazy it’s the elevation gain. I did a day hike in 16 hours but I would suggest acclimation to make it more enjoyable

hiking
29 days ago

Considerable amount of snow up here on 10/19. Bring poles or an ice ax and wear boots with crampons/microspikes. Post-holed quite a bit near the summit so snowshoes should also be a consideration depending on weather conditions. High winds on the ridge the last mile or so. Hike was 10 miles roundtrip and the views were incredible. I could see both the Grand Canyon and Sedona from the summit. Also, AMS is real. If you’re coming from low elevation spend at least a night in Flagstaff to acclimate. You’ll feel better the day of your hike if you do.

29 days ago

Couldn't make it to summit due to snow and wind but will return soon. One of the best games that I ever had.

icey bring crampons a d poles

hiking
29 days ago

First time hiking Humphreys and did it on 10/20 and the trail was covered in snow and thigh deep past the saddle. It took 4 hours to get to the top and 3 to get back down. Definitely bring layers, a face mask for the wind, and lots of snacks. The winds were around 30 mph at the top. This hike is really satisfying to complete and you will feel accomplished afterwords! My fit bit said it was 14 miles. It was a long hike either way be prepared. I would do this again but maybe once the snow melts.

Complete 10-19-18. Most challenging and rewarding hike I’ve ever done.

We started at 430am, summited 11 hours later at 330pm, sat up there for 30 min, headed back down at 4pm & got back to the car at 1030pm so it was an awesome 18 hour day on trail.

It was definitely hard to breath once we got to about 10k ft. Luckily neither of us got altitude sickness or vertigo. We were glad we had micro spikes for the descent. Wear as many pairs of gloves you can fit and the warmest ones you can find. Only thing I wish I’d brought was a buff or any other kind of face covering.

Brought 3 liters of water & a filtration system. Only drank 2 liters, never checked to see if my sawyer squeeze froze but I heard other people’s systems did. Mostly brought proteins to eat, wish I’d brought more carbs.

Check out www.whitneyzone.com before you go!

Completed in one day on the 19th. We started at 3am. There were no online reservations available for camping at Whitney Portal but we drove up anyways to see. There were plenty of walk in sites available as well as one-night only camping next to the overnight parking which was perfect. Make sure you bring tags for anything you leave in the bear boxes.

Hiking in the dark on the trail was incredibly easy and fun. You look up and see a line of headlights but can’t see anything else. It’s nice to not be able to see the elevation you have to climb up and made it go by quicker but at the same time I know we were missing the beautiful scenery.

Once we hit trail camp, it got COLD. Like the other posts, our camelback straws froze and so did our filtration system so we were very appreciate of the people that lent us their help. We kept one straw in our jackets to keep it warm and switched straws out when the other froze. We used micro spikes on the way up and down when there was snow. It made us feel comfortable and it I didn’t have them, we would have turned around. In fact, we passed multiple people who turned around because they didn’t have micro spikes but we all may be just a novice group of hikers.

The last 2 miles were the hardest. It took us 3 hours due to putting on and taking off microspikes and scrambling up parts of the trail.

Overall, a great hike! Completely doable, you just need to be prepared for the worst and want it enough.

Completed same day on October 17th. Started at 0315 Took 11.5 hours. Great conditions - no winds the entire time. Incredibly cold in early morning while dark - camelbak froze many times. Required lots of layers. Once the sun same out a t-shirt was fine. Snow / ice at top of switchbacks and to summit. We wore microspikes down but wasn’t needed on way up. Could have been done entirely without spikes. Long day but rewarding.

Did an overnight trip and camped at the lake. This was such a great experience and it was my first backpacking trip. I would recommend and will be back!

hiking
1 month ago

As good as it gets. Well worth the effort to the top. Strava clocked it at about 10.5 miles. Trail is well marked...it was covered in snow yesterday. Lots of it. Definitely wear sunblock. Drank about 2L of water. Bring salty snacks. Dress in layers... you'll go from cold to hot the entire hike. This hike won't disappoint...I'll be back again soon.

There's nowhere to park and its on a busy street.

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