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One for the bucket list.

Incredible hike. DO NOT TAKE OLD ARMY PASS! It is not mainted at all. Take new army pass and then follow the cairns to the summit

hiking
2 days ago

Very hard. My first high summit. I found it very steep and hard to breathe at the top and I am in good shape. The views are not great but worth doing. I liked the views about halfway up the hike better. Overall it took us about 12 hours and 22 miles. Worth doing for sure.

Side note:

Old army pass is safe. Our group mistaked old army pass for the break between the two mountains by the last lake when you reach 3 or 4 lakes in a few minutes. I absolutely do not recommend going up this. Take the real trail on old army pass and you will be safe. I was absolutely terrified. Rocks came sliding down and the sand was unstable on what may seem like a very steep trail but it is not a trail.

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.

hiking
4 days ago

Completed as a day hike 10/31/2018. Took about 6 hours up and 4.5 hours down. (avid and fit hiker, filtering breaks only) As the previous review stated, there was no snow on NAP. There was patchy snow on OAP between the last lake and the top of the pass. I had spikes ready to go but didn't use them. While an easier hike overall, the last mile of this trail before the summit is harder than any one single mile of the Mount Whitney Trail. I'll type up a proper review soon.

hiking
4 days ago

Awesome hike with amazing views at the top of half dome. I did this as a day hike in November with the cables down. I left the valley at 630 am right as the sun was coming out and I was the ONLY person at half dome. Had the whole place to myself. The hiking by Vernal and Nevada falls is the toughest part. Half dome is easy with a harness, some rope, and some leather gloves. Half dome with the cables down is a much more enjoyable experience, you just have to be more prepared but definitely worth it! Total hike took 9 hours to the top of half dome and back to the valley, the hike is tough and exhausting but with the appropriate rest and breaks it can be very enjoyable.

Amazing... Simply AMAZING

hiking
9 days ago

we did this hike late in October. the trail is very clear even though it's considered to be not an official trail. the distance is short and some times deceives you. the steep climb more than makes up for the length. it's a continuous upward hike with sections of the second part of the climb becoming a scramble. there is a large plateau section after the first half and gives you some time to catch your breath and prepare for the steep second section. it's typical of most holes above 11k , Rocky and changing trail. Cairns on the way show you the trail and help you stay on track. the view on the top is rewarding, mono lake on the background, Dana glacier which was barely there and steep drops. there is a wind protected spring area where the register was kept inside a gladsware box. the summit market has weathered and towards the edge of the cliff, try finding it without some help, very inconspicuous.

the climb down was faster but also very hard on the knees. there loose rocks also make it tricky. no one had talked about AMS on this hike but would like to caution folks attempting this to be very aware. in our group of 12, only 3 made it to the top and almost 6 to 8 of them had middle to high symptoms of AMS. most common is headache. saw couple of guys return without reaching the summit due to this. overall a good achievable 13k+ hike. we started at 930 and finished around 5. start early if you want to avoid getting late.

hiking
13 days ago

Certainly a hike for your bucket list. Just make sure that you get your permits in advance. We tried to get ours on 5 separate occasions and never got lucky. In the end, on our last day in Yosemite, we decided to hike up anyway to see how far we would be allowed to go. As luck had it, we ran into a group of other hikers who had 2 extra permits, so we were able to make it all the way to the top. Otherwise, the permit check is just below Subdome, which means is that there are some views to be had even without the permit, however, they are nowhere near as impressive as from the top and you won't even see the Half Dome at all. The rangers check the your permit against an ID of at least one person in the group, so if you don't get lucky with your own applications, you really need to find a group of people who have extra permits - getting a permit from people who get tired and turn back doesn't help.

As for the hike itself, it is not nearly as difficult as I had expected it to be. That said, it does take a better part of the day, so be prepared for it, head out early in the morning and bring plenty of water, especially if going in summer. The cables look scarier than they in fact are - the only annoying thing about them is trying to avoid all the people going in the other direction, especially if you arrive during a busier day.

On the way back, my suggestion would be to take the John Muir Trail between Nevada and Vernal Falls. It might be slightly longer but offers stunning views of Nevada Falls and is also less steep than the Mist Trail - something your knees might thank you for later.

In all, if you have the chance and ability, I really can't recommend this highly enough!

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!

hiking
15 days ago

I hiked it in a day on 10/27/2018, taking about 13 hours car to car - I hiked via New Army Pass and saw no snow on the trail - there did not appear to be snow on Old Army Pass either. The hike was long and difficult but the views were beautiful. Make sure to bring plenty of food, water, layers, and willpower.

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/

16 days ago

Intense, good workout. Fitbit tracked 6.18 miles.

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.

hiking
22 days ago

Definitely MUCH FURTHER than 4.4 miles - Fitbit tracked at 7.5 miles round trip. Still a great hike, and we got to do the moonlight experience tonight, which was spectacular! definitely tough, with loads of switchbacks buy big rewards the higher you climb!

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

Vernal and Nevada trail is the hardest part. Once you past that, the rest of the trail is a piece of cake until you get to the sub dome part. Be prepared to scramble your way up to get to the end.

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.

hiking
27 days ago

So maybe we cheated a bit on this, and instead of trekking up from Yosemite Valley floor (y'alls that do it: mad props! that's beast mode hiking right there!), we camped out at the Little Yosemite Valley, and trekked up to the rock at sunset to have a nice view with our dinner...
it is NOT an easy hike... esp. the last part (subdome and the cables). by the time we got to the rock, it was about an hour and 15 minutes to sunset, and thank god there were only three people on the cables coming down, otherwise, it was just our group of 6. i don't know if i'd be able to do the cables if there were a ton of people on them... it is sketchy as heck. do invest in good grippy shoes and super grippy gloves. you'll thank both later. our guide gave us a good advice (it goes esp. for those who have the fear of heights): don't look around, concentrate on the next plank in-front of you, and go from plank to plank in counts of five... take all the rest you need.
THE VIEWS ARE WORTH IT!!!
my personal suggestion for this hike would be to break it up... trek up to LYV, spend the night or rest up... and then continue with the trek up to Half Dome, or do it the next day. :)

hiking
28 days ago

Great hike! Did it 10/14 (first weekend that cables are down). Set off at sunrise, up the Mist trail and back down JMT. Took around 7 hours total with no traffic up to summit. I was actually expecting the hike up to be more strenuous since I’ve just started hiking, but it was absolutely fine. Most tiring bit are the stairs up to sub dome. I had perfect conditions for this and it wasn’t too hot so I survived fine on 2l of water. Saw mother bear and 2 cubs on the way back too!

hiking
28 days ago

Read a bunch of reviews and feel like most are somewhat exaggerated. Did this hike in about 9.5 hours, and you definitely want to start at about 2am. I started at 2:30am by myself, first time hiking in the dark with an REI 20$ headlamp, and what an experience. Couldn’t see but could hear the water falls roaring, and the night critters were frequent on the trail. The headlamp did its job and being up on the cables at sunrise was magical, as well as the dark night sky on the way up. Going down was no problem until vernal/nevada fall, when the trail was packed with people, without much regard for others on the trail. For this I probably would have went JMT, but I wanted to see the things I couldn’t see on the way up. Also the sub dome is not that grueling, and it really only lasts about 20 minutes to the base of the cables.

Didn’t do much training for this, did Four Mile Trail, Eagle Peak, clouds rest, and MT. Hoffman spread out in weeks time. Took 30 liters of water with me and a water filter, to cut down on weight and didn’t have to use the filter (starting in the dark keeps the heat down). Overall awesome experience, happy to do it. Saw loads of people going up as I was going down so start early before 5am if you want to miss that, as there was no waiting on the cables going up or down, which made it easier.

Third time I’ve climbed this. This time Thursday oct 11. Nice and chilly morning. Parking lot mostly empty. Saw three people on summit. Stayed up there for a half hour. Views were very good. The trail is vastly improved from my last trip up here which was 11 years ago. At 67 years old I expected a tough climb. The last half mile I had to stop about seven times. As I was starting my descent I walked past about thirty kids and a few adults climbing up. My whole trip up and down was about three and a half hours. Looking forward to climbing brokeoff mountain this coming Thursday. This good weather won’t last much longer

This hike will easily separate the mountain goats from the average hiker. Expect to finish in 4-5 hours if you are average. I smoked this bad boy in sub 3 hours including all my small breaks. Not the prettiest hike in the world but it’s a great workout if you get after it! Make sure you have decent grip on your shoes... I went clockwise and really glad I did. It will start off steep and have lots of loose rocks. Some parts were pretty tricky to get down (for me at least) because it was so steep and my shoes didn’t have the best traction. Once you make it up to the top it’s a pretty smooth and easy way back if you go clockwise. Holla at ya boy if you get sub 3 hours on this one!

hiking
30 days ago

Nice to have done it but the views aren’t the best. You can’t see Half Dome from Half Dome.

Amazing!!! Such a cool bucket list hike. It’s the cables that make it so unique and such a cool experience. Took us about 10 hours round trip. Our feet were hurting at the end and we were definitely tired. Started at 6:15a and found easy parking in the parking lot closest to the trailhead. We were surprised that the parking lot was so full. Met a lot of nice and enthusiastic hikers. Had an amazing day! Can’t believe we hiked half dome!!!! We won our permits unexpectedly for the last day that the cables were up. Pretty lucky!

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