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35 degrees at the summit. The Devil’s Backbone was the easier trail coming down.

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.

Kicked my ass

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
8 days ago

Nice trail. Lots of bugs though. Annoying.

Amazing... Simply AMAZING

hiking
11 days ago

I thought I was gonna die! Lol! I am just starting to hike again and this might have been a bit ambitious of me! We were heading to Ontario Peak, but I only make it to Icehouse Saddle. 4.2 miles and 2500 ft elevation gain. This trail kicked my butt! The fall colors were putting on a show and the trail is beautiful, paralleling a stream part of the way. I wish my spaghetti legs had allowed me to head down to if for a photo op, but I was afraid that I wouldn't make it back up to the trail! I will do this hike again, and I will make it to the peak next time!

This is great training hike for those wanting to do bigger peaks. SoCal has several extreme hikes that reach the tallest summits that are way more demanding. So this is a great hike to dial your gear and strategy for success.

First hike in twenty years and loved it. Went on Friday around 9:30am. Not crowded, only crossed about 20-25 others during the entire hike. There is quite a bit of rock, gravel and step-ups that make the hike a challenge. A few elevation runs get your heart rate going but there is plenty of room to rest if needed. The scenery is beautiful and peaceful. Legs were burning about half way down with all of the rocks.

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!

10/24/2018 -- 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/

Enjoy this hiking 10/27/18 was moderated to heavy, the weather was nice, a lot of people hiking, start going up as soon as we hit the trail. Love it planning on going back soon

Question....after doing this hike yesterday, our Garmin GPS logged it at 11.2 miles, not 9.2. Does anyone know what the correct mileage is for the loop? Thanks!

Did the loop counterclockwise, going up past the ski hut, and then on to the summit. Back down via Devil’s Backbone, I skipped the ski lift ride down because I didn’t want to cheat, but I would definitely opt to ride the lift down next time because it circumvents the most uninteresting part of the hike. Weather was chilly in the morning, light wind on the summit, got pretty warm on the way down. Dress in layers, it’s essential here.

I definitely think counterclockwise is the way to do Mt. Baldy, it’s absolutely phenomenal going up and around the Baldy Bowl. Every inch of it is breathtaking. It’s quite steep, but I think any fit person could do this hike with a little bit of training. The trail can be tricky to follow after you leave the ski hut, just stay focused and reference the GPS on this app when needed. Traversing the infamous Devil’s Backbone was very scenic and slightly terrifying. Numerous hikers have died on this section in the winter and it’s easy to see why. With zero snow on the trail, like today, the risk factor was marginal. Check conditions with the ranger station, and don’t attempt it if there’s snow, unless you have mountaineering equipment and you know what the hell you’re doing!

Left the car at 8:10a, got to the ski hut 9:45a, summit at 11:15a, back at the car 2:15p. I carried 3 liters of water, probably could’ve gotten by with less. There’s several streams and water sources along the Baldy Bowl side of the hike if you want to collect and filter.

This hike is absolutely incredible, I loved every mile of it and would definitely do it again.

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.

I don’t care for hiking on rocks .. trail is better after the saddle.

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

Great two day with a overnight at dry lake. Plan on fetching water from the spring.

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 the hike today. Trail was very nice, very gusty winds and it does get below freezing with the wind chill starting after the ski center. Recommend dressing appropriately. Devils backbone trail was clear, no snow until you get close to summit and even then only a few patches. Fantastic views, the most significant wildlife I saw was a cat at the ski center.

For first timers, start early, pack layers, go up the Baldy Notch trail as opposed to the ski-hut trail since you do a more gradual ascent on Baldy Notch (6.5 miles) as opposed to Ski Hut trail (3.5 miles with same ascent) . Also be prepared for the serious ascent after you get pass the ski hut, you're going to work those legs as everything leading up to Devils backbone and through it will be pretty steep climb.

Love this hike! So beautiful with running water throughout the hike :-) Bring hiking poles!

Beautiful, amazing hike. Wish I had brought lunch and extra water bottles.

Did it today, was tough but awesome

Awesome hike. Did the hike on Saturday October 13, 2018. Snow and Whiteout at the top. Be prepared for freezing temperatures.

Did this hike on October 6 2018. It snowed before, during, and after. We lucked out and got clear skys at the summit. Summited around 11:00am passed tons of people that turned around because it was too sketchy as it was icy and cold. I didn't have spikes or crampons so was super bummed as I didn't think I had a prayer to make it. The trail was icy and slippery but it wasn't like you were going to fall to your death if you slipped and fell. It was easy to spot the icy areas and I just used the trekking poles and took my time.

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