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    Luke's HomeTube reviewed Mount Whitney via Mount Whitney Trail

    6 months ago

    A friend and I started this hike on Wednesday, 5/24 at 11:55am. The trail was dry for about the first 2 miles. Then we encountered heavy snow for the remainder of the hike.

    Just about everyone put on crampons at this stage. Footprints go in all directions, so it's very difficult to find the trail. We crossed the log bridge to cross the creek. The last log was underwater in the middle but it's still easy to cross.

    We saw some hikers coming down near the creek. They told us that the way they came down was the way to outpost camp. It turned out to be a steep hill and not part of the trail. The actual trail goes around the left side of this cliff. We burned a lot of time and energy on this climb. I thought that might be the case when some hikers with GPS behind us went another way. Although, they actually followed the creek up which is also easier but a bit more dangerous due to the ice cold creek water racing by. We burned a lot of time and energy on this climb. We finally could see Lone Pine creek again through the snow before Outpost Camp. This area was entirely covered in snow. I missed Outpost Camp on the way up.

    I didn't see any more hikers for the rest of my hike up. My friend was the only one I saw and was way ahead of me waving down to me from each cliff to see if I made it. It turns out that after Outpost Camp, we went left and unknowingly lost the trail and climbed a steep hill next to a waterfall. The steep cliff of the waterfall had some bright colored warning tape at the top. This is not the correct trail. The trail hugs the right side of the mountain after Outpost Camp.

    My friends tracks were now the only clear tracks in the snow. I saw no one for about another hour as I tried to climb an even steeper slope after I made it above the waterfall. I now had to use my ice axe in case of the need to self arrest. I also wore my helmet here since I had it. I spent almost an hour climbing the slope with a lot of postholing. I was about 2/3 of the way up when dark clouds filled the sky above. My friend must have headed up to Trail Camp as he was no where in sight for quite some time. I wanted to head back down the mountain to camp but I had no camping gear. It was all with my friend. I yelled his name for a long time before deciding to head back. At about 5:50pm, I glissaded down the slope. Then I did the same with the slope next to the water fall. This one I had to hike to the side a bit to avoid the cliff.

    Some hikers at Outpost camp watched me come down. I asked them to tell my friend that I was headed back.

    I worked my way down the mountain. I crossed the creek at the log bridge and came across several hikers there walking both ways.

    The footprints now went in every direction and I lost the trail. After descending the mountain there was now almost no snow. I heard loud moaning with deep bass, almost like a drum. I don't know for sure but think it was a bear. I tried to remember what the mountain looked like on the way up to try to find the trail. There were cliffs on both sides one with the creek near it. I knew to try to stay close to cliff without the creek as it was where we came up. Thankfully, I finally came across the trail again. I heard very loud moaning again just off the trail and very close. It had so much bass to it that I believed it was a large animal, probably a bear. This was just before I cross the heavy stream the crosses the trail. I went quick so my shoes didn't get too wet. I also looked back to the trail a lot to make sure none of those bears were following me. I whistled as I went down to make sure not to startle any animals. I wondered if it only helps them to hunt me. But I heard it's what you're supposed to do since they usually want to avoid contact with humans too.

    I just turned on my head lamp before making it to the end. I finally made it back to my car at Whitney Portal, just before it was dark at 8pm.

    In the morning I called the Sheriff to let them know who I was and my friend and that we were split up. I let them know I made it out ok, in case my friend reported me missing.

    I felt really bad because he had a rough night looking for me. He stayed overnight and made it to Trail Crest. The winds were too strong up there so he headed back and made it safe to the Portal on Thursday, 5/25.

    In the snow it's really important to have a map or even better a GPS map downloaded into your phone before going and make sure you have a USB pack to keep your phone charged. My friend had the map, so it's good for everyone to have their own. Everyone should probably have their own tent too. If you might split up walkie talkies would be good to have too.

    A YouTube video will be posted soon too (lukeshometube). We didn't make it to summit this time but we made it back safe and that's what counts. Hope this helps!