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EPIC ADVENTURE!!! I did this as a Day hike on Saturday 10/14/17. I arrived Thursday morning and camped out at Whitney Portal Campground, less than a mile from the trailhead, sitting at 8,000ft elevation. I did a lot of research and followed the advice of many people by arriving 2 days before the hike, to allow my body to become acclimated to the altitude. I had one friend arrive Thursday night after 11pm and 2 other friends arrived Friday after 1pm. Out of the 4 of us, I felt no effects of AMS, my buddy that came Thursday night did have slight symptoms of altitude sickness, but he still managed to finish the hike. Of the other 2, one was very slightly affected and the other had absolutely zero problems (just goes to show that some people are immune to altitude)
We went to sleep at 7:30pm Friday night and woke up at 12:30am Saturday morning and began hiking just before 2:30am. It was literally FREEZING, with temps in the 20’s and 30’s the first half of the hike. We all had our headlamps on and used them for about 4 hours until the sun came up. It was a welcome sight for me, because I wasn’t properly layered, so I was very cold..it turns out I was actually wearing too many layers under my jacket and I became sweaty and cold, despite wearing moisture wicking fabrics. My friend actually made the same mistake, and at one point in the darkness, he removed a couple shirts and they froze and became firm and crunchy! We kept taking small breaks on the way up because of the difficulty breathing as the air got thinner and thinner the higher we ascended. We finally made it to the summit after 9 excruciating hours. But it was such a great feeling and sense of accomplishment! We hung out at the summit, ate some lunch, took some photos and laid out clothes out on rocks to dry. After about an hour, we started back down. It took us 5 hours to get back to the trailhead, arriving around 5:20pm.
The weather was sunny and extremely clear the whole day, but it probably stayed in the high 50’s at the warmest. Trekking poles were definitely a help going down. I went through 3L of water in my Camelbak, 2 16.9oz bottles of water with added electrolytes and a 20oz Gatorade at lunch on the summit...could’ve used 1 more bottle of water though.
This was an incredibly difficult hike, and I’ve been training for months and months, reaching the summits of a dozen mountains in Southern California, so make sure you are used to hiking at altitude and going 20+ miles at one time. One of my friends is very athletic and it kicked his butt.
I’m pretty stoked that I have finally completed Whitney, after months of training, planning and worrying that everything would work out, and if you ask me if I’d do it again, I would...but NEVER in the cold again! I’ll do it in the summer

The road to the trailhead requires a high clearance vehicle. Driving a Honda Civic, the closest that I could get to trailhead was a good 4.3 miles away! (End of asphalt in Fuller road). I could never figure out the start of the trail and hence just climbed the hill till I saw something that resembled a trail. I again lost the trail after the small pond. Nonetheless it made the hike that much more interesting. Did it on Oct 14th as a day hike.
There are too many use trails after Red lake to get to Split mountain. On the way back you will see the good ones :-)
Just remember to come back to the correct ridge. There are use trails from the top which take you further down to the lake on the left (looking down) and possibly to the ridge on the left fork (looking down). We want to be on the right fork.

on day one I arrived, September 12th, at Whitney portal and slept inside my Grand Cherokee. o got about 10 hours of sound sleep which is about twice what I normally get. the noise level while sleeping a vehicle is not bad at all. there are great facilities at the portal. there had been a big storm the couple days before I arrived which caused some issues with the Whitney portal store water system. as a result their kitchen was closed and they weren't cooking any food. just a heads up. the next day I began backpacking up to trail camp at 10am. the first few miles are on a trail of dirt/gravel and few steps. it made for great hiking. after outpost camp it gets more Rocky and there was some wet trail to cross but nothing more than a couple inches of water. trail camp was amazing. there were snow patches over 10k ft but none on the trail until near the summit . I began the summit push at 3am on the 14th, first on the trail. temps in high 20s. I had to bust through several icy spots on the trail, so just have good footing. nothing that required additional equipment. I got to the summit at sunrise. layers required. temp was about 20°, even lower with the wind chill. the few miles leading to the summit was more bigger rocks and steps. headed down after. overall a great hike.

hiking
2 days ago

Awesome Trail uphill and through some open brush ground from parking lot about a mile and then your next to the creek outlet from parker lake and then you get to the lake and you can hike around it to the left or right back to the trail you came in on... really beautiful in the fall season suggest going in afternoon and coming back as sun sets its really nice views

hiking
2 days ago