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Lone Pine, California Map
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This was a surreal and at times scary experience. I summitted alone on November 1st, 2016.

I started at 9AM and camped the first night (Halloween) at Consolation Lake. Despite being a few hundred feet from the lake, due to the fresh snow, I steeped on a seemingly solid area that broke and put me past my boots in freezing water. I moved my camp and removed my boots and socks, both of which turned to ice shortly after. It was definitely good that I brought extra socks! That night was very cold and windy, making it difficult to sleep. Despite this, the sky was clear and I saw the best stars I had ever seen since it was a new moon and I was at high elevation.

The next day I waited a while until the sun came out, trying to warm up my boots. Getting out of Consolation Lake to the switchbacks was more difficult than I had expected and I was at times up to my hips in snow. Once I got to about the area where the cables are, a person who had summitted Rainier told me they were turning back due to the conditions. Another group of two people also decided to turn back at this point.

Around the corner where the cables were, was where the footprints ended. I continued with my entire pack (35lbs) all the way to Trail Crest. Once I reached it I decided to go for it without my entire bag. There were many steep sections that really made me plant my boots (with microspikes) and poles well. I summitted late in the day (about 3PM). The most surreal part was when I actually made it to the top, at that point a propeller plane flew to my left and I saw the faces of the people in the plane. I didn't hear it coming, it was a surprise I couldn't have imagined, a bit too coincidental since I hadn't noticed any planes like this, that or the previous day.

Due to the sun setting sooner at this time in the year, I had to descent most of the switchbacks in the dark with a headlamp. I had intended to make it back to the trailhead at night but in the dark, the footprints in the snow went off in too many directions. I ironically ended up back at Consolation Lake, probably because I ended up following my own footprints. I ended up camping here that night, which was less cold and windy.

The next day I found the trail back from Consolation Lake and descended. I didn't get phone reception past Lone Pine Lake and there was no one on the way up or down past the roped area. I really had expected people but I am happy I had so much of the mountain to myself. This is probably because I went at the end of the season, during Halloween and on a Tuesday.

I don't recommend doing this trail alone with snow up as deep as your boots like I did. I did see some small animal's footprints on some of the steep sections and used those as a guide when it wasn't clear where to go. I didn't expect it to take 3 day but the late start, confusion of where to go after the switchbacks in the dark and deep snow made it necessary.

See my photos and other parts of my story here: http://into.travel/blog/2016/11/02/mt-whitney

Love this short trail. Quick and easy, just follow the rock border!

I love this trail so much! I stop by here every time I am on the 395 or heading up to Mammoth. It's is all dry in the summer (which I personally love). It makes for insanely cool desert landscape and the rocks get super hot. On the way to the falls area, there is a stand with a metal box and a book inside, where you can write your name, where you are from, what date you visited, and why you visited. On the way you will find signs that tell you the history of this old volcanic site and how the Owens River used to flow through it. You can climb in and out of the falls, at your own risk of course. It's super fun and highly recommended!

really beautiful and very easy walk.

Great hike. Did it a few years back. Made it a 2 day camping above tree line in a very uncomfortable rock pile! Hike to top next morning. Great views. Threat of lightening made us head down after only being on top about 15 min. Met a 92 year old woman at the top that climbs it by herself in one day!!!! Know the signs of altitude sickness and get down if you start to feel it.

Attempted this trail on April 22, 2017, and there was still heavy snow starting just before Lone Pine Lake. I would highly recommend bringing skis with you for going down the main trail. My husband and I had an ice axe, crampons, and snow shoes and found the descent very challenging.

Great hike. Be sure to acclimate to the altitude, especially if you live in a low altitude area. Lone Pine Lake is a good hike to acclimate.

We went in early spring on a weekend and were the only people out on the trail. If you want solitude, this is it!
I definitely recommend taking a GPS with you out on this trail. Ranchers drive cattle through the area, and we had to stop several times to check we were going the right way.
We heard a bear up ahead of us, so turned around before we reached the pass. We'll definitely have to come back. Gorgeous views, lots of waterfalls, and the dog loved it too!

Question. Thinking of climbing in June or September and wanted to know nearest airport to fly into?

So beautiful! The old waterfalls as well as the surrounding scenery. We went in April so we God to see some wild flowers, so amazing. And fun to climb around on the rocks.
Took our dog and she had a blast as well!