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Can you climb Mt Whitney in the winter?

5 min read

Asked by: Jodi Wright

When you climb Whitney in winter, you are working for it by using winter climbing techniques, which makes the summit that much more special. The 99 switchbacks which might as well be an escalator in the summer time, are completely covered in snow and ice in winter.

Is Whitney Portal open in winter?

Seasons Open

As long as Whitney Portal Road is open, so is the store. Whitney Portal Road usually opens sometime in early May, with the first major winter storm shutting it down sometime in November.

What is the best month to hike Mt Whitney?

By far the most popular time of the year to hike Mt. Whitney is in the Summer. The lottery season (aka the most popular season, when you need a permit) is from May 1 through November 1. It is ideal to aim to do this hike sometime from July through early October for the best chance of a clear trail without any snow.

How cold is Mount Whitney top?

Temperatures at the lower elevations are generally warm. At higher elevations in the night, even in the summer months temperatures can fall below freezing. Typical winter temperatures above 9,500 feet range from -14 degrees F to 12 degrees at night and from 15 – 50 degrees F during the day.

Can you climb to the top of Mount Whitney?

Mt. Whitney Trail starts high at 8,600 feet and ascends gently over the course of its 6,000 vertical feet gain in elevation. The average of 550-feet in elevation gain per mile makes for a relatively gentle ascent. For fast hikers, the ascent can be done in about 5 hours, with about 7 to 8 hours for the average hiker.

Do you need crampons for Mt. Whitney?

You should expect to need crampons and an ice axe. Based on the record current snowpack in that area right now the section of the trail known as the “switchbacks” will just be an approximately 45+ degree snow and ice slog. The switchbacks themselves will be covered and useless.

Is there snow on Mt Whitney Trail?

Whitney. Additional skills and equipment are necessary for safe travel when snow and ice are present. The trail is usually relatively snow-free from late June to mid-October. Download area map for trail names.

Can a beginner climb Mt. Whitney?

Most people tackle Mt Whitney as a 22 mile round-trip day hike. It sounds long but is very doable with the proper training. Your chances for getting a permit on the day hike are also generally the best. There’s also a great sense of accomplishment in hiking Mt Whitney in a day.

Can you climb Mt. Whitney without ropes?

Mountaineer’s Route: For those advancing in the summer, ropes are not necessary. However, some choose to use them during an exposed scramble at the end of the climb from the notch to the summit of the peak.

Which is harder Mt. Whitney or Half Dome?

I’d say Whitney is the more difficult of the two. It’s just higher and longer. If you consider Whitney 10/10 and you did half dome all the way I’d put Half Dome at 6/10 with Whitney. The altitude makes a huge difference.

Can you climb Mt. Whitney in a day?

Most hikers try to do the 22-mile round-trip hike to Mount Whitney in one day. With the right amount of resources and preparation, the round-trip hike will take you between 13-16 hours.

How do you acclimate to Mt. Whitney?

One suggestion would be to sleep the evening before you start up at Whitney Portal (8,000+ft) to help with you acclimatization, and drink lots of water.
In short:

  1. arrive in CA as fit as you possibly can.
  2. spend a night or two above 7000 feet before your climb.
  3. have fun.

How many deaths on Mount Whitney?

According to historical data, deaths range from one to two per year on average. Many of the recent deaths “have been in spring or early summer due to falls on snow and ice, where the subject did not have or know how to use critical gear like crampons and an ice axe,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

Is Mount Whitney still growing?

Now, new research has uncovered a clue in this geologic puzzle. Using GPS and space radar technology, scientists found that the range — which includes Lake Tahoe and the highest peak in the contiguous United States, the 14,505-foot-tall (4,421 meters) Mount Whitney — is growing by about a millimeter each year.

What animals live on Mount Whitney?

Bears, Marmots, Mice, Squirrels, Quail, Robins, Deer, and Blue Jays are all found in the Whitney area. Remember, do not feed any animals and do not leave any food unattended. You will need to take precautions for bears and marmots. Marmots will chew through your tent to get to anything that smells interesting.

Can you sleep in your car at Whitney Portal?

Can I sleep in my car? This is an active bear area and sleeping in your car at Whitney Portal is not permitted. While a solid car may seem more bear resistant than a tent, bear are accustomed to searching for food around the parked cars and food storage lockers.

Is there cell service on Mt. Whitney?

Yes to all 3, at least for me with AT&T. To add, many of the high peaks in the sierra will also have service. I’ve sent snapchats from the summits of Williamson and Russell.

Are there bears at Mt. Whitney?

Whitney and the Whitney Portal area, like most of the Sierras are home to many Black Bears and a lot of Black Bear activity. On the other hand, Black Bears are wild animals and as a general rule, do not like to hang out with humans.

Do you need a bear canister for Mt. Whitney?

Bear canisters are required on the Mt. Whitney Trail from Memorial Weekend to November 1. Bear canisters are the only effective means to store your food. We strongly recommend you use a bear canister throughout the year.

How many miles is it to the top of Mount Whitney?

It starts at Whitney Portal, 13 miles (21 km) west of the town of Lone Pine, California. The hike is about 22 mi (35 km) round trip, with an elevation gain of over 6,100 feet (1,860 m).

Mount Whitney Trail
Length 11 mi (18 km)
Location Inyo National Forest, Inyo County, California
Trailheads Whitney Portal
Use Hiking