Mid July 2017 Mount Whitney Trail Report
Being devotees of hiking the Sierras, the Trail Ninjas could not refuse any opportunity to hike up Mount Whitney. We recently summited Mount Whitney on July 22, 2017, as a day hike. Since we were not in the best shape, we decided on an alpine start. Besides crossing a few patches of snow, journey proceeded smoothly. With the challenges of snow mixed with summer temperatures, the hike up to the summit was thoroughly enjoyable. Seeing alpine wildflowers just added icing to the cake.
While warm during the day, the rapid snow melt kept our shoes cold and wet from mile 1 all the way up to Trail Crest. Completely submerged, the Mount Whitney Trail during the meadow stretch right before Outpost Camp spared no dry shoes.
Besides water crossings, we traversed a couple of snow patches about .5 mile before Trail Camp and at Trail Crest. The small patch of snow near the summit can be avoided by scrambling up rocks around the patch.
We thought about sliding down the chute so we could bypass hiking down the 99 Switchbacks, but the thinning snow with exposed jagged rocks posed the lingering thoughts of death.
Microspikes will be helpful but not necessary as long as you utilize strong trekking poles. Unless you fancy icy wet feet, consider carrying extra socks. We also observed animal droppings around Trail Camp Pond, thus we suggest treating your water.
Additional Information available at recreation.gov.