First day on Mt. Whitney
Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
192Trip End Oct 14, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
I drove from Lone Pine to the Whitney Portal. I hunted through the car for the things I needed to hike Mt. Whitney, loaded up my backpack and headed for the trailhead. My pack was much heavier than I'm used to hiking with since, normally, I'm just doing day hikes. This time I was packed for four days and had a tent and sleeping bag, the required bear-proof container for food and crampons and an ice axe for the snow at the top.
At the trailhead they have a scale. I wasn't sure I wanted to know but I weighed my pack: it was 52 pounds. This wasn't going to be easy.
I slowly hiked up to the lower of the two campgrounds, Outpost Camp. It's about 3.7 miles from and 2,000 feet above the trailhead. The first 2 1/2 miles of the trail were relatively snow-free. From that point to Outpost Camp there were many large areas of deep snow and following the trail was quite difficult. Ski, snowshoe and boot tracks lead in many directions, most being off-route.
I eventually made it to Outpost Camp. I was told that I should be prepared to camp on snow but there were plenty of snow-free campsites. Of course, that meant sleeping on gravel. I think snow might have been better. I set up my tent, ate and went to bed.