Conditions Mountaineers Route Mt Whitney


Original Post
wsperry · · San Jose/Lafayette · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 110

Anybody been up or down the Mountaineer's route on Whitney recently. planning to descend that way this weekend and curious if I should bring my crampons.

Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 200

I did the East Buttress last week.  I went down the trail due to a late start and darkness falling but it looked like the MR snow could be avoided by staying on the south side of the snow and scrambling down the rock.   At the very worst you might have to be on snow for 100-150 feet before getting back onto rock.    The guys at Elevation Sports in Lone Pine thought you could avoid the snow all together.

wsperry · · San Jose/Lafayette · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 110

Awesome! Thanks man

Scott O · · California · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 65

Should be mushy in the late morning/afternoon for the descent, anyway. 

Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 200

I thought the snow would be pretty soft also but was really surprised at how firm the snow was even in direct sun.    I had my son with me, it was his first real climb of any size and planned on coming down the MR after climbing the E Buttress.   We had micro spikes and trekking poles but after watching guys inch their way down the MR in the late afternoon shade we decided to play it safe and take the trail down.   The trail is mind numbingly long but easy in the dark.   It was a fun car to car outing.

Sorry, no pictures of the MR.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310

"  It was a fun car to car outing."


Making the most of retirement.... good for you Kevin- That is a big day! 

Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 200
Guy Keesee wrote:

"  It was a fun car to car outing."


Making the most of retirement.... good for you Kevin- That is a big day! 

OH man, you have no idea.  Got a late start in the morning from the portal, made it to Iceberg at 11:00, after filtering water and eating started climbing at a bit after 12:00.   I felt we were climbing at a good pace and even linked pitches with our 70m rope and it still took us 6 hours to top out.  I think the time killer was hanging out at belays too long eating and drinking and being 50 years old and out of shape.   Starting down the trail I was exhausted and took frequent rest stops to refill water and eat.  Made it back to the car at 5am.  Drove down the road a bit and threw our bags down and slept for 3 hours before driving home.    

I used to do the EB or EF car to car all the time and make it back to the car maybe a bit after dark but that was 25-30 years ago.   I still love it and will keep doing it till I can't do it which should still be many many years from now.   

My son loved it.  I had climbed Crystal Crag with my son when he was 8 years old and it kind of freaked him out being out of earshot between belays and he kind of got turned off climbing after that and i never pushed him on it since.   This summer he mentioned wanting to do Whitney and I recommended the EB route and he jumped at it.   He climbed great and never complained.   Glad i didn't wreck him for life.   Now my daughter wants to climb it.  

Cat Nelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 0

On Thursday 10th August we couldn't avoid the snow coming down the MR after the East Buttress. The snow was really firm in the afternoon, apparently much more so than a couple of weeks previously. Plenty of people were happy walking down the footsteps in the snow, but we had brought ice axes and were very happy to have them. If you're confident on snow, it's probably fine, and more might have melted since then...

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310
Kevin Mokracek wrote:

OH man, you have no idea.  Got a late start in the morning from the portal, made it to Iceberg at 11:00, after filtering water and eating started climbing at a bit after 12:00.   I felt we were climbing at a good pace and even linked pitches with our 70m rope and it still took us 6 hours to top out.  I think the time killer was hanging out at belays too long eating and drinking and being 50 years old and out of shape.   Starting down the trail I was exhausted and took frequent rest stops to refill water and eat.  Made it back to the car at 5am.  Drove down the road a bit and threw our bags down and slept for 3 hours before driving home.    

I used to do the EB or EF car to car all the time and make it back to the car maybe a bit after dark but that was 25-30 years ago.   I still love it and will keep doing it till I can't do it which should still be many many years from now.   

My son loved it.  I had climbed Crystal Crag with my son when he was 8 years old and it kind of freaked him out being out of earshot between belays and he kind of got turned off climbing after that and i never pushed him on it since.   This summer he mentioned wanting to do Whitney and I recommended the EB route and he jumped at it.   He climbed great and never complained.   Glad i didn't wreck him for life.   Now my daughter wants to climb it.  

Good to hear....   I didn't wreck my kids for climbing ether....  My daughter was into swinging on the rope when she was young, she even did the el Cap deal.... then one day she watched "Touching the Void" when she was like 15 and she came to me and said- "can we go do some of that?" so we did. It was very different having the Kid down there on belay.

Glad you can still do the C2C, keep it up, one never knows when something bad will happen to you and you won't be able to do that anymore. 

Keep climbing

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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