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Footwear recommendation - decent from Mt. Whitney on Mountaineer's Route in June


S. M. Q. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 160

Thanks for all the input! I will definitely look into those microspikes.

If worse comes to worse and the conditions are poor or slippery, I supposed we can belay each through icy or exposed sections on the descent. Wouldn't be too much extra weight to bring two spare ice screws with the rest of our pro.

Tim Opsahl · · SF, CA · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

There's a section towards the bottom that gets little to no sun where microspikes are well worth their weight. Have fun!!

Abandoned User · · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 6,720

April last year I was descending the MR after climbing keeler needle and did an involuntary 300 foot high speed glissade before the sharp rock I was carrying to self arrest with finally got some purchase and halted my slide. It was the wee hours of the morning and it was all ice. Came pretty close to just accelerating to terminal speed. I did not have spikes on. This year is a less snowy year but if, like me, you are betting on descending the MR before the sun goes down and it freezes, take some microspikes as a contingency plan anyway.

Going down the hikers trails is so much longer and slower and I would not recommend it.

Tyler Christopherson-Schorn · · Inglewood, CA · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 86

Making a solo MR attempt next weekend. I'm planning to bring my trail runners and my mountaineering boots with crampons. I imagine you feet are going to be pretty wet in trail runners if you wear them in the chute. Looks like things are definitely softening up but there's still snow at UBSL right now.

S. M. Q. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 160

Thanks Tyler. If you have a chance please post again with the conditions after your MR attempt! :)

nrj5011 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

Can someone who has done the MR descent in the last week please recommend one of the following options. To be done this week in approach shoes in the afternoon. Alternatively, if the approach up to the E Butt/Face from Iceberg in early morning is of greater concern, please recommend for that instead. Thanks!
A) Crampons
B) Ice axe
C) Crampons & Ice axe
D) None

Ryan Pfleger · · North Lake Tahoe, CA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 20

Even if you decide you want front points, you might consider aluminum strap on crampons on the shoes you use for the approach.

rockklimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 0

I talked to a ranger today about conditions on MR.  I was told it is icy and technical and requires crampons and an ice axe and the ability to self arrest.  

Climbin Symon · · Ventura, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0

You’re going into the mountains early season. Bring crampons and ice axe and know how to use them. 

Jared Casper · · St. George, UT · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 10

A hiker died traversing the North Face just a few weeks ago (whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthrea…).  Both of the two routes from the summit ridge to the notch above the main chute are very exposed and often icy and slick. I'd recommend bringing some webbing and rap rings to rap the "final 400" from the summit to the notch if conditions turn out to be bad, especially if you don't have crampons and an axe.  Descending the chute is not nearly as dangerous as the section between the notch and the summit (edit: that said, it's still a huge snow slope to be dealt with and an unarrested slip/fall could be deadly).

nrj5011 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

For those interested, I can recommend crampons AND ice axe to descend MR in the afternoon in approach shoes, under current conditions. Neither is required to reach Iceberg lake, or to approach/descend Mt Russell from Iceberg, as it can be done 99% off snow.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northern California
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