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Whitney Mountaineers Route in Winter
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Feb 12, 2013
Hello all,
I'm planning a trip up Whitney this weekend by way of the Mountaineer's route. The conditions look good, and it seems that I can get within a few miles from the trailhead by road.

Any tips anyone can give me on the route in winter? Snowshoes necessary? Best places to camp? I'm thinking that we'll spend one night out on the trail.

I'd appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
BighornAdams Adams
Joined Oct 10, 2010
200 points
Feb 12, 2013
I would definitely bring snowshoes and crampons. We did it last year towards the end of March and brought everything and made the decision when we got there. Was hoping to skin in but decided to leave the skis and just took our snowshoes and crampons. It all depends on the year and snow conditions. Down below iceberg lake is where we camped. But upper boy scout lake wouldn't be a bad place to camp if you're running out of daylight.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mountaineers route, Whitney
Mountaineers route, Whitney
Aaron D White
Joined May 21, 2009
235 points
Feb 12, 2013

This time last winter a friend and I attempted the mountaineers route, but got turned around at Iceberg Lake 12.5k ft due to my friend getting altitude sickens..

We're going back up not this weekend but the weekend after, so if you could hook me up w/ current conditions, etc. would be much appreciated.

Last year we did use snow shoes, otherwise we would of been post holin'. And camped at iceberg lake, so we could do the final push the following morning. W/ lack of acclimitization and poor sleep that night, altitude sickness was def a concern and was the problem. It dropped to about -9 that night too.

You can also camp at upper boyscout lake (~10.5k Ft) Would be a bit warmer, you could also carry your stuff for less of a distance... From boyscout lake to iceberg I wanna say took us about 2hrs. And the portal to boyscout ~3.5hrs??... I think we may camp at boyscout this time around.

Also was not able to get water from boyscout lake last year either, frozen solid, so be sure to bring enough fuel to melt snow.

The road up was fine all the way to the trail head, i have a 4x4 truck though, only had to toss in 4wd just to go over a short bit of snow, nothing crazy though a car could of done it w/ chains.

Hope this was helpful....good luck! Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions.


Ben Vo
Joined Feb 12, 2013
0 points
Feb 12, 2013
Also would anyone know what conditions are typically like in late march? Sorry I have no additional information to add. Ross Henry
Joined Jan 25, 2012
60 points
Feb 12, 2013
Check the weather forcast.

Also, call the climbing shop, they'll be able to give you the most up to date information regarding the weather.

Usually you'll need snow shoes, you'll def need crampons.
Rob Fielding
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined May 8, 2011
120 points
Feb 12, 2013
Went up the Mountaineers Route 2 weeks ago, obviously conditions will change but I can tell you what we experienced.

The portal road was open till the Meysan Lake Trailhead (only 20min walk or so to the whitney trailhead). On day 1 we left Meysan Lake trailhead at 9:30, were at Whitney Trailhead at 10, Lower Boyscout at 12:30 and Upper Boyscout at 2:30. The trail through the willows below Lower Boyscout was very clean which made for a quick pace through this section. We camped at Upper Boyscout (11,200) and had to melt snow because the lake was frozen. We left for the summit at 3:00am (couldn't sleep), passed Iceberg lake around 5:30am and summitted at 10am. On the way down we were back at Upper Boyscout around 2pm, broke down camp and back at the car by 5pm. We had good conditions, with a well worn trail all the way, but snowshoes are a must.

In contrast, last year I did the Mountaineers Route the weekend of March 2-4 2012 and it took 4hrs to get from the trailhead to Lower Boyscout because the trail through the willows was partially melted out and you would posthole into willow trees even with snowshoes on, so it was very slow and difficult travel. So keep an eye on the snowfall this month, if it continues to accumulate, I would predict that you will have good conditions to snowshoe through the willows section.

As far as equipment, snowshoes, crampons, ice axe and helmet are a must for March, and plan on melting snow because Iceberg and Upper Boyscout will probably be frozen.
From Las Vegas, Nevada
Joined Aug 8, 2011
0 points
Mar 7, 2013
We just returned from the Mountaineers route this Monday (03/04/13). You will require snow shoes for the trip. The conditions were great, there was a lot of fresh snow on the chute and it was sugary in nature. Trail up there is pretty good. We camped between UBS and Iceberg lake in a very sheltered place.
The climb up and back was beautiful. Do access the snow conditions on the chute as there was lots of fresh snow on it.

Have fun, be safe.
Naren Mehta
Joined May 11, 2009
0 points
Mar 8, 2013
Floatation is a must, I've tried 3 times on a winter ascent of that route and didn't make it for a variety of reasons. I would bring skis and crampons. GLD
Joined Jan 19, 2012
34 points

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