Ascent of Mount Whitney on 2015-08-05

Climber: Cece Worrall Rubin

Others in Party:David Borchart
Michelle MacGilfrey
Date:Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Whitney
    Elevation:14498 ft / 4418 m

Ascent Trip Report

Saturday, August 1
Meet at Horseshoe Meadow Campground. We will be spending the night here to begin acclimation.
Horseshoe Meadow sits at an elevation of 9, 920 feet.

Sunday, August 2
Horseshoe Meadow/ Cottonwood Pass to Soldier Lake
Distance: 10 miles
Elevation Gain ~1,800
Loss ~500'
• We will begin our adventure from the Cottonwood Pass Trailhead. For the first two miles the Cottonwood Pass Trail skirts Horseshoe Meadow, gaining only 200 feet in the process. At the upper end of the meadow, the trail begins its upward climb to Cottonwood Pass , gaining about 1000 feet in less than 2 miles. The trail passes through beautiful Sierra Nevada meadow terrain with widely spaced lodgepole and foxtail pine. At the junction just beyond Cottonwood Pass, we will turn right and continue onto the PCT in a west-northwest direction as it gently traverses the southwest slopes of Cirque Peak into Sequoia National Park. We will take the short spur trail down to Chicken Springs Lake where we will break for lunch and filter water if need be. Back at the Siberian Pass junction, we will turn right and make a gradual descent to Soldier Lake where we will spend our first night. Lower Soldier Lake sits at an elevation of 10, 800'. There is a bear locker at this location.

Monday, August 3
Soldier Lake over Guyot Pass to Crabtree Meadow
Distance: 10.0 Miles
Elevation Gain ~ 1,360'
Loss ~1, 470'
• Leaving Soldier Lake, we will make a gradual descent following Rock Creek through forest and meadow terrain to the PCT where we will turn right and take this to the Rock Creek Ranger Station and Guyot Pass. As we drop into Rock Creek, there will be excellent views of Mt. Langley, Mt. Pickering, Mt. Chamberlin, Mt. Mallory, and Mt. LeConte to the north. After passing through rock creek we will begin our ascent of Guyot Pass, a climb of ~1,360 feet over 3 miles. Near the 10,400 level, the trail will cross Guyot Creek where we will stop for lunch and filter water before finishing our climb over the pass and making our descent to Crabtree Meadow/Whitney Creek where we will be spending the night. Crabtree Meadow sits at an elevation of 10,330'. There is a bear locker at this location.

Tuesday, August 4
Crabtree Meadow to Guitar Lake
Distance: ~4.0 miles
Elevation Gain ~1,130'
• This will be our most leisurely hike day. Leaving Crabtree Meadow, we will head 1.1 miles to the Crabtree Patrol/Ranger Station where we will pick up the John Muir Trail and head an additional ~3.0 miles to Guitar Lake where we will spend the night. Total elevation gain is ~1,130'. Once at Guitar Lake, the rest of the day will be ours to enjoy, rest up and acclimate for our ascent of Mt. Whitney the following day. Guitar Lake sits at an elevation of 11,460'. There is NO bear locker at this location.

Wednesday, August 5
Summit Whitney with optional Needles and/or Muir Peak
Distance: 11 Miles RT
Elevation Gain ~3,000' (Not counting the needles/Mt. Muir )
• Summit Day! Dave would really like to be on the summit for sunrise, and I would like to make this happen for him. We can discuss this more as a group once we are together, but a nice hot cup of coffee on the summit watching the sun come up sounds really spectacular to me. Doing this would require a very early start of approximately 1:30-2:00 am. Being on the summit this early will give us plenty of time for a leisurely break as well as give us the extra time we need to possibly add an ascent of Mt. Muir and the needles on our way back to Guitar Lake.
• All the water you will need for the day will need to be packed, as there is no water available between Guitar Lake and the summit.
• From Guitar Lake, the JMT climbs steadily for 3.5 miles and 2,000 feet up the steep west slopes of Mt. Whitney. The trail is as impressive as it as it is strenuous as it climbs through talus, large rock faces and imposing granite towers up seemingly endless switchbacks to the junction of the Mt. Whitney Trail. From the junction, there are only 2 more miles to the summit and a little more then 1000 feet of elevation gain. Elevation at the junction is 13, 484' and providing you are not suffering from altitude sickness, these last two miles are quite enjoyable and the views are spectacular.

Thursday, August 6
Guitar Lake to Rock Creek
Distance: ~10 Miles
Elevation Gain 570'
Loss 1,980'
• Time to head home. Heading back the way we came, we will stay on the PCT and descend Guyot Pass to Rock Creek where we will camp for the night. There is a bear locker at this location.

Friday, August 7
Rock Creek to Horseshoe Meadow
Distance: 14 Miles
Gain 1,722'
Loss 1,322'
** Stay in Lone Pine overnight

Saturday, August 8
Depart Lone Pine for home
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail

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