Ascent of Mount Whitney on 2009-11-01

Climber: Thomas Burley

Others in Party:Steve Wheeler
Randy Bosma
John Considine
James Legh
Date:Sunday, November 1, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Whitney
    Elevation:14498 ft / 4418 m

Ascent Trip Report

Flew to Palm Springs and connected with the others in my group who had been acclimatizing with a climb there. Drove to Lone Pine at the end of a week of high wind, record cold and snow in the alpine. Morning dawned clear, calm and cold. We left the Whitney Portal Trailhead at 10:30 on Halloween and saw no one else until our return the next evening. Climbing was easy to Lower Boy Scout Lake. Beyond that the new snow made post holing an issue, but we easily made Upper Boy Scout Lake after a switch to crampons. Camped there under a perfectly clear sky and a full moon.

Up and on the trail to Iceberg Lake by 6:15 a.m. Caught the beautiful sunrise lighting up the Range of Light. Cached some gear at Iceberg Lake and headed up the gulley, which was holding about a foot of the new snow. This made the going easy, other than a little crusting and a few icy spots, and we made the Notch in good time. The 400 m above was mixed rock and snow and the snow was very crusted at the top. Kicking steps wore out a couple of the team. We were on the summit at 11:30 and relaxed in the perfect conditions, along with the Jack O'Lantern someone had left on the peak. We took the traverse back to the Notch rather than the direct route down, which seemed the safe thing to do. We were back at the trailhead at dusk.

A fantastic trip in perfect conditions.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:6198 ft / 1889 m
    Route:Mountaineer's Route
    Trailhead:Whitney Portal  8300 ft / 2529 m
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:1 Days 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:6 Hours 

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