Ascent of Mount Whitney on 2007-08-19

Climber: Joseph Hirniak

Date:Sunday, August 19, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Whitney
    Elevation:14498 ft / 4418 m

Ascent Trip Report

Climbed from Whitney Portal; started hike at 12:55 hr after struggling to find parking. Had to park on the road down a bit and even then it was a squeeze. I was ill-prepared for the crowds. I was somewhat dismayed that the USFS assigned me a weekend when I requested and hoped for a weekday. The "luck" of the draw but not the Irish. Having picked up my bear canister at the Inter-Agency Visitor Center in Lone Pine I arrived at Outpost Camp (Bighorn Meadows) at 1545 hr and camped. Originally, my plan had been to camp Whitney Portal, but there was no spot available. At Outpost Camp I slept one hour only and started hiking at 0305 hr. I could hear hiking parties on the trail nearby throughout the night. I remember the clear, star-filled night to be unlike I've ever seen. Arrived at Trail Camp at 0505 hr. and Trailcrest at 0726 hr. Summited Whitney at 0920 and was back down at Trailcrest at 1050 hr. Made it to base of switchbacks at 1206 hr and back at Outpost Camp at 1346 hr to pack up the tent. Back on trail 1406 hr and back down at Whitney Portal at 1552 hr. Got back to SD at 2230 hr. Total trip time from start to finish was 25 hours. A couple things I did in error: I forgot to pack mittens and my hands paid for it mostly because of the wind chill. (At least I remembered my hat). I also had a near miss with water. I am not a water-filter user and never have been because I remain essentially a day hiker. When I read there was a water source at Bighorn Meadows, I read right, but somehow in my naivety, my brain translated this as a spring, or a source of drinking water. I soon learned I was wrong upon my arrival at the high camp, and rationed my water. Upon completion of this climb, I was a bit dehydrated.
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Mount Whitney summit, barely visible in center background, from the JMT, early morning at about 13,600' (2007-08-19). Photo by Joseph Hirniak.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:6133 ft / 1869 m
    Round-Trip Distance:22 mi / 35.4 km
    Route:John Muir/Mount Whitney Trails
    Trailhead:8365 ft / 2549 m
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads

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