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Crescent Meadows to Mt. Whitney conditions

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Crescent Meadows to Mt. Whitney conditions

Postby ronhales » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:01 pm

I am hiking next week from Cresent Meadow to Mt. Whitney. I was wondering if anyone had info on trail conditions. My wife who hiked the JMT with me last year, did not enjoy the snow on the passes and I am wondering if anyone has current snow and trail conditions. I don't want any dangerous conditions that I will pay for later..hahaha
Last edited by ronhales on Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: Cedar Grove to Mt. Whitney conditions

Postby cgundersen » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:15 am

Ron,
Forrester Pass may still be tricky, but enough footprints that you should be OK. The much bigger issue is likely to be smoke from the Lion fire (see the Lion fire thread). If you're fond of breathing smoke, you'll be fine. Otherwise, I'd recommend re-routing.
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Re: Cedar Grove to Mt. Whitney conditions

Postby ronhales » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:55 am

Thanks for the info. We are not hiking through Forester pass though...we are coming from Bearpaw, Kaweah Gap route...hopefully we'll miss the smoke. Mainly worried about snow and ice (or raging rivers that are waist deep)...if crampons and ice axe are needed, we may postpone till next year.
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Re: Cedar Grove to Mt. Whitney conditions

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:19 am

Bearpaw-Keweah gap route starts from Crescent Meadow, not Cedar Grove. If you go in from Crescent Meadow there are a few stream crossings that could be high. If you go in from Wolverton you can bypass the worst crossing. I have calculated the elevation gains from both trailheads, and you really do not have to do that much more to go in fro Wolverton. From Wolverton it is up and then down. From Crescent Meadow it is a hundred little ups and downs. I have done this route early season, and for me, the crossing below Hamilton Lakes was difficult. Others have not had any problems. There is a tunnel section on the trail above Hamilton Lakes. If there is snow here, it can be difficult. The rangers should have some information on that.

I would expect some snow on Keweah Gap. Are you going to stay on the High Sierra trail? If so, I think you are going to get into patches of snow, but not solid snow. A lot of that route crosses high country that is open and south-facing so should melt off. The crossing of the Kern is on a bridge. The Whitney Portal website has good updates on the snow conditions on Whitney and east side.
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Re: Cedar Grove to Mt. Whitney conditions

Postby cgundersen » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:20 am

Ron,
Not to be a spoilsport, but any route that drops into the lower Kern is going to be severely smoke affected. See the webcams on the links in the Lion fire thread. However, if you're still gung ho, I've done at least a half dozen early season trips over Kaweah gap and though the creek crossing below Hamilton Lake can be high, it's never been a problem (last time it involved shimmying on a wet log) and the creek crossing in the big Arroyo may force you to scout upstream a bit, but it too will not pose an insurmountable problem. The Junction Meadow crossing of the Kern has been addressed in another thread. It may be as much as knee deep, but not horrible. Any snow on Kaweah gap will be pulverized by earlier crossings.
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Re: Cedar Grove to Mt. Whitney conditions

Postby ronhales » Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:45 pm

oops...correction noted....Cresent Meadow is correct. Thanks for the info on water, snow , ice, and air quality
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Re: Crescent Meadows to Mt. Whitney conditions

Postby pbardos » Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:50 pm

Hey there ronhale. I'm doing this trip on Friday and was wondering if you had a trip report and how the trail was. Can't wait to get up there...

Thanks
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