California Institute of Technology

Mt. Whitney Trip, March 2007

You might be looking for the 2008 or 2009 Sierra trips.

Post-trip update: we had a great time, and summited about 2/3 of us (the rest were only 60m from the top, but didn't have time to make it). 15 people total, in two groups: group 1 started the approach Friday morning, and group 2 started the approach Saturday morning. Both groups joined up at Iceberg lake and summited on Sunday, then descended to the cars that afternoon. Click the pictures for full-size:

Group 1: from foreground to background, we have Pavle, Becky, Romain, Wayne, Hareem and Brett (photographer: Stephen)

Group 2: from left to right, we have Stefan, Joe, Garrett, Ian, Thibaud, Jeandrew and Fred (photographer: Ben)

Important date change! Due to a large storm predicted on Friday the 23rd, we're changing the date of the trip for two weeks later. We'll leave Friday the 9th of March, and return on Sunday the 11th. There will still be an earlier group leaving Thursday night (the 8th).

  • To stay informed, please subscribe to the following google group. You can unsubscribe at anytime; you can also choose how often you receive new emails, etc. You can also upload pictures to the google groups webpage.
  • Dates: Friday evening (Feb. 23rd) to Sunday night, late (Feb. 25th). The earlier group will leave Thursday evening.
  • Mandatory meeting on Tuesday, Feb 20th at 7:45 PM at the Caltech Y's multipurpose room. Please fill out this form and bring it to the meeting (if you forget, I'll have some extra copies at the meeting).
  • Second meeting will be at 7:45 PM on Monday, March 5th, at the Caltech Y. This should be short, but important. We'll finalize driving and tent-groups.
  • Jan 22nd email describing what the trip will be like. Please read this if you're interested in coming on the trip.

  • Mt. Baldy trip: we're going for practice, leaving Saturday (Feb 24) night at 7:30 PM from the bouldering gym, returning Sunday evening. We'll camp outside the Sierra Club Ski hut -- you're welcome to reserve a spot inside (cost is $15). For driving directions, packing info, ..., see the Mt. Baldy trip page from last April's climb. Here's info on the ski hut. This trip is mandatory for anyone who wishes to come to Whitney and doesn't have extensive prior experience with crampons and such.

  • Info on where to get equipment (i.e. what the Alpine Club owns, what the Caltech Y has, what REI has, ...
      REI and Sports Chalet will rent most non-technical items. UC-Riverside's "Outdoor Excursions" (analogous to the Caltech Y) does rent crampons and ice axes. Also, I hear rumour that Adventure 16 does also. List of Adventure 16 stores in LA -- click on the store to get more info.
      Sierra Elevation is a mountaineering store in Lone Pine. They rent the Mad Rock Alpinist '07 boots for $35/weekend in sizes 10, 11 and 12. They rent snowshoes and crampons, and don't rent ice axes, although they sell inexpensive ice axes for $59.
  • Here is what you can rent at the REI in Arcadia
  • Packing list
    • Other items not on list: pack straps for strapping on snowshoes, etc. Make sure you can attach an ice axe to your pack. If you want, you can take sports drink mix such as gatoraid, endurox, gookinaid, etc. Also, don't bother bringing tent stakes, although you could bring snow stakes.
  • Gray-scale map of Whitney Basin, 500 KB PDF file, 8.5" x 11"
  • Some general suggestions for winter and high altitude mountaineering in California.

  • Here are some web resources. The snowpack does not look good, so there's a chance we'll change our objective to something easier.

  • Avalanche Advisories from ESAC (Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center).
      The cyberspace snow and avalanche center (CSAC) and use the ESAC forecast here, but also have good general information.
  • NOAA weather, for Mt. Whitney Summit, for Whitney portal (i.e. trailhead), and for Lone Pine. NOAA also has a written discussion of the upcoming forecast, which mentions the uncertainties in the predictions, etc. The discussion for the Las Vegas area and the discussion for the San Joaquin Valley / Hanford area and the discussion for the Reno area. Mt. Whitney is on the border between the Las Vegas and the San Joaquin forecast areas.

  • Some online forums:

  • Mt. Whitney Reports forum from The user dmatt provides weather updates often (twice a day?).
  • Whitney Weather links from
  • is another forum, for the entire Sierras, and perhaps a bit less active than the whitneyportalstore forums.