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Bay Area Backcountry Buddies Message Board › Whitney in early June?

Whitney in early June?

A former member
Post #: 3
Hi everyone,

I have a chunk of time and I'm thinking about posting a thru-hike from Cottonwood pass which exits out Whitney Portal. I've climbed Whitney in Late July, and snow wasn't a condsideration, but I know this won't be the case so early in the summer season.

One ranger said that Ice axes and crampons were a must, and another said, barring a huge storm, trekking poles would be sufficient. Has anyone ever done Whitney this early in the season? What was it like?

Also, is there interest in this hike: Cottonwood to Whitney? My dates are June 6th through June 17th. I was hoping to do a 10 thru-hike but I'm not very experienced with snow conditions and most of the passes in the Sierra are covered in snow and ice.

Advice? Interest?

user 9194737
Alameda, CA
Post #: 9
I think you are just a 'tad' early with a June 6th date. I have been to the S.Sierra a few weeks ago and the snow level was lower than 'normal' but there will still be a lot of snow.

There are several options. Cottonwood Pass, Trail Pass or Kennady Meadows Resort (South near Inyokern ). If you are solo the safest route would be to go in to Kennady Meadows. This is the launching point into the Sierra for the PCT thru-hikers. They will start arriving there at the end of May.
It will add more mileage to your trip but it will put you 'on the trail'. Also you will be above all the Passes and won't have to go over them.

There will be people there who will be up on the conditions that lie ahead. If they are good there will be footsteps to follow. In a normal snow year the traditional day (Rayday) is June 15th for entering this region. The last few years of lite snow it has been the end of May.

I would take an ice axe and crampons. You might not need them. Certainly many people do Whitney from this side without them. You are not on such a long hike and trying to make warp speed that the added weight will make that much difference. When you do start up Whitney they will certainly help. I have done trips where I've left mine in the car to save the weight and regretted it after.

good luck
A former member
Post #: 5
Thanks for advice, Frank. Great points about the weight and the timing. I really appreciate your thoughtful response!

I'm still interested in the idea. Anyone else intrigued by this idea?? I'll post again later in the month with more information...
user 9194737
Alameda, CA
Post #: 10

As your time gets closer you can check out conditions on this site.­

Just look for someone who has departed Kennedy Meadow on the way to Whitney.

Click on the individual journal and then click 'last' and that will go to the most recent Post
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