Badwater Winter DRAFT
1. A Badwater to Whitney WINTER crossing MUST be started and completed in the January/February window ( since these are the opposite months of a July/August summer crossing, and are two of the coldest and snowiest months of the year)
2. The route follows the typical (most commonly used) 146-mile route along the roads from the lowest point (Badwater) to wherever the Portal Road is closed for the winter (the portal closure gate), then along the road to the Portals (the traditional 135-mile mark).
From there, the "regular Whitney trail route is NOT the designated winter route due to the fact that there simply is no trail. It is buried under many feet of snow and the route the trail takes is longer and more exposed to winter hazards". In the winter there are a lot of casualties on the "regular summer trail".
The better and designated route is the "Mountaineer's route, up the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek on Mt. Whitney. It is shorter in distance and a little bit less prone to avalanche hazard than the trail route, but it does require solid mountaineering and winter travel skills. The mountaineers route on Mt. Whitney requires the use of snowshoes, ice axe and crampons and, MORE IMPORTANTLY, the knowledge on how to use them safely. The route also goes through sections of avalanche terrain which requires one to be able to evaluate the stability of the snow and know when it is safe to travel. You also need to carry avalanche safety gear such as an avalanche beacon, lightweight backcountry snow shovel and avalanche probe. And of course, this gear is almost worthless without knowing how to use them properly and conduct an avalanche rescue". In the unlikely event the regular Whitney trail is not snowed in and that route is taken a notation will be made as it would be less difficult
3. From the road closure, for the Self Supported/Self Contained versions, a person MUST carry all his own personal gear up and down the mountain using no porter, no mechanized sleds and so on. This should include winter camping gear such as backpack, tent/bivy , winter sleeping pad and bag, climbing harness, helmet, trekking poles, ice axe, snowshoes, winter boots for the heavy duty winter crampons, food, avalanche beacon or similar, means to make water out of snow, clothing and personal gear. All total the weight of the pack and gear could be roughly 40 or 50 pounds.
Depending on the route takes the distance could be different than 146miles
Marshall Ulrich 2021 Badwater Winter report is at https://marshallulrich.com/blog/fire-and-ice-badwater-146-part-three/
Some of the Whitney route comments are from https://www.internationalalpineguides.com/blog/2020/9/12/climbing-mt-whitney-in-winter
ORIGINAL VERSION FROM MARSHALL IS BELOW AND IT IS ONLY FOR HISTORIC REFENCE and I WILL DELETED IT ONCE MARSH GIVES THE OK
1. Any winter crossing MUST be completed in the January/February window since these are the opposite months of a July/August summer crossing, and are two of the coldest and snowiest months of the year, and months where a winter ascent of Whitney can be completed.
2. The route follows the typical 146-mile route along the roads from the lowest point (Badwater) to wherever the Portal Road is closed for the winter (the portal closure gate), then along the road to the Portals (the traditional 135-mile mark). From there, the route to the highest point (Whitney summit) is via the Mountaineer’s Route (rather than via the Classic Whitney Trail).
3. From the road closure, a person must carry all his own personal gear up and down the mountain using no porter. This should include backpack, tent, sleeping pad and bag, climbing harness, helmet, trekking poles, crampons, ice axe, snowshoes, winter boots, food, avalanche beacon, clothing and personal gear. All total the weight of the pack and gear will likely weigh at least 40 or 50 pounds.