I once tried standing up on my toes to see far out in the distance, but I found that I could see much farther by climbing to a high place.
is how I will remember last weekend’s trip up Mount Whitney’s Mountaineer’s Route. With low Sierra snow levels, a perfect weather report, and permits available on-line, this trip was put together in a matter of a couple of days. The Mountaineer’s Route is a very challenging route that often requires gear (ice axe, helmet, and crampons) depending on the conditions and the time of year. Mount Whitney is popular and there is a plethora of fantastic information on-line. I have listed below the resources I used to plan and hike this adventure.
Enjoy the 3 minute video of the trip that features the highlights. Be sure to not miss the comment made during my very sketch traverse/descent. Shenanigans.
May 18-19, 2013
Hikers often reward themselves at the end of a climb of Mount Whitney with a burger and fries from the Mount Whitney Portal Store. In contrast, this group started the trip with a burger and fries from the Whitney Portal Store. Brave…yes.
Our very fun and fit team left well fed from the Whitney Portal Trail Head on Saturday at 1:30 PM. We followed the North Fork Lone Pine use trail and ascended Clyde’s Traverse.
The route then passes by Lower Boy Scout Lake that looks more like a pond due to low snow run off. We reached our camp at Upper Boy Scout Lake in the early evening. The stunning lake is surrounded by rock spires and is a popular base camp for climbers.
After a very frozen, cold night, we started climbing at 5:30 AM.
The use trail climbs steeply south through slabs and talus. Eventually the trail turns west through a series of ledges. Our group decided to add a bit of challenge and choose a class 3 route up the cliffs.
At Iceberg Lake we geared up with ice axes and crampons to ascend the very steep and icy chute that leads to the notch.
After reaching the notch we traversed west over windy, steep, exposed, icy snow and then ascended up class 3 boulders to reach the Mount Whitney Summit.
Surprisingly, we had the frigid, windy top all to ourselves with no hikers in sight. We left the summit at 11:15 AM and descended the same route back arriving at Whitney Portal at 5:45 PM ready for pizza in Lone Pine.
This climb is super fun and challenging requiring courage and fitness. I highly recommend this route over the traditional Mount Whitney main trail.
View all photos on Flickr