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Routes in The Beach

Banana Hammock T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Don't Call Me Jesus T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Holy Handgrenade T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Late Takeoff T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Lizard King T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Low Tide T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Manta Ray T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Mountaineers Route T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Rock Lobster T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Shallow Water T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Surfing With the Wazoo T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Swim or Sink T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Tree Line T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
White Shadow T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Wipeout T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Yummy Noises T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Description

The Beach is yet another formation in the Portal that is worth checking out. It is a bit further from the road than some of the other areas, but it's just a stone's throw from a major hiking trail, making the 30-40 minute approach painless. This sun-bleached cliff catches plenty of rays, so bring some sunglasses, sunscreen, and plenty of beer to stay hydrated. The rock is mostly excellent with a bit of dirt and flaky edges that will clean up with traffic.

The right side of the wall is bigger and steeper, with a bunch of 1-2 pitch routes for the honed slab-master (11's and 12's mostly).

The left side of the wall is much shorter and lower angle, lined with black water-streaks down the pearly granite. Here you will find more than a dozen routes in the 5.10 range. Unlike most areas in the Portal, these short pitches can be easily toproped with a single rope. I wouldn't go so far as to call it "beginner friendly" (since 5.10a slab is anything but beginner friendly), but the nice flat base and large concentration of routes do make this an ideal location to take a large group. After leading one route, you can usually toprope the routes on either side by making an easy traverse to the adjacent anchors.

The South Wall is a separate formation that faces the main cliff. This is the imposing, north-facing wall immediately across the trail. It is home to "The Domestication of Mr. Daniels", a 2 pitch 5.11c on the right side of the wall.
Portal Road Closure Details

Getting There

Follow the Whitney Trail for about a mile as it snakes past Whitney Portal Buttress and heads west. You will cross Carillon Creek along the way. Just before you reach the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek, hang a right onto the North Fork Trail (like you're going to the Mountaineer's Route) and follow it up the steep hillside. After a few minuets the Beach will be plainly in sight just to the right. Walk over to the wall.

The "Bishop Area" guidebook describes an alternate approach leaving from the far west end of the parking area on a climber's trail that heads straight up the hill to join the Whitney Trail just south of the North Fork. We didn't even bother looking for this since I calculated a 63% chance we'd end up in a steep, shoes-filled-with-sand, off-trail, bushwhack. But maybe it's a worthwhile shortcut...

16 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Beach

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Lizard King
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Banana Hammock
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Mountaineers Route
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Lizard King 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Banana Hammock 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Mountaineers Route 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
More Classic Climbs in The Beach »

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Tane Owens
Denver, CO
Tane Owens   Denver, CO
There is a very tall left-facing hand/fist crack almost directly above the beach, center. You can see it very well from the beach, left. Does anyone have any information on it? Has it been climbed? Aug 19, 2013
Randy in Ridgecrest
Inyokern, CA
Randy in Ridgecrest   Inyokern, CA
I would add to the area beta to bring some insect repellent. Early season there are these biting nats, later mosquitoes and the ocassional really vicious deer fly. Apr 26, 2012
Randy in Ridgecrest
Inyokern, CA
Randy in Ridgecrest   Inyokern, CA
I want to thank the climbers that developed this area. The climbs, especially the right side, are just great. It has become a special place for me and my wife. Apr 25, 2012
J Smith  
I agree, the alternate approach is easy to find and the switchbacks are in great condition, it will save distance and time. Just remember when you get the normal Whitney trail to turn RIGHT and go downhill a bit to the North Fork creek crossing.

Guidebook ratings for The Beach - Left Side area are a bit wacky. Some routes feel easier than the grade and the route next it will feel much harder than advertised. That said, there is some fun climbing to be had and it is a great place to practice your footwork before you do some of the longer routes in The Portal. Sep 5, 2011
The alternative approach is worthwhile and is still a pretty well travelled trail. Consequently, no scree or anything even close to it. A pleasant well used trail, if you don't mind a ton of switchbacks. It used to be the original Whitney trail at one time.

Go around behind the huge boulder above the pond (right above the stop sign) to get on the trail. Can't miss it. Aug 26, 2011

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