Elevation: 14,473 ft
GPS: 36.578, -118.292 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 450,557 total · 7,375/month
Shared By: Justin Johnsen on May 20, 2015
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
Access Issue: COVID-19 RELATED ACCESS ISSUES - VISIT THE THE RELEVANT WEBPAGE FOR UP TO DATE INFORMATION. Details
Access Issue: Certain Peaks: Access limited from May to October every year Details

Description

The Mount Whitney Massif hosts the highest point above sea level in the lower 48 states. This trophy status just adds to its mystique and popularity . Especially on weekends during the gentle months of summer, crowds of people ascend its hut-capped summit plateau, and even more fall along the trailside or are turned back, unprepared or simply unlucky.

To protect this busy season circus from becoming a stop and go human traffic jam, the Inyo National Forest's solution has been to create the Mount Whitney Zone. Access to this area during the peak season is controlled by strict limits on single day visitors, and even fewer overnight backpackers. Advance reservations are in much higher demand than are available, so now a lottery decides who will attempt Whitney and its near neighbors (though a small number are available for walk in visitors at the ranger station in Lone Pine).

Single day visits are free and unrestricted from Whitney Portal to Lower Boy Scout Lake, Lone Pine Lake, and via Meysan Lake to Mounts Irvine and Mallory. All crags described on the Whitney Portal page are also free to use.

Day use or overnight permits are required elsewhere in the Zone. Everything in the Lone Pine Creek drainage at slightly higher elevation than the above mentioned free sites has its access controlled.

Backpackers from further trail heads have fewer restrictions on visiting and leaving from the interior sides of Whitney, Russell and their neighbors.

Suggested reading:

Inyo National Forest's Mount Whitney Zone regulations page

The Whitney Portal Store website.

Recon: The Whitney Massif is a featured article from the 2014 American Alpine Journal with drool-inducing photos and topos.

Permits for North Fork
Visit here for permit application: https://www.recreation.gov/permits/233260 

2019 SEASON NOTE: No walk-up day use permits for the Whitney Zone including the North Fork.
All day use permits for the Whitney Zone are now only reservable online, at the URL listed above. As of May 30 2019 - be aware that there are open spaces up until about June 14th, then there are no open spaces available until October 22nd.

Getting There

From highway 395 in Lone Pine, take Whitney Portal Road west straight to its end at its namesake.

83 Total Climbs

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Location: 14 - Whitney & Surrounding Peaks Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at 14 - Whitney & Surrounding Peaks

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a
 102
East Arete
Trad, Alpine
3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a Mod. Snow
 172
The Mountaineer's Route
Snow, Alpine
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
 13
East Arete - Mt. Carl Heller
Trad, Alpine
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 90
North Ridge
Trad, Alpine
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 349
East Buttress
Trad, Alpine 11 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 174
East Face
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c WI3 M4
 3
Winter Chimney
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine 6 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 149
Fishhook ArĂȘte
Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 119
Mithril Dihedral
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 25
Star Trekkin'
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 28
Western Front
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 37
Harding Route
Trad, Alpine 15 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 18
Michael Strassman Memorial Route
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b A0
 25
Bastille Buttress - Beckey Route
Trad, Aid, Alpine 15 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b C2+
 5
Hairline
Trad, Aid, Alpine 12 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
East Arete Mt Russell
 102
3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a Trad, Alpine
The Mountaineer's Route Mt Whitney
 172
3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a Mod. Snow Snow, Alpine
East Arete - Mt. Carl Heller Mt Carl Heller & Tula…
 13
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b Trad, Alpine
North Ridge Lone Pine Peak
 90
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad, Alpine
East Buttress Mt Whitney
 349
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 11 pitches
East Face Mt Whitney
 174
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Winter Chimney Lone Pine Peak
 3
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c WI3 M4 Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine 6 pitches
Fishhook ArĂȘte Mt Russell
 149
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
Mithril Dihedral Mt Russell
 119
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Star Trekkin' Mt Russell
 25
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Western Front Mt Russell
 28
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Harding Route Keeler Needle
 37
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad, Alpine 15 pitches
Michael Strassman Memorial… Lone Pine Peak
 18
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Bastille Buttress - Beckey… Lone Pine Peak
 25
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b A0 Trad, Aid, Alpine 15 pitches
Hairline Mt Whitney
 5
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b C2+ Trad, Aid, Alpine 12 pitches
More Classic Climbs in 14 - Whitney & Surrounding Peaks »

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