14 - Whitney & Surrounding Peaks Rock Climbing
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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.
Inyo National Forest's Mount Whitney Zone regulations page
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
Classic Climbing Routes at 14 - Whitney & Surrounding Peaks
Days w Precip