Type: Trad, Alpine, 1000 ft (303 m), 8 pitches, Grade III
FA: Gary Colliver & John Cleare, June 1974
Page Views: 56,376 total · 271/month
Shared By: Mike Morley on Mar 5, 2006
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurk Er, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Certain Peaks: Access limited from May to October every year Details


Excellent rock, incredible exposure, high elevation, and panoramic views earn this the deserved status of one of the 100 best alpine climbs named in John Moynier and Claude Fiddler's "Sierra Classics".

I'm sure this has been done many times car-to-car by parties stronger than mine, but most will opt for at least one overnight at either Iceberg or Upper Boyscout Lakes to acclimatize and enjoy the surroundings. Consider combining with one of the Whitney routes (East Face, East Buttress) by camping an extra night at Iceberg.

The route itself is roughly 8 pitches, and follows a sharp crescent-shaped spine on the southern aspect of the peak. The start is a bit ambiguous, so just follow the path of least resistance for a pitch or so to gain the ridge proper. Continue along the ridge for several more pitches. At one point, you'll have to downclimb about 15' to a prominent
Looking south from The Notch. . The pitch above the notch is the
The money pitch, just above the prominent notch. , on impeccable golden rock. Continue for several more pitches, staying on the spine for full value. From the summit, descend via the
The beautiful East Ridge descent. . This will take you back to
Early morning at Upper Boy Scout Lake, Mt. Whitney Area . Choose another descent option if you left gear at Iceberg Lake.

Allow *roughly* 6 hours from base to summit. Allow roughly 5 additional hours to descend from the summit back to the car at Whitney Portal.


From Iceberg Lake, scramble up and over the saddle between Whitney and Russell. Head north, picking up a faint climber's trail to the base of the arête. Several starts are possible.


A standard alpine rack will suffice. Hexes and/or tri-cams may be substituted for cams to keep the weight down. A couple double-length runners. Double ropes are nice, but not essential. There is no fixed gear on the route as I recall.