Type: Trad, Aid, 2500 ft (758 m), Grade IV
FA: Myles Moser, 2010-2013
Page Views: 3,319 total · 43/month
Shared By: Richard Shore on May 19, 2014
Admins: Aron Quiter, Euan Cameron, AWinters, M Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route


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Access Issue: Portal Road Closure Details
Access Issue: Inyo National Forest Closed Details

Description

The "Royal Arches" of the Portal. A long, wandering adventure route up a huge chunk of stone. Too long for me to try and remember all the twists and turns, but the first ascensionist did a pretty good write-up HERE . The first 1,500 feet will destroy your legs. Steep 3rd and 4th class slabs, with short and intermittent exposed 5th class sections. A short pendulum swing from a fixed rope (A0) can also be freed at a committing 5.9 grade. Many back and forths on brushy ledges, with cairns painstakingly placed at every turn in the road. Literally. Dozens and dozens of cairns. Keep your eyes open and it would be impossible to get lost. I personally thought the crux of the route was somewhere around the 1,200' mark - a 20 foot piece of blank slab with true friction moves. Even if roping up/pitching out, the leader will need to be confident soloing at this grade, as there is no protection for some of these sections. The highlights of the route are the two 500-foot left-facing dihedrals to finish - a nice change from the slabby nature of the lower half of the climb. Great views from the summit of Mt Williamson to the north and the Whitney group to the west.

Location

The route starts in the gully between the Whitney Portal Buttress and the Bullfrog Buttress. Hike up the main Whitney Trail until you reach the signed Carillon Creek drainage. Scramble up steep scree until you hit the gully. Let the adventure begin...

To descend - follow a steep scree gully/slope the the west, generally staying to the right when confronted with challenges. A short cruxy downclimb can be bypassed by way of fixed knotted rope. Enter the Carillon drainage and 'shwack your way back down to the Whitney Trail.

Protection

I know of only solo parties who have done the route, but a rope and light rack wouldn't go unused for many. Beware that the slabby sections are not well protected if you do choose to rope up. Pitching it out will likely turn this jaunt into an all-day effort.

Photos