Type: Trad, Alpine
FA: unknown
Page Views: 84 total · 2/month
Shared By: kenr on Aug 16, 2014
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin ., Vicki Schwantes

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


Start hiking NW from Mirror Lake toward cliffs. Then NE a ways perhaps on some ledges, perhaps some scrambling. Finish on sand that gets gentler higher up.

uses for this route:
  • reach or get down from the summit of Thor Peak
  • reach the E end of Pinnacle Ridge, which enables traversing to its W end, leading to the east face routes of the Third Needle of Mt Whitney.
  • cross over the north sector of the Mt Whitney Zone, by next using the Pinnacle Pass - North sidee route (which is much more difficult).

For crossing over the the north side, note that ice or snow will likely cover critical sections of the North-side route during winter and spring, and even into summer especially in big snow years - so crampons and/or ice axe might be necessary, or the route might be impassable.

descent: Either back the same way, or down the N side (but that's much more difficult).

Permit required: This route requires a USFS wilderness permit for either single-day or overnight use. The permit can be requested in advance in January, or sometimes permits are available the day before by walking into the Mt Whitney Visitors Center just south of Lone Pine - (only available at this center, not at any other USFS centers along the Eastside Sierra).


Pinnacle Pass (GPS lat long ~ N36.5754 W118.2703) - (altitude ~ 21150ft / 3700m) is near the E end of Pinnacle Ridge, about 0.25 mile / 0.4km WSW from the summit of Thor Peak.

Normal start is from Mirror Lake (N36.5705 W118.2632) - (altitude ~ 10680ft / 3250m).

From the Whitney Portal trailhead parking (N36.5868 W118.2404) - (altitude ~ 8300ft / 2535m), follow the Mt Whitney Trail to Mirror Lake.


No fixed gear. Normally no protection is placed for getting up the normal way.


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