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13 - Whitney and Surrounding Peaks

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z. Ski mountaineering 

13 - Whitney and Surrounding Peaks Rock Climbing 


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Location: 36.57103, -118.25779 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Chris Owen, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Justin Johnsen on May 20, 2015
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Steve Larson on East Ridge of Russell. Does this l...

Access limited from May to October every year MORE INFO >>>

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
Can be reserved here , you'll need a username and password, but it's well worth it, you can select dates ahead of time, see what's available and plan accordingly, then purchase the permits which you can pick up at the visitor's center a few miles south of Lone Pine.


Rock Climbing Photo: North Fork reservations page.
North Fork reservations page.

Getting There 

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

Climbing Season



Weather station 16.1 miles from here

68 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',16],['3 Stars',28],['2 Stars',16],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',25],['5.7',8],['5.8',3],['5.9',5],['5.10',14],['5.11',3],['5.12',3],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in 13 - Whitney and Surrounding Peaks

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for 13 - Whitney and Surrounding Peaks:
The Mount Whitney Trail        Alpine, Grade II   Mt. Whitney
From the John Muir Trail   3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a     Trad, Alpine, 200'   Mt. Muir
The Mountaineer's Route   3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a Mod. Snow     Snow, Alpine, 1500'   Mt. Whitney
East Arete   3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a     Trad, Alpine, Grade II   Mt. Russell
East Arete - Mt. Carl Heller   4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b     Trad, Alpine, 1000'   Mt Carl Heller and Tulainyo...
North Ridge   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, Alpine, Grade III   Lone Pine Peak
NE Ridge (full)   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, Grade III   Lone Pine Peak
Winter Route   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 3000'   Lone Pine Peak
East Buttress   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 11 pitches, 1000'   Mt. Whitney
East Face   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 10 pitches, 1000'   Mt. Whitney
East Face (aka East Pillar)   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 10 pitches, 1500'   Mt. Barnard East Peak (aka ...
Fishhook Arête   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 1000'   Mt. Russell
Mithril Dihedral   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 500'   Mt. Russell
East Face   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 11 pitches, 1300'   Aiguille Extra
Star Trekkin'   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 600'   Mt. Russell
Bloody Corner    5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 800'   Mt. Russell
Western Front   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 900'   Mt. Russell
Harding Route   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 22 pitches, 2000'   Keeler Needle
Michael Strassman Memorial Route   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 700'   Lone Pine Peak
Bastille Buttress - Beckey Route   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b A0     Trad, Aid, Alpine, 15 pitches, 2000'   Lone Pine Peak
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in 13 - Whitney and Surrounding Peaks

Featured Route For 13 - Whitney and Surrounding Peaks
Rock Climbing Photo: Trail Crest (left center) - left of Mt Muir - from...

Mt Whitney ski Trail Crest   California : High Sierra : ... : z. Ski mountaineering
Spectacular tour with lots of skiing in the fun 30-40 degree steepness range. Holds snow low, in a good year almost down to parking. Trail Crest is key point on the most popular route to the summit of Mt Whitney, so don't be surprised to find non-skiers around (who likely will be surprised and very impressed that you're skiing it).Option to hike and/or scramble to the summit of Mt Whitney (though much of the summit slopes are too rocky and wind-blasted to ski).The slope (NE-facing) for s...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of 13 - Whitney and Surrounding Peaks Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Whitney from the Russell-Carillon saddle - lat...
Mt. Whitney from the Russell-Carillon saddle - lat...
Rock Climbing Photo: Early rays of light on Whitney
Early rays of light on Whitney
Rock Climbing Photo: Patrick and Connor Flynn on New Army Pass.
Patrick and Connor Flynn on New Army Pass.
Rock Climbing Photo: Milky way rising over Mt. Whitney and the Needles....
Milky way rising over Mt. Whitney and the Needles....
Rock Climbing Photo: Whitney group from Iceberg Lake
Whitney group from Iceberg Lake
Rock Climbing Photo: Mount Whitney Zone
BETA PHOTO: Mount Whitney Zone

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