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The Beach

Routes Sorted
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Banana Hammock T 
Don't Call Me Jesus T 
Holy Handgrenade T 
Late Takeoff T 
Lizard King T 
Low Tide T 
Manta Ray T 
Mountaineers Route T 
Rock Lobster T 
Shallow Water T 
Surfing With the Wazoo T 
Swim or Sink T 
Tree Line T 
White Shadow T 
Wipeout T 
Yummy Noises T 

The Beach Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 9,000'
Location: 36.5871, -118.24813 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 3,632
Administrators: Aron Quiter, Euan Cameron, AWinters, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Bryan G on Aug 26, 2011
This Afternoon

63° | 36°

63° | 33°

62° | 33°

57° | 34°

61° | 33°

60° | 32°
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BETA PHOTO: This 50-foot block is in the middle of the wall.

Portal Road Closure MORE INFO >>>


The Beach is yet another formation in the Portal that is worth checking out. It is a bit further from the road than some of the other areas, but it's just a stone's throw from a major hiking trail, making the 30-40 minute approach painless. This sun-bleached cliff catches plenty of rays, so bring some sunglasses, sunscreen, and plenty of beer to stay hydrated. The rock is mostly excellent with a bit of dirt and flaky edges that will clean up with traffic.

The right side of the wall is bigger and steeper, with a bunch of 1-2 pitch routes for the honed slab-master (11's and 12's mostly).

The left side of the wall is much shorter and lower angle, lined with black water-streaks down the pearly granite. Here you will find more than a dozen routes in the 5.10 range. Unlike most areas in the Portal, these short pitches can be easily toproped with a single rope. I wouldn't go so far as to call it "beginner friendly" (since 5.10a slab is anything but beginner friendly), but the nice flat base and large concentration of routes do make this an ideal location to take a large group. After leading one route, you can usually toprope the routes on either side by making an easy traverse to the adjacent anchors.

The South Wall is a separate formation that faces the main cliff. This is the imposing, north-facing wall immediately across the trail. It is home to "The Domestication of Mr. Daniels", a 2 pitch 5.11c on the right side of the wall.

Getting There 

Follow the Whitney Trail for about a mile as it snakes past Whitney Portal Buttress and heads west. You will cross Carillon Creek along the way. Just before you reach the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek, hang a right onto the North Fork Trail (like you're going to the Mountaineer's Route) and follow it up the steep hillside. After a few minuets the Beach will be plainly in sight just to the right. Walk over to the wall.

The "Bishop Area" guidebook describes an alternate approach leaving from the far west end of the parking area on a climber's trail that heads straight up the hill to join the Whitney Trail just south of the North Fork. We didn't even bother looking for this since I calculated a 63% chance we'd end up in a steep, shoes-filled-with-sand, off-trail, bushwhack. But maybe it's a worthwhile shortcut...

Climbing Season

Weather station 14.9 miles from here

16 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Beach

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Beach:
Lizard King   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
Banana Hammock   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   
Mountaineers Route   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Beach

Featured Route For The Beach
Rock Climbing Photo: Mountaineers Route

Mountaineers Route 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  California : Sierra Eastside : ... : The Beach
Next route right of Holy Handgrenade. A difficult start leads to fun edging. Make a few hard moves, get to a rest and repeat until you get to the anchor. I've listed the guidebook rating but it didn't feel any harder than Holy Handgrenade which is rated 10b....[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Comments on The Beach Add Comment
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By Darrell Hensel
Aug 26, 2011
The alternative approach is worthwhile and is still a pretty well travelled trail. Consequently, no scree or anything even close to it. A pleasant well used trail, if you don't mind a ton of switchbacks. It used to be the original Whitney trail at one time.

Go around behind the huge boulder above the pond (right above the stop sign) to get on the trail. Can't miss it.
By J Smith
Sep 5, 2011
I agree, the alternate approach is easy to find and the switchbacks are in great condition, it will save distance and time. Just remember when you get the normal Whitney trail to turn RIGHT and go downhill a bit to the North Fork creek crossing.

Guidebook ratings for The Beach - Left Side area are a bit wacky. Some routes feel easier than the grade and the route next it will feel much harder than advertised. That said, there is some fun climbing to be had and it is a great place to practice your footwork before you do some of the longer routes in The Portal.
By Randy in Ridgecrest
From: Inyokern, CA
Apr 25, 2012
I want to thank the climbers that developed this area. The climbs, especially the right side, are just great. It has become a special place for me and my wife.
By Randy in Ridgecrest
From: Inyokern, CA
Apr 26, 2012
I would add to the area beta to bring some insect repellent. Early season there are these biting nats, later mosquitoes and the ocassional really vicious deer fly.
By Tane Owens
From: Denver, CO
Aug 19, 2013
There is a very tall left-facing hand/fist crack almost directly above the beach, center. You can see it very well from the beach, left. Does anyone have any information on it? Has it been climbed?

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