Whaleback and Great Western Divide
Seen from the northern edge of Big Wet Meadow this peak is one of the most sublime and beautiful peaks in the whole range. It is essentially a huge nunatak similar in character to perhaps Pingora or Bugaboo Spire (though not quite as spectacular). One has to hike a long way and still not get a view until the very last minute, but it is well worth that hike.
It's south east face has two routes at Class 3, then there's Jonah's Joy
(Class 3) on its west face, and the impressive (from Big Wet Meadow) north ridge is Class 4.
From the tiny and exposed summit there are good views across to Glacier Ridge on the west, Triple Divide Peak to the south and Milestone Mountain to the east.
My climbing partner Sara called it "Wayback" and that's no exaggeration as it's about 20 miles and 2 days of hiking to get to Cloud Canyon.
Day 1 from Sample Meadow trailhead hike east to Sugarloaf Meadow to the west of Sugarloaf, there's a bear box and small creek here at this pleasant campsite next to the meadow. About 7 miles and about 6 hours of hiking - with about 2000 feet of down hill..
Day 2 From Sugarloaf Meadow hike east heading for the Roaring River Ranger Station, (7 miles) the trail heads up then down into the Roaring River Valley. From here cross the river and head south into Cloud Canyon, after about 4 miles and 1000 feet of gain you'll finally hit Big Wet Meadow and an almighty view of Whaleback, there's a great site(s) in the first big trees on the left of the trail. About 11 miles and 8 hours of hiking.
The northern opening of Cloud Canyon with Big Wet Meadow is a truly spectacular and special place on a par with Yosemite, albeit different in character - but definitely world-class. If it was near the road it would be crawling with tourists. But it's not uncommon to have the whole canyon to yourself. Trip Reports
Here are a couple of links to awesome 1-day ascents from the trailhead to the summit: DrDirtbag Bob Burd Sara Susca's Picasaweb Story in Images
Climbing Season For the High Sierra area.
Weather station 10.9 miles from here
2 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Whaleback
South Ridge Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c CA
: High Sierra
: ... : Whaleback
For the purposes of this, I'll describe the South Ridge from where the SW Face Route crosses the spine of the Whaleback all the way to the Summit.Secor's Peak, Passes, and Trails, briefly makes mention of this route in the text of the Southwest Face (class 3). He makes note that the point where the route then drops 300' on the eastern side that one can take the true South Ridge but this is class 4....[more] Browse More Classics in CA