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The trail from the camp continues (after crossing the creek) until it reaches the ridge line.

It is possible to climb over the lower west summit, couple of class 3-4 moves.
Posted Feb 6, 2007 1:39 am

Diggleranother perspective


Hasn't voted

Hey Mark, here are some notes/observations from when I did the S spur:

Note: following abbreviations are used throughout this ‘comment:’ S = south; N = north; W = west; E = east; R = right; L = left; WMP = White Mountain Peak; mi = mile(s).

The approach:

If approaching the W ridge of WMP from the N (i.e. Bay Area, Lee Vining, Reno), I would say that it is more expedient to drive the following way (which is more direct), route instead of going S to Bishop then basically turning around & going back N (as described in the current section- essentially backtracking) until reaching the turnoff on Highway 6 for WMP. I’d say it is approximately 60 vs. 84 miles.

From the 120-395 junction (just S of Lee Vining), go S for approximately 5 miles fto where the 120 splits from the 395S to go E. Take the 120E for about 45 miles to Benton (look out for deer at night!). Where the road dead-ends at a T-intersection (@ Benton), hang a R & head S on the 6 for approximately 15 mi. Directly at/past the green marker for Post Mile (PM) 19, hang a L (W) onto White Mtn. Ranch Rd (directly across the 6 it continues as Chidago Cyn Rd going Wward).

(start the tripmeter here, i.e. 0.0) Follow White Mtn Ranch Rd E towards WMP. After approximately .5 mi (there is some type of building on ones L) the road turns to dirt. Continue down this road. At 2.5 miles a spur branches off & goes up the mountain- this is the beginning of the S spur of the W ridge. I think that this should be passable by a standard car (however, I did this in my 4X4 Tacoma, so don’t know for sure). Directly after this split (~100’ beyond) is a place to park (between the road one has been following & one that parallels it to the L, i.e. on the ‘mountain’ side). There is room here for 1, & definitely not more than 2 or 3, cars. This is also a good place to bivy- it allows one to acclimate to some degree before setting off (hopefully early!) the next morning.

The route:

The start is approximately 5,500’ elevation. Follow the spur road upwards. After passing a shack & dilapidated radar dish (~6,500’?), at a certain point the road peters out & disappears. Go over a bulge. From here one can discern a trail. Follow this as far as possible until you lose it. Go through the forest (for reference, the slope through this section steepens toward the canon to the N, & mellows out to the S) until a steep, ugly, scree-covered headwall is encountered (~9,000’)-. Slog up this until it is surmounted (~10,000’). At this point the ridge is well defined. Follow it to the summit, traversing up & down over several humps en route (some class 3). The psychological crux starts at a notch in the ridgeline at approximately 11,200’. One drops a disheartening 150’ or so to get here. The N spur of the W ridge joins with the S one above this notch. Above this low-point looms an ugly, 1000’ tall scree slope that must be surmounted. It is as bad as it looks, & quite possibly worse on the descent (much ankle-twisting potential). When this is surmounted, the ridge solidifies somewhat, & there is actually some pleasant 3rd class on the way to the summit.


• Bring LOTS o’ water! 5 quarts/litres per individual should suffice for all but the hottest days of summer (unless there is snow, there will be virtually no water on the route either).

• Being acclimated prior to starting is a huge benefit on this route!

• Bring hiking poles (at least once snow-free; otherwise an ice axe probably a good idea)- any potential injury to a delicate ego from using them is insignificant compared with the benefit gained by lessening the damage to ones knees over the course of the ascent/descent, as well as the potential to save sprained ankles in the numerous horrible scree sections (esp. for those with weak ankles).

• Bring a headlamp- this is a LONG route!

• Look around (& behind- i.e. the way things will look during the descent) during the ascent! Much of this route is X-country, & knowing/remembering what to expect on the descent can save one a lot of time (esp. if it gets dark)! (this is a good procedure for any mountain, I’ve learned)

• Be prepared for both extremely hot & extremely cold temp’s- I’ve experienced both on this mountain!
Posted Sep 20, 2007 5:55 pm

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