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Whitney Portal Climbs

Whitney Portal Climbs

Whitney Portal Climbs

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: California, United States, North America

Object Title: Whitney Portal Climbs

Elevation: 8365 ft / 2550 m


Page By: Craig Peer

Created/Edited: Oct 16, 2002 / Jan 5, 2005

Object ID: 151283

Hits: 15545 

Page Score: 80.49%  - 12 Votes 

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Three excellent rock climbs first done by Fred Beckey are found in Whitney Portal. Came to climb Mt. Whitney but can't get a permit? Tired of the crowded routes in Yosemite or Tahquitz? Looking for something different to climb in a mountain setting? Whatever the reason, these excellent climbs await the adventurous rock climber. They are -

Whitney Portal Buttress ( IV - V, 5.8 - 5.10, A3 ),

Premiere Buttress ( III, 5.8, A1 or 5.10+ )

El Segundo Buttress ( III, 5.7, A2 or 5.9+ )

These three climbs are great fun and perfect for climbers that don't lead difficult free climbing. For those that do like upper level 5.10 - 5.11+ climbing, try these links to more difficult Whitney Portal climbing -

Whitney Portal Map & Climbs

Getting There

From the town of Lone Pine on Highway 395, head west on the Whitney Portal Road. For El Segundo Buttress and Premiere Buttress, follow the road until it makes a single switchback near the top of the road. Above the east end of the switchback two buttresses can be seen ( there is a gully with trees between the two buttresses ). The left buttress is El Segundo, the right one is Premiere.

For Whitney Portal Buttress, follow the Whitney Portal Road to its end. Whitney Portal Buttress can be seen to the north as a smooth high formation. Hike up the Mount Whitney trail a short distance, then follow a sandy gully to a fork. Follow the left fork to the toe of the buttress.

Red Tape

There are no permits required to climb these routes. Camp only in established camp grounds and campsites ( fee required ).

When To Climb

These climbs are perfect for summer months when other climbing areas are too hot. June - October are the best months for doing these climbs.


There are 4 campgrounds in the area including Lone Pine ( 43 sites ), Lone Pine Group camp ( 1 site ), Whitney Portal ( 43 sites ), Whitney Portal Group camp ( 3 sites ), all of which take reservations - go to http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/inyo/vvc/cmpgrnds.htm#LonePine

Also see the following websites - Inyo National Forest and WWW.395.COM listed in Links.

Mountain Conditions

Check the Inyo National Forest website ( http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/inyo ) for current conditions.

Miscellaneous Info

Note - the topos and gear lists are from the early 1980's. No doubt many pitons can be eliminated from the gear shown ( there weren't TCU's in 1983 ) and much ( if not all ) of the route can go free today. However, if you want to do these climbs in there original style, I see nothing wrong with that either!

External Links


User Profile ImageAbove Trail Camp 02-Sep-03User Profile ImageAbove Trail Camp 02-Sep-03Trail Camp from the 99...Mt. Whitney Left, Mt. Russell RightWhitney Portal Buttress topo....
Climbing on Premiere Buttress...It Goes That WayR scrambling Mt. Russell just before gaining the plateauEl Segundo and Premiere...Adventure Route, \'Ummagumma\' (5.7)Climbing on El Segundo...The massive Whitney Portal...
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