From the Whiney Portal follow the trail to Mt. Whitney approximately 1 mile to where Lone Pine Creek crosses the trail. Leave the trail and hike up Lone Pine Creek about 1/2 mile and ascend a steep slope to the Ebersbacher Ledges. Head east on the ledges and continue up stream to Lower Boy Scout Lake. Continue up the canyon and pass Upper Boy Scout Lake and cross the outlet of the lake and head due south up talus slopes. At the top of the talus field head right to the base of the small cliffs that lead to Iceberg Lake at the base of Mt. Whitney. The cliff band before Iceberg Lake can be wet/icy early morning or early season.
From Iceberg Lake climb scree slopes up to the base of the promiment tower called The First Tower, approach this tower on its right side and get situated between the First Tower and the East Buttress. Rope up and climb out left for the exposed Tower Traverse. The step across is extremely exposed but easy with fair protection. This ends at the top of a small chimney. From here continue up 4th class ledges know as the Washboard which ends in a large alcove. Traverse left and over small walls and then drop down to a corner that shoots left. From this corner either climb the Direct Crack (5.9) directly up or continue traversing left until you come to a block. This is the start of the Fresh Air Traverse. A long step across with HUGE exposure (5.4)continues left to a smooth face and a broken chimney. This climbing ends at the Grand Staircase, a series of steps which end at a wall. Exit via a tight chimney on the left and scramble up blocks to the summit. If doing the Direct Crack (5.9) this will lead directly to the Grand Staircase and eliminate 2-3 pitches of the Fresh Air Traverse. Descend the Mountaineers Route
A small rack of medium to large cams, large hexes and nuts with plenty of long runners. For sure bring a helmet and leave it on until you exit the Mountaineers Route at the bottom. Depending on time of year, snow pack and time of day, crampons and an axe are necessary. Night temperature always are cold so bring appropriate gear if spending the night. Get an early start. Permits are required in this entire region and can be obtained in the town of Lone Pine.
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