We hiked up to Upper Boyscout Lake the first day and the rest of the way the next day. The final chute had quite a bit of ice at the beginning, but was not difficult to navigate around. Higher up, the snow was very icy so we chose to scrable up the rocks. This was a really fun climb. I hope to return some day to climb the east face.
For me it was a great achievement to be once again [after 16 years, this time with my son] at the top of this awesome mountain ! Our guide from Sierra Mountaineering, Inc made all the difference for us. First, Neil found a very nice camping spot by Thor Lake, sheltered from the elements and without any snow on the ground. It was located a few hundred feet lower than Iceberg Lake which was still frozen and its usual camp sites all snow covered.
At daybreak we continued on our trek thru fields of snow cups and neve and did not encounter a single mountaineer the entire day. We began the rock climb below the Tower Traverse at about 7.30AM. It took us about 7.5 hours to reach the summit. It was Neil's expert guidance that facilitated our success at the usual critical technical spots [my crux of the climb was the dihedral at the top of the Grand Staircase]. The exposure and views during the climb were awesome and the technical aspects were definitely harder than anything I had encountered at the Hornli Ridge of the Matterhorn.Our descent via the Mountaineers Route was greatly facilitated by glissading in the snow-covered chutes.
I highly recommend the latter part of June as a great time to climb this spectacular route in total solitude and opting to camp lower to avoid snow and cold nights!
Perfect weather perfect climb great fun.
Easy going very little snow from trail crest.
My first time up a fourteener! It was probably the hardest thing I have done in my life, but extremely rewarding. The climb from trail camp to trail crest was made much easier by the switchbacks being about 80% clear. Cables still under snow but passable. Crampons and ice axe very handy and probably necesary. Steep snow crossing at the top for about 150 feet to the Crest made me uneasy but very doable. One of the most beautiful places I have hiked in the world. Excellent trip!
Made it up to about 13,000ft on the snow chute before turning back. Had ice axe and instep crampons and felt fit and acclimatised but the snow and ice conditions were too challenging for me. The switchbacks were still blocked at the cable section. I have a photo report at:
Went up the North slope with Pavel and Roman after decending Mt. Russell. I found this route quite easy with the snow cover, less steep than the last section of Mountaineer's Route. I estimate it to be comparable in steepness to Avalanche Gulch on Shasta in the steepest sections. Our 2nd summit that day.
It was a great climb, but it was saddened by the fatal incident of a solo climber on our summit day. Please take great care on the last 300 yards to the summit!
Did the East Face in '85 with Julie Lazar. Soloed the East Butt three times since then. The descent to the Mountaineers route gulley is always thought provoking.
What Rob said :-)
Actually a great climb. Planned on going for the East Face but the Washboard and right below the alcove still had snow on it. And early start is definately a must on this climb during this time of the year. Very soft snow.
Started from Upper Boy Scout Lake around 6:30 with group organized by Johnhl94563, temps were around freezing; great snow for cramponing up to Iceberg Lake. By the time we entered the main gully around 9ish, things got softer, but firmed up as we ascended. The last 100-200' of the gully was melted out and very loose - use caution to avoid pelting rocks on parties climbing below.
At the notch, we had a choice of going up the first steep chute, or a gentler but long and somewhat exposed traverse on the north face to the west slope. Three of the group ascended the traverse. I climbed the chute, which had a class 3 rock scramble near the bottom, and maybe 45-50 degree hard snow up to the summit plateau. An enjoyable fix for this ice junkie.
The day was a bit windy and cool, good for keeping the snow firm above 14000'. We had excellent views, and a marmot & various birds thronged for snack handouts (don't leave packs unattended on the summit).
We descended via the traverse back to the notch, downclimbed the main gully about 2/3 of the way, glissaded back to Iceberg Lake in soft conditions, then plunge-stepped back to UBSL.
I will never forget standing on top of the Continential United States.
Camped at Trail Camp, summited second day. Snow and altitude made this a hard, hard climb for newcomers like me. First 14k peak!
Enjoyable snow climb from Whitney-Russell col after descending from Russell. Second of the three 14ers that day.
Summited Muir and skied from North Crest. Trip Report
Climbed Whitney with a failed attempt on Mount Muir due to a lack of desire for actual climbing (or perhaps taking the wrong route), only used the actual trail for the first 2 miles, with snow the rest of the way. Some exposure near Mount Muir and fairly steep snow instead of the 99 switchbacks. Much more of an adventure than the summer!
Whitney Trail Round Trip in 1 day. Very nice.
Camp at UBSL. Go when there is snow in the upper chute above the notch. Careful on the descent. Traverse looks sketchy, depending on snow.
We hiked it in a day. We started in the dark and made it to trail camp in the morning. It had been a snowy year and the 99 switchbacks were covered in snow. We cramponed up the long couloir all the way to trail crest. Hiking along the ridge was slow going as the altitude really got to us. I got to the summit and fell asleep. The view was great. We glissaded all the way down to trail camp and hiked out.
I followed this very same route in September, 1965, while driving from Salt Lake City to Berkeley, California, where I started graduate school in geography. The trail to the top was crowded with hikers and I felt no exclusiveness from reaching the slatey summit except to realize that I had reached to highest point in the lower forty-eight.