2003: Met up with Daniel & Kris to do the Mountaineer's Route. Weather was perfect. Snow conditions were great. Did not need snowshoes. Will post details in the trip report section.
2009: Went back and did the East Face with Kurt & Andy Aug 10, 2009
One of the most spectacular summit days; perfect snow, cloudless sky - one can't ask for more.
Strenuous with some tricky route finding but well worth it! Accompanied by my brother and my very good friend We set out from the Portal at 5:30 a.m. and summited by 3:00 p.m., stopping on the way up to make camp at Iceberg Lake. When we arrived back at our camp we realized that had we not been carrying tents, sleeping bags, stoves, and a two day supply of food we could have done it as a single day hike. Even with the excellent descriptions in the books available, the navigation is challenging in some portions.
Climbed in one very long day. Attempted in March too - did not succeed
car to car was an ill 17 hours, probably because we didn't roll into the portal parking lot until midnight and some fools ended up (not) sleeping (at all) in the car or on the asphalt. Aside from all that it's a dope climb/trek and a great intro to high(er) altitude excursions. Nice views from the top, too. Thanks, CalCC!
Offwidth Training. Thats what it takes to get up this most beautiful, majestic, awe inspiring ,heart thumping, gut checking monolith of stone.This peak was the one peak I absolutly had to do. Bob Cable and I subjected ourselves to countless hours thrashing and mashing up cracks to wide for the sane man to attempt , pints of blood and pounds of flesh were sacraficed to reach our goal. Schedules were set and training climbs met before we dared to attempt this climb.
I think we over did it. The climb was great, I thought some of the lower pitch cruxes were the toughest, but they were short and sweet. The red dihedral was magnificent. The crux offwidth, a great pitch, was not as tough as anticipated but what a euphoric relief to put that pitch behind us. The upper pitches were good and scenic,the rock quality was good, and we toped out on the summit. What an awesome climb,even mere mortals made it up. It took us 13 hours to complete the climb, we decended the mountaineers route and as usual got back to camp well after dark.
I climbed this excellent route with Bob Cable as a training climb for Keeler. The route starts up a large chimney system in a huge dihedral right of the "Direct East Face " dihedral . Some route descriptions show the route leaving the chimney earlier and gaining the bottom of the washboard, but we stayed in the chimney system until we gained the top of the washboard. Above the washboard we encontered two great pitches of real 5.9 climbing, The best climbing on the route. We toped out @ 7:30 and decended down the Mountaineers Routes . We arrived back to our camp well after dark, a seemingly standard practice for us
started on 11-24-02 to trail camp.
left trail camp at 2:30am 11-25-02 and summited at 8:00am.
returned to trail camp packed out and went to get some real food at 4:30pm in town.
Miguel Carmona, Andy Fried and I hiked the trail from Whitney Portal to the summit in November of 1980. Early snow storm at the high camp had us dreaming, talking about future climbs and planning the next few years. This was THE FIRST TRIP of what turned out to be 22 years of sharing the same rope (so far) for Miguel and me. What a team!
Miguel Carmona and I climbed the East Face in full winter conditions in February 1983. I remember, that year was very heavy snow year, we were ski mountaineering in the Eastern Sierra till mid July. Miguel and I took 10 hours from Iceberg Lake (including the descent) to climb the route. This was our first technical winter climb together. Many years later, people told us we did the third (or fourth) winter ascent of the face. 1st WA John Mendenhall and a partner, 2nd WA Galen Rowell and a partner, go figure that one.
After spending a very cold night at the Trail Camp (temperatures well below freezing), we took off at 7:30am. Switchbacks were covered with ice and snow, but easily managed w/o crampons. We reached Trail Crest at 9:40am, and scrambled to the summit at 12:40pm. There were maybe 15 people on the summit that day. Day was cloudy but nevertheless beautiful. After spending close to 1 hour on the top and taking lots of pictures, we descended to the Trail Camp before 4pm. We are coming back next year to climb Mountaineering Route!!!
Still some snow on parts of the trail by late June. "Cable Crossing" above trail camp was built up badly with snow and ice. The build up was higher than the cables, which made it dangerous especially in the afternoon when the snow softened. Afternoon thunder shower on the hike down was exciting and a welcome break from the relentless intensity of the sun.
With Sven Feldmann, in semi-winter conditions - it snowed a couple of inches in the preceding night, adding to the snow and ice already on the trail. The bad weather discouraged hikers from showing up which means we could get permits and had the trail (almost) to ourselves. Also bagged Crooks Peak (on some accounts a California 14er) and soloed Mount Muir from the trail.The bad weather lifted as we reached the summit and gave way to a perfect day - beautiful.
You can find a full TR with photos on my webpage.
After climbing Muir we continued up the trail to Whitney. It was a bit smoky but still wonderful to be there. This was day 9 of our 10-day Kearsarge to Whitney Portal backpacking trip.
My second 14er. I did the route in 13 hours 45 mins, which included an attempt of Mt. Muir. Two down thirteen to go!
Me and three friends summited Mt. Whitney on a cold day. I actually wore my down jacket for the entire trip. We wore in-step crampons as 75% of the trail was covered in ice. It took us 8.5 hours round-trip because of the ice. Something to consider.
This was my 8th ascent of Whitney, 2nd via the East Face. Have done the tourist route 5 times, and the East Buttress (Sunshine-Peewee) once. Climbed the East Face with ScottyS in 10 hours, car to car. Fun day. On July 4, we did a daytrip of Muir, Whitney, Russell, and Carillon, about 12 hours car to car (SummitPost trip report). For more info on the East Face trip, read the SummitPost trip report.
7/6/07 Hiked the tourist trail with my 9-year-old son, camped at trail crest, summited and hiked out the next day. He was a trooper.
#9 March 16, 2008 via Mountaineers Route. Skied up to and partway up the Mountaineers Route via the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek. Cramponed to the top, and then skied all the way back to the car. The road was not plowed all the way to the trailhead, so there was a bit of extra distance.
#10 Hiked up the tourist trail with my 10-year-old son and his 2 8-year-old brothers. 6 miles the first day, and 16 on the second.
Left the car when the sun came up. Went lightweight up the East Face with my friend Ian. Made great time until we had some problems. So much for the speed ascent. For me, after the summit, I went over and summited Mount Muir and then descended the Mountaineer's Route. At Iceburg Lake, I met up with my friend and we headed back to the car by nightfall.