Mount Whitney Climber's Log

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Redwic - Jul 9, 2007 8:57 am Date Climbed: Jul 5, 2007

First Attempt A Success!  Sucess!

My hiking partner and I left to hike the Main Whitney Trail at 2:15 AM, so we were basically ahead of the other day-hikers when we started. The infamous (but appropriated named) "99 Switchbacks" were more intense than I imagined, but the 900-foot "gain" from Trail Crest to the Summit is very misleading, and tiresome, as you first need to descend and then you travel by several peaks. Overall, it was a very cool hike and well worth the summit!


dioid - Jul 4, 2007 6:41 am Date Climbed: Jun 24, 2007

7th time  Sucess!

1st - Main Trail (chute variation)
2nd - Main trail day hike solo
3rd - Main trail solo winter conditions (chute variation)
4th - Mountaineers Route
5th - East Face
6th - East Buttress
7th - Main Trail with girlfriend :)


mnatureson - Jul 2, 2007 1:25 pm Date Climbed: Jul 1, 2007

Main Trail  Sucess!

Nice hike.


mybackyard - Jun 25, 2007 7:44 am Date Climbed: Mar 10, 2007

Winter solo ascent of Mountaineers Route  Sucess!

Having attained a permit at 11 am on Friday, hiked until dark, camping at 11,500 just below Iceburg Lake. Left before sunrise and reached the summit at around 9 am. Exhilerating climb!

Dave S

Dave S - Jun 21, 2007 2:13 am Date Climbed: Aug 7, 2010

Multiple Routes! And all are fun!  Sucess!

Date Climbed: 7 August 2010

Climbed the East Buttress with Amy! Her first Alpine rock climb, and first Sierra Peak! Great times!
Date Climbed: 15 Aug 2009
Climbed the East Face with Lea

Date Climbed: 25 Jul 2009
Climbed the East Face with Will and Luis. Fun climbing! Definitely enjoyed the exposure.

Date Climbed: 10 Aug 2007
Route: East Buttress

Climbed the East Buttress with Jim R, car to car in a day. Beautiful day in the mountains!! Swung leads for the first half of the climb, simul-climbed the 2nd half. Awesome route!

Date climbed: 19 May 2007
Route climbed: MR

Solo day hike this time. I actually had the summit to myself for almost 30 minutes (from 10am to almost 1030!!!). Then decided to go down the main trail and hit Keeler Needle and Mt Muir on the way down.

Date climbed: 18 July 2006
Route climbed: MR

Jim Carr - Jun 15, 2007 2:14 pm Date Climbed: Aug 1, 2004

Stretcher Detail  Sucess!

Ascent via main trail. Ascended the switchbacks from Trail Camp the evening before to help carry down a heart attack victim on a stretcher. The victim was helicoptered out successfully just after dark.


forjan - Jun 12, 2007 11:41 am Date Climbed: Jun 10, 2007

East Buttress  Sucess!

Climbed with fossana. Took the 5.8 alt start as they were two other parties on the main start. Belayed 2 pitches and simul'ed/solo'ed the rest. Got back in time at the Whitney Portal Store for burger & fries. Another awesome weekend in the Sierra!

Date Climbed: March 18, 2007
Route Climbed: MR

Climbed the MR as a day hike with Tina Tretina and Rick Kent. The highlight was soloing the upper 1/3 of the chute: nice consolidated neve for mid-March.

Date Climbed: August 21, 2005
Route Climbed: East Face

Climbed the East Face with Murray Zichlinsky with Mark Ingram and Steve Sauter following as a 2nd party of 2. We had a fantastic weather day in the Sierra (no clouds, cobalt blue sky, light breeze...nice!). Took 6 hours to summit because we're stuck behind a party of 3 (dad and his 2 sons) at the 1st tower traverse pitch. Murray and I passed the "dad" team at the washboards as we unroped there. Then, we waited for Mark & Steve to come up to the Giant Alcove. Murray led the Fresh Air Traverse while I led the last short (20 feet) offwidtch/left chimney pitch at the end of the Grand Staircase. Murray and I actually belayed 5 pitches: pitch 1 was the tower traverse; pitch 2 (less than 20') was to get up to the Giant Alcove; pitch 3 was the Fresh Air Traverse; pitch 4 was the short 5.5 chimney after the Fresh Air Traverse; pitch 5 (~ 20') was the short 5.7 offwidth/left chimney at the end of the Grand Staircase. With careful routefounding, you can keep the rest at class3/4 to the summit. I reached the summit at 2:25pm. Murray arrived some 20 minutes later. Then, after waiting 1 hour at the summit for Mark & Steve, I told Murray I couldn't wait any longer as I had to descend to the Portal that day. Left the summit at 3:30pm, down the Mountaineers Route and back at Iceberg Lake at 4:40pm. Packed up and down at the Portal at 7:38pm.

Date Climbed: April 3, 2004
Route Climbed: Mountaineers Route

Conditions have changed quite a bit since people summited last weekend March 27-28. This weekend was a different North Fork of Lone Pine Creek. The road to the Portal is dry as of yesterday. We drove right to the trailhead. Our plan was to camp between Upper Boy Scout Lake and Iceberg Lake and then up the MR and summit on Saturday. On the way up, it started with flurries just below the Ebersbacher Ledges,then it switched to snow. On Friday (April 2nd), teams were getting up the Ebersbacher Ledges. It was a totally different story yesterday (April 3rd). No one descended the ledges as they were totally wet from the melting snow. The boot track has mostly disappeared now with the recent snow storm. Most teams decided to camp at Lower Boy Scout Lake (by the way, the snow level pretty much begins at 9000 feet), including a team from Fort Collins, Colorado that we met. Anyway, we decided to press on and only found 1 tent camped at Upper Boy Scout Lake on Friday afternoon. Visibility really got poor starting at 4:00pm Friday April 2nd. We hiked 'til 5:00pm and made camp at 11,700 feet betweeb UBSL and Iceberg Lake. The snow storm really started to come down after 6:00pm Friday. It did not let up all night. By morning, it has snowed over 1 foot in less than 12 hours!! And it continued snowing well into mid-morning (10:00am) Saturday, April 3rd. At about 10:15am, I noticed a team of 4 climbers coming down from higher above us. The leader in front asked us how we're doing, and I immediately recognized the voice: it was Kurt Wedberg of Sierra Mountaineering International. He said they had camped just a few hundred feet higher from where we were. Kurt decided to turn around his clients as he witnessed fracture lines on the slope to Iceberg Lake. Avalanche activity had risen quickly over the night hours of Saturday morning (April 3rd): we had over 1 foot of new snow in less than 12 hours and more snow was still coming down, rapid warming temperatures from Friday to Saturday (I guess it was around 35 degrees F Saturday around 10:00am at our 11,700-foot camp). Kurt also had another large guided team (from IMG: International Mountain Guides) camped at Lower Boy Scout Lake. The IMG team packed up and headed back down to the trailhead. Without any further hesitation, we too abandon our summit bid and headed down. We noticed that the climbers camped at UBSL also went down. Then, the Colorado team too went down. BOTTOM LINE: Everyone on Saturday bailed out and headed back down to the Portal trailhead as avalanche risk was considerable. On our way down, close to the Ebersbacher Ledges, we witnessed a small avalanche on a north facing slope. This slope released as a result of the very rapid warming temperatures which lubricated the sandwiched layer between the harder snow below with the wetter snow on top. All in all, although our 3-day trip was cut short due to the freaky snow storm (which also caught the National Weather Service forecast off guard) and considerable avalanche danger, it taught us yet another lesson in mountaineering. Looks like the storm started to die down today and the weather looks favorable for next weekend. Safe climbing everyone!

Date Climbed: November 3, 2002
Route Climbed: Mountaineers Route

My goal was to climb Mount Muir as a day hike. So I decided to go up via the Mountaineer's Route (MR) instead of the main Whitney Trail. I left L.A. at 1:40pm Saturday and was at the Portal around 5:00pm. Parked close to the trailhead and slept outside. Got up and started walking at 2:45am Sunday (Nov. 3, 2002) by headlamp. Ascended the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek (MR). Reached Iceberg Lake around 7:50am. Filled up on water, ate and rested a bit before heading out at 8:30am up the main gully. Conditions on the gully were some snow; the last few hundred feet before the notch I climbed the main gully on the right side as there was decent snow, instead of the scree rubble. Took the first gully up after the notch and did a brief class 4th section before toping out onto the summit plateau. Summited Whitney at 10:39am. Stayed at the summit for 25 minutes trying to get my cell phone to work. Descended via the main Whitney Trail onto to tag Mt Muir. Summited Muir at 11:55am, and was back at the car by 3:50pm.

BTW, I hauled up ice axe & crampons and I did not need them at all yesterday Nov 3, 2002. Conditions may change by next weekend, though, if a weather system moves through.

Date Climbed: February 3, 2002
Route Climbed: Mountaineers Route

Sunny, mostly a calm day. Made the summit at 1:20pm Pacific time, Sunday, February 3, 2002. Click here for trip report.

Date Climbed: November 11, 2001
Route Climbed: Mountaineers Route

Failed attempt on the MR. Trip report here.

Date Climbed: July 8, 2001
Route Climbed: Mountaineers Route

This was my 2nd time atop of Mount Whitney. First time up and down via the main trail on August 2000, and now the 2nd time up and down via the Mountaineer's route. Went solo. I ended up climbing next to a group of 3 climbers from San Diego. Summitted at 11:39am. Stayed only 5 minutes as dark thunder clouds were heard less than 10 seconds away. My climb report here.


lasvegaswraith - Jun 12, 2007 1:10 am Date Climbed: Jun 9, 2007

Whitney Trail  Sucess!

Fantastic day! Dayhiked the Main trail and bagged Muir along the way down (great view of the switchbacks). Snow/ice pretty much gone; the ax and crampons stayed in the bag.


MoabPeakBagger - Jun 9, 2007 8:37 pm Date Climbed: Jul 12, 2006

the trail  Sucess!

summitted via the trail while a massive fire caused the evacuation of my town. My girlfriend was pissed.


Alpine72 - Jun 7, 2007 12:53 pm Date Climbed: Jun 2, 2007

Great trip  Sucess!

Hiked up the standard route including a side trip to get Muir as well. Both peaks car to car in just under 12hrs.


sgica - Jun 5, 2007 4:34 pm

Dayhikes  Sucess!

Dayhiked the Portal Trail to the summit in late Sept of '93. Party of 4 hit the TH at 5:00AM and were enjoying the summit views by noon. Returned 9-21-2003 to repeat only to be turned back by icy conditions above the switchbacks. (The party was diverse and not everyone was prepared! Lesson learned....) Going back this Sept with a 1 night/2 day permit.


dvsanbt - Jun 5, 2007 9:42 am Date Climbed: Jun 3, 2007

Some variation of East Face  Sucess!

Did some variation of the East Face route. Were planning to do the Great Book, but were feeling quite sodded by the altitude by the time we reached the top of the Washboard. Traversed around, but could not find the Fresh Air Traverse pitch. So, just went straight up a wide crack to get to the Grand Staircase. After the exit from the Staircase, did not find the scramble to the summit, so went straight up (and it was NOT a scramble). Took a while to summit, but was a nice day and a great climbing partner.


Blackmouth - May 30, 2007 8:19 pm Date Climbed: Sep 17, 2006

MR-Day Hike  Sucess!

We did the Mountaineers route from portal to portal in 14 hours. The weather was perfect and the view at the top was worth the pain that my toes endured on the descent.


Blackmouth - Sep 25, 2015 1:23 pm

Re: MR-Day Hike

Second Time
Sept 24, 2015
Solo dayhike up the Mountaineers Route to Whitney and then onto Mt. Muir and then the main trail to the portal. 16 hours car to car. A beautiful fall day in the Sierra with very little wind.

k2excursion - May 29, 2007 9:20 pm Date Climbed: Aug 1, 2005

Highpoint # 33  Sucess!

So gorgeous! Hiked in 6 miles, camped overnight, summitted on Day 2, came down on Day 3. The permits and bear canisters are a major pain, but it's worth it. From the summit, you can see landscapes more than 11,000 feet below you. Not many places on Earth provide this without needing technical climbing skills. The 99 switchbacks are not as bad as they sound. It's probably the easiest part of the trail. The gradual increase in elevation is good for you anyway. Sleeping at 12,000 feet on Night 1 helped me acclimate. Plenty of snow around, even in August, although none on the trail. Maybe the most beautiful mountain I've climbed.

Bruce Christensen

Bruce Christensen - May 28, 2007 1:57 pm Date Climbed: Jul 21, 2005

One day summit from Whitney Portal  Sucess!

I did Whitney in a day with Hyrum Wright. We drove out from Utah on the 20th, camped at Whitney Portal that night to acclimatize a little, and summited the next day.

The 22 miles (round trip) and 6100 feet of elevation gain were pretty brutal. I'd probably do it in two days next time, although that involves more paperwork to get a permit to camp.

Hyrum has a complete trip report at


Luciano136 - May 21, 2007 1:27 pm Date Climbed: May 20, 2007

Snow chute from Trail Camp  Sucess!

Finally got this one knocked off. Cancelled two attempts due to weather and failed to summit via the MR in November '06 due to horrible conditions and lack of time. Finally came back and did the classic overnighter up the main trail. Friday night: Whitney Portal. Saturday night: Trail Camp. Sunday: summit and down. Weather and conditions were great! I felt a little sick on Saturday night but turned out to be fine Sunday. We went up a snow chute to Trail Crest avoiding all the switchbacks. Steep but fun. Mike (gigamike) was one of the guys in our group.
Altitude makes this hike still a tough going at times. The last couple of miles down I also had some feet issues; a small blister from the week before opened up making for a rather painful end of the day.

Other than that, uneventful and great fun! Oh, and if you like nice views, the main trail does offer much better scenery than the mountaineer's route.

Went up the Mountaineer's route with Richard (piotrowski on SP) and some other folks. 2 out of the 5 made the summit. I ran out of time a little below the top of the couloir above iceberg lake. Weather was perfect. Trail conditions a little annoying; bigger parts of the trail have hard packed snow/ice on it. Also had to cross an ice field (ice=very hard) and the couloir is only partly filled with snow; the upper part is mainly loose rock, which is pretty annoying. All in all a fun trip!

Brad Mastros

Brad Mastros - May 20, 2007 11:00 pm Date Climbed: May 19, 2007

Day Hike East Buttress  Sucess!

A very long day with Dave German who led the whole route.


phillinley - May 10, 2007 2:36 am Date Climbed: Apr 30, 2007

Spring climb

Bit off more than I could chew on a one-day attempt.


LonePeakFreak - Apr 27, 2007 1:14 pm

Great Hike  Sucess!

Loved the camping, the views, and the company. A great hike.

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