Mount Whitney Climber's Log

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thenunz - Oct 8, 2002 9:11 am

Route Climbed: Mountainer's Date Climbed: 4/27/2002  Sucess!

Longer, harder than anticipated. Got in some skiing on the way down. Snowy and foggy all three days. Great firm snow in the gully and 10 foot visiblity at the top. What's there to see up there anyway? : ( First two of five to summit that day.


gordonye - Oct 1, 2002 12:20 pm Date Climbed: Aug 28, 2004

Route Climbed: Mountaineer's route, East Face (successful)  Sucess!

First try via the Mountaineer's route: September 29, 2002. My partner Vladimir Ulyashin did the climb and reached the summit. The previous day there was a short blizzard which made the route icy, and I decided against trying it myself. Vlad said the crux part above the couloir was exceedingly difficult as he was without rope, ice axe, or crampons.

On the way down below Lower Boyscout Lake it was pitch dark and we tried to hike down to car with headlamps, but got lost around the Ebersbacher ledges. After searching around for 3 hours we gave up and camped the night back at the lake. In the morning of Sept. 30th we finally figured out how to come down.

Second try via East Face route: August 28, 2004. Made it to summit with Dirk Summers (Diggler). We roped up for 3 pitches and scrambled the other pitches, up to easy class 5. Descended via Mountaineer's route, where in the lower gully we were pelted with rock fall for 2 minutes from the East Buttress. Luckily we weren't hurt. This was my first major technical climb and I was glad it was as successful as could be.

mconnell - Sep 26, 2002 5:20 pm

Route Climbed: Whitney Trail Date Climbed: Sept 24 2002  Sucess!

Nice hike on the way up, windy at the top, a little snow on the way down as I passed Trail Crest. 11 hours car to car (a lot slower than intended).


ScottyS - Sep 24, 2002 2:04 pm

Route Climbed: East Face w/Tower Traverse Date Climbed: Sept. 23, 2002  Sucess!

Climbed in a day w/bearbnz. Started at the Portal at 0415 after our typical 5hr drive and 5hr sleep. Summited at 1105 after only 4 roped pitches using our 100' length of 8.8mm and "a handful of stoppers". My first multipitch mountain, and Barry's 8th time to summit. Sauntered down the Mountaineers', arriving at the car at 1445. Summit conditions? "Tourist Extravaganza!"

Craig Peer

Craig Peer - Sep 23, 2002 3:00 pm

Route Climbed: East Buttress Date Climbed: 1980  Sucess!

Climbed this excellent route with Rik Hafeman and his boss ( his bosses 1st climb ever ). A great route, but we got lost on the way down and wound up descending ice on the North Face and going over the Whitney - Russell col. Oh well, you can't plan adventure.

WholeYan - Sep 18, 2002 12:20 pm

Route Climbed: Mt. Whitney trail Date Climbed: September 11, 2002  Sucess!

Randy and Jerry Isbell (brothers), summited Mt. Whitney on 9-11 at 12:45 PM. We started our hike at 2:00 AM, spent one hour on the summit, and arrived back at our vehicle at 8:00 PM. We had beautiful weather the whole day, and had a great time... but that last 6 miles is a Death March!!! . . . . . . . . . .


Troop883 - Sep 16, 2002 4:33 pm

Route Climbed: Muir Trail Date Climbed: 8/24/02  Sucess!

Troop 883 completed a 60 mile segment of the Muir Trail going over Whitney. Greg , Bruce , Russ adult leaders . Shea , Brian , and Brandon. Long day over the top with our packs. Great Views!


lidijagrazulis - Sep 10, 2002 10:27 pm

Route Climbed: Dayhike up the main Mt. Whitney Trail Date Climbed: September 1, 2002  Sucess!

5 hrs. 40 min. from Whitney Portal to the summit!! This was my 2nd time up, having done the hike as a 2-night backpack last year. The views from the top were once again amazing, as the smoke from the McNalley fire had cleared. Even got to watch it rain on some distant peaks! We took our time on the way down and finished in about 12 hours. A tiring but wonderful day!


velodurt - Sep 8, 2002 6:51 pm

Route Climbed: Main Mt Whitney Trail Date Climbed: August 20th,2002  Sucess!

We had wanted to climb this mountain for almost ten years and finally made it on August 20th, 2002! It took us 18 hours roundtrip(one of our hiking party was moving a little slow due to altitude), but it was absolutely amazing. Especially Trail Crest! Check out our trip report and photos at our website Natural Born Hikers Link can be found on home page for a brief time and then it will be under TRAILS. Thanks.

Joe Hanssen

Joe Hanssen - Aug 28, 2002 6:28 pm

Route Climbed: Standard-Whitney trail Date Climbed: August 26 '02  Sucess!

Popular peak eh. This was the last day of climbing out of 10 during the 2002 Sierra Mountaineers Challenge. It was nice to be fully acclimated.

Car to Whitney: 3 hrs 43 min (4:26 am-8:09)

Car to Whitney-Muir: 4hrs 44 min (4:26 am-9:10)

CTC: 7 hrs 35 min (4:26 am-12:01)

Total elevation in 10 days: 46,996'

Total miles in 10 days: 154.4


scottyb - Aug 26, 2002 10:49 pm

Route Climbed: Mule Date Climbed: August 1999  Sucess!

Who hasn't climbed this giant?

Bob Burd

Bob Burd - Aug 24, 2002 7:12 pm

Route Climbed: North Face (ascent) / Whitney Trail (descent) Date Climbed: Aug 24, 2002  Sucess!

Day 8 of the 2002 Mountaineers Challenge.

5:15hr to the summit of Russell from the Portal, via the Rockwell variation, Mt. Carillon, and the East Ridge. Descended the South Face, ascended Whitney's North Face, summitting 2:15h later. Summited Muir 1h later, returned to the Portal in another 2:15h. Total time, 10:45h. Trip Report.

bps - Aug 19, 2002 3:11 pm

Route Climbed: East Face Date Climbed: August 21, 1998  Sucess!

Most normal parties take 2 to 3 days for the entire climb, while someone like Josh could start at 3am and probably be back down to Lone Pine for pizza by noon. My climbing partner (Aaron) and I wanted to climb this peak like it was an expedition, with heavy packs and an extended schedule.

On the first day, we made the 6 hour drive from Sacramento (sea level) and spent the night at the Portal Trailhead (8,300ft).

On Day 2, we moved our camp up to Lower Boy Scout Lake at 10,400ft. We had a little trouble finding the Eberschier Ledges, but eventually found our way. (a picture of the ledges is extremely helpful)

We moved up to Iceberg Lake (12,500) on Day 3. I could really feel the altitude while humping the 70lb pack up the final slope that leads to Iceberg Lake. As expected for the 3rd week in August, the lake was frozen in spots, but the area was relatively free of snow.

Day 4 was a rest and acclimitization day. I woke up just before first light and captured some great photos of the East Face just as the sun light was touching the mountain. Absolutely breathtaking! We spent the rest of the day scoping out the route, hydrating, and lounging in the sun.

On Day 5, we crawled out of our sleeping bags at 2:45am and started walking at 3:50am. We made it to the rope-up point above the first tower by first light. I was really excited as this was my first technical alpine climb.

The exposure was equal to a good cup of coffee and it really got my blood pumping. The visuals were exciting and the climbing was relatively simple. Up the Washboard we went, electing to stay roped up for safety. At the top of the Washboard, we rapped down the other side of the notch and that is when Mr. Murphy made his appearance. It took us 4 hours to find the true Fresh Aire Traverse. We tried several different lines, but each one was way harder than the advertised 5.4 to 5.6. We eventually found our way and wow, there was some real exposure in that Traverse! From there, we squeaked our way up the Rotten Chimney (watch out for loose rocks) and then onto the Grand Staircase.

I slowed down a little bit due to the altitude, but was still moving along at a steady pace. We wondered our way upwards and eventually topped out at 4:45 in the afternoon. Two hikers were on top trying to look over the edge of the East Face just as we clambered over the edge. The look on their faces was priceless!

Even though we knew that we would have to descend in the dark, we took our time to ensure that we traveled down the correct gullies. Once the darkness hit, we slowed down for safety's sake. About 2/3 of the way down the Mountaineer's route, Aaron and I encountered a thick sheet of ice and I suspected this might happen since we were descending in darkness. Since we had ice axes, but no crampons, we decided to rap down past this section. It only lasted about 90ft or so, and then returned to snow/rock. We plucked our way down and by the time we rolled into our tent, we were exhausted, but had gigantic grins from just completing an absolutely gorgeous climb.

The next day we hiked out and promptly drove to Lone Pine and ordered a greasy pizza since that is all we could talk about during the descent. Climbing the East Face was extremely rewarding and I highly recommend this climb for those that are prepared. Of special note: we timed our climb so we would go for the summit during the week and it paid off as we were the only climbers on the entire route. An equal surprise was the fact that there wasn't a cloud in the sky the entire time we were on the mountain (5 days). But climbers and hikers beware! There were major thunderstorms the day before we started and the day after we finished. I guess the climbing gods were smiling on us during our stay...


adampaul - Aug 18, 2002 1:43 pm

Route Climbed: Whitney Trail Date Climbed: Aug. 11 2002  Sucess!

First time doing a hike this long, first time at this elevation, but I made it! Took absolutely forever (18.5hrs) largely due to packing way too much crap. Live 'n learn I guess! Full report w/pics here

Weather rather warm, and the air was very smoky due to nearby fires. Had a great time, though! 16 of the 19 folks in our group summited successfully.

Glenn Campbell

Glenn Campbell - Aug 14, 2002 7:29 am

Route Climbed: Whitney Trail Date Climbed: Aug. 12, 2002  Sucess!

Mike Dornheim (Los Angeles), Jim Boone (Las Vegas) and myself reached the summit around 3:30pm. Took us 11 hours up, without any pain. (The pain only struck us on the last few miles coming down, which were grueling. The hike took us 20 hours total, in a single day.) We had prepared by hiking Mt. San Antonio (about 11k feet) and Mt. Charleson (12k feet), which seemed to be sufficient. Fine weather at the summit, but sky was very hazy due to fires in the Sequoia area. This is one of the most scenic and interesting hikes I have taken. Very vertical!

Here is my trail advice.


IdahoClimber - Aug 13, 2002 2:54 pm

Route Climbed: Whitney Trail Date Climbed: May 18, 2001  Sucess!

Climbing in early May allowed it to be a climb not a hike. The "Whitney Bowl" aka Trail Crest was snow covered allowing us to bypass the 99 switchbacks and go strait up. The back side had lots of snow but steps were kicked in so crampons were not necessary. Glissading down was a blast, perfect snow and a perfect angle. We did the climb in a comfortable 3 days. Portal to Trail Camp (night) to Summit back to Trail Camp (night) to Portal. Left camp after dark to assist some climbers from Stanford back to camp (Yea I know). Still pissed that California has the highest point. Should be Colorado.


Michele - Aug 2, 2002 12:12 am

Route Climbed: Mountaineer's Date Climbed: Sometime in 2000  Sucess!

Climbed during a light sprinkling of snow. Reached the summit and heard the Ranger yell, "Everyone off the summit or you're going to get fried!" We got off the mountain by running down the Whitney trail and witnessed a spectacular lightning show.

Marathon - Jul 26, 2002 4:28 pm

Route Climbed: Mount Whitney Trail Date Climbed: 7/17/2002  Sucess!

Day hike with my son and daughter-in-law. Trained hard in Socal for 3 months and knew we were fit, but we still had 2 concerns: Socal peaks are 3000 feet lower than this one and we had no time to acclimate (drove up from sea level the evening before). Began hike from Whitney Portal at 3AM. Outpost Camp at 5AM, Trail Camp and first break at 6:40. Slowed a bit from here but reached the summit at 10:40 without too much trouble. We spent very little time on the peak as the weather had been building and was already looking fairly nasty with thunder in the distance. As we began our descent it began to snow, albeit very lightly. By Trail Crest this snow was mixed with ice pellets and then, as we descended further, rain. The rain increased in intensity through the afternoon and made conditions generally miserable. As a result, we did less sight seeing on the way down and basically did a power descent to the car so that we could dry off. Reached the portal at 4:20, bought a shower at the store and drove to Lone Pine for dinner. A wonderful day on an absolutely beautiful trail.


Chucky - Jul 21, 2002 7:52 am

Route Climbed: Whitney Trail Date Climbed: 17 September 2000  Sucess!

17 September 2000, my first time at the summit of Whitney, was a one day effort. It was a very exillerating accomplishment, but not very fun.

14 January 2001, my second time on Whitney, my four partners and I did not get above 10,000 feet.

15 June 2001, was my second time at the summit. Although altitude still was an influencing factor, it was a lot more fun than the one day trip.

Feel free to read the three trip reports on Mount Whitney. I hope they make good reference comments for anyone contemplating doing Whitney in the future.

Go for it and have fun!


kdonaldson - Jul 20, 2002 11:44 am

Route Climbed: Mountaineer's Date Climbed: July 18, 2002  Sucess!

Spent a night at the portal, hiked to Upper Boyscout on July 17. Took about 4.5 hours with loaded packs. Rain and hail in later afternoon and evening. July 18 - 2 hours up to Iceberg. From there stayed left and climbed class 3/4 up to the based of the buttress route. (There is a really cool view of the east face if you scramble up to the notch between tower 1 and 2 on the buttress route) Then traversing right to the first gully, up to the top o fthe notch. Hail on and off all the way up to the top making the final chute a little hairy with some slippery rocks. Think it was about 2.5 -3 hours to the top from iceberg with the slight detour.

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