Approaching the main cliff is not easy, so allow plenty of time. Whitesides is south facing, making summer time oppresively hot. Also keep in mind that summer storms can sneak up quickly from the north (opposite side). I enjoy climbing in the fall and spring.
From the parking lot take the tourist trail for a short distance until it splits, (an old road leads left to the summit) turn right! This trail will lead up to the ridge where a sign and a sharp turn left will be encountered. At this point turn right on to a secondary trail leading down. Follow the trail down, over small ledges and threw rhododendron thickets unitl the you reach the base of the cliff. The Original Route is at the far east end of the cliff and starts at the base of a large low angle, featureless slab.
The first pitch of the OR starts on the right side of this slab. Aim for the tree at the top, on a very narrow ledge. * This first pitch is 5.7 friction and not very protected at all, however we once placed a small pink tri-cam in a small crack approximately half way up. (Most times the leader would free this entire pitch). P2, From here turn left, walk down the length of the ledge and pull up and over a small overhung section moving left to the next tree ledge. P3 follows the obvious crack system. P4 starts with a tricky 5.10 move immediately off of the belay, and is followed by basic face climbing . The first part of this pitch is bolted. P-5 moves around the airy "White Cresent". P6 involves a bolt ladder. If you choose not to use it, the route goes 5.11a. I have always pulled over it with three to four clipped runners. P7 is a long traverse leading an entire rope length to the right and ends at a bolt on the face. P8 and P10 lead staight up and over the top.
The OR is probably the most straight forward route on Whiteside and requires a standard rack including a typical assortment of cams, and stoppers. Include a pink .5 tri-cam for the bottom.
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