South Slope/West Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.59270°N / 118.2778°W
Additional Information Route Type: Scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Easy 3rd class
Sign the Climber's Log


From the Portal, start up the Mt. Whitney tourist route. Stay on the trail for about a mile, until you reach the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek. This is not the first stream that crosses the trail, but the second. When you reach the correct stream, turn off just before crossing, and stay on the north side of the creek. There is a trail on the south side as well, but it is in much worse condition, and there is an attempt to channel all hikers onto the same trail to mitigate damage in this heavily-used drainage. The trail continues up the drainage, and, contrary to what you may hear or read, the Ebersbacher Ledges are very easy to find, and very easy to climb, no harder than class 2. If you find it to be harder than this, reconsider your route-finding.

The next major landmark is Lower Boyscout Lake, soon to be Lower Boyscout Meadow. Stay on the east side of the lake, and stay low at first. There are many use trails through this section, but the best one is just above the south shore of the lake. Continue toward Lone Pine Creek, and follow the well-used trail that ascends just south of the stream. The trail is a little hard to follow through a section of monstrous talus, but there are markers to get you to the slabs. The slabs are just that - glacier-carved, smooth granite slabs. Normally this would not be the preferred terrain for walking, as the angle is relentless, but if you stray off of the slabs, you are in for a bush-whack.

Before you get to Upper Boy Scout Lake, you will see a long sandy slope, interspersed with short cliff bands. This is way to reach the South Side routes. The trail continues on, to Iceberg Lake, and Whitney-Russell Pass.

Route Description

From this point in the drainage, approximately one-half mile below Upper Boy Scout Lake (see the image), turn north up out of the drainage, and ascend the long sandy slope, it will tend to the west. At the top, traverse some relatively flat talus and sand until it is possible to again turn north bound, and ascend the blocky South Slope of Carillon to the summit. There are excellent views of Mt. Russell's East Ridge from various points along the route, and especially from the summit.

Essential Gear

You need nothing more than on any standard 3rd class dayhike, there is an abundance of water, routefinding is easy, and the distances are slight.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.



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