Hideout consists of a conglomeration of rock towers some one quarter of a mile behind Shark's Fin
in the The Alabama Hills
in the outskirts of Mount Whitney
in the Sierra Nevada Range
The first time I visited this area in 2004 there were only two west facing formations with two sport routes on each. After climbing all the routes there I didn't see any reason for visiting the area again, especially since the dirt road leading to the rocks was badly rutted. Fast forward to 2010 and membership in Summit Post; I had to go back. The dirt road leading to the area is even worse now and needs to be hiked unless you can find an alternate dirt road bypassing the bad one.
Compared to 2004, the Hideout is by far more developed now with potential for many more routes. Facing southwest and lying in between the two original formations, you will find two side-by-side towers. The one on the left has three bolts leading to a beautiful anchor. The tower on the right has two bolted routes, one with five bolts and one with four bolts, sharing the same anchor. Route development on these two towers wasn't as much of a surprise as what I found on the northeast face of The Hideout complex.
The East Face
One Heck of a Lizard, 5.9 In Memory of Raleigh Collins, 11a
The northeast face is massive with two great sport climbs and potential for many more routes. The route on the far right is a rather long 5.9 face called One Heck of A Lizard
. On the extreme left and just to the right of a smooth buttress you will find an incredible route that starts on a thin seam to finish on a face/corner. This route is rated 11a and it's called In Memory of Raleigh Collins
. Raleigh Collins who tragically died in a climbing related accident was a prolific climber who played a major roll in developing The Alabama Hills. I no longer climb 5.11s, but a visit to this route was an emotional journey for me.
#1 is Power Play, 10a, #2 is Whippersnapper, 5.8
As I mentioned previously, you may be forced to hike to The Hideout because of a badly rutted dirt road. It should come as no surprise that you see much more when you walk. I had no idea how complex The Hideout area really was till I hike the approach. One of the first formations you come to is an overhanging face and a dihedral to its left. I would like to think that this impossible-looking face would trigger the curiosity of of some young super climber in the future. The Alabama Hills deserves to have a few high level routes.
Walking further hugging the west facing formations you will come to a large block atop another small boulder. Two of the original routes are on this boulder. Walking further you will pass by the two towers mentioned in this page. Walking further and going right around the formation you will eventually come to the two very original routes established in this area. The route on the left starts from the ground with a rather bouldery move on good holds. This route is known as Power Play
, originally rated 5.9 is now up grated to 10a. The one on the right is a face route on loose flakes known as Whippersnapper
, rated 5.8 and starts from the top of a boulder.
protecting native plants
How to Get to The Hideout
From the town of Lone Pine, California, on Highway 395 take Whitney Portal Road
at the only traffic light in town. Drive 2.7 miles west on this road to intersect Move Road
. Turn right onto the Movie Road. This road is paved for a short distance then it turns into a dirt road. The first dirt road to intersect the Movie Road heads for Shark's Fin
. Take this road for a few hundred yards and park in one of the parking spaces for Shark's Fin. Walk up the same road for several hundred yards past The Whitney Boulder to The Hideout.
Although many parties camp within the parking areas of the Alabama Hills, this practice is highly discouraged. The area suffers from mismanaged campsites and blackened caves. There are two campgrounds very close to the Alabama Hills. Lone Pine Campground
is further up the road on Whitney Portal Road
, and Tuttle Creek Campground
is within a few miles up Horseshoe Meadow Road.
If you don't mind driving another fifty miles, there are many campgrounds along Bishop Creek just to the west of Bishop. There are also many places in The Buttermilks area that are close to a creek that are suitable for camping. Please do not camp in The Buttermilks bouldering area. That area is very crowded and is suffering from the impact unregulated camping has caused.
The following links should help finding a good campsite
Horton Creek Campground
Rock Creek Canyon
Inyo National Forest
Bishop Creek and vicinity camping