Thunder, Rock and Ice on the East Buttress of Mt. Whitney

Thunder, Rock and Ice on the East Buttress of Mt. Whitney

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 36.54818°N / 118.22379°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jun 18, 2017
Activities Activities: Mountaineering, Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Summer

East Buttress

On June 18 I had an Epic climbing the East Buttress of Mt Whitney. We might have been going for the endurance record. Read the story on my blog or just see the conditions below:

  • Day 1: 8.5-hour to high camp
  • Day 2: 3-hour approach, 10.5-hour climb, 3.5-hour descent
  • Day 3: 6-hour descent
  • We brought a single rack + doubles in red / green cams + 1 set of nuts. It felt right.
  • Bring as many double length slings as you can find. The rope was like pulling a sandbag due to friction on P5.
  • Route is dry and mostly free of snow. 3rd class section on P9 filled with snow.
  • Iceberg Lake is unsafe to collect water from as it has thin ice and its boundaries are unclear. We boiled snow.
  • Rivers are very high due to snow melt. Descend early and be prepared for boot high water running over rocks.
  • Snow is mostly sun cups and starts at 10,500 ft. It ether has an ice layer or is snow cone consistency. We didn’t use crampons.
  • It was very warm (107 degrees at 3,700 ft), but the route can get cool. We were comfortable sleeping in base layer + 20-degree bag + tent without rain fly.


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