The East Face and East Buttress routes are considered two of the finest alpine rock climbs in the United States.
Anybody who has mastered the basics of hand and foot techniques, knows how to belay, and feels OK at these altitudes can attempt this climb with us. See our instructional programs for more information about learning these skills. The climbing is on firm white granite and the views are exhilarating. These climbs are best done in the summer and fall months.
The Direct Crack is a long and more strenuous climb. The hardest moves are 5.9, with the exception of one short aid move that goes free at 5.10d. After several pitches of climbing it joins the second half of the East Face route.
Difficulty rating: 5.6
Beginning – Advanced
Difficulty rating: 5.7
Beginning – Advanced
Difficulty rating: 5.9 with one A1 move
High Intermediate – Advanced
$780 per person
$895 for two climbs in four days including one each on Mt. Whitney and Mt. Russell
In addition to the scheduled dates listed above custom dates and private guiding can be arranged by contacting our office.
Day 1: The group meets at the nearby town of Lone Pine on the first day of the trip. We park our cars at Whitney Portal at 8,365’/2550m. From here we start on Mt. Whitney’s standard trail but soon leave it ascending up the north fork of Lone Pine Creek. The route takes us through boulder fields, pine trees, lakes, and high alpine meadows. We make our camp at Iceberg Lake at 12,610’/3844m.
Day 2: We wake before sunrise and ascend to the base of our route over class 2/3 terrain. We will carry light packs with provisions needed for the day including food, water, and some warm clothes. We rope up at the base of the route and stay roped until we reach the summit. The East Face and East Buttress routes are approximately 10-11 pitches of 5th class climbing. Our descent is via the Mountaineer’s Route, which is a class 3 chute on the mountain’s north side.
Day 3: is devoted to descending to the parking lot and are usually back at Whitney Portal by lunchtime.
__ __ LIGHT OR MID WEIGHT LONG UNDERWEAR TOP AND BOTTOM
__ __ EXPEDITION WEIGHT LONG UNDERWEAR TOP
__ __ PILE OR WOOL SWEATER
__ __ SYNTHETIC CLIMBING PANTS, OR EITHER WOOL OR PILE PANTS
__ __ NYLON OR GORE-TEX JACKET
__ __ NYLON OR GORE-TEX PANTS OR BIBS
__ __ GAITERS
__ __ WARM CAP
__ __ FACE MASK OR BALACLAVA
__ __ PILE OR WOOL GLOVES
__ __ MOUNTAINEERING SOCKS & LINER SOCKS
__ __ T-SHIRT
__ __ HIKING SHORTS
__ __ BASEBALL CAP
__ __ *PACK
__ __ *HIKING BOOTS
__ __ *ROCK CLIMBING SHOES
__ __ *MOUNTAINEERING HELMET
__ __ *CLIMBING HARNESS
__ __ CARABINERS- Two large pear shaped locking, and one straight gate non locking
__ __ BELAY DEVICE
__ __ WEBBING- one 5’ & one 10’ piece of 9/16”, 11/16”, or 1” tubular webbing
__ __ *SKI POLES- optional
__ __ *HEADLAMP WITH A NEW BATTERY AND SPARE BULB
__ __ DARK GLASSES
__ __ WATER BOTTLES- two wide mouth bottles, 1 liter capacity
__ __ POCKET KNIFE
__ __ SUNSCREEN & LIP BALM- spf 15 minimum
__ __ CAMERA AND FILM
__ __ PERSONAL LUNCH FOOD
__ __ SMALL FIRST AID KIT
*Available for rental from SMI