Mt. Langley is 14,042 feet and the southern most peak in the Sierra above 14,000.
Overshadowed by its popular neighbor Mt. Whitney it receives much less traffic while still offering excellent views and an aesthetically fun route to its summit. The route leading from the Horseshoe Meadows trailhead to the summit is approximately 9 miles.. The terrain is over a well-maintained trail with a reasonable grade to Cottonwood Lakes. The scenery is spectacular starting off in a Jeffrey pine forest giving away to Foxtail, Lodgepole and Fir trees as the scenery opens up revealing grassy meadows and lakes plus views spanning for hundreds of miles. On summit day we ascend above timberline into the alpine zone where white granite dominates the landscape. The route to the summit becomes less maintained but remains non technical as it offers views into Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park and countless peaks of the High Sierra to the north. This climb requires participants to be in good physical shape but no previous mountaineering experience is necessary. Mt. Langley is an excellent introduction to the high altitude for the novice backcountry traveler.
Elevation: 14,042 feet
Length of Trip: 3 Days
Difficulty Rating: Class 2
$575 based on a TWO PERSON MINIMUM
Private Guiding Available
The group meets at the nearby town of Lone Pine on the first day of the trip. We park our cars at Horseshoe Meadows at 9900 feet. From here we start hiking on a gentle trail ascending up through Jeffrey Pine and Lodgepole-Fir forests as we make our way up to our camp near Cottonwood Lakes at 11,500 feet. The scenery includes high mountain lakes, meadows and the pretty and slightly more sparsely populated high mountain forest. The hike to camp takes us 4-6 hours leaving time in the afternoon for us to relax and take in the scenery, take hikes around the lakes, or go trout fishing. We go to sleep after dinner that evening in preparation for our summit bid the following morning. On summit day we begin our ascent at dawn. The route ascends above timberline along a cross country route and up a wide chute to the northeast ridge and the summit plateau. As we ascend the ridge leading to the summit we get our first views of the spectacular east/west crest of the Sierra Nevada range and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. After reaching the summit we return to our camp at Cottonwood Lakes and prepare a final menu of fine backcountry cuisine. Day 3 is devoted to packing up and returning to our cars.
Our Mt. Langley are organized and led by experienced senior guides from SMI. SMI was founded by Kurt Wedberg. Kurt is a Himalayan veteran with 60 major expeditions on his resume and in 1995 reached the summit of Mt. Everest. He has been mountaineering in the Sierra for over 20 years. SMI is based in Bishop California along the slopes of the beautiful Eastern Sierra. The staff of SMI has a collective depth of experience in the Sierra of over 100 years.
PREREQUISITES AND TRAINING
Mt. Langley is a strenuous climb and team members should be in very good physical condition. A training program should be undertaken well before this climb emphasizing your legs and cardiovascular system. Hiking on hills, sand dunes, stairs, or stadium steps while carrying a 20-30 pound pack, bicycling, swimming, and running are all excellent ways to train for mountaineering. The climb is over a trail and on cross country terrain and no prior mountaineering training is required. Instruction will be given throughout the trip on safe and efficient mountaineering techniques as they apply to our climb. Previous experience on a 14,000-foot peak is not required. For many people, this is their first experience at altitude this high.
TRANSPORTATION AND LODGING
If you are flying, your choices of airports are LA, Reno, and Las Vegas. The airfares will vary depending on where you are coming from. Rent a car from there and drive to Lone Pine. There are many good motels in Lone Pine and camping is also available at Lone Pine campground a few miles out of town and at the trailhead at Whitney Portal. A list of lodging and directions to Lone Pine from any airport is available from us upon request.
COST AND SIGNING UP
$545.00.00 per person. This includes professional guide(s), breakfasts and dinners during the trip, climbing permits, and use of all group equipment including tents, stoves, white gas, and cook gear. To apply for this trip please fill out and return the included registration form along with payment and mail to the above address. Make checks payable to Sierra Mountaineering International.
Personal Equipment List
LONG UNDERWEAR TOP AND BOTTOM
EXPEDITION WEIGHT LONG UNDERWEAR TOP
PILE OR THICK WOOL SWEATER
PILE OR THICK WOOL PANTS
NYLON OR GORE-TEX JACKET WITH HOOD
NYLON OR GORE-TEX PANTS OR BIBS
PILE OR WOOL CAP
FACE MASK OR BALACLAVA
PILE OR WOOL GLOVES
HEAVY MOUNTAINEERING WOOL SOCKS
*SLEEPING BAG- temperature rated to at least twenty degrees Fahrenheit
*BOOTS- medium to heavy weight leather boots
CAMERA AND FILM
*Available for rental from SMI