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THE NEEDLES

It has taken us fifteen years of effort but we have finally been given a permit for guiding in the Needles and are the only guide service to be able to do so. For those of you who do know the Needles, it offers some of the finest granite crack climbing anywhere. It is amazingly beautiful and incredibly atmospheric. Once you are a pitch up you feel like you are on El Cap. And White Punks on Dope is the best multi-pitch 5.9 route in Southern California.

Do not miss out on this opportunity and come climb with us in this stunning area.

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http://www.needlesguides.com

 

Mt. Whitney - 14,495'

At 14,495' Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48 states and as such is the goal of many a hiker and mountaineer. A well-maintained trail on the south side takes the vast majority of these people to the top and back. For the more ambitious of us the climbing routes on the peak's east side offer a much more stimulating way up the mountain and here the eastern escarpment of the Sierra is at its most dramatic. Climbers long ago discovered that as well as having a stunning appearance the entire Whitney region sports abundant and excellent quality rock. Whitney’s east face is but one of dozens of prominent alpine features in the area. So it’s no wonder that the climbing routes on Whitney, and its neighbor to the north, Mt. Russell are well-known and popular objectives to the alpine rock climber.

We offer Whitney climbs at any time of year; the rock routes of the East Face and East Buttress are well-known classics and receive quite a bit of attention while the "Mountaineer's Route" is a great way for novices to experience a bit more adventure than they would find on the main trail. In a way it's too bad that this peak is also the highest in the contiguous states as the routes are stand-alone classics in their own right, offering spectacular vistas and fantastic climbing on great rock. Below are your many options for this area.

Whitney Via Cottonwood
On Trail Hiking
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This ascent involves hiking only and no technical climbing amidst the best of the high Sierra. This can be done as a backpacking trip or for a truly relaxing vacation trip we offer the pack stock support option.

Trip length: 5 days, 4 nights | Physical Difficulty: Moderate

The Mountaineers Route
Non-technical Climbing: Class 3-4
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At 14,495 feet Whitney is the high point of the lower forty-eight states and one of the most coveted summits in the country. There is the straightforward hike up the eleven mile trail route, but we have upped the ante somewhat and will take the east side Mountaineers Route. This route was first climbed by the remarkable John Muir in 1873 in a little-appreciated ascent. Times have changed but this still remains a wonderful excursion into the highest mountains in the Sierra. The route takes an infrequently maintained trail and ascends steeply over rough terrain to our camp at treeline. Talus and a snowy gully lead to the summit. Early season ascents may require ice axe and crampons.

Trip length: 3 days, 2 nights | Physical Difficulty: Strenuous

The East Face
Technical Climbing: 5.6
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This is the classic route. Sierra legends Norman Clyde, Jules Eichorn, Glen Dawson, and Robert Underhill completed the first 1931 ascent in three and a half hours, a time that few modern parties match. Much of the climbing is easy but the aptly named "Fresh Air Traverse," with tremendous exposure back down the East Face, will long be remembered.

Trip length: 3 days, 2 nights | Physical Difficulty: Strenuous

The East Buttress
Technical Climbing: 5.7
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A more direct line and a little more difficult than the East Face Route, this route offers technical climbing at high elevation on impeccable Sierra granite. About nine pitches of climbing on a thin Arête with perfect cracks lead directly to the summit. The descent is down the Mountaineers Route back to Iceberg Lake and our camp.

Trip length: 3 days, 2 nights | Physical Difficulty: Strenuous

Mt. Russell via the Fishhook Arête
Technical Climbing: 5.8
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This is one of the most beautiful peaks of the Eastern Sierra and is Whitney's brother to the north. We offer climbs up both the East Ridge (third class) and the Fishhook (5.8, III). Both are excellent ways up the peak and make for great “add-on” routes to a Whitney and give you another 14,000-foot summit.

Trip length: 3 days, 2 nights | Physical Difficulty: Strenuous

Mt. Russell via the East Arête
Non-technical Climbing: Class 3
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This is one of the most beautiful peaks of the Eastern Sierra and is Whitney's brother to the north. We offer climbs up both the East Ridge (third class) and the Fishhook (5.8, III). Both are excellent ways up the peak and make for great “add-on” routes to a Whitney and give you another 14,000-foot summit.

Trip length: 3 days, 2 nights | Physical Difficulty: Strenuous

Mt Whitney in Winter
Technical Snow Skills: Class 3-4
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In summer Whitney is one of the busiest peaks in the Eastern Sierra but in the winter the mountain is a whole other world. The summer parking lot is empty (and usually buried in snow), travel is much more difficult and what is a routine climb in the summer becomes a challenge for most mountaineers. This is a great way to experience true solitude on what is otherwise a very busy mountain and to start transitioning your mountaineering experience to colder and snowier places.

Trip length: 5 days, 4 nights | Physical Difficulty: Strenuous

SIERRA MOUNTAIN CENTER | 200 South Main St. | Bishop, CA 93514 | tel. (760) 873-8526 | fax. (760) 873-4800

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