Blog

Fran on his 7/11 climb of the East Face of Whitney

I'd like to thanks you for my successful summit. Nate did a great job of guiding; he's definitely a professional and I highly recommend him for anyone looking to attempt this route. As a former employer I know how hard it is to find good help. My compliments to you!. I found the climb quite [...]

TJ on his climb of Whitney with the family 6.2011

Just got back from CA on Sunday and I wanted to drop you a quick note to let you and everyone at SMC know what a great trip we all had (Mt. Whitney - Mountaineer's Route - June 17-19). For me and my boys it was a first rate experience that we will never forget. [...]

Mike on his Mt. Whitney climb June 2011

I wanted to thank Sierra Mountain Center for a great trip up the Mountaineers Route of Mt. Whitney. It was everything I expected and then more. Our guide Andrew was superb in every aspect of his job. He was a complete professional and we felt we were well taken care of at all times. I [...]

2 Day Mountaineers Route on Whitney

This week I was lucky enough to get to do our most popular trip in a two-day mega push with Luc Peltier. On our first day, climbing a little higher than usual, we made it to about 12,000 ft.  At one of my favorite spots we set up camp: a set of rock ledges with snow melt [...]

Mount Whitney with a group from Japan

This has been one heck of a spring in the Sierra. One day is a perfect spring day; the next four are full on winter. The snow pack is still not melting and we have had to cancel trips because of the quantity of snow. But we have been lucky on Mount Whitney and managed [...]

From Ryk on the Extended Mountain Camp

Eric was outstanding. I’d trust him with my life—and did. His knowledge/experience is wide, but doesn’t let his student feel this gap in knowledge and skill, which is considerable! I appreciated his patience, flexibility in tailoring the trip to our needs/desires, and his generosity in offering to drive up to Mammoth Lakes that last day [...]

From Frank on his Whitney Climb

Overall how would you rate the trip with us. It was awesome. My first trip and I couldn't have hoped for more. Did the pre-trip information and the office adequately help you prepare for the trip? Yes. Especially considering the last minute circumstances I think the office did a terrific job of scrambling resources to make [...]

From Chip on his Mountain Camp

Challenging but not overly so.  Eric was terrific!  The weather was fantastic, with lots of snow to practice on and the location is as good as it gets.  Eric picked a great peak for day three - Petit Griffon.  One of the most beautiful and not just a marathon summit or a fitness test - [...]

From Scott on his Whitney attempt

I would rate our feb. attempt of mt. Whitney a 10 .I met all my primary goals for the trip even though we were not able to summit.I used the gear list you provided to guide me in my purchases and all my stuff worked well.You did a great job of supplying me with the [...]

From Jorge 5.11 on his Snowskills course

 just wanted to take the time to Thank You very much for having put the basic snow travel class together for us; although, the class was not commonly scheduled for Mondays. I will tell you that Tim Villanueva was a great instructor to have. He did not pull punches when it came to conveying the [...]

The First Mountaineers Trip of 2011

20-22 MAY 2011 Headed up Whitney for the first, but not the last, time this season with three great clients: Heather Krauss, Regina Froemmiling and Aaron Howell.  The forecast looked more like winter than a mid-May spring trip.  I think that we all dressed a little too heavily for the warm sunny weather that [...]

Clarence King and Gardiner Basin Ski Tour

Seems like this year spring comes and goes, with a day of spring followed by a day of winter. But it is ski tour season so Sp and Chris set off with John Miller, His son Rob, Pascal Poignard, Chrixx Finne and Dan Silverberg on May 6th from Keasarge Pass. Our route took us over [...]

A Guides Day Off; Skiing Mt Ritter

At this point in life one would think that I would take days off at a beach somewhere with drinks in tall glasses and little umbrellas in them. But no, have to go skiing. Friend Jen Giraud and I had talked for years about skiing Mt Ritter the prominent peak visible from Mammoth. A fantastic [...]

Snowskills with SMC

A lot of people think that winter is the time to learn ice axe and crampon skills. Not so; when the snow is deep and soft ice axe and crampons will not add a lot of safety and security and it is better to be on skis. But now that we have hard snow, cold [...]

Charlotte Dome with Ray, Jay and Haimei August 9-11, 2009

Charlotte Dome is one of the finest climbs in the Sierra backcountry. Every single pitch is excellent and the climbing challenging, but not too hard. if only it was not such along walk..... The approach is about 12 miles one way and makes for a long day. But the campsite is at one of the [...]

Skiing with Julbo and Glen Plake

If you have been around skiing for a while you have seen photos of Glen Plake. The guy with the multicolored mohawk and who skis on 210cm skis with no sidecut - and looks better on them than the rest of us put together. SMC worked with Julbo (the sunglasses people) to put on a [...]

I made it!!!!

My personal speed was quite slow - much slower than last time! What a difference two years and a new spine makes! BUT that being said, I did it - and Andrew was was wonderful. He stuck right by me in all the right spots and I never felt unsafe. He inspired absolute confidence. Thank [...]

Mt. Whitney – Awesomely Fun

Hi Sierra Mountain Center, On behalf of my brother and I, I wanted to email you and tell you how amazing of a time we had climbing Whitney this past weekend! It was one of the most exciting things I have ever done, and I am so glad we had the opportunity to experience such [...]

Mini Mountain Camp June 27-29

Dave Meyers put together a custom trip with his sons Grant and Nick after climbing Whitney via the Trail Route a little earlier. The boys were tired after all of that exertion and after a day of rock climbing at Benton Crags Nick decided that his body and feet were sore so SP, SMC's 2010 [...]

Skiing the Sierra High Route, 9-15 May

One of the most classic multi-day ski tours in the country is the Sierra High Route.  Stretching across one of the widest points of the range, the tour consistently stays above 10,000 feet and travels through some of the most impressive alpine terrain anywhere.  Jeff, Michael, and SMC's new intern Aaron joined me for a [...]

Monarch Divide Ski Tour; May 3-9 2010

The Monarch Divide is SMC's favorite ski tour. More difficult than the high route is takes one into little visited areas of Sequoia Kings National Park, has great down skiing and fantastic scenery. Over the last decade or so this has become our signature tour and we are the only guides to guide this trip. [...]

West Palisades Climbing

Some trips with Sierra Mountain Center seem to have seasonal popularity:  I remember doing trips into the west access of the Palisades 3-4 times a summer when I first started.  A few years ago I did a huge number of summer ice climbing trips, hiking in and out of Mt. Thompson often enough that I [...]

Charlotte Dome with Jay, Haimei and Ray. August 9-11, 2009

Charlotte Dome is one of the finest climbs in the Sierra backcountry. Every single pitch is excellent and the climbing challenging, but not too hard. if only it was not such along walk..... The approach is about 12 miles one way and makes for a long day. But the campsite is at one of the [...]

Crystal Crag

20090803:  Day 3 After yesterday's adventure on Walker Tower, we had a late breakfast at the Base Camp Cafe before taking a more mellow day - the North Arete on Crystal Crag.  This is a classic II 5.6 route outside of Mammoth, featuring three pitches of steady 5.6 and another 600' or so of 4th [...]

Condition Report for the High Sierra

This condition report uses direct observation from the Palisade Range to make some general predictions for the current conditions in the High Sierra.  Don't use this as your sole source of information to trip plan! This photo shows the Palisade Range from Polemonium to Thunderbolt Peaks.  Clearly in view are the V-Notch Couloir, U-Notch Couloir, [...]

The Walker Tower (5-6 pitches, 5.7)

20090802:  DAY 2!  In R.J. Secor's book, a multi-pitch climb is mentioned to exist in Bloody Canyon, just north of June Lake.  The first tower on the left supposedly had a route following the right side of a larger corner on the prow of the tower, up to 5.6.  The whole description took up three [...]

Big Springs Rock Climbing!!

Jay and Heimei joined me again this year for a few days of rock climbing.  August 1st was day one, so we took it mellow and went to a sector of Big Springs that's new to me:  The Stumps.  Big Springs is better known for Clark Canyon, but the stumps featured 60-150' trad climbs up [...]

Devils Crag with Corrine Livingston July 28-August 1, 2009

Somehow we seem to have become the "go to" guide service for Devils Crag. The peak is probably the most difficult on the Sierra Peaks list. This list comprises 248 peaks and only 66 people have done it and Corrine has only 15 left to go and has a trip to the Great Western Divide [...]