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.