Inyo County Highpoint Trip Report

Mount Whitney

Date: June 4, 2005
Author: Matt Worster

Our group of 3 started from Whitney Portal at 5 am and headed for the Mountaineer's Route. Numerous other reports provide the details of this route, so I'll be brief. Only after the fact did I learn that the mileage for this route is a mere 3.6. Of course, one gains over 6,000 feet along the way.

We hit snow at 10,300 feet that was mostly continuous to the top. The chute at the top (the final 300 feet) is no joke. I was glad to get off that last section, as one small crampon mistake will send you down 1,000+ ft before you can blink, let alone arrest. The recent posts on Summit Post discussion boards are not kidding. Do not take this route lightly!

We summitted at 4 pm, alone on the summit until two climbers came up the East Face route. We scooted down the summer trail route, rocketing down the bowl in perfect glissade conditions, losing 1,200 feet in perhaps a minute. We returned to our car at 10 pm.

17 hours, 6,200 feet of gain and loss, with one Mountaineer's Route in the middle.