Number of people
If you are a seasoned mountaineer who seeks an experience of alpine climbing in the winter environment, a winter ascent of Mt Whitney is bound to provide you with a solid amount of thrill and challenge. Finishing the Mountaineer’s Route during winter requires a different skill set and will expand your knowledge on things like avalanche awareness, winter climbing techniques, protecting against the cold, ice anchors, running belays, and advanced route finding.
Your Mt Whitney winter ascent starts in the town of Lone Pine, where you will meet your guide at a predetermined location and do a gear check. Afterwards you will take a 30-min drive to the Whitney Portal Trailhead. If the road is snowed in, you will park your car at a lower elevation. The first day consists of reaching the Lower Boy Scout Lake (10,348 feet / 3,155 meters) by skiing or snowshoeing and establishing a basecamp there. Your guide will hold informal lectures about the ascent during your journey to the basecamp.
On day 2, your group and your guide will move the basecamp to a higher altitude, possibly Upper Boy Scout Lake (11,339 ft / 3,455 m). Once you’ve done that, the rest of the day will be spent working on the various winter climbing skills. These include avalanche and weather awareness, route finding, winter climbing techniques, protection against the cold—along with technical skills in snow, ice anchors, running belays, quick belay techniques, protecting short pitches, wand placement, advanced route finding, and hazard evaluation. Retire early due to a very early start tomorrow.
The summit day starts early—between 1 and 3 am. You will reach Mt Whitney via the Mountaineer’s Route, a whole different experience in the winter that requires the use of crampons and ice axes. Upon reaching the summit, see what winter wonderland looks like in the mountain wilderness of Sierra Nevada. Later, you will return back to the basecamp for a well-deserved rest.
Please note, this is a best-case scenario. This itinerary is subject to change at the guide’s discretion and is dependent on mountain conditions, group experience/expectations, and other factors that cannot be anticipated.
Get a last taste of the mountains, pack up and start your hike back. The fourth day of the tour is reserved for going back to where you started and returning to Lone Pine. Say goodbye to your mountain guide and Sierra Nevada or continue touring on your own.
What you get on this adventure:
What’s not included:
For all three adventures listed above, you need to be in excellent physical shape.
For the Technical Alpine Climb, you need to have previous mountaineering experience and experience of multi-pitch rock climbing and climbing at high altitudes.
For the Summer Climb, you need to have strong previous hiking and backpacking experience, but no mountaineering experience is necessary.
For the Winter Alpine Climb, you need to be a seasoned mountaineer with previous ice axe, crampon, and rope handling skills.
For the Technical Alpine Climb, you need to have some alpine climbing experience—more precisely, you need to have previous multi-pitch climbing experience and experience of rock climbing at high altitudes.
For the Summer Climb via Mountaineer’s Route, you need to be an avid hiker/backpacker, but no mountaineering experience is required.
For the Winter Alpine Climb via Mountaineer’s Route, you need to be a seasoned mountaineer ready for the challenges of alpine climbing. You also need to have basic ice axe, crampon, and rope-handling skills.
Here’s a list of equipment that you will need for the Technical Climb:
Technical climbing equipment:
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season.
Here’s a list of the equipment you will need for the Mt Whitney Summer Ascent:
Here’s a list of the equipment equipment you will need for the Winter Ascent:
Group sizes and prices:
Alpine climbing on Mt Whitney can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
For regular dates, a 50% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.
To get to Lone Pine,where your adventure starts, most people fly into Los Angeles International Airport, just over 3 hours away. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, usually at the guide shop in Lone Pine, CA. Once you meet, you can discuss transportation to the trailhead. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, please refer to the official website of the Government of California.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!