September 12, 2023

Mountaineers Route, Mt Whitney, Climbing Route

This year after AWS Re:Invent, with a small group of friends we’re looking to climb the Mountaineers route at Mt Whitney and we are looking for a few more folks to join us.

As many of you know Mt Whitney is the highest mountain in the contiguous US standing at 14,505 feet (4,421 m). During the summer you can take a non-technical hiking trail to the top and it is quite popular, so you have to apply many months in advance to participate in the lottery. Starting November, though no permit is required. 

Because at this time of year, the hiking trail to the summit may be covered by the snow and to keep things more interesting we’re going to a 3-day climb on Mountaineers route instead.  

The condition of the mountain is not certain this time of year so we may encounter anything ranging from deep snow and ice to mostly rock.  

This trip will be a private trip guided by  Sierra Mountaineering International Inc (SMI)  with up to 3 climbers per guide ratio. It is appropriate for someone who has not done technical climbs before as all technical skills required will be taught over the course of the climb. You need to have a good fitness level, enough to carry a backpack (40-50lb) up the mountain, off trail for several hours at a time.

Trip Details

Here is an approximate itinerary, subject to change depending on the conditions.

Day 0,  Fri, Dec 1st: Leave Las Vegas around midday, drive to Lone Pine, CA, and spend the night out there in a Hotel or Airbnb.

Day 1, Sat Dec 2nd: The whole group meets at Lone Pine, CA at 8 am. Divide the group gear (expect 5-10lb per person), drive to the Start location around 8350ft / 2545m and hike to Upper Boy Scout Lake 11300/3444m, spend the night at the tent.

Day 2, Sun Dec 3rd: Wake up Pre dawn (exact time to be decided by guides) To push for summit. The climb takes 5-8h up and 3-5h down. Spend the night at the same camp.

Day 3, Mon Dec 4th: Breakfast, Pack up, Descent to Whitney Portal about Lunch time. Drive to Vegas for possible late evening departure. 

Note: If you’re not going to AWS Re:Invent or otherwise want to arrange your own travel you can do that too.

The cost of the guided part, paid to Sierra Mountaineering is $960, equipment rental if you need one, and accommodation before and after the trip are additional.

If you want to read more about the trip here are some articles I found interesting:

Timberline Trails Article has some great pics visualizing the route

Mt Whitney Hiking route and Mountaineers route comparison 

Spring accent on Mountaineers route with some good info and pics

Interested to join the trip? Fill out this form and we’ll be in touch! 


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