IMG Mt. Whitney Climb Itinerary
Meet at the Alabama Hills Cafe in Lone Pine for breakfast at 7:00 a.m. the starting day of your program. Drive to the end of the Whitney Portal road around 9:00 a.m. as a team after issue of group gear and individual gear checks. The road is not plowed to Whitney Portal in the spring and there is usually a mile or more to hike to the road's end. In normal conditions, the team will leave cars at a parking area near the road closure sign and then shuttle the group in a few vehicles as far as possible up the road. The way from Whitney Portal (8,400') is often bare trail at the start, with some steep snowshoeing terrain through pines and around exposed granite slabs a few miles up the trail. IMG will notify the group in advance if snowshoes are not needed.
The day will be a long one, 6 or more hours, with a heavy pack. Evening camp will be in the vicinity of Lower Boy Scout Lake, at about 10,300' in elevation.
The team will move up to a high camp somewhere below Iceberg Lake (12,240'), a move to high altitude, but a moderate day of climbing. It may be cold at high camp, in the range of +20°F overnight.
Summit day. The Mountaineer's route ascends a large, snow filled gully up to a notch just north of the summit. The gully may be firm snow or knee deep step kicking, depending on conditions. It is 30 to 40 degrees in angle. Steep! From the notch, a short, steeper gully will be belayed or anchored with several fixed ropes to facilitate the ascent to the summit. The guides will lower the group down to the notch and the team will descend the route to high camp.
Pack up and return to the road head. End of trip. Expect to be back at the vehicles by mid-afternoon, 12 to 2 p.m., depending on conditions.