International Mountain Guides Climbing and Mountaineering Expeditions

Mt. Whitney Summit Climb

California  •  14,495'  •  4418m

Mt. Whitney Summit Climb via the Mountaineers Route with International Mountain Guides

Mt. Whitney via the Mountaineer's Route

Mt. Whitney, at 14,495 feet is the highest peak in the lower 48 states. It is also the most sought after peak in North America. During the summer months it is normal to find several hundred hikers ascending the peak on any given day via the Mt. Whitney Trail.

In the spring, Mt. Whitney is a different mountain. It becomes a climber's challenge. Our route of ascent is the Mountaineer's Route on the east side of the mountain. What is a third class loose rock gully in the summer becomes a snow climb on terrain up to 45°.

Techniques that will be used and introduced include running belays and fixed line work making this an excellent primer for a Mt. McKinley expedition, climbing elsewhere in Alaska, the Alps, and other big snow climbs.

We will use expedition camping skills and bring the same equipment that we would use on a summer climb of Mt. Rainier. In addition, we will use snowshoes on the approach hike up to high camp.

Skill Level

Mt. Whitney in the spring is every bit as strenuous as Mt. Rainier. All participants must be in very good physical condition. The need to train for this climb cannot be overstressed! For several months prior to the start of the climb, training should include lots of long, slow distance runs over hilly terrain, an hour or more in duration. Add additional weekend outings carrying a heavy pack (50-60 lbs) up steep hills or stairs. These sessions should gain 2-3,000 feet over 3 or more miles.

It would also be helpful to get out during the winter and practice snowshoeing with a pack on steeper slopes. This is not required, but prior experience with snowshoes will make the approach hike the first two days easier.

Previous ice axe arrest practice, use of crampons, and rope travel experience is required.

A one-day training course will be offered prior to one or more of the programs as demand requires. This will cover ice axe arrest, cramponing, rope travel and ascending fixed ropes.

IMG Mt Whitney Summit Climb
Dates and Prices

March 17-20, 2016
March 19-22, 2016
March 24-27, 2016 (Trip FULL)

Landcost:  $1200
Maximum group size:
6 climbers to 3 guides per trip

March 26-29, 2016
March 31-April 3, 2016 (Trip FULL)

Landcost:  $1000
Maximum group size:
6 climbers to 2 guides per trip

Note: We will offer training days on March 16, 23 and 30 for anyone lacking prior crampon and ice axe experience or in need of a refresher. It will be conducted near Mammoth, just north of Bishop. Additional cost: $200.

More Need to Know

The Mount Whitney program is led and guided by Sierra Mountaineering International (SMI, SMI is an authorized mountaineering guide service operating in partnership under special use permit with the Inyo National Forest.

My Mt. Whitney trip couldn't have been better! I had the best time with the group and guides... As always, everything IMG does is first class in the mountains.
~Jennifer W.
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