Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48, and one of the most sought after. Almost named “Fisherman’s Peak” Mt. Whitney was first climbed in 1873 by the “fishermen”; John Lucas, Charles Begole and Albert H. Johnson. The local Paiute Indians, named Mt. Whitney Too-man-go-yah- (the very old man) and as legend has it a Great Spirit lives inside the mountain and watches over the people from his high perch. People of all ability levels flock to stand on its broad summit. The overwhelming majorities stumble to the top via the Mount Whitney Trail. In the summer months it is not uncommon to have several hundred bleary-eyed people talking on cell phones and watching TV on the summit. From the East the peak is much quieter and looks much more impressive guarded by its sheer granite walls. Sierra Mountain Guides offers trips on several different east side routes including the Mountaineers route, the East Face, and the East Buttress. The Mountaineer’s Route is a challenging undertaking and requires excellent fitness and a spirit of mountaineering adventure that harkens back to the first ascent of the mountain. By comparison, consider that the Whitney Trail route starts and finishes at the same place but is almost twice as far in mileage! Enjoy the steep and direct aesthetics, and greater solitude getting to the highest summit.
Meet for a gear check and hike up the adventurous North Fork of Lone Pine Creek. This day is strenuous and passes over the famed Ebersbacher Ledges before ascending to Lower Boy Scout Lake. From there, we continue up past Upper Boy Scout Lake and on to high camp at the foot of the enormous summit pyramid at Iceberg Lake (12,640').