Category: Mt. Langley

SMI Guides are back in action!

Mt. Whitney Summit!

SMI guides are ecstatic to be back guiding trips in the Sierra! We have spent this spring during the pandemic staying in shape, keeping sharp with our skills, and honing our craft. With things starting to open up again we are ecstatic to be once again outside sharing adventures in the Sierra Nevada with our guests.

The Sierra Nevada is our home, our back yard, and our favorite mountain range in the world. The possibilities for adventure and solitude are endless. Try ticking off some of our California 14ers on our Palisades trips, or the exhilaration from one of our classic alpine rock climbs. Learn to transfer your indoor climbing skills to the outdoor realm on one of our rock climbing programs, or discover pristine destinations in the Sierra Nevada through one of our customized backpacking trips! Whatever your desire the Sierra Nevada has it all!

During the month of July join any SMI trip in 2020 and receive a free custom SMI UPF 50+ Buff!

Mt Langley July 23rd- 25th

On July 23rd– 25th SMI guides Chris Werner and Sara Berghoff met the Summit for Someone team Carrie, Stacia, and Laura for a 8:00am breakfast in Lone Pine, CA.  Our objective was Mt. Langley that reaches over 14,000′.

Each day was kept cool and at perfect tempts by passing puffy clouds that added perspective to the beautiful landscape.  Included in our scenery were the many alpine lakes, beautiful granite cirques and several varieties of pine trees that decorate this beautiful and pristine area of the Sierra.

We made it to camp at High Lake with plenty of time in the afternoon to relax, swim, and get used to the altitude at 11,400ft.  The early evening included a tasty dinner of pesto and raviolis followed by preparation for our summit bid the next morning.

Jansport and Big City Mountaineers together on Mt. Langley. Photo courtesy of Chris Werner.

We awoke at 4:30am and enjoyed hot drinks and oatmeal as we finished preparations for our summit bid.  Our group took a nice steady pace while we enjoyed the scenery this spectacular landscape offers along with good conversation.  After reaching New Army Pass at 12,300′, 374m the team turned north ascending the gentle plateau that ends at a short section of 3rd class climbing.  Surmounting this short exhilarating area our route opened up to more gentle terrain dominated by white granite boulders leading to the summit plateau. Gaining the final pieces of elevation leading to the summit of Mt. Langley the views of the high Sierra became increasingly spectacular.   Finally we topped out on the southern-most 14er in the Sierra at 14,042’-4280M.

Sara, Carrie, Laura and Stacie head down from New Army Pass on the gentle plateau that leads to the summit of Mt. Langley. Photo courtesy of Chris Werner.

Another successful climb completed, we headed back to New Army Pass where both Sara Berghoff and Stacia attempted Cirque Peak only to be thwarted with an impending thunder shower just feet from the summit.  That afternoon the team was treated to thundershowers and a beautiful sunset.

Yellow-bellied Marmots are everywhere in the Sierras! Photo courtesy of Chris Werner.

Thanks to the team and congratulations on a successful trip!

Summit for Someone, under Big City Mountaineers, is a program that benefits under privileged youth. More information can be found at

Mt Langley July 20th – 22nd

SMI Guide Sara Matisse videos the team swimming at High Lake on Mt. Langley. Photo courtesy of Chris Werner

On July 20th to 22nd SMI’s Chris Werner and Sara Berghoff teamed up with Jon Dorn, Chief Editor of Backpacker Magazine, Chip Noble of Delorme, Mike Byrne of Backpacker Magazine, and Steve Carlson of Spark Communication in a climb of Mt. Langley, the southernmost 14er in the Sierra.  This Backpacker Magazine climb benefited Big City Mountaineers, which is responsible for providing 7-8 day wilderness trips for inner-city and under privileged youth.

Chip Noble getting ready to do some fishing at High Lake. Photo courtesy of Chris Werner.

Our team enjoyed blue-bird skies and a pleasant hike up to High Lake at just over 10,400ft. We spent the afternoon swimming in the lake and enjoying views of the granite cirque that surrounded us.

The following morning we awoke at 4:30am to climb to the summit of Mt. Langley.  We started our hike just after sunrise – temperatures were perfect for the climb including a slight alpine breeze keeping things pleasant as we ascended the approx. 3,500ft to our high point and Mt. Langley’s summit at 14,042’, 4280m.

The team on the summit. From left to right: Steve Carlson, Jonathan Dorn, Mike Byrne, Sara Matisse, Chris Werner, Chip Noble. Photo courtesy of Chris Werner.

The whole team enjoyed the varied terrain, beautiful long reaching vistas, and Mt. Langley’s summit. After an hour of relaxation, photos, and some lunch we descended back down to our camp and enjoyed another afternoon swimming in the lake and napping the afternoon away.  Dinner was followed by a tasty desert, great stories and lots of laughs.

Thanks to Backpacker Magazine for bringing us together in support of BCM – another great trip!

Mt. Langley July 15, 2010

On July 15 long time friend of SMI Betsy Northam joined Kurt Wedberg on a climb of the SE Ridge of Mt. Langley.  We were blessed with a clear morning and wildflowers out in full bloom.  Thunders clouds began to build by the afternoon but we had descended back to the cars long before the rain started.  Congratulations Betsy on a great climb on a beautiful and remote route on Mt. Langley!

Here are a few highlights.  The rest of the pictures are here:

Ready to start our climb from the Horseshoe Meadows trailhead at 4:30 AM

Betsy with the South Face of Mt. Langley in the background

Climbing the SE Chute of Mt. Langley

Polemonium in bloom at 12,500' on the SE Chute of Mt. Langley

High on the SE Ridge of Mt. Langley

Topping out on the SE Ridge of Mt. Langley

Betsy Northam and Kurt Wedberg on the summit of Mt. Langley

Mt. Langley, NE Couloir 14,042′, 4280m

Mt. Langley, NE Couloir

Mt. Langley, NE Couloir


Rick & Brian on the NE Couloir of Mt. Langley

Rick & Brian on the NE Couloir of Mt. Langley

Rick & Brian on the summit of Mt. Langley

Rick & Brian on the summit of Mt. Langley

May 1-3, 2009

Brian Bentrott, Rick Putnam, and Kurt Wedberg climbed the NE Couloir of Mt. Langley.  This was a training climb for Rick’s upcoming Mt. McKinley climb in June.  Under a windy and stormy day we climbed the 40+ degree chute to the summit of Mt. Langley.

The entire photo gallery is here: