Winter/Spring Mountaineer’s Route

At 14,508’/4422m Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48 states.


During the winter and spring months the Mountaineer’s Route is full of snow creating a classic mountaineering experience.  Throughout the summer Mt. Whitney is attempted daily by 200+ people.  After seasonal storms lay a blanket of snow over the Sierra it becomes a pristine experience enjoyed by relatively few.

Over this four-day climb we will establish two expedition style camps with our highest site located at the base of the spectacular East Face of Mt. Whitney.  Here we take time to practice techniques used for our ascent.  Crampon methods, ice axe skills, fixed line systems, and transceiver use are some of the topics covered by our expert staff.  These are the same skills used for ascents on high peaks worldwide making Mt. Whitney’s Mountaineer’s Route superb training for mountaineering trips such as Mexico’s Volcanoes, Ecuador’s Volcanoes, Aconcagua, Mt. Elbrus, and many other big snow climbs.

Join us and discover this exhilarating experience on Mt. Whitney!

View photo gallery of a winter/spring Mt. Whitney climb here!




4 Days/Class 3 Rock, Snow and Ice

March 4-7, 2021
March 18-21, 2021
March 25-28, 2021
March 27-30, 2021
April 1-4, 2021
April 3-6, 2021
April 8-11, 2021
April 15-18, 2021
April 17-20, 2021
April 22-25, 2021
April 29 – May 2, 2021
May 20-23, 2021

Contact SMI for custom dates and private guiding.


Day 1: The group meets at the nearby town of Lone Pine on the first day of the trip.  We will drive as far as the snow or road conditions allow, which is usually a locked gate 1.5 miles below the summer trailhead at Whitney Portal.  We ascend the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek and put in our first camp in at Lower Boy Scout Lake at 10,350’/3155m.

Day 2: We move to our high camp to 12,000’/3658m. Review skills in the afternoon and prepare for our summit bid the following morning.

Day 3: Summit day on the Mountaineer’s Route.  Waking before sunrise we get an “alpine start” donning crampons and ice axes in hand. We’ll be treated with a breathtaking sunrise en route.  Above Iceberg Lake (12,610’/3844m) we enter the Mountaineer’s Chute along the north side of Mt. Whitney.  The slope angle runs between 25-35 degrees to a notch at 14,100’/4298m.  The terrain then steepens to an angle of 40-45 degrees. The route tops out at Mt. Whitney’s summit plateau and a short 5 minute walk brings us to the top.  We retrace our steps on the descent back to camp.

Day 4: Break camp and descend to our cars usually arriving between 12-2 PM.