Explore-Share logo and link to home

3-day Ascent on Mount Whitney, California via the “Mountaineer’s Route”


Take an alternative route to the summit of California's highest peak. The friendly guides at Sierra Mountaineering International are your hosts on this 3-day tour of Mount Whitney.

Sierra Nevada (California)

3 Days

Jul - Sep




* Stay away from the crowds on the alternative "Mountaineer's Route"

* Stand atop the highest peak in the contiguous United States

* Trek past pine trees, boulders, granite slabs, high alpine meadows and lakes


At 14,508′, California’s Mount Whitney is the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. Thousands of mountaineers stand atop this towering peak in the Sierra Nevadas every year, but not all take the same path to get there.

On this tour, we invite you to discover the less-traveled “Mountaineer’s Route” to the summit. This alternative route gives you the chance to experience the natural beauty of Mount Whitney, without the crowds.

While standing atop Mount Whitney may be the highlight of this tour, the path to get there is equally beautiful. Along the “Mountaineer’s Route”, we will pass by pine trees, high alpine meadows, granite slabs, boulders and lakes. This route on the northeast side of Mount Whitney is especially beautiful during the summer months.

From the trailhead at Whitney Portal, we will begin our ascent via Lone Pine Creek’s North Fork. Once we reach Upper Boy Scout Lake (11,300′), we will start scouting out the perfect place to set up camp. This camp, between Upper Boy Scout Lake and Iceberg Lake (12,600′), will be our base camp for the duration of our tour on Mount Whitney.

After a good night’s sleep at our base camp, we will continue upward early the next morning. We will ascend through the “Mountaineer’s Chute”, occasionally using our hands and feet to scramble across granite.

While in the chute, we will be ascending at a 25-35° angle. As we approach the summit, you can expect this angle to increase slightly (40-45°). We will use a rope for safety in the steepest section, but you do not need to have any previous rock climbing experience. The terrain is not technical in nature and is rated at a Class 3 difficulty level.

Once we have reached the summit of Mount Whitney, we will slowly retrace our steps back down to our base camp. On the final day, we will descend back to the trailhead at Whitney Portal.

You can find a detailed day-by-day itinerary below.

While this climb is certainly an adventure in and of itself, we also recommend it to anyone who is trying out new gear for a more technical climb.

To book your tour with us on Mount Whitney, please click on “Request to book” now. We look forward to showing you the path less traveled to the summit of the contiguous United States’ tallest peak this summer. 

If one summit is just not enough, you can join our triple summit tour on Mount Whitney, Mount Russell and Mount Muir. Click here for more information.

We look forward to being in touch with you!

Price includes

- Guiding fee


Day 1: Whitney Portal - Lone Pine Creek - Upper Boy Scout Lake

  • Group meeting in Lone Pine, CA

  • Carpool to the trailhead at Whitney Portal

  • Ascend the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek to Upper Boy Scout Lake (11,300′)

  • Set up camp between Upper Boy Scout and Iceberg Lakes

  • “Lights out” early in preparation for the next day


  • Rise and shine early in the morning

  • Ascend to nearby Iceberg Lake (12,600′)

  • Scramble up the “Mountaineer’s Chute”

  • Non-technical climb to the summit plateu


  • Retrace our steps back down to our base camp

Day 3: Descent

  • Retrace our steps from our base camp back to the trailhead at Whitney Portal

Generally, we arrive back to Whitney Portal around lunchtime.



More info

PERSONAL EQUIPMENT LIST Clothing: -Light or mid weight long underwear top and bottom -Pile or thick wool sweater -Synthetic climbing pants -Waterproof/breathable jacket -Waterproof/breathable pants -Gaiters -Wool or pile cap -Face mask or balaclava -Pile or wool gloves -Mountaineering socks -Liner socks (optional) -Baseball cap -Shorts -T-shirt

Gear: -Pack with 4000+ cubic inch capacity* -Sleeping bag with stuff sack rated to at least 20° F* -Sleeping pad* -Boots (sturdy enough for off trail 3rd class terrain)* -Climbing harness* -Carabiners (2 large pear-shaped screw gate locking) -Mountaineering helmet* -Trekking poles with the baskets attached* -Headlamp (with fresh batteries and a spare bulb)* -Dark glasses with side shields and UV protection -(2) 1-liter wide-mouthed water bottles (with a personalized identifying mark) -Pocket knife -Sunscreen with minimum SPF 15 -Lip balm with minimum SPF 15 -Eating utensils, bowl, insulated cup and spoon -Camera -Personal lunch food

*Gear marked with an asterisk is available to rent from Sierra Mountaineering International.

Meeting point

Lone Pine, California


What are some recommended accommodations near our adventure location?

We understand that finding the perfect place to stay is an essential part of your adventure experience. To help you with this, we’ve curated a list of three highly recommended hotels that offer comfort, convenience, and a touch of local charm. These accommodations are well-suited for adventurers looking to relax and rejuvenate after an exciting day of exploration
The Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite Village USA
See rooms
Yosemite Valley Lodge Yosemite Village USA
See rooms
Yosemite View Lodge El Portal USA
See rooms

About the guide

Guide profile image

Sierra Mountaineering



Mountain Guide

Based in Bishop, California, Sierra Mountaineering International was created in 1995, just after its founder, Kurt Wedberg, returned from his first successful Everest expedition. Since then, Kurt climbed Everest two more times and completed the Seven Summits, all while leading more than 110 expeditions all over the world: from Alaska to Antarctica and from Russia to Ecuador and Peru.

Today, the Sierra Mountaineering Team is made up of eight guides and leaders with extensive experience in California´s Sierra Nevada Mountains. Contact them for a memorable experience in the Eastern Sierras!





What people are saying about Explore-Share



I’m extremely happy with the ease with which I could book via your site reliable and experienced guide. Thank you so very much, and I’ve started to recommend your site to my friends. Dimitris is not only an awesome guide, but a wonderful person who was always looking out to give me the best experience I can have when he found out how much I love climbing! He is the Best!



I am very pleased with Explore-Share! This was my first international climb, and the communication and response time were great. Herbie is a very skilled guide and very efficient. The entire booking process & payment was smooth. I will definitely use Explore-Share again. Thank you.



I was looking for a local guide for a hike I was planning and came across Explore-Share. They seemed to have good reviews and so decided to give them a try. The experience was very positive and completely happy with their service. I will be using them again for next trip.



Easy to set up and find the perfect trip. Informative site that is easy to use. Guides are all great to work with and communicate all arrangements needed. As simple as can be!



Thank you explore-share for a wonderful via feratta experience. We have been wanting to learn for a long time but don't have the facilities in Scotland. The guide Mitja was extremely helpful and knowledgeable, answering all my many questions and providing advice. On the day head to take another group but he quickly arranged another guide Borut, who was brilliant. We had a fantastic morning learning via ferrata at Hvadnik in the gorge. It gave us the confidence to later hire our own equipment and go out in Mojstrana. Altogether a five star + experience. Thank you.


You may also like

Join our newsletter!

Stay up-to-date on the best adventures.