This 4-day winter ascent of Mt. Whitney via the Mountaineer’s Route is a thrilling, challenging and rewarding adventure, and the certified guides from SWS Mountain Guides will lead you through the snow, ice and cold to reach the summit, where glorious views out over the Sierra Nevada await.
Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr
* Climb Mt. Whitney - the highest mountain in the lower 48 states of the USA!
* Improve your winter mountaineering skills and techniques in avalanche conditions
* Take in the truly epic views out over the Sierra Nevada and California
Climbing Mt. Whitney in the winter is a challenging yet rewarding journey, and I will guide you as we traipse and travail for 4 days around the highest mountain in the lower 48 states of the USA, testing ourselves and learning more about the best skills and techniques needed to navigate the conditions, with the pay-off being some truly special and spectacular views out over California from the summit.
Mount Whitney (4421m) is the highest mountain in the lower 48 states of the USA, and the highest in the world famous Sierra Nevada mountain range. It contains mostly rocky terrain, with little vegetation able to grow, and is an immensely popular and well-known locale to indulge in mountain climbing.
We meet in the nearby town of Mt. Whitney, where we will run through all relevant safety gear and information, and from there we then hit the trail.
One of the main advantages of the winter ascent is it exposes you to similar conditions and skills needed to climb different mountains around the world, enabling you to transfer what you learn here to different mountains and countries.
Over the 4 days we will teach you these skills, techniques and confidence, and the presence of potential avalanche conditions makes this all the more challenging.
Once we reach the summit there will be ample time to admire the absolutely awesome views we will encounter, with the East Face and East Buttress standing in all their glory in front of us, and the vast, epic and snow-filled valleys of the Californian alpine countryside below.
We then descend back to Lone Pine, where our trip ends, hopefully having increased your winter mountain climbing confidence and made you fall even more in love with this tranquil part of California.
Climbing Mt. Whitney is the winter is a great way to improve your mountaineering – book now to give it a go!
- Accommodation included
- Guiding fee
- Permit and entrance fees
- Ice axe
- Camping equipment tents
Includes: Professional instruction/guide, freeze dried dinners, breakfast items & hot drinks, helmets, harness, group climbing equipment including ropes and safety equipment, group camping equipment including tents and stoves, permits, and permit fees including Mt. Whitney permit reservations fees. Mountain boots, crampons, avalanche equipment available for rent from SWS Mountain Guides.
Meet in Lone Pine, head to Whitney Portal, snowshoe to base camp at Lower Boy Scout Lake.
Head to camp at Upper Boy Scout Lake, work on various mountaineering skills.
Head to summit.
Descend back to trailhead, finish.
What experience and how fit do I need to be to climb this mountain? Is this program suitable for children or older people?
How far in advance should I start training and what kind of training do you suggest?
Will I need to bring any technical equipment of my own? Is it possible to rent equipment, and if so, what would be the approximate cost of that?
Will there be porters to help to carry group and personal equipment?
How will accommodation and meals be handled on the mountain?
What happens in the event of bad weather?
Are there any other special requirements such as permits/insurance/vaccines that we need to consider before the tour?
What is the guide-to-client ratio to climb this mountain?
What is the best time of the year to climb this mountain?
Can I join a group?
Since 1981, we have been California's leader in guided mountaineering. From the Eastern Sierra to Mt. Shasta, we guide all of California 14ners and internationally.
IFMGA | AMGA
Excellent experience with my guide Ben and SWS. Was able to summit Mt Whitney via the mountaineer’s route thanks to Ben’s understanding of the mountain and assessment of my capabilities. Great experience that exceeded my expectations.
Overall, the fair evaluation for the SWS Mountain Guides and the guide assigned to me is 3 stars. Reasons: 1. The guide did not seem to remember or respect the fact that I was new to mountaineering and that the name of program is called “introduction to mountaineering...”. For example, the guide set his own time for walking and resting without any concern to my physical ability for that timing. The guide walked ahead many times and didn’t even notice when I fell a few times. I understand the guide is not the insurer of safety or a hand holder, but a complete abrasive approach to the service is not right, especially when it’s a paid service. Perhaps, the guide is not a right choice for introduction tours. 2. There was a miscommunication with timing of the summit day. I thought we would start summiting around 5am the next day; however, I was told less than 15 hours before that we would start hiking at 1am the next day from base camp. We arrived at base camp early afternoon, and I’m wired up, hot, and not prepared to fall asleep between 5pm-12am, thus, I didn’t sleep at all. I attempted the summit hike but around 12k feet the sleep deprivation was killing me and I was catching myself falling asleep and my body trying to lay down while waking. The guide didn’t seem to concerned about this. Lack of empathy. Eventually, I had to insist we turn around because I didn’t want to go beyond 30 hours of no sleep and still have to descend from the summit. 3. The guide did help set up the tent and food. The guide did explain layers of clothes on and off and why. The guide did help instruct how to pack and why. 4. Overall, I feel this guide is best suited for advanced climbers not introduction courses as he seems to be more of a “ill walk ahead of you” not “ill walk with you” type of guide.
This was an amazing trip and overall super positive experience with SWS Mountain Guides. I had a great guide with lots of mountain experience and many cool stories to share!
Such a difficult, but the most amazing experience! Something you will never forget!
One of the best experiences we ever had. Amazing trip with lots of excitement, challenges and action - all in the most beautiful scenery. Our guide Matt played a crucial role making this trip a life time experience. Hi-fives to Matt and thanks for being the best guide! Best, Gustav and Mikael
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