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Rock climbing to the summit of Mt. Whitney via the East Face or East Buttress, 3 days

Mt. Whitney, California
Mt. Whitney, California
Mt. Whitney, California
Mt. Whitney, California

This 3-day adventure is lead by the certified guides from SWS Mountain Guides, as they take you rock climbing to the summit of Mt. Whitney via the East Face or East Buttress, a challenging yet rewarding expedition that will test your skills and expose you to the wild scenery of the area.

Private and Group

Sierra Nevada (California)

3 Days

Jun - Sep




* Rock climb on the awesome Mt. Whitney in the Sierra Nevada

* Climb up the towering East Face or East Buttress

* Admire the truly epic and awesome views out over the California scenery

* Improve and practice your rock climbing skills


I will guide you on this utterly thrilling and unique 3-day journey of rock climbing to the summit of Mt. Whitney via the East Face or East Buttress, an adventure that will see us learn and improve our rock climbing skills and techniques on this more challenging section of the mountain, while also taking the time to admire and be amazed by the sumptuous and spectacular Californian scenery around us.

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 mountaineering and rock climbing.

We will meet in the nearby town of Lone Pine, where all general and safety information will be run through, and from there we then head to the trail.

After hiking up to our base camp, we are then free to review some of the technical climbing techniques that we will be utilizing, before an optional pre-climb clinic.

Day 2 is the undoubted highlight of the, as we rock climb up the mighty and massive Whitney East Face or East Buttress, both providing memorable sheer rock faces that tower over the rocky and peaceful terrain below.

After the rock climbing we reach the summit, with yet more incredible views to admire, before we descend back down to the base camp via the mountaineers route.

Day 3 entails a gorgeous scenic hike through the Whitney Portal Trailhead, before we head back to Lone Pine and finish our trip, thrilled and content at the brilliant 3 days we have had.

Challenge yourself and see Mt. Whitney in an adrenaline-pumping way – book now to experience!

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Dinner

- Permit and entrance fees

- Rope

- Harness

- Helmet

- Camping equipment tents

Price details

Professional instruction/guide ratio of 1:2 , breakfast items, 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.


Day 1: Meet

Meet in Lone Pine, hike to base camp, review technical climbing techniques.

Day 2: Summit

Rock climb to summit via East Face or East Buttress, descend back to base camp.

Day 3: Finish

Hike around Whitney Portal Trailhead, head back to Lone Pine, finish.



More info

Experience Level: Solid rock climbing skills, ability to follow 5.8, proper knots, belays, and excellent physical conditioning. Previous experience with climbing at altitude is helpful.

Meeting point

Lone Pine, California


What experience and physical condition do you have to be in to climb Mt Whitney via the East Face or East Buttress?

Climbing Mt Whitney is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. It requires both physical and mental

toughness. Listed below are the minimum physical requirements we would expect for all of our clients

before they show up to climb Mt Whitney via the East Face or East Buttress:

Physical Conditions:

  1. Be able to maintain 185 to 215 meters per hr (600-700 feet per hr) climbing pace AND be

able to maintain this pace for 1-hour increments.

  1. Carry a 15-18 kilogram (35-40 pound) pack

3.Be able to move efficiently off of maintained trails on scree and talus. Using large step ups and

step-downs, and some movements requiring the whole body while carrying a pack.

  1. A guest who can do 235 meters per hr / 750 feet per hr with a loaded pack (11-14 kilos/ 25-30

lbs) on a stair stepper should have the fitness to climb Mt. Whitney.

5.Plus, Weekend hikes 12-16 kilometers (8-10 miles) with a loaded pack (11-14 kilos/ 25-30 lbs)

over the hilliest terrain a guest has access to is also an excellent training tool.

  1. Time to basecamp on Whitney is 4-6 hours and time to the summit from basecamp is 4-6 hours.


It can be accomplished by intermediate climbers in excellent physical condition and who has good rock climbing skills to able to follow 5.8 rock at altitude and have basic multi-pitch climbing experience. We do have a pre-climb rock clinic available the day prior to the climb at additional cost. Give us a call or email with additional questions.

About the guide

Guide profile image




Mountain Guide

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.





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What people are saying about SWS



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!



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.


Had an amazing experience climbing Mt. Whitney with Richard & Tim. They were excellent guides and safely got us to the summit and back.


Neil from SWS was amazing. We climbed the Mountaineering Route up to Mt. Whitney. It was an amazing experience. The guide was knowledgeable and friendly. I leaned a lot. I would absolutely use these guys again.


Too bad this review does not allow six stars. SWS is professional, client focused, flexible, and has the clients best interests in mind. I can say the personnel and leadership skills of the SWS guides are among the best. You can't go wrong with SWS.

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