4 days, 3 summits: Mt. Whitney, Mt. Russell and Mt. Muir in California

The guides at Sierra Mountaineering International lead this beginner-friendly, triple summit tour in southern California.

 
 

Details

 

Trip Duration

4 days

Mountain Range

Sierra Nevada (California)

People per Guide

Trip Level

Intermediate

Offer Period

Jul, Aug, Sep

Type of Trip

Group

Highlights

 
  • Summit three 14,000' peaks in the Sierra Nevadas on this all-in-one tour

  • Open to active beginners - no previous mountaineering experience is required

  • Visit the highest lake in the Western Hemisphere and camp under the stars

 

Why choose when you can do it all? On this tour, we will summit 3 of southern California’s 14,000′ peaks in only 4 days: Mt. Whitney, Mt. Russell and Mt. Muir. Even if you are not an experienced mountaineer, you can still join us! This tour is rated as a low, Class 4 difficulty level and is suitable for active beginners.

Despite being located only 210 miles north of Los Angeles, these mountains in the Sierra Nevadas are surrounded by natural beauty. The Sequoia National Park, Inyo National Forest and John Muir Wilderness border the peaks on all sides.

On our first day, we will meet at the Whitney Portal trailhead and make our way up Lone Pine Creek until reaching Upper Boy Scout Lake (11,300′). We will set up our camp beside the lake and spend the afternoon resting and relaxing in preparation for the following day.

From Upper Boy Scout Lake, we’ll be able to see the Alabama Hills, Death Valley, Owens Valley and the Inyo Mountains. The views from here are really quite spectacular. You can even go for a swim in the lake!

Our first summit will be on Mt. Russell (14,086′). After a good’s night rest at our base camp, we will ascend Mt. Russell via the East Ridge. Along this ridge, we will do some fun (Class 3) scrambling. Not to worry if you don’t have any prior experience – this is a great time to learn!

On our way to the summit of Mt. Russell, we’ll have views of neighboring Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States. We will also catch a glimpse of the stunning Tulainyo Lake. This lake, nestled between mountain peaks high in the Sierra Nevadas, is the highest lake in the Western Hemisphere.

Once we have reached the summit of Mt. Russell, we will retrace our steps back down to our base camp on Upper Boy Scout Lake. You’ll want to get to bed early in order to be well rested for our double summit the following day.

We will ascend Mt. Whitney (14,508′) via the alternative “Mountaineer’s Route”. This lesser-traveled path to the summit will take us along trails and over rocky terrain. You can expect to climb up slopes ranging from 25-40°. At times, we will need to use both our hands and feet to climb on granite. Again, this is not technical terrain and no previous rock climbing experience is required.

Once we reach the summit of Mt. Whitney, we will continue roughly 1.5 miles along a trail toward nearby Mt. Muir (14,012′). Like the previous two summits, we use our hands and feet to traverse a steep section leading to the mountain top. From the summit of Mt. Muir, we will retrace our steps back to Mt. Whitney before descending to our base camp.

Tired and satisfied, we will spend a final night camping beside Upper Boy Scout Lake. The following morning, we will return to the trailhead at Whitney Portal and say our goodbyes.

You can find a day-to-day itinerary for this ambitious, triple summit tour below. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.

It’s not everyday you have the opportunity to climb one, yet alone three, 14,000′ peaks in as many days. That is exactly what will do on this tour, however! Click “Request to book” to get in touch with us and reserve your spot. We’d love to have you come along on this triple summit tour. 

If you don’t have the time or energy to summit all three peaks, we understand. You can join us on this tour of Mt. Whitney instead.

We look forward to seeing you here in the Sierra Nevadas!

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Price per person

 
Group of 1
1440 USD

Group of 2
795 USD

 

Price includes

 
  • Guiding fee
 This is the price to join one of our group tours (minimum 2 people). For private guiding rates, please contact us.
 

Itinerary

 
  • Day 1Whitney Portal - Lone Pine Creek - Upper Boy Scout Lake
    • Group meeting at the Whitney Portal trailhead
    • Divide loads and ascend the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek to Upper Boy Scout Lake (11,300′)
    • Free time to relax and enjoy views of the Alabama Hills, Death Valley, Owens Valley and the Inyo Mountains
    • Swim in the lake (optional)
  • Day 2Mount Russell
    • Climb Mt. Russell (14,086′) via the East Ridge
    • Descend back to our base camp on Upper Boy Scout Lake
  • Day 3Mount Whitney & Mount Muir
    • Climb Mt. Whitney (14,508′)
    • Descend from Mt. Whitney to Mt. Muir (14,012′) via the Main Trail
    • Retrace our steps back to the summit of Mt. Whitney
    • Descend to our base camp via the alternative “Mountaineer’s Route”
  • Day 4Descent
    • Pack up camp and return to the Whitney Portal
 
 

Other details

 
Skill level required

Intermediate

Fitness level required

Occasional

Meeting point

Trailhead at Whitney Portal

Accommodation

We will be camping at Upper Boy Scout Lake for the duration of this tour.

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.

 

About the 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!

 
 

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