|Andrew on the approach.|
Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48 states, at 14,505ft (updated elevation since the printing of the book in the below picture). It has been on my radar for a long time and with the move to Seattle getting closer I had to make it happen. I mentioned it to a fellow mountain charger, Jeremy Koons, who cautiously agreed to join. We also got two more guys, Nate Tang and Andrew Yue, who I had done a few other adventures with and lived in the Bay Area.
With over 75 emails sent back and forth over a few month period of time, a 15 page itinerary including emergency contact information and a weekend practice climb at a nearby crag we were able to put together a plan that got the four of us on the mountain with a permit. Jeremy bit the bullet and traveled down a day early to sit in line and ensure that we could get one of the limited walk-in permits. We were going during the first week in which the quota was activated on the mountain, May 2nd-4th, which worked in our favor for obtaining a permit.
Our initial plan was to climb one of the nations 50 classic technical routes, the East Face. However, after getting there and talking to a few guides and locals we were informed that this route still had a fair amount of ice on it and would likely be very difficult.We changed to plan B, the East Buttress. The East Buttress is a 5.7, 11 pitch route and considered by many to be even better than the East Face for its consistent quality climbing.
Following normal adventure fashion, myself, Nate Tang and Andrew, left the Bay Area Thursday night at about 7:45pm. All three of us had to work that day. We pulled in next to Jermey, who was sleeping in his car at the Whitney Portal Trailhead at about 2:30am and slept on the ground in the parking lot.
|Tang on the approach.|
|Jeremy and I on the approach.|
|Andrew and Jeremy at the 4th class Ebersbacher Ledges on the approach.|
|Me just below Iceberg Lake.|
|Jeremy pointing out the objective.|
|Tang, late morning start.|
|High above Iceberg Lake on the East Butrress route.|
|Andrew on the ascent.|
|Tang on the ascent.|
|Andrew ascending with Iceberg Lake in the background.|
|Whitney's summit hut that saved our bacon.|
|In the hut after a cold night.|
|Jeremy, morning summit pic.|
|Morning summit group pic.|
|Tang with the morning summit silhouette.|
|The tent before it was swallowed up by the mountain and never to be seen again.|
|Finishing the long hike out. So glad to be done.|
|Fire boots for mountaineering boots.|