Mount Whitney Mountaineer's Route

HARD 16 reviews
#20 of 49 trails in

Mount Whitney Mountaineer's Route is a 8.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Whitney Portal, California that offers scenic views and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

8.8 miles
6,148 feet
Out & Back



nature trips

rock climbing




no shade

no dogs

19 days ago

This hike is no joke. You WILL get lost once or twice when starting that early in the morning. We got turned around in a circle near a waterfall and then again when trying to reach upper boyscout lake.

On top of that it is very likely you will get stuck at an impassable section and will need to find another route along the right or left.

When going up the notch at the end we opted to stay next to the left wall since that appeared to be the easiest.

We were pretty burnt out once we reached iceberg lake and the last section took us probably 3 hours. The back side of the summit was pretty rough too and we almost needed to get some ropes out to complete it!

After we were finished up top it was amazing. Two of the three in our hiking party did get some altitude sickess so we had to take the normal trail back down and took a long break at the camp below 97 switchbacks.

2 months ago

What a climb! Went up the Mountaineer’s route (6/27/18) and returned on the main trail in the same day. Snow in the couloir was varied—The first section was still filled, but became more broken and often completely devoid of snow the closer we became to the notch. The traverse section (if the notch is avoided) was still covered in snow. While this super amateur mountaineer played it cautious, one may be able to make it up the final section of the route past Iceberg Lake without the need for crampons and an ice ax if staying to the far left in the couloir. Great experience!

3 months ago

Did this last Sunday with great snow conditions above iceberg lake. The route provides a great mixture of scrambling, route finding, and technical sections. The 400 ft above the notch was turned into an exposed class 4 because of the fresh snow from the night before and icy rocks. I took the traverse on my way down to the notch. Awesome route!

5 months ago

Many times, in winter only, solo most times, once with friends

11 months ago

Completed mountaineers ascent yesterday.
Route has nice mix of hiking and scrambling. Scrambling in the couloire was fun but quite challenging due to recent snowfall. We did not have equipment to use the snow chute so we stayed to the left and eventually made it up.We were fortunate to be the only group on the couloire at the time we ascended, otherwise we surely would have experienced falling scree from hikers ahead of us. Helmets and poles are obligatory. We took the notch to the summit, which had some icy patches but enough grips and footholds to allow us to reach the summit safely. Overall we were fortunate no one in our group of 5 was injured. Took the main route down, which was very long and less interesting than the way up.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Much more enjoyable way to summit Whitney. It involves some simple route finding, since you need to start super early in the morning (if doing it as a day hike) and there's no single maintained trail to get there, but they all generally lead to the same place. If you're doing the mountaineer's route I'm sure you'll be gathering beta from much more informative sources so I won't go into that here. I'll just talk about the trail condition. There was still enough snow in the chute to take it almost all the way to the notch. We opted for the class 2 traverse once at the notch and it was OK. Had to avoid some ice, which made for some careful scrambling, but once past it was pretty easy getting up to the plateau. We took the main trail down - instead of returning the way we came - which is always a mind-numbing grind.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


Sunday, August 06, 2017

Quite the adventure.

18 days ago

1 month ago

4 months ago

4 months ago