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The Whitney Report

A quick photo spraydown from the Sierra Nevada's king mountain

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Well the Mountaineers Route on Mt. Whitney worked out. Everybody up. Everybody down. Everybody safe – never a sure thing on big mountains with plenty of loose rock and heights to tumble from.

As I said in a previous post, difficulty is all about the conditions, meaning – in this case – glorious weather and dry rock. So the route was easier than expected and we never used the technical climbing doodads, except for a short length of 8mm rope to help one member feel – and be – safer descending steep, gravelly slabs on the way back to our 12,500-foot high camp at Iceberg Lake. Basically the route was 2,000 feet of Class II talus and easy Class III downsloping ledges covered with generous helpings of gravel and loose ‘babyhead’ boulders. I’d call helmets near mandatory here.

As an fyi, we saw about 10 people, total, on the route above camp. Meanwhile, most campsites on the standard hike up Whitney saw 40 people a night. Enjoy the pics. It was fun getting them. — sh

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