Route of the Week: East Buttress
The Grade: 5.7
The Route Type: Alpine Rock
The Pitches: 10
The Gear: 0.5 – 3.0″, Double of midsize and 8-10 alpine draws
Formation: Mt Whitney
A stellar alpine rock climbing route on the highest peak in the lower 48. This 1,200-foot climb is sometimes overshadowed by the Fifty Classic Climb next to it East Face 5.6. Never the less from those who guide in the area it is often considered the better of the two routes. A beautiful route, with fun climbing THIS IS A BUCKET LIST CLIMB!
Find It: From the town of Lone Pine, Ca on Highway 395 drive up to the Whitney Portal road.
Hike up the Whitney trail until the first major creek crossing where a less obvious climbers trail breaks off to the right and heads up the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek. Follow this trail to the spectacular base of Mt Whitney
P1: (160ft) The climb starts on a really fun 5.7 corner with great hands and lie back moves
P2: (140ft) A short 5.6 pitch turns a corner out onto an alcove below the broken third pitch
P3: (150ft) A poorly protected 5.6 series of broken towers.
P4: (140ft) Head up an easy low angle corner that gradually gets steeper, more fun and more engaging. Just a stellar pitch that finishes
P5: (150ft to short 4th class) Kickass flakes and cracks take you up to a series of ledges interspersed with a couple of harder moves. Watch the rope drag. It sucks if you don’t manage it right.
P6: (180ft) The PeeWee Pillar. The 5.5 climb goes to the right of the Peewee Pillar has little protection but the climbing is so fun it’s worth it. Belay from a corner and be careful not to drop loose rock on your second.
P7: (160ft) Mostly easy climbing with a couple of intensely fun moves the traverse left across a face of wide chimney. This can be broken into two short pitches.
P8: (100’) Wide Chimney with a small roof (5.6) ends on fun crack and into an obvious alcove.
P9 – P10: Broken 3rd to low 5th class. There is no one way to climb the route. Just head up.
High Sierra Climbing, McNamara and Long