Whitney Ice and Winter Ascent

  • 03/25/2020
  • 5:00 PM
  • 03/29/2020
  • 8:00 PM
  • Mt. Whitney, near Lone Pine, CA
  • 0


Join MAA members for ice climbing and a winter ascent of a Whitney Zone peak. Our goal is to climb the fun, high-altitude water ice at Thor Falls, which can be done in almost any weather, and secondly to take a stab at a winter summit. Thor, Whitney, Russell, and Carillon are all options. This will be a 4-day winter ascent effort to climb between 6,000' - 9,000' total elevation, and provide time to acclimatize and to accommodate for poor weather. Great expedition prep for cold climbs at high altitude. Prior experience climbing steep snow and winter camping required. Either skis or snowshoes are required. Loaner gear may be available. We have room for 10. $35 reservation fee for bed at the Hostel required. Hope to have you out with us!

SCREENED EVENT: Please join the waitlist. Attendees will be selected based on skill proficiency and experience shown on their MAA profile. Those registered will be notified, please pay the hostel fee to confirm. Thank you! 


  • What's happening: Ice climbing WI2-WI3, steep snow climbing, winter rock climbing up to Class 4, multi-day winter camping, snowshoeing or skiing. One night stay at a hostel in Lone Pine.
  • Where to meet: Whitney Portal Hostel, 5:00 pm Wednesday, March 28th, 2020.
  • Event Leader: Darren Shutt, (916) 872-3399, darren@mountainascent.org
  • Minimum / Maximum: 4,10
  • What to bring: Warm, stormproof layers for upper and lower body - 4 layers for upper and 3 layers for lower, minimum. 2 pair socks and gloves, warm mittens, warm headwear, sunglasses, goggles, gaiters. Belay device, prusik, 2 locking and 2 non-locking carabiners, 2 runners, harness, helmet, warm mountain boots, sharp steel crampons fit to your boots, pair or ice tools, mountain axe, food for 3 nights / 4 days, waterbottles with insulating sleeve, spoon, cup, warm sleeping bag, 2 sleeping pads, trekking pole(s), snowshoes or skis, snow shovel. Technical equipment such as rope, rock and snow protection, and stove, pots, fuel and tents may be supplied by MAA. Bring what you have of these items and we'll select the group gear. Leave about 10 liters of space and up to 10 lbs for group gear. 
  • Medical: If you have any medical conditions pertinent to your participation on this event, please inform the event leaders after registration.
  • Accommodations: Whitney Portal Hostel beds are reserved by MAA. Rooms are approximately $35. Registration requires a payment to cover this group expense. Refunds cannot be given closer than 30 days from the event. 


  • DAY 1, Wednesday, March 25th: Meet and greet at Whitney Portal Hostel in the evening. Sort gear and make preparations. Check in is between 3:00 and 8:00 pm. We'll catch dinner in town around 6:30. Team planning and logistics at 8:00 pm.
  • DAY 2, Thursday, March 26th: Early start, hiking up the Whitney Portal road. Once at the Whitney Portal, we'll take the regular trail to the Lone Pine Creek junction. Go up Lone Pine Creek trail to Ebersbacher Ledges (or if winter route is possible, stay in the creek bottom) and continue to Lower Boy Scout Lake (LBS). Establish camp in the trees there. Total elevation gain approx. 6,500' from the valley. LBS lake elevation approx 10,500.
  • DAY 3 and 4, Friday and Saturday, March 27th and 28th: Ice climbing at Thor Falls between LBS and UBS lake, or a winter ascent of Thor Peak, Mt. Whitney MR route, or Mt. Russell East Arete or SW chute, or Mt. Carillon. All dependent upon exact team assembled, avalanche conditions and weather. 
  • DAY 5, Sunday, March 29th: Return to the trailhead. Or contingency for bad weather.


  • In order to register you must be a Base, Peak, or Apex member.
  • Event leaders are experienced volunteers, but may not be certified guides.
  • Participant safety is our top priority. The itinerary described is the plan; however, circumstances beyond the leader's control may necessitate changes.
  • The event begins and ends at the trailhead. MAA does not insure ridesharing or other travel arrangements and bears no responsibility for them. Carpooling, ride sharing, or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among individuals.
  • MAA event leaders carry communication devices and a medical kit; The primary event leader has current wilderness first aid and CPR training as well as MAA policy training.



(916) 692-0005

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