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Mt. Whitney and Ice Climbing Expedition, MTN 2, ICE 1 Training

  • 04/10/2023
  • 8:00 AM
  • 04/14/2023
  • 8:00 PM
  • Mt. Whitney, near Lone Pine, CA
  • 0


Registration is closed

Join MAA members for a winter-style expedition on Mt. Whitney and ice climbing training at Thor Falls. Our expedition goals are three fold; 1. an early season ascent of Mt. Whitney via the Mountaineers Route and/or 2. to learn and climb the fun, high-altitude water ice at Thor Falls, and at the very least 3. to enjoy rock climbing at Alabama Hills, which can be done in almost any weather. This is all weather dependent - but we are going to climb something! ICE 1 and MTN 2 training also provided. 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. 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: 4-day ascent climbing between 6,000' - 9,000' total elevation depending upon how far we can drive up the road. Ice climbing WI2-WI3, steep snow climbing, winter rock climbing up to Class 4, multi-day winter camping, snowshoeing or skiing. Possibly desert rock climbing.
  • Where to meet: Whitney Portal Hostel in Lone Pine, 5:00 pm, Tuesday, March 10th.
  • Event Leader: Darren Shutt, (916) 872-3399
  • Minimum / Maximum: 4,10
  • Required Skills and Fitness: run the gamut but the most important are solid working ability to camp for multiple days in freezing and stormy weather and winter mountaineering (MTN 2) ice climbing (ICE 1) and strong fitness to handle a potentially HUGE amount of elevation gain, climbing 9,000' from the valley all the way to the summit of Whitney in deep snow while carrying a heavy pack over the course of 2 - 3 days. 
  • 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 of 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. Rock shoes just in case the weather is really bad! 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 will be reserved by MAA. This group cost will be split by everyone, TBD.
  • Additional: The entire itinerary is very dependent upon conditions and weather. Chief of these is avalanche danger. This will be assessed on the MR route and at other places in the canyon. If determined to be unsafe, we will not proceed. Temperatures, storms, wind and the resulting visibility will determine how far we get up the Whitney Massif. This is why the itinerary is so flexible.


  • PRIOR: Expedition Conference Call and logistics March 28th 8:00pm. Link here: Or dial: ‪(US) +1 424-337-1937‬ PIN: ‪532 245 215‬#
  • DAY 1, Monday, April 10th: Meet and greet in Lone Pine at the Whitney Portal Hostel in the evening. Check in is between 3:00 and 8:00 pm. Decide on a plan, sort gear and make preparations.  We'll catch dinner in town around 6:30. Team planning and logistics at 8:00 pm. If the weather is completely uncooperative we will climb rock at Alabama Hills while we wait for better conditions.
  • DAY 2, Tuesday, April 11th: Early start, hiking up the Whitney Portal road or driving up as far as we can. 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 near water. Total elevation gain approx. 6,500' from the valley. LBS lake elevation approx 10,500.
  • DAY 3 and 4, Wednesday April 12 & Thursday April 13th: a winter ascent of Mt. Whitney MR route, or Mt. Thor or Mt. Carillon or ice climbing at Thor Falls between LBS and UBS lake, all dependent upon exact team assembled, avalanche conditions and weather. 
  • DAY 5, Friday, April 14th: Return to the trailhead. Or contingency for bad weather.


  • This event is free of charge. MAA receives no direct financial gain for organizing and supporting this event. Donations are not solicited on this event, nor is any exchange of money a requirement for participation.

  • This event is open to all Apex, Base, and Associate members - paid membership is not a requirement of attendance. 

  • MAA is a 100% volunteer-run, federal and state recognized 501(c)7 not-for-profit membership organization and does not seek or realize a profit from organizing this event; all membership benefits, liability insurance, website, database, administrative costs and all expenses are supported solely through membership, not event fees.

  • MAA event leaders are experienced members who are board-approved and volunteer to host the event as a representative of MAA, but are not operating as a guide or compensated as a guide - all participants on the event share responsibility for the safety, decisions, and actions of the group.

  • Accordingly, the physical demands, required skills or technical terrain of some events require that we screen participants; individuals should join the waitlist to be considered for RSVP. The experience, skills and fitness in the MAA membership profile will be used to determine the suitability of each individual to the demands of that particular event.

  • Participant safety is our top priority. Many circumstances such as mountain conditions, weather, or subjective hazards may necessitate changes to the published itinerary, including cancellation.

  • As a private, non-commercial group we operate within the posted group size limits and regulations for this area.

  • All MAA members are taught and practice Leave No Trace principles to be good stewards of wild places.

  • 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 at a minimum has current wilderness first aid and CPR training as well as MAA policy training.

(916) 872-3399

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