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#1914 - 08/13/08 02:18 PM
Mountaineers route questions
Posted by mnkanderson, 08-13-08Anyone know where I can get a good map of the Mountaineers route? I've climbed Whitney from the main trail for years, and came through the back side and out last year. I've honestly never thought much about Mountaineers route as I thought this was a true "climb" with ropes etc... I'd like to know where the route starts off and how it ends up on the summit.
Posted by spinefxr, 08-13-08Here is the link to the same pictue in a larger format. http://spinefxr.smugmug.com/photos/351304186_po2Ap-O.jpg
Posted by LoveTheSierras, 08-13-08First of all, The Mountaineers Route is NOT a trail! The North Fork/ Mountaineers route doesn't really have a map with an official trail. Sometimes there is a trail and other times more of a use trail. Sometimes there is climbing through boulders with no trail. If you feel you need a rope, you are probably off the preferred route. The north fork trail starts about 20 minutes up the regular Mt. Whitney trail, just to the right of the first big river.
Here is a ton of info: Mountaineers Route info links within...
Spinefxr gives you an idea of the route many people take. Toward Iceberg lake his red line would take you up the waterfall pitch, which involves a little more climbing then taking the sandy chute a little further west in the moraine field.
The best pictures of the Ebersbacher ledges
Some pictures of the route.
Posted by ep, 08-13-08
The North Fork/ Mountaineers route doesn't really have a map with an official trail. Sometimes there is a trail and other times more of a use trail. Sometimes there is climbing through boulders with no trail.
It's a pretty decent trail nowadays, with "don't go this way" signs, humongous cairns, and the limbs before the ledges have long since been chopped. There are a few places to screw up on the way to Iceberg Lake, but only a few.
The north fork trail starts about 20 minutes up the regular Mt. Whitney trail, just to the right of the first big river.
Even this error is harder to make (the first creek is Carillon Ck., not the North Fork of Lone Pine Ck.) as there is now a sign that basically says "THIS ISN'T THE NORTH FORK, STUPID".
The MR gully is another matter. It's possible to die if you don't know what you're doing.
Posted by LoveTheSierras, 08-13-08Ep's observations are correct. Above Iceberg Lake is where the real fun starts, including some climbing with no trail
Posted by mnkanderson, 08-14-08Great photo log. Looks like quite a trek to the top. Any idea as to the total round trip mileage going this route? Thanks to you Rob and other posts above for posts. I'm now very clear on the route. Appreciate all the quick responses.
Posted by ep, 08-14-08"Any idea as to the total round trip mileage going this route?"
If you believe the TOPO profile in spinefxr's post then it's 8.5 miles round trip. I was always thought it was more like 10 miles but either way it's the elevation gain that gets you more than the distance (unlike the trail).
Posted by Steve C, 08-14-08
Anyone know where I can get a good map of the Mountaineers route?
Finally looked up my old map: See this topic:
Topo Maps of the MR and Main Trail
Wayne and I both posted a map you might use.
Edit: There is currently another thread asking about the correct route in the MR, with pictures posted. The other thread is here: MR, route from LBSL --> UBSL
Also, on the map above, the line above UBSL to Iceberg goes too high too soon. The best route is to stay low near the moraine,
and until just south of Iceberg, and then climb the slope heading northward up to Iceberg. Even on Wayne's MR map, the line heads diagonally up the slope north of the moraine, so it is still not quite right.
Posted by ex3145, 08-15-08I actually bought a TOPO map of the Whitney zone at REI and it had the Mountaineers Route listed on it, The main trail was a red line and the MR was a blue line. Never needed it though the route was really easy to find for me.
Posted by mono, 08-15-08We just did it this week. Plenty of cairns around to follow in case you do lose the trail.
"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings." - Proverbs 25:2
Posted by Doug Sr, 08-15-08Hi ex the topo map that shows the line up the mountaineers route is close when it was printed the group that added the line came to the Portal and we talked about how close it was.I think it will get you to Iceberg with one word of caution the line between upper and iceberg tends to lead you into the ridge it would be more help to bend that line to the saddle of the ridge, this may be just a pee-pee point but would hate to see anyone head into the closed canyon of Upper Boy Scout Lake or start the ridge early. The ridge route is fast and fun but needs to be started around the corner to the west.Thanks Doug
Posted by Bob R, 08-20-08
"Any idea as to the total round trip mileage going this route?"
For the Mountaineer's Route, Doug's book gives 3.4 miles, although this may be from the old trail start, which cuts off 0.3 miles. Spinefxr's measurement above says about 4.2 miles. And I claim that the main trail mileage, from Whitney Portal to summit, is 11.2 miles. (See How long is the trail?)
So, going up the Mountaineer's Route and down the trail is between 14.6 and 15.4 miles. Subtract ~1.5 miles if you use the shortcuts going down.
The straight line distance from Portal to summit is a surprisingly short 2.9 miles.
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