Mount Whitney

East side of Mount Whitney


Mount Whitney is a 4421 m high mountain in California and the highest mountain in the U.S. outside of Alaska. Within the entire United States is with 6194 m height of Mount McKinley in Alaska is the highest mountain.


Origin of the name

The mountain was named after Josiah Whitney (1819-1896), a state geologist of California.

First ascent

The first ascent was in 1873 Charles Begole, AH Johnson, and John Lucas, who lived as a fisherman in Lone Pine.


Mount Whitney is located on the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada in California, USA. Its summit lies on the border between the Sequoia National Park and the Inyo National Forest and rises more than 3000 m above the town of Lone Pine ( 1,130 m) in the Owens Valley. While the landscape to the east slopes steeply into the dry, treeless Owens Valley, the Sierra Nevada to the west is continuing with other high peaks and mountain lakes. Mount Whitney is in the south a long ridge, from which rise some pinnacles, such as the Keeler Needle and Mount Muir.

Routes to the summit

The normal route is approximately 17.7 km long ascent from Whitney Portal to 2,458 meters above sea level, which is accessible for motor vehicles. He offers no significant technical difficulties, Mount Whitney is therefore a popular destination for climbers. The ascent can be done either in one day or multi- day tour. At night the Outpost Camp ( 3,158 m ) or the Trail Camp can ( 3,669 m) can be used.

A further increase leads on the western flank and hits near the saddle Crest Trail on the normal route. This increase can be reached via the John Muir Trail distance trails and High Sierra Trail, the respective endpoint of the peak of Mount Whitney is. Here no technical difficulties have also to deal with.

For the ascent of Mount Whitney an authorization ( engl. permit ) is required, which is issued by the Forest Service.