Hiking Mt Whitney's North Fork trail (mountaineering route)

(Copyright 2003-2013 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions)
If you would like to purchase the original, high-resolution pictures, contact me


Notes of this trip
This is not the main Mount Whitney trail.

Highlights


From start to end

(Click on the pictures to enlarge them | If you have a high-speed connection, click here for larger pictures)

The waterfall at Whitney Portal


The trailhead of the mountaineering route

Getting to the trailhead of the mountaineering route

Getting to the trailhead of the mountaineering route

Getting to the trailhead of the mountaineering route

Getting to the trailhead of the mountaineering route


The trailhead of the mountaineering route

The trailhead of the mountaineering route

The trailhead of the mountaineering route


If instead you took the regular trail, then turn right at this sign

There used to be this scary sign (replaced in 2008 by bureaucratic crap that threatens you with a huge fine and six months in jail if you hike this trail without a permit)

The "Ebersbacher Ledges" before the waterfall

The waterfall that you cross (actually three waterfalls)


Triple waterfall

Triple waterfall


Two hikers on the ledges and the overall route

Climbing the ledges: step 1 coast the headwall to the dead end

Climbing the ledges: step 1 coast the headwall to the dead end

Climbing the ledges: step 1 climb the rocks


Step 2: the tree

Climbing the ledges: step 2 the tree

Climbing the ledges: step 2 the tree

Climbing the ledges: step 3 walk along the edge


Climbing the ledges: step 4 up

Climbing the ledges: step 4 up

Climbing the ledges: step 4 up

Climbing the ledges: step 4 up


Climbing the ledges: step 5 now you are safe

Beyond the ledges (picture taken from the other side before the triple waterfall)

Towards the Lower Boyscout Lake

Towards the Lower Boyscout Lake


The view below (Whitney Portal road)

Towards the Lower Boyscout Lake

Still a lot of elevation to the first lake but the first views of a peak (not Whitney and not Russell though)

The waterfall past the ledges before the first lake


The first view at dawn of Mt Whitney (all the way to the top right)

Mt Whitney sticking out from the distance and Mt Carillon high above

The route to Mt Whitney


First view of Whitney from the trail before the first lake

Mt Whitney

Mt Muir, the Keeler Needles and Mt Whitney


First views of Mt Whitney after the ledges and before the first lake

Owens Valley from the first lake


Flowers along the trail

Owens Valley from the first lake

Below the Lower lake

The sign before the lake crossing (turn left here)


View of the central falls and Whitney from the first lake

Ditto

The left falls from the first lake

Just past the first lake


The headwall to the right of the first lake

At the first lake


Crossing to the other side of the first lake

Crossing the lower lake

Crossing the lower lake

Lower Boyscout Lake


The vertical creekbed and the headwall to the right of the first lake

The central falls from above the first lake

The headwall to the right of the first lake from above the first lake

Said headwall


Towards the Upper Boyscout Lake

The lower lake from above

The trail to the upper lake


The pyramid on the trail

The pyramid (trail below it)

Almost at the central waterfalls


Almost at the central waterfalls

Almost at the central waterfalls

Mt Carillon in the distance

Lower Boyscout Lake from the Pyramid


View up from the Pyramid

Lower Boyscout Lake from the central falls

Well-marked route through the vegetation of the central falls

Well-marked route through the vegetation of the central falls


Well-marked route through the vegetation of the central falls

The route to Mt Russell from the central falls

The route to Mt Russell from the central falls

The leftside falls


The leftside falls

The way to the canyon before Upper Boyscout Lake

The way to the canyon before Upper Boyscout Lake

On the other side the route to Mt Russell


Upper Boyscout Lake and Mt Russell at the top

Upper Boyscout Lake

Looking down before entering the canyon

Leftside falls from above Upper Boyscout Lake


Almost at Upper Boyscout Lake: this is the pass towards the canyon

The wall of Mt Russell and Mt Carillon on the other side (below Upper Boyscout Lake on the northern side)

Click here for Mt Russell

The saddle to the left of Upper Boyscout Lake

A hidden lake further up to the left (seen from above, not en route)

The saddle

Lower Boyscout Lake from the saddle


Climbing to enter the canyon just before Upper Boyscout Lake

Climbing to enter the canyon just before Upper Boyscout Lake

First view of Whitney's east face

A cairn in white rock


Looking back into the canyon

Up the canyon Whitney's east face

Close-up of Mt Whitney

There are several use-trails inside the canyon


Mt Whitney

One trail is down there, one is up where i am standing

Looking back into the canyon

Mt Whitney


The other side of the canyon

The first black waterfall

The two black waterfalls

Mt Whitney


View of Owens valley from the canyon

The canyon

The canyon

The canyon


By the waterfall

By the waterfall

By the waterfall

Wildflowers


Whitney's face

Whitney's face (where the use trail starts)

Whitney's face

The canyon below Whitney's face


Mt Muir

The chute of Whitney is beginning to appear

The use trail runs on this side

Almost at Iceberg Lake


The top of Whitney

Mt Muir and the Keeler Needles

The use trail to the chute

Mt Russell beyond Iceberg Lake


Iceberg Lake

The canyon below

The canyon below


Iceberg Lake

Mt Whitneys face and the east chute from Iceberg Lake

Mt Whitney

Iceberg Lake


Mt Whitney

Beginning of the "switchbacks"

Ascending the chute

Mt Russell's blade


Mt Russell's blade

Mt Russell to the east (the Russell-Whitney pass is all the way to the left)

Iceberg Lake and Mt Carillon

The Russell-Whitney pass


Looking down the canyon

Mt Russell's southern chutes

Halfway up the gulley

Mt Russell's southwestern route


The chute above the "switchbacks"

The chute above the "switchbacks"

Mt Carillon and Iceberg Lake


Owens Valley

The lake in the canyon that you don't see when hiking up the canyon

The way up after the "switchbacks"

The rock that marks the entrance to the switchbacks when you are coming down


Halfway up

Halfway up

Looking down into the chute

Almost at the top


Top of the chute (south)

Top of the chute

Top of the chute

Mt Russell


Mt Williamson

End of the chute: the traverse in a year when it still had snow

The traverse in a year without snow

The traverse in a year without snow

Via the Chimney


On the left, instead, the chimney (year with snow)

The part of the chimney that is always icy

Most people like top traverse from the left side to the right side at this point


Lakes between Whitney and Russell

End of the chute and Mt Russell


Inside the chimney

Inside the chimney

Inside the chimney

Mt Russell


Lakes between Whitney and Russell

Inside the chimney

Inside the chimney

Inside the chimney


Looking down from the chimney

Looking down from the chimney

Looking down from the chimney

Inside the chimney


Up the chimney

Up the chimney

Up the chimney

Up the chimney


Up the chimney

Up the chimney

Up the chimney

Up the chimney


Up the chimney

Up the chimney

Up the chimney

Up the chimney


Wales Lake and Mt Russell

The summit plateau

The place where to start the descent

The summit


Mt Whitney's chute from Mt Russell

Mt Whitney's chute from Mt Russell

Or via the traverse


The traverse

Looking back at the "gate", summit of the east chute

View north


View towards Mt Williamson

Cairns along the traverse


The west side of Russell and the Arctic Lakes

Looking back at the gate

View northeast


The gate down in the distance

Up the easiest route to the northern ridge

View north

The refuge at the summit 100 meters away

Click here for views from the summit


Going down the third chimney and the traverse


Towards the first chute

The first chute

The summit's house from the first chute

Going down the first chute towards the gate


Pinnacles that mark the first chute

The first chute and the gate at the bottom

The third chute

The third chute


Going down the third chute

Going down the third chute

Going down the third chute

Going down the third chute


Back at the gate

Climbers coming down the first chute

Click here for views from the summit


For historical purposes only: How it was before they improved it

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(Copyright 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions)
If you would like to purchase the original, high-resolution pictures, contact me