We schedule our spring ascents of the Mountaineers Route on Mount Whitney with Sierra Mountaineering International for four days, because that’s a sustainable amount of time to get up the mountain and back down safely. Sometimes, though, conditions call for a change in schedule — and that’s what happened to our first Summit For Someone climb of the season, Mount Whitney 1.
On their first night of camping, the team woke up to two to three feet of new snow, and small avalanches releasing off steep aspects. They descended, and spent the next couple of days learning avalanche skills. Conditions improved, and the group decided that with one day left on their itinerary, they would give the mountain a shot, meeting in Lone Pine at 11:30 p.m.
They summited and descended safely in 17 hours.
For the full story, visit the Sierra Mountaineering International blog, where guide and owner Kurt Wedberg has posted tons of photos.
And here’s what Kurt said in a follow-up e-mail to the group:
We enjoyed climbing with each of you as we shared an experience with memories that will last a lifetime. This trip will go down in SMI lore as being one of the most memorable we have ever had in our 15 year history. Never before had we guided a 1-day climb of Mt. Whitney during the month of April.