3-Minute Read: Climbing Mount Whitney

By Michael Lanza

At 6 a.m. last Sunday morning, four readers of The Big Outside, my 15-year-old son, Nate, and I, led by three mountain guides from Sierra Mountaineering International, left our high camp at 12,000 feet below the East Face of California’s Mount Whitney en route to climb the Mountaineers Route. I shot the photo above shortly after we left camp. Four-and-a-half hours later, we all stood at 14,505 feet above sea level, atop the highest peak in America outside of Alaska.

It was a proud accomplishment on several levels. Some in our group, Nate among them, climbed their first technical route up a major peak, which took us four days: a two-day approach hike to our high camp, summit day, and the last day’s descent to our cars. But my blog readers John Kelly, Frank Weber, Molly Baab, Nick Ornella, and Tim Brosnan all raised at least $4,000 each for Big City Mountaineers through BCM’s Summit For Someone program, as did Nate and I.

Since 1989, Big City Mountaineers has been providing wilderness-mentoring experiences to underprivileged urban youths. Every year, BCM partners with existing youth-development agencies and professional field instructors to take hundreds of kids age 13 to 18 into the wilderness. It’s a great cause that I believe in deeply, and I thank John, Frank, Molly, Nick, and Tim for their efforts. But the Summit For Someone program lets you have a great adventure at the same time you’re helping get more youths outdoors.

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From left: Nate, me, John Kelly, Frank Weber, Nick Ornella, Molly Baab, and Tim Brosnan at high camp below Mount Whitney.
From left: Nate, me, John Kelly, Frank Weber, Nick Ornella, Molly Baab, and Tim Brosnan at high camp below Mount Whitney.

I’ll write a feature story and post many more images from our four-day climb of Whitney soon at The Big Outside.

Meanwhile, see all of my stories about adventures in the High Sierra and in California, all of my stories about family adventures, and my story “Training For a Big Hike or Mountain Climb.”

Do you like The Big Outside? I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, recognized as a top outdoors blog by USA Today, a Trip Advisor site, and others. Subscribe for updates about new stories and free gear giveaways by entering your email address in the box at the bottom of this story, at the top of the left sidebar, or on my About page, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.

This blog and website is my full-time job and I rely on the support of readers. If you like what you see here, please help me continue producing The Big Outside by making a donation using the Support button at the top of the left sidebar or below. Thank you for your support.



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