Climb Mount Whitney With Me and Help Kids Get Outdoors

By Michael Lanza

I still have a few spaces open on my team’s guided climb of the highest peak in the Lower 48, Mount Whitney in California’s High Sierra. Three readers of The Big Outside have signed up to join my 15-year-old son, Nate, and me for a four-day ascent of the Mountaineers Route on Mount Whitney, April 15-18. We’re doing it to raise money for Big City Mountaineers, an outstanding organization that introduces urban kids to the outdoors through backpacking and other adventure-based programs.

But the deadline is fast approaching to register for my climbing team and join me on a guided climb of California’s Mount Whitney.

We will climb 14,505-foot Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park, a snow climb requiring the use of ropes, ice axes, and crampons. We will be led by professional climbing guides from Sierra Mountaineering International (SMI), who regularly guide Whitney’s Mountaineers Route. Participants should be in good physical condition and possess basic to intermediate mountaineering skills, although the guides will also provide instruction. I’ll publish a feature-length story about our climb at The Big Outside.

The deadline to register for the climb is Jan. 15. Every member of my climbing team must commit to raising a minimum of $4,000 for BCM, through BCM’s Summit For Someone program, before our April 15-18 climb.

If you’d like to be part of The Big Outside-Mount Whitney Summit For Someone climbing team, register for our climb of Mount Whitney at You can write to me at, I’d love to hear from you.

I had the honor of representing Backpacker magazine, a supporter of BCM, on two of the earliest Summit For Someone fundraising climbs (of Mount Shasta and Mount Olympus), several years ago. It’s a hugely successful program that benefits a cause that I believe in deeply: getting more kids outdoors, especially kids who otherwise lack the resources and opportunities to pursue experiences that families like mine are fortunate to enjoy frequently. Read more about BCM’s good work here.

Even if you cannot join us climbing Whitney, you can help support my son Nate’s and my Mount Whitney Summit For Someone fundraiser for Big City Mountaineers by making a donation here. It will help us reach our goal of raising at least $4,000 for BCM. Thank you for your support for Big City Mountaineers.


A Summit For Someone climbing party on Mount Whitney.
A Summit For Someone climbing party on Mount Whitney.

The Summit For Someone page describes the program and lists the SFS climbs scheduled for 2016, including a description of Whitney. Read a description of SMI’s standard itinerary for a spring climb of Whitney’s Mountaineers Route.

If you’d like to be part of The Big Outside-Mount Whitney Summit For Someone climbing team, register for our climb of Mount Whitney at

I will eventually announce the members of my team through this blog. And I will certainly write stories about preparing for our climb and post a full-length feature story about our adventure on Mount Whitney, with many photos and a video, afterward.

Here are some details of my Mount Whitney Summit For Someone Climb:
•    Dates: April 15-18, 2016
•    Length: 4 days
•    Guide: Sierra Mountaineering International
o    Email:
o    Phone: (760) 872-4929
•    Guide fee (paid by BCM): $1,000
•    Climb Type: Glacier
•    Skill Requirement: Intermediate to Advanced
•    Location: Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks, California
•    Elevation: 14,497 feet
•    Non refundable Registration fee/donation: $250
•    Pledge Requirement: $4,000 (including a non-refundable registration fee of $250)
•    Individual fundraising page supported by Crowdrise
•    Route: Mountaineers Route

I invite you to subscribe to this blog by entering your email address in the box at the top of the left sidebar or on my About page, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.

The Big Outside is proud to partner with sponsor Osprey Packs, which supports my mission of inspiring families and others to get outdoors. Please help support my blog by liking and following my sponsors on Facebook and other social media and telling them you appreciate their support for The Big Outside.








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